Developing for the web using VS 2010 and .NET 4
Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4 are packed with new features and enhancements designed to improve developer productivity. Some are small changes and others are more significant. Altogether they deliver a significant gain in productivity.
More and more developers look to the web to be able to build and deliver applications that take advantage of the reach and friction-free capabilities of the web. With Visual Studio 2010 and ASP.NET 4, there are a number of new features to help you do just that. I want to highlight a few of the new features here.
Streamlined Web Deployment
Web deployment has always been a very challenging problem for web developers. Application logic, databases, IIS settings, data and configuration transforms all may need to be applied before deployment.
Now, MSDeploy, a new deployment tool, packages all the settings, files and data associated with a web application. These packages can then be deployed to remote sites or archived for future retrieval. The IIS7 management console now includes a wizard to import packages created by MSDeploy.
Visual Studio 2010 seamlessly integrates MSDeploy into the web development workflow and adds commonly-requested features such as automation of web.config transformations to modify common settings (such as web service end points and connection strings) and database deployment before moving from a developer’s machine to a staging or production server. Below is the new simplified publishing dialog:
New Application Templates
The HTML designer in Visual Studio 2010 has enhanced support for CSS 2.1 that provides a more accurate rendering at designtime compared with how the browser will render the page at runtime.
More Screen Real Estate
One of the most valuable commodities in a development environment is screen real estate. Visual Studio 2010 offers an immense array of options developers can customize to optimize their screen real estate and development experience. The Code Optimized Web Profile optimizes these settings to maximize screen real estate and bring the commands most commonly used by the Source View developer to your fingertips. You can choose the Code Optimized Web Profile when you start Visual Studio for the first time or change your profile later using the Tools | Import and Export Settings… menu item.
Sometimes less is more. This is one of those features. When ASP.NET was first introduced, a web.config file wasn’t even required. When it was, it often only contained a few entries. As new capabilities were added to ASP.NET, the web.config file grew in size and complexity, making the file more difficult to read and maintain. ASP.NET 4 brings back the minimal configuration file.
URL Routing with ASP.NET WebForms
URL routing is a feature common to MVC projects. ASP.NET 4 supports URL routing for web forms. Now you can define URLs that are meaningful to your app and understandable by users. These simplified URLs also help with search engine optimization (SEO).
This is only a sample of the improvements for web developers in Visual Studio 2010. You can see a complete list of new features for web development here.
One More Thing…
If you have been using Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2, we’d like to hear from you. Please take the survey and tell us about your experiences.