Checking Out Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0

Executive Editor's//Comment

Checking Out Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0

By Sheila Molnar

Microsoft has a very ambitious product release schedule over the next year or so, and at the top of the list for developers is Visual Studio 2010 (VS) and .NET Framework 4.0 (FX). We'll be stepping up our coverage beyond ASP.NET in the magazine, in our newsletters, and online to keep you informed about these releases. In addition, our independent developer experts will give you the pros and cons of moving to the new releases, how VS/FX works with the rest of the Microsoft product lineup, and what a migration path looks like. Of course, we'll continue to supply you with practical how-to articles on the current releases that you're already working with. We also look forward to having you weigh in with your opinions and insight on

Michael Campbell, a .NET and SQL Server subject matter expert who writes for our WinDevPro Update developer email newsletter (if you'd like to sign up for a free subscription go to, recently noted that what he likes about VS 2010 is that "it's mostly a collection of improvements and additions to what we're already used to. There aren't many complete rewrites or changes to the way we've all been doing things (or learning to do things with previous releases). As such, that means that the large majority of what Visual Studio 2010 offers should be much easier for developers and organizations to adopt and won't come with a huge learning curve."

Here are a few of the .NET changes and enhancements:

         integrated support for Parallel Extension

         improvements to Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Workflow Foundation (WF), and Windows Presentation Foundation (Visual Studio 2010 is implemented in WPF)

         improvements in the Managed Extensibility Framework

         the second release of the Entity Framework (EF)

         support for cloud-based services and development

         big improvements for ASP.NET (e.g., AJAX functionality, Web Forms updates, IntelliSense changes)

         improved support for Test-Driven Development

Mike Campbell has checked out the VS beta, and here are a few features he likes, er, loves: "I absolutely love the new feel and look of the UI. Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 both felt like they were very well done and did a great job of offering enough eye-candy to make staring at Visual Studio for hours on end a pleasure instead of a pain. Visual Studio 2010 takes that to the next level with a WPF-based UI and new darker backgrounds and empty work areas that give the whole IDE a much more soothing and appealing feeling."

Mike also likes the new support for Lab Management that makes it easier for testers and QA folks to create and manage full-blown testing environments. He says, "Obviously, this functionality is heavily based upon virtualization, and appears to be based on a response to VMware's Lab Manager, but with more of a developer-centric focus. It will be interesting to see what kind of adoption this solution enjoys, and whether it ends up being viable and easy to use, or whether it ends up being a major pain to interact with." To read more about what Mike Campbell has to say about the new releases, go to

We'd love to hear from you. What do you think of the VS/FX betas? What are your favorite features? What disappoints you? Drop me a line at [email protected], or weigh in on our forums at

Sheila Molnar ([email protected]) is executive editor for asp.netPRO.

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