hiiiihaa, VS 2008 and .NET 3.5 Beta 2 available for download

Downloads are available here

Download for the smaller VS 2008 Express Editions here

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from Scott Guthrie’s blog, here are the main list of improvements:

Quick Tour of Some of the New Features for Web Development

Over the last few months I’ve written several blog posts that discuss some of the new improvements in this release.  Below is a quick summary list of several of them that I have already published.  This list is by no means exhaustive – there are a lot more things I haven’t had a chance to blog about yet (stay tuned for more posts!):

VS 2008 Multi-Targeting Support

VS 2008 enables you to build applications that target multiple versions of the .NET Framework.  You can learn more about how this works from my blog post here:

VS 2008 Web Designer and CSS Support

VS 2008 includes a significantly improved HTML web designer.  This delivers support for split-view editing, nested master pages, and great CSS integration.  Below are two articles I’ve written that discuss this more:

ASP.NET also has a new <asp:ListView> control that I’ll be blogging about in the near future.  It delivers very flexible support for data UI scenarios, and allows full customization of the markup emitted.  It works nicely with the new CSS support in VS 2008.

ASP.NET AJAX and JavaScript Support

.NET 3.5 has ASP.NET AJAX built-in (and adds new features like UpdatePanel support with WebParts, WCF support for JSON, and a number of bug fixes and performance improvements).  VS 2008 also has great support for integrating JavaScript and AJAX into your applications:

I will be doing a blog post in the next few days that talks more about some of the ASP.NET AJAX specific improvements, as well as how to upgrade existing ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 applications to use them.

Language Improvements and LINQ

The new VB and C# compilers in VS 2008 deliver significant improvements to the languages.  Both add functional programming concepts that enable you to write cleaner, terser, and more expressive code.  These features also enable a new programming model we call LINQ (language integrated query) that makes querying and working with data a first-class programming concept with .NET. 

Below are some of the articles I’ve written that explore these new language features using C#:

Data Access Improvements with LINQ to SQL

LINQ to SQL is a built-in OR/M (object relational mapper) in .NET 3.5.  It enables you to model relational databases using a .NET object model.  You can then query the database using LINQ, as well as update/insert/delete data from it.  LINQ to SQL fully supports transactions, views, and stored procedures.  It also provides an easy way to integrate business logic and validation rules into your data model.  Below are some of the articles I’ve written that explore how to use it:

I’ll be adding several more articles to my series above in the weeks ahead.  I think you’ll find that LINQ to SQL makes it dramatically easier to build much cleaner data models, and write much cleaner data code.

Lots of other improvements

The list above is only a small set of the improvements coming.  For client development VS 2008 includes WPF designer and project support.  ClickOnce and WPF XBAPs now work with FireFox.  WinForms and WPF projects can also now use the ASP.NET Application Services (Membership, Roles, Profile) for roaming user data. Office development is much richer – including support for integrating with the Office 2007 ribbon.  WCF and Workflow projects and designers are included in VS 2008.  Unit testing support is now much faster and included in VS Professional (and no longer just VSTS).  Continuous Integration support is now built-in with TFS.  AJAX web testing (unit and load) is now supported in the VS Test SKU.  And there is much, much more… 

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