Connect Event

Connect(); event took place on November 12 and 13th.  So many new things were announced by Microsoft.  You can watch the recorded session here.  I wanted to take a few minutes and summarize the announcements for myself as well contemplate a bit on importance and ramifications of them.  All the opinions below express my personal attitude and thoughts.

A number of important Microsoft components where released as open source on GitHub.  The biggest of them in .NET Core.  Not all the components are on GitHub now.  NET Core is a modular development stack that is the foundation of all future .NET platforms.  It’s already used by ASP.NET 5 and .NET Native. Making it open source will hopefully result in more community engagement.  You will be able to run ASP.NET applications on Linux or Mac.  Currently you have to use Mono, which is a re-implementation of .NET.  Microsoft will take over large portion of that burden.  This will result in a single foundation where developers can fully leverage the power of .NET on all three major platforms out there.  Open source components release also included C# and VB.NET compilers (Roslyn project), Visual F# tools, ASP.NET 5.0 and Entity Framework.  This is the single biggest announcement I believe when it comes to open source commitments from Microsoft.  I feel that over the last two years Microsoft has changed to the better, becoming more and more open and committed to open source.  I feel like they have more code in open source than any other company now.  On the other hand, you still cannot compile iOS apps on Windows on Linux, right?

Now you want to write some code, correct?  Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 2015 preview was announced as well.  As part of .NET release you will also get .NET 4.6 preview.  .NET 4.6 contains new features for desktop platform, including enhancements for WPF.  If you are a WPF developer, read the announcement roadmap for WPF.    You can download it today from Visual Studio page.  Visual Studio 2015 contains many productivity improvements, some based on Roslyn to every developer.  It comes with many new language features for C# and VB.NET.  These features will help you write less code, which is always good.  There are also many debugging features.  One I have needed for a while is support for lambda expressions.

ASP.NET 5.0 is the most significant change to Micorosft web platform since the initial release of ASP.NET.  There are so many new features.  Most importantly, it shipped with new runtime, “k” runtime.  This is new .NET core runtime.  It is cross platform.  Let me repeat this.  ASP.NET can be developed and run on Linux and Mac.  ASP.NET 5 unified ASP.NET MVC and Web API into single framework finally.  There is one routing engine, and dependency injection is at core of new  ASP.NET.  There is background watch process, so you do not need to recompile the project any more.  Once you save a C# source file, your test environment is automatically refreshed with new DLLs.  New configuration approach abstracts the environment, smoothing out differences between local and cloud deployments.  NuGet is everywhere.  As a matter of fact, .NET core is distributed via NuGet.  This eliminates the .NET dependency on target machines.  You can also have multiple .NET core version on same computer inside multiple apps.  You can self-host your ASP.NET application, not just host them in IIS. Of course, you can run ASP.NET 5 on full .NET as well, not just .NET core.  Right now it will run on Mono on Linux, but long term .NET core will be available on Linux and Mac without Mono.  There is also built-in support for Bower and Grunt to support JavaScript libraries.  You can easily switch to Gulp as well, as tasking support is generic.  There is new project structure based on json project file.    There are many improvements to web editors, HTML and CSS/LESS/SAAS. 

There is also Entity Framework 7.0 preview.  It is still in full development mode, but it will be a major re-write, not a small change.  EF will support .NET core and will enable support for more data stores, such as Azure Table Storage and platforms, such as Windows Phone and Windows Store apps. 

Visual Studio 2015 has new support for building cross platform mobile apps, both based on Cordova and Xamarin.  There is also Blend preview to help with design.  You can debug our Cordova apps from Visual Studio connecting to a running app on iOS simulator on Mac!

There is also a feature called Smart unit tests, based on Pex framework.

Visual Studio Community Edition was released.  The major difference from Express editions is that Community edition support extensibility.  Best of all, it is still free for individual developers!  Enterprises will have to pay a fee, not sure what it will be.  There was also update 4 released for Visual Studio 2013. 

TypeScript 1.3 was released as well.  This is not a preview release.  Compiler became much faster.  You do not need to wait, adopt this now!

There are many Azure enhancements, such as release management service.  Azure SDK 2.5 was released.

I did not got into too many details, as this post would have been many more pages long.  Watch the videos and read more about new features.  More importantly, download the bits and try them out for yourself.