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Latest Developments in the .Net World


Do you want to know about the latest development in the .Net technology? Here is a comprehensive look at the latest developments in the world of Microsoft’s.NET.

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By: Pawan Bangar
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September 07, 2003

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Do you want to know about the latest development in the .Net technology? Here is a comprehensive look at the latest developments in the world of Microsoft’s.NET.

If you are committed software developer, you must be aware that ‘web services’ is the latest buzzword to have hit the IT industry. And that this technology trend holds tremendous potential for addressing business problems.

Extensible markup language (XML) is the universal format for data on the web. With XML web services gaining momentum among developers as the next generation of internet-based computing. A platform that made it similar to build these solutions and provide a reliable framework for integration and interoperability was needed. Microsoft’s answer to this much-felt need was .NET—a platform for building, deploying, operating and integrating XML web services.

.NET is the only platform that has been built to support XML services ground up, and Microsoft has been extensively working with the industry to develop standard s like SOAP and UDDI, the XML web services search directory that exits today.

Let’s now take a detailed look at all that Microsoft’s .NET has to offer software developers by the analyzing the latest developments that have taken place in this platform.

ASP.NET

ASP.NET is more than the next version of active server pages (APS) ----- it is the unified web development platform that provides the services necessary for developers to build enterprise-class web applications.ASP.NET is a compiled, .NET –based environment; you can author applications in any.NET compatible language, including ASP.NET Visual Basic .NET,C#, and the jscript.NET.Additionally, the entire .NET framework is available to any ASP.NET application.

Developers can choose from one of two features when creating an ASP.NET application, web services, or combine these in any way they see fit.

Web forms to allow you to build powerful forms-based web pages. When building these pages, you can use ASP.NET server controls to create common UI elements, and programs then from common tasks.

These controls to allow you to rapidly build a web form out of reusable built-in or custom components, simplifying the code of a page.

An XML web service provides the means to access server functionality remotely. Using web services, interfaces to their data or business logic, which is turn can be obtained and manipulated by client and server applications. XML web services enable the exchange of data in client-server or server- server scenarios, using standards like HTTP and XML messaging to move data across firewalls.

Each of these models can take full advantage of all ASP.NET framework and.NET framework common language runtime. These features and how you can use them are outlined as follow:

  • If you have ASP development skills, the new ASP.NET programming model will seem very familiar to you. However, the ASP.NET object model has changed significantly from ASP, making it move structured and object oriented.
  • Accessing database from ASP.NET application is an often-used technique for displaying data to website visitors. ASP.NET makes it easier then ever to access database for this purpose.
  • ASP.NET provides a simple model that enables developers to write logic that runs at the application level. Developers can   write this code in the global. Asax text files or in a compiled class deployed as an assembly.
  • ASP.NET provides easy-to-use application and session-state-facilities that are familiar to ASP developers and readily compatible with all other .NET framework APIs.
  • For advanced developers who wants to use APIs as powerful as the ISPI programming interfaces that were included with previous version of ASP, ASP.NET  offer the IHttpHandler interfaces.
  • ASP.NET takes advantage of performance enhancements found in the .NET framework and common language runtime.
  • The. NET framework and ASP.NET provide default authorization and authentication schemes for web application.
  • ASP.NET configuration setting are stored in XML-based files , which are human readable and writable.

VB.NET

Visual basic .NET enable you to create rich application for Microsoft Windows in less time, incorporate data access from a wider range of database scenarios, create components with minimal code, and build web-based application using your exiting skills. Builds powerful windows-based applications in less time and more robust windows-based applications with less code.

1. Web-based applications

Helps to create web solutions in visual basic.NET using the shared web forms designer and HTML designer

2. Flexible, simplified data access

Offers support to tackle any data access scenario easily with Microsoft ADO.NET and Microsoft Active X Data objects (ADO) data access. 

3. Improved coding

It brings a multitude of enhancements to the code editor, including enhanced intellisence , smart listing of code for greater readability , squiggles , and a background compiler for realtime notification of syntax .

4. Direct access to the platform

Features quick leverage of registry , eventlog , performance counters , and file system in user’ application and eliminates the need to use declared statements .

5. Full object-oriented constructs

Helps create reusable, enterprise-class code using full object-oriented constructs .Language features include full implementation inheritance, encapsulation ,and polymorphism .

6. XML Web services

The new XML .Web services project templates builds all underlying Web services enable you to call components running on any platform.

7. Mobile applications

These new features give developers a single, mobile Web interface to support a broad range of Web devices, including WWL 1.1 for WAP-enabled cellular phones , compact HTML (cHTML) for i-mode phones ,and HTML for pocket PC handheld devices , and pagers . Reach out to more than 80 different Internet-enabled mobile devices using the Microsoft mobile Internet Toolkit .

8. Com interoperability

This feature enables seamless bi-directional communication between Visual Basic 6.0 and Visual Basic Net applications.

VS .NET

Visual Studio .NET is the comprehensive tool for rapidly building and inter grating XML. Web services and application dramatically increasing developer productivity, and enabling new business opportunities.

1. Enterprise Architect

Visually specify and communicate application architecture: It uses Microsoft Visio-based Modeling Language (UML) modeling to specify and communicate application architecture and functionality.

  • Gain unparalleled support for database modeling: Full roundtrip engineering, with logical and physical data models, enables communication from the business analyst to the database designer.
  • Easily shared best practices: Senior developers and architects can customize enterprise template projects to provide application starting points and guidance for less experienced developers.
  • Use the industry-leading development environment: Leverage the powerful capabilities in Visual Studio.Net for rapidly building XML web services and applications that span devices and platforms.
  • Define and communicate development policies: developers can immediately view any policy violations and discrepancies in their code in the task list window.

Enterprise Developers:

  • Fast and easy test of XML web services and applications: VS.Net can quickly create and run tests within the visual studio.Net environment to fine-tune the performance of XML web services and applications and verify functionality.
  • Maximize developer productivity: It leverages the powerful capabilities in Visual Studio .Net for rapidly building XML web services and applications that span devices and platforms.
  • Simplify server-side development:  This feature helps to visually build server-side components with the server explorer and Visual component Designer.
  • Build, leverage, and extend scalable XML web services: it creates components that can be accessed on any platform by using XML web services easily publish and component as XML web services, and reuse existing XML web services running on any platform.

Get support for the complete lifecycle: The Visual Studio integration technologies bring a broad array of partners of visual studio .Net developers and enables third party languages, components and tools to integrate tightly with visual studio .Net through various stages of the development in lifecycle.
VS .NET Professional :

  • XML web services : It helps to create components that can be accessed on any platform by using XML web services . Converts existing functions to XML web services and reuses existing XML web services.
  • High-performance database application with XML : It uses the built-in Microsoft ADO.NET tools to build database applications with Microsoft SQL Server , Oracle ,or any other XML-based data source .
  • Supports Rapid Application Devlopment (RAD) for the server developed for thin-client devices : Offers developers a single mobile web interface to support a broad range of web devices –including WML .1.1 for WAP cell phones , compact HTML(cHTML)  for i-mode , and HTML, for pocket PC, palm-size PCs pagers .
  • Shared IDE : It uses a single unified integrated development environment (IDE) for all languages with a single toolbox debugger and task window across Visual Basic ,C++ and C# project .    

Windows CE .NET

Window CE .NET is the successor to Windows CE 3.0 Designed from the ground up for the embedded marketplace , Window CE .NET aims to deliver a robust realtime operating  system for rapidly building the next generation of smart mobile and small footprint devices. With a complete operating system feature set and end-to-end development environment Windows CE-based devices that requires rich networking hard real time, and a small footprint , as well as rich multimedia and Web browsing capabilities. Windows CE .NET offers.

  • Scalable  wireless technologies : Windows CE.NET include scalable wireless technologies that enable mobile devices to flexibly connect into existing infrastructures . Supported wireless technologies include.
  • Bluetooth :  Windows CE .NET allows a devices to use a Bluetooth-enabled cellular phone as a data modem , and to use a Bluetooth-enabled local area network (LAN) access point to provide network connectivity.
  • 802.1x/Zero Configuration – New features in window CE .NET i.e., 802.11 zero configuration, aim to simplify setup of 802.11 network and to enable seamless roaming from one 802.11 network to another. 801.1x and EAP enhance the security of 802.11 by enabling user/password, certificate, or original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specific authentication to log on to the network.
  • Object Exchange  (OBEX)  protocol – Windows CE .Net’s support for OBEX works over Bluetooth and infra red data association (IrDA) protocols . Object Exchange (OBEX) is an efficient, compact binary protocol that enables a wide range of devices to exchange data spontaneously in a simple, efficient manner.
  • Media Sense – This feature improves the roaming experience for mobile devices users by notifying application of network status.
  • Real time collaboration and communication (RTC/SIP) – Real time communication (RTC) enables messaging, presence, and audio (voice over IP between any two IP-enabled devices.
  • Realiable core operating system services for demanding embedded designs : Windows CE .ET offers reliable core operating system services that enable the most demanding real time embedded designs across a breadth of devices . New and enhanced operating system features include.
  • Small footprint: Continuing the effort to minimize the operating system footprint for embedded devices, Windows CE .NET provides granular Kernel componentization. Windows CE .NET supports a minimum configuration platform as small as 200 KB with minimum Kernel functions only.
  • Enterprise-scale – Network security enhancements include support for the Kerberos Security Protocol.
  • Wide selection of CPUs- Windows CE .NET provides a high level of processor flexibility with support for the following four families of microprocessors and emulation technologies like ARM, MIPS, SHx, x 86 etc.
  • Real time – Real time processing support for the most demanding support for the most demanding deterministic applications with 256 priority levels and nested interrupt support.
  • Net- enabled for creating rich personalized experiences - Windows CE .NET enables you to build smart Microsoft .NET-enabled devices and create rich, personalized experiences.
  • XML – XML allows developers to easily describe and deliver rich, structured data from any application in a standard consistent way.
  • Net compact Framework : The .NET Compact Framework supports all processors supported by windows CE .NET . For more information on how to develop application using the .NET Framework, please see .NET on the MSDN site. Look in the .NET Compact Framework Read me’ for specific information about implementation issues in your embedded design.
  • Microsoft Direct3D API – Provides support for interactive three-dimensional   (3-D) graphics applications by allowing device dependent access to 30d video-display hardware in devices-independent manner.
  • Windows Media 8 compressor/decompressor (codecs) and controls – Supports the latest Microsoft Windows Media 8 codes and controls ,which allows for the latest high-bandwidth encoded multimedia streams.
  • Easy-to-use end-to-end tool set:  Windows CE .NET provides an integrated end-to-end tool set to help developers reduce both operating system and application development time, allowing them to get devices to market faster. These tools include.
  • Emulation technology - Windows CE .NET include emulation technology to enable developers to build and test their designs on their Windows 2000 or Windows xp professional workstations without additional hardware investments.

The new platform wizard – The new platform wizard provides a foundation for starting
Device designs for:

  • Cellophanes / Smart phones
  • Custom devices
  • Digital imaging devices
  • Industrial automation devices
  • Internet/media appliances
  • Personal digital assistants (PDA)/Mobile handhelds
  • Residential gateways
  • Retail point-of-sale
  • Set-top boxes
  • Tiny kernels
  • Web pads Windows thin clients.

CE .Net also provides support for managed and native code – To write applications for Windows CE .NET, Microsoft offers a rich set of languages for creating managed .NET-enabled or unmanaged (native) applications.

NET Compact Framework 

Microsoft Corp. Has recently released the beta of the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework, extending the .NET strategy to smart handheld devices. The .NET Compact Framework is Microsoft’s mobile application platform technology that harnesses the power of XML Web services on mobile devices. As a subset of the .NET Framework, the .NET Compact Framework shares same programming model and application development tools, enabling .NET developers to transfer their existing skills to build mobile applications, which is expected to accelerate adoption of mobile solutions. 

It provides key features for smart devices such as a programming model unified with the .Net framework on desktop and server, integral XML web services support, enterprise-class data access using ADO.Net and XML, and rich class libraries that enable developers to build powerful applications in minimal time. Runtime features such as managed code and just-in-time compilation help ensure reliable, high performance applications for a better user experience.

The .Net compact framework is complemented by other technologies such as Microsoft SQL server 2000, windows CE edition version 2.0 and the Microsoft mobile internet toolkit (MMIT), SQL server CE is the compact, relational database for rapidly developing applications that extend enterprise data management capabilities to new smart devices. The SQL server CE is the only mobile database that integrates with the .Net compact framework, allowing data to be locally and securely stored and extracted to interact with back-end applications or web services.

The Microsoft mobile internet toolkit offers a wide reach to project applications to any kind of mobile device with a browser. The development experience for these technologies is unified through Microsoft Visual Studio >net, which provides a consistent set of tools and interfaces for building applications using Microsoft’s mobile technologies.


DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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