Version 2.0 of the ubercool Silverlight, Microsoft’ pendant to Adobe Flash, is drawing nigh. Currently available as beta 2, release in june ’08. Silverlight 2.0 allows embedded code client-side, by some magic, that does not even require having the .NET framework installed on the client.
ASP.NET MVC Framework
Quoting the ASP.NET MVC page:
ASP.NET MVC enables you to build Model View Controller (MVC) applications by using the ASP.NET framework. ASP.NET MVC is an alternative, not a replacement, for ASP.NET Web Forms that offers the following benefits:
- Clear separation of concerns
- Testability – support for Test-Driven Development
- Intuitive URLs
Quoting Zermatt home page:
Zermatt is a framework for implementing claims-based identity in your applications. By using it, you’ll more easily reap the benefits of the claims-based identity model described in this paper.
Quoting Velocity Blog
(…) a distributed caching product to provide the .NET application platform support for developing highly performant, scalable, and highly available applications.
References: Velocity blog
Quoting the official Oslo page:
”Oslo” is the codename for Microsoft’s forthcoming modeling platform. Modeling is used across a wide range of domains and allows more people to participate in application design and allows developers to write applications at a much higher level of abstraction. “Oslo” consists of:
- A tool that helps people define and interact with models in a rich and visual manner
- A language that helps people create and use textual domain-specific languages and data models
- A relational repository that makes models available to both tools and platform components
Like so many others have done before me I would like to present my take on a compiled list of favorite tools for developing using .NET.
The most useful tool ever to reverse engineer assemblies – yes, it is a gray-zone regarding IP, but nonetheless very, very use full. Kudos to Lutz Roeder for this ultimate tool, and thank you very much for your effort in this. Lutz announced some days ago that he would end his work on Reflector. Red Gate (known for their useful tool SQL Compare – as mentioned later on ) has taken over and "(…) will continue to maintain a free version for the benefit of the community". Do they implicitly say that there will be a commercial version!? I hope not – that would for sure have some effect on the Reflector community.
I really, really hate to include a commercial product in my toolbox, but being there are no free alternatives to a much required tool, I will include the best one I know of (or rather the only one I have used, but it is extremely useful and good so why bother with the others!?). Please drop a comment if you know of free and/or good/better alternatives. Price tag on the basic SQL Compare is $395.
Query Analyzer for LINQ. Very nice tool to help build, execute and debug queries, wether it be LINQ for SQL, LINQ for Objects or LINQ for XML.
StyleCop is a Visual Studio plug-in that performs code analysis directly on source code with the intent on enforcing a common coding standard for layout, readability, documentation and maintainability. SDK documentation for creating custom rules is available. StyleCop was originally created by one devoted (and might I add brilliant) Microsoft employee (Jason Allor) in his spare time. The tool has been used internally in Microsoft for years, but was first made available to the general public earlier this year. Follow Jason’s/the StyleCop blog here.
FxCop is a tool to analyze managed assemblies for possible security issues and possible design and performance improvements that can be implemented.
Sorry, but yet another commercial product. If you are using the most excellent version control system Subversion (if not then consider it!), there is a most excellent plug-in for Visual Studio. Comes with a free server version as well, which simplifies setup of Subversion on a Windows box. A free alternative – however I did not find it nearly as good as Visual SVN – is AnkhSVN. Neither unfortunately though are MSSCCI (Microsoft Source Code Control Interface) which means that they do not plug-in to the native source control module in Visual Studio. Price tag for Visual SVN is $49. For more information about Subversion you can read the SVN Book online.
For ASP.NET Developers
Internet Explorer with Developer Toolbar
It is inevitable that as a web developer you need to assure cross-browser compatibility. Therefor a similar tool exists for Internet Explorer 6 and 7, however it not nearly as cool, so for general debugging, etc. Firebug is the choice, but for IE specific, the Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar does come handy.
Another tool that can help in debugging web applications/services is Fiddler. Fiddler acts as a HTTP proxy, logging all HTTP traffic from the local computer to other computers. This however means that out-of-the-box HTTP debugging when using Cassini (i.e. the development web "server" in Visual Studio) is not possible. It has to be tweaked.
For WPF / Silverlight Developers
Kaxaml is a lightweight XAML editor with the split design / output view similar to the Visual Studio IDE. Kaxaml is a complimentary tool to Expression Blend, however Blend provides much more functionality, hence "lightweight".
Mole is a reverse engineering tool, similar to Reflector. However Mole disassembles the XAML of a WPF/Silverlight application and provides a tree view of the XAML structure. Nice for "how did they do that", but again gray zone concerning IP.
Since I have not had any real experience with these I will put them on a "dark horse" list, just for reference, since they might prove themselves valuable given the time/opportunity to use them.
Quoting the FDS site:
Framework Design Studio is a set of tools for reusable library designers. The package contains a GUI tool for viewing, reviewing, and comparing versions of managed APIs. It also contains a command line tool for generating API diff reports. Simple user guide explaining the basics of the tool is included in the setup.