What I’m looking forward to in .net 3.5 Service Pack 1

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So .net 3.5 service pack 1 has been announced, but not released, with a large host of new features.  (Isn’t a service pack just supposed to fix things, not release a host of new stuff…not that I mind).

What am I looking forward to:

* Visual Studio Speed improvements.  Nuff said.  Please keep making it faster.

* SQL Server 2008 features in LINQ 2 SQL. I just did a big demo of SQL Server 2008 T-SQL changes for BSDG, and the one thing I was not able to do was really show off the new features.  How do you use the HierarchyID in LINQ2SQL right now?  With stored procedures.  I’m hoping this release will fix that.

Also, this pretty well determines when SP1 will release: at the same time as SQL Server 2008.  If you listen to .Net Rock show 340, they say that a SQL Server 2008 release is imminent.  Which could mean anything.

* Routing for ASP.Net. We aren’t talking about Routing for ASP.Net MVC Framework, but regular old WebForms.  I love this.

* Cold start performance improvements.  One part of working with .net that kind of sucks is the cold start.   Someone boots up their computer and starts your application, which take forever to load.  Then the next time you load, it boots right up.   According to Scott Guthrie the are seeing up to a 40% performance increase.

What I’m interested in:

Here are some new features I’m interested in, but I don’t expect to jump on right away.

* Dynamic Data. Much has been said about this already.  I will be looking into it.  There is scaffolding support in there, as well as a lot more.  Plus it can be used with multiple ORM solutions.  I believe LLBLGen will have support, and Scott Hanselman said NHibernate support was also being worked on.  I suspect SubSonic in there somewhere as well.

* Entities Framework.  I’m always looking for better ways of getting data from a database.  While this doesn’t seem better than some of my current tools (NHibernate, SubSonic, LINQ2SQL), I’m keeping an eye on this one.  If you read down Scott Guthrie’s blog comments, you will also see that Oracle will be supported with Entities Framework.

* Microsoft AJAX Stuff. I’m using JQuery for more of this right now, but there are some enhancements to the ScriptManager coming.  And JQuery or no JQuery, I still use the ScriptManager.

* Improved Client Distribution. While I mainly blog about Asp.Net, I also work with WinForms.  And in WinForms, .Net Framework distribution is always a hot topic.  Better bootstrappers, improved ClickOnce.  Give me everything you got.  One key feature: they made it smaller.

* More WinForms Controls.  These are actually some of the Visual Basic.Net PowerPack controls.  Thank you.

* WPF Stuff.  I having had the opportunity to really get into WPF yet, but the time will come.


OK, that is all that I’m going to list.  There really is a lot out there for a Service Pack.  But one quick note: this is beta.  And this is one beta I’m not installing yet — but I will as soon as it is released. 

If you are looking for more information, check out these articles:

Scott Guthrie: http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2008/05/12/visual-studio-2008-and-net-framework-3-5-service-pack-1-beta.aspx

Brad Abrams: http://blogs.msdn.com/brada/archive/2008/05/05/visual-studio-2008-and-net-framework-3-5-sp1-beta.aspx

Scott Hanselman: http://www.hanselman.com/blog/VS2008AndNet35SP1BetaShouldYouFearThisRelease.aspx

Tim Sneath: http://blogs.msdn.com/tims/archive/2008/05/12/introducing-the-third-major-release-of-windows-presentation-foundation.aspx