Microsoft have released the first official beta of their MVC framework for ASP.NET, Scott Guthrie announced today. The framework has already been through several preview releases from the ASP.NET team, gathering feedback from the developer community, but this is the first time it will go out to a broader user base for testing.
The MVC pattern is particularly popular amongst developers following a test driven development methodology, as it encourages good seperation of concerns, and makes it much easier to test applications. Ruby on Rails has been largely responsible for the resurgance of interest in this pattern, combined with its rapid prototyping capacibilities.
Adopting an MVC approach in ASP.NET previously was very difficult, so this will be a significant step forward for ASP.NET developers wishing to gain greater testability and more granular control over the HTML that is generated.
The framework is expected to be released "out-of-band" - so before the next major framework release of .NET 4.0. The ASP.NET team has stressed that the traditional ASP.NET "WebForms" approach which introduced a stateful approach to web applications will continue alongside, but this will provide a new option for web development that Microsoft hopes will garner interest from developers normally attracted to frameworks like PHP and Ruby on Rails.