16 September 2011

Await .NET 4.5

I have been stuck on the .NET 2.0 bandwagon for the longest time. 

During the development in the past few years, I have watched Microsoft giving birth to .NET 3.5 and .NET 4.0, the features came out of them such as LINQ, LINQ to SQL, Entity Framework, Enterprise Library, MVC and others. I read them, I had an idea they existed, but because I was focusing on improving the product I'm making, other than MVC framework, I simply haven't had much time to dive into the details from most of them, overtime, I got seriously behind the curve. 

Lately, my interests have been largely focused on asynchronous programming in.NET as I'm concerned of the performances that the traditional synchronous operations have on the servers. While asynchronous programming has no direct impact to the end users per say, however, it is absolutely vital to end programmers such like me to leverage it, get the best values out of the CPU / CLR Threadpool and as a result,  maximizing the full capabilities of the hardware and such delivery a better product to the end users. I'm glad .NET 4.5 took an emphasis in this area. 

In addition, real time live updates in the past has been nothing short of difficult. The only solutions you had were to ajax poll on a regular interval or implement your own comet solutions which involves long persisted connections with asynchronous programming implemented on the server side. This effort itself is not for the faint of heart and I'm glad that it too has been addressed in the upcoming .NET 4.5 with the WebSocket namespace. 

I highly encourage anyone who are in the same shoes as me to read over the changes (http://www.asp.net/vnext/whats-new#_Toc303354469) and get a general idea of what's coming, dive into it and prepare for your future developments. 

Overall, I think I will finally take the leap and jump off the .NET 2.0 / Web Form bandwagon. .NET 4.5 still have awhile before it can be released, meanwhile, migrate to .NET 4.0 is my top concern. Once we are upgraded to .NET 4.0, switching to .NET 4.5 will have a less impact as oppose to directly switching from .NET 2.0 to .NET 4.5

One thing though, I'm somewhat disappointed  to learn that the Entity Framework still does not support the asynchronous model. To fully leverage the CLR Threadpool, Microsoft seriously need to put some energy into this area and gives us a full stack we can really use.  

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