Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 enable developers to rapidly create connected applications that deliver high quality and rich user experiences. Visual Studio 2008 enables organizations of every size to rapidly create secure, manageable, and reliable applications that are optimized for Windows Vista™, SQL Server, the Microsoft 2007 Office system and the Web.
Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 continue Microsoft’s investment in market leading development tools and developer platform. SP1 addresses issues that were found through a combination of customer and partner feedback, as well as internal testing. These service packs offer customers improvements in responsiveness, stability and performance.
The .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 (SP1) delivers more controls, a streamlined setup, improved start-up performance, and powerful new graphics features for client development and rich data scaffolding, improved AJAX support, and other improvements for Web development. Additionally it introduces support for the ADO.NET Entity Framework and ADO.NET Data Services, which simplify data access code in applications by providing an extensible, conceptual model for data from any data source and enabling this model to closely reflect business requirements.
Visual Studio 2008 SP1 delivers:
- Improved WPF designers
- SQL Server 2008 support
- ADO.NET Entity Designer
- Visual Basic and Visual C++ components and tools (including an MFC-based Office 2007 style ‘Ribbon’)
- Visual Studio Team System Team Foundation Server (TFS) addresses customer feedback on version control usability and performance, email integration with work item tracking and full support for hosting on SQL Server 2008
The .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 delivers:
- Performance increases between 20-45% for WPF-based applications – without having to change any code
- WCF improvements that give developers more control over the way they access data and services
- Streamlined installation experience for client applications
- Improvements in the area of data platform, such as the ADO.NET Entity Framework, ADO.NET Data Services and support for SQL Server 2008’s new features
WPF and visual designer improvements
Cold startup performance improvement ranging between 20-45% depending on application size without needing to modify any code.
Additional WPF support for text and graphics, and media to deliver better performance. For example, effects like DropShadow and Blur were implemented using software rendering; with SP1 these are now implemented using hardware acceleration. Other examples include:
- Text, especially when used in Visual and DrawingBrush, is substantially faster,
- Scrolling improvements with Container Recycling, improved working set with TreeView virtualization
- A much improved WriteableBitmap that enables real-time bitmap updates from a software surface,
- Designer support for the event tab within the property grid for control events,
- Toolbox support within source mode.
.NET Framework 3.5 SP1 Optimized Client Runtime
SP1 provides a .NET Framework install version that is optimized for .NET-based client applications. The size of this optimized runtime is less than 28 MB.
New ADO.NET Data Features
ADO.NET Entity Framework
The ADO.NET Entity Framework is the next evolution of ADO.NET, raising the level of abstraction at which programmers work with data, and allowing the database structure or data source to evolve without significant impact to the application code.
Rather than coding against rows and columns, the ADO.NET Entity Framework allows the definition of a higher-level Entity Data Model over your relational data, and allows developers to then program in terms of this model. Developers get to deal with the data in the shapes that make sense for the application, and those shapes are expressed in a richer vocabulary that includes concepts like inheritance, complex types, and explicit relationships.
Use LINQ to Entities with the Entity Framework for queries that help create easy to maintain code that retrieves and works with strongly typed data objects or business entities.
ADO.NET Data Services
The Microsoft ADO.NET Data Services framework provides a first-class infrastructure for developing the next wave of dynamic internet applications by enabling data to be exposed as REST-based data services that can be consumed by client applications (ASP.NET, AJAX, Silverlight) in corporate networks and across the internet. Easily build applications using a comprehensive set of Microsoft .NET libraries and client components, accessing data through uniform URI syntax and using standard HTTP verbs to operate on the resource.
ADO.NET Data Services provides a framework to build data services for relational data sources, such as Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, DB2, and Oracle, using the built-in support for the ADO.NET Entity Framework, or for non-relational data sources using the pluggable provider model.
A number of improvements have been made to Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation including:
- Simplified the user experience through cleaner “Add to Source Control” dialogs, drag and drop support to the Source Control Explorer and a much easier to use “Workspace” dialog for working folder mappings.
- Version control now automatically supports non-solution controlled files.
- Various changes to the Source Control Explorer such as a new checkin date/time display column, local path hyperlink support and en editable source location field.
Work Item Tracking
- Microsoft Office 2007 integration is now done using the standard Office “Ribbon” delivering a cleaner and easier to use integration to the different Microsoft Office 2007 products.
- Email integration for work items and links for Team system Web Access to make it easier to use email as part of the development lifecycle.
Visual SourceSafe migration tool
- The migration tool has been dramatically improved through many performance and reliability improvements. SP1 provides support for the elimination of namespace conflicts, automatic solution rebinding, improves timestamp coherency and increases the amount of migration logging information available.
- Support for using SQL Server 2008 with Team Foundation Server.
- Team System Web Access provides “live” links to work items and checkin emails. This improves the customer experience for users who do not use Team Explorer.
- Scripting support for the creation of Team Projects.
Performance and scalability
- With SP1 a large part of the focus was to improve the performance and scalability of Team Foundation Server through changes such as faster synchronization with Active Directory, improved checkin concurrency, a faster way to create source tree branches, online index rebuilding for less maintenance downtime and better support for very large checkin sets.
- Improvements in the number of projects a server can support that make not only the scalability of the server better but also the client experience when connecting to a server with a large number of projects on it.