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April 8, 2003--In this issue:
1. DEVELOPER .NET PERSPECTIVES
- Visual Studio .NET and Windows 2003 Features, Part 2
- Get Realtime, Real Answers, Really Fast!
- Microsoft TechEd 2003, June 1-6, 2003, Dallas, TX
- Featured Thread: Java Vs. the .NET Framework
4. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Create Rich GUIs
5. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
1. DEVELOPER .NET PERSPECTIVES
With the official launch of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Visual Studio .NET 2003 occurring next week on April 24, I'm going to continue to look at some of the new features that will affect developers. One new Visual Studio .NET 2003 feature that's tied to the introduction of Windows 2003 is IP version 6. IPv6 represents the next generation of the Internet and will eventually replace the current version, IPv4.
IPv6 is being introduced in part because, as with so many technological innovations, demand has exceeded the technology's initial capacity. The current Internet address system is based on a 32-bit value (e.g., 255.255.255.255). Having 4,294,967,296 (i.e., 2 to the power of 32) possible Internet addresses is certainly a large number. However, when you consider this number in relation to the possible number of Internet-enabled devices worldwide, it's not large enough, especially considering that some people reserve a range of addresses of which they might only use a small portion. In IPv6, a 128-bit value will replace the 32-bit value, thereby increasing the number of possible Internet addresses to 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 (i.e., 2 to the power of 128).
IPv6, though, is more than just a change in the number of Internet addresses. IPv6 represents a complete shift in the way the Internet works. The shift starts with the ability to automatically assign IP addresses without the need for a DHCP server. Other changes include a new header that, unfortunately, isn't backward compatible. During the migration process, many servers will need to support both IPv4 and IPv6 headers. IPv6 also adds support for other network-level capabilities, such as Quality of Service (QoS), multicasting, and optimized routing tables. Some of the elements with which you're likely familiar in the current network protocols, such as the subnet mask, will become obsolete.
Replacing IPv4 with IPv6 isn't going to occur overnight and, in my estimation, will require decades to implement worldwide. Even then, IPv6 might never completely replace IPv4. You can't blame Microsoft for this painfully slow change; IPv6 and IPv4 are international standards that the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) controls. This group is known for creating reams of documentation that are often used as a cure for insomnia.
In spite of IPv4's anticipated longevity, Microsoft is providing the systems and tools to meet IPv6's new way of communicating on the Web. The key for developers is that Visual Studio .NET fully supports IPv6 behind the scenes. By default, applications you create won't reference elements that are based on IPv6. However, to make your application IPv6 compliant, you just need to modify one setting in the application's web.config or app.config file. For example, adding the following entry enables IPv6 support in the System.Net classes:
This entry makes your application use a set of Windows .NET Framework classes that support IPv6.
You can enable IPv6 support in just one application or in many applications. In other words, all your applications don't have to support the same IP version, which is good because you might decide to continue to use IPv4 in some areas. (Some older systems won't be compatible with IPv6.) If your organization makes a complete transition to IPv6, you can reset all the applications on a server by merely adding the above entry to your server's machine.config file.
As with any feature that's tied to Windows 2003, IPv6 isn't going to be easily compatible with earlier Windows OSs. You can find a technology preview of IPv6 for Windows 2000 at http://msdn.microsoft.com/downloads/sdks/platform/tpipv6.asp. However, as that Web page notes, Microsoft doesn't intend to create a production version of the IPv6 implementation for Win2K.
When you install the release version of Visual Studio .NET 2003 Enterprise Architect edition (which is the only version I've installed), one of your options at the end of the installation process is to open a file called ipv6.htm. This file provides an introduction to IPv6. In a default installation, this file is in the "C:\program files\microsoft visual studio .net 2003\visual studio .net enterprise architect 2003 - english" directory.
You can also find more information about IPv6 on the IETF Web site
(http://www.ietf.org). Or, for a document that's easier to understand, you can read the Microsoft paper "Introduction to IP Version 6" at the following URL:
Next week, I'll continue to review of some of the new features that Microsoft is introducing in Windows Server and Visual Studio .NET. In the meantime, if you haven't already done so, consider signing up for one of Microsoft's free Windows Server and Visual Studio .NET launch events in the United States (http://www.microsoft2003launch.com/gen) or elsewhere (http://www.microsoft.com/usa/events).
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(contributed by Sue Cooper, [email protected])
When Joshua Bolton reads about the Windows .NET Framework's features, he sees a lot of similarities with Java's features. He wants to know, in a nutshell, the difference between Java and the Framework. To join this discussion, go to the following URL:
4. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Sue Cooper, [email protected])
O'Reilly & Associates has published .NET Windows Forms in a Nutshell. Coauthors Ian Griffiths and Matthew Adams provide an introduction to this new GUI development tool, an explanation of the rationale behind the new forms design, and an explanation of the Windows .NET Framework in general. The book includes a complete reference to the .NET Framework Class Library (FCL) Windows Forms namespaces and types. The book also includes a CD-ROM that integrates the book's reference section directly into the Help files of Visual Studio .NET. The book covers the fundamental building blocks and helps developers of non-Web client applications build full-featured, reusable visual components. Chapter 3, "Forms, Containers, and Applications," is available free online. .NET Windows Forms in a Nutshell is priced at $44.95. Contact O'Reilly at 800-998-9938, 707-827-7000, or [email protected]
5. CONTACT US
Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:
- ABOUT DEVELOPER .NET PERSPECTIVES -- [email protected]
- ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL -- [email protected] (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)
- TECHNICAL QUESTIONS -- http://www.winnetmag.com/forums
- PRODUCT NEWS -- [email protected]
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