.NET 3.5 Framework – New Features and Benefits

When you develop any C# application, you will initially have to decide on which .net framework are you going to use in your code. First version of .net framework was released in the year 2002. From then on, new features and enhancements were released in the subsequent versions. So far, the following versions of .net framework have been released:

• .NET Framework Version 1.0 in the year 2002
• .NET Framework Version 1.1 in the year 2003
• .NET Framework Version 2.0 in the year 2005
• .NET Framework Version 3.0 in the year 2006
• .NET Framework Version 3.5 in the year 2007
• .NET Framework Version 4.0 in the year 2010

The recent release is version 4.0. But this is a beta version and it is still not rapidly used in the industry. Hottest version of .NET framework acceptable and used widely is the 3.5 Version. This article will highlight on the new features introduced in .NET 3.5 and it will also give you information about the enhancements done in existing features as per version 3.5.

New features and enhancements in .NET 3.5 are:

• LINQ is newly introduced in .NET 3.5. When you hear the word “query”, all that you remember is querying the database. What if you get an option to query your classes, or XML documents or your collections in the similar way as you query your database? You are given this option in .NET 3.5 version using LINQ which stands for Linear Integrated Query. You can write queries in C# or in VB.NET using LINQ. Your queries can manipulate on any data store using the LINQ provider assemblies available in .NET framework 3.5.

• Expression Trees are newly introduced in this version. Using expression trees, you can represent your code in a data structure that resembles a tree. Expression trees are mainly used along with LINQ in creating and executing dynamic queries.

• Certain enhancements are done in .NET Compact Framework 3.5 to support distributed mobile applications. Those enhancements are listed below:

o Includes WCF(Windows Communication Foundation) technology
o Includes LINQ
o Windows Form controls are improvised
o Includes SoundPlayer
o Provides System.IO.Compression namespace to support compression
o Supports the delegate method called CreateDelegate
o Enhancements related to debugging
o Features related to logging are improvised
o Provides runtime tools library
o Provides better error handling using global assembly
o Improvisation in the documentation of class library
• Certain enhancements are done in ASP.NET. They are mentioned below:

o AJAX of ASP.NET 3.5 is integrated with .NET Framework
o Support for development of web sites that are AJAX enabled is improved
o Newly introduced a client library called Microsoft AJAX Library to support both client centric and object oriented development
o New data control named ListView is introduced in ASP.NET. This ListView is similar to other list controls like DataGrid and GridView. This control is used to select, insert, delete, edit records. You can also sort records in the ListView
o Yet another data control called DataPager is also introduced. Your data bound controls like the ListView control discussed above can incorporate paging using this DataPager control
o New data source called LINQDataSource is introduced so that web developers can use LINQ
o New merge tool called aspnet_merge.exe is introduced to combine assemblies

• Following enhancements are done in Visual Web Developer:

o New design tools related to Cascading Style Sheets have been introduced
o New Design View has been introduced
o Provides support to query SQL database using LINQ
o Provides Multitargeting support wherein you can target your application development to any specific .NET framework version
o IntelliSense support related to JavaScript is improvised
o Provides support for AJAX library

• New architecture is introduced in the dll “System.AddIn” to develop applications that are extensible

• Following enhancements are done in CLR(Common Language Runtime):

o Collections: HashSet Collection Type is introduced. This collection doesn’t accept duplicate values and the values will not be stored in any order
o Diagnostics: A new class called EventSchemaTraceListener is introduced to achieve end to end tracing.
o Pipes: Using .NET framework 3.5 you can access two different pipes namely named pipes and anonymous pipes with which you can establish interprocess communication.
o Garbage Collection: A new property and method has been introduced:
? You can specify the time at which garbage collector can interfere your application and perform garbage collection or fragmentation. You can do this using the new property named LatencyMode
? Sometimes you force garbage collection to happen. In such cases, you can alter the activities of garbage collector using the overloaded method Collect(Int32, GCCollectionMode)
o Reflection: A new constructor with signature DynamicMethod(String, Type, Type[], Boolean) is introduced to emit and execute code with partial trust in reflection
o Threading:
? A new class called ReaderWriterLockSlim is introduced to establish lock for Reader and Writer in a better way
? Enhancements related to performance are introduced on thread pool
? To handle different time zones easily, TimeZoneInfo and DateTimeOffset types have been newly introduced

• In Cryptography, new classes are introduced to deal with manifest signatures. These classes are related to ClickOnce applications and the names of these newly introduced classes are: ManifestSignatureInformation, StrongNameSignatureInformation, AuthenticodeSignatureInformation, TimestampInformation and TrustStatus

• .NET 3.5 establishes peer to peer networking using the protocol PNRP (Peer Name Resolution Protocol.

Apart from these features mentioned above, .NET 3.5 has also provided many enhancements in Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF) and Windows Forms (WF).


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