Or is it the Visual Studio "Orcas" December 2006 CTP? The product itself is confused. The about dialog shows both monikers.
You can download this CTP here.
It has been awhile since the October 2006 CTP of "Orcas" that I wrote about previously. Here are my first observations about this CTP.
Integration problems for .NET 3.0?
I believe this CTP shows that Microsoft is experiencing major integration problems among its technologies. Would you believe that this CTP does not contain the RTM version of .NET 3.0?! Instead it containsan older version version with build numbers off by more than 100. Think back to when .NET Framework 3.0 was released to manufacturing: November 6, 2007. Imagine how many days it has been in escrow before that. Yet it hasn't been integrated into the Visual Studio builds...
|Build numbers||.NET 3.0 RTM||“Orcas” Jan 07 CTP|
|WCF and CardSpace||3.0.4506.30||3.0.4324.17|
Like older "Orcas" CTPs, this CTP lacks any developer support for .NET 3.0. So no documentation, project templates and visual designers. For .NET 3.0 development, you need to use Visual Studio 2005 with the "Orcas" CTP extensions. The latest version of those extensions is the November 2006 CTP. Microsoft announced that that would be the last release for Visual Studio 2005. Going forward, they should be integrated in Visual Studio "Orcas". Apparently, that hasn't happened yet.
So what is missing?
- Up-to-date .NET 3.0 version
- Developer support for .NET 3.0
- ASP.NET AJAX
- Team Foundation Server "Orcas"
However, an older .NET 3.0 version and missing technology does not mean that this "Orcas" CTP does not contain exciting content. It contains the most expansive .NET 3.5 released yet. It's version number is 3.5.11209. The list of features can be found in the middle of the download page. For your convenience, here is a copy of that list:
- Extended, more powerful data APIs with the ADO.NET Entity Framework and LINQ to ADO.NET
- With the ADO.NET Entity Framework developers will be able to model the view of the data that is appropriate for each one of the applications they are building, independently of the structure of the data in the underlying database. The use of the Entity Data Model (EDM) enables developers to design models that follow the concepts built into the application, instead of having to map them to constructs available in relational stores. Once the model is in place, the powerful ADO.NET Entity Framework API is used to access and manipulate the data as .NET classes or as rows and columns, whatever is appropriate for each application.
- ADO.NET is fully integrated with LINQ and offers many options for using LINQ in various scenarios: LINQ to SQL provides direct access to database tables from the programming environment, LINQ to Entities enables developers to use LINQ over EDM models, and LINQ to DataSet allows the full expressivity of LINQ to be used over DataSets.
- C# 3.0 Language Support: This CTP implements all of the C#3.0 language features from the May LINQ CTP including:
- Query Expressions
- Object and Collection Initializers
- Extension Methods
- Local Variable Type Inference and Anonymous Types
- Lambdas bound to Delegates and Expression trees
- VB 9.0 Language Support: This CTP implements all of the VB 9.0 language features from the May LINQ CTP including:
- Query Expressions
- Object Initializers
- Extension Methods
- Local Variable Type Inference
- Anonymous Types
- LINQ to Objects API
- The LINQ to Objects API supports queries over any .NET collection, such as arrays and Generic Lists. This API is defined in the System.Linq namespaces inside System.Core.dll. Click here for more details about LINQ.
- ClickOnce improvements
- This CTP delivers ClickOnce improvements for the deployment of Windows Presentation Foundation applications, alternative browser support and ISV rebranding.
- Managed classes for Elliptic Curve Diffie Hellman and Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm cryptographic functionality
- With the addition of these classes, cryptographic developers now have managed classes for Elliptic Curve Diffie Hellman secret agreement and Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm signing. These classes are built on the new CNG cryptographic libraries in Windows Vista, but still follow the familiar patterns of the cryptographic classes in .NET Framework 2.0.
- Runtime and design-time support for Office 2007 (including Outlook 2007)
- Customers can build managed code add-ins with a consistent development experience, regardless of which version of Office they target, which Office application(s) they target, and which programming language they choose. Managed code add-ins enable developers to use strongly-typed class members, with the help of modern development tools, including intellisense and auto-complete. Additionally add-ins can potentially run in multiple versions of Office, enabled by abstracting version-specific code and supported by a version-resilient infrastructure.
- Support for advanced lifetime management of add-ins and their AppDomains
- We’ve added the helper classes that manage the lifetime of add-ins, the objects passed between the host and add-ins, and even of the AppDomains the add-ins live in. By using the ContractBase and LifetimeToken handle, pipeline developer can let the hosts and add-ins act as if everything, including the AppDomain the add-in was activated in, was controlled by the garbage collector even though .Net Remoting would normally make that impossible.
- Client service support for Login/Logout, Role management and Profiles
- ASP.NET 2.0 shipped with new application services for authentication, authorization and personalization. Most of these services are not tied to ASP.NET and can work in non-web applications. This CTP enables the use of these services in smart client applications for Logon/Logoff, Role management and profiles.
- A trace listener that logs event to ETW, event tracing for Windows in Vista
- Event tracing for windows is greatly improved in Vista and the most performant loggings facility available in Windows. The System.Diagnostics.EventProviderTraceListener allows managed tracing to provide events to the Vista’s ETW infrastructure. This is a highly performant, thread-safe listener.
- Jscript Intellisense support
- Jscript code formatting and Intellisense support provide developers with a richer editing experience. These improvements enable the IDE to provide statement completion, color syntax highlighting and in-place documentation to Jscript and associated script models such as ASP.NET AJAX.
- A new numeric type that provides support for very large numbers (Beyond the range of In64)
- All existing numeric types in the Framework have a limited range. This is the first type that supports arbitrary range and will extend to accommodate any large number as needed. This type lives in the new System.Numeric namespace where all new numeric and arithmetic features are going to reside. It supports all the basic arithmetic operations including things like Pow, DivRem and GreatestCommonDivisor. It implements the following interfaces: IFormattable, IComparable, IComparable<BigInteger> and IEquatable<BigInteger>. It is serliazable and immutable. It has implicit casts from all basic integral types and explicit casts to/from all numeric type. To learn more about this type – please visit the BCL team blog.
- LINQ over XML (XLinq)
- Enable further LINQ over XML feature support (in addition to the functionality available in the Oct 2006 CTP) such as the ability to apply XLST to transform into and out of XLinq trees, support for System.XML reader/writer interfaces for improved XML sharing with DOM applications and System.XML schema validation for XLinq nodes.
- SQL Server Compact Edition (SSCE)
- SQL Server Compact Edition (SSCE) provides a local relational data store for occasionally connected client applications from desktops to devices. SSCE is light weight, embeddable and is easy to deploy with your client applications without requiring complex administration work from users. Timestamp (row version id) data type, improved table designer, Query processor enhancements and support for local transaction scope are some of the new features you find in this version of SSCE.