VS and .NET Service Packs

This article was originally published in VSJ, which is now part of Developer Fusion.
Microsoft’s recently released service packs for Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 introduce enhancements based on feedback from the developer community. The new .NET Framework Client Profile in .NET 3.5 SP1 is intended as a faster and easier way to deploy applications for Windows. Thanks to an 86.5 percent reduction (197 MB to 26.5 MB) in the size of the .NET Framework, users will be able to download and install Windows-based applications significantly faster than before. The improved download and installation experience can also be extended to existing .NET applications. .NET 3.5 SP1 includes several improvements to the common language runtime, such as the ability to generate managed code that improves application startup time by 20 percent to 45 percent and end-to-end application execution time up to 10 percent, and the ability of managed code to take advantage of the Address Space Layout Randomization security feature in Windows Vista. In addition, .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 has improvements for applications using Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and includes ADO.NET Data Services and ADO.NET Entity Framework, which supply both a new model-based paradigm and a standards-based framework for creating data-oriented Web services. Support for SQL Server 2008 is also added. Enhancements to the representational state transfer (REST) services functionality within Windows Communication Foundation provide a more flexible programming model for building services to support both Web 2.0 and service-oriented architecture (SOA) applications. ADO.NET Data Services developers should notice productivity gains when creating data-centric REST-based services.

Enhancements in Visual Studio 2008 SP1 build on the new functionality in the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. Improvements include better-performing designers for building WPF applications, improved tools for developing AJAX applications, improved designers for working with the ADO.NET Entity Framework, a richer JavaScript development environment and a streamlined Web site deployment experience. Visual Studio 2008 SP1 also extends the developer-focused innovations in SQL Server 2008, making the development of occasionally connected applications and spatial applications easier and offering developers additional controls for incorporating business intelligence into applications.

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