If until now I’ve written about the features and capabilities of .Net Framework 3.5, now it’s high time I talked about the 4.0 version. Released by Microsoft a year ago, on April 12, 2010, together with Visual Studio 2010, .Net Framework 2010 4.0 brings in updated tools which offer programmers the possibility to build applications with a great visual impact and reliable business orientated programs.
If you’re asking what is happening with the applications which run on previous versions of.Net Framework, then you need to know that Microsoft has enabled the 4.0 version to work in parallel with former versions. So, those apps will still be running the default .Net Framework versions.
In terms of improvements, the 4.0 versions includes a wide palette of updates starting with performance enhancements, CLR (Common Language Runtime)+ BCL (Base Class Library) updates, debugging improvements and continuing with visual and support improvements. I’ll be giving more details about the most important updates further on in the article.
Regarding the system requirements, I could say that 4.0 version is quite low maintenance, as it supports the most important and popular operating systems: Windows 7 (+ Service Pack 1), Windows Service 2003 and 2008, Windows Vista (+ Service Pack), Windows XP (+ Service Pack), etc. Moreover, it is compatible with the x86, x64 and ia64 architectures (some features may be unavailable).
Intended to be employed by the majority of apps created for Windows platform, .Net Framework 4.0 is making available a large set of improved features which will enhance productivity by reducing time, improving the quality of products and perfecting the management of resources. I’ve gathered the list of updates and improvements included in.Net Framework 4.0 below:
CLR + BCL enhancements
The 4.0 version brings in important improvements at the performance level: enriched multicore support and “background garbage collection”. Also, the debugging tools have been updated, making the debugging process easier. Now, a programmer can use tools such as: “dump debugging”, “Watson minidumps” or “mixed mode debugging” (for both 64 bit and code contracts) for delivering a cleaner code.
Innovations (Visual Basic and C#)
• Implicit line continuations
• Named and optional parameters
• Dynamic dispatch
Concerning Windows Presentation Foundation, the 4.0 version encloses support for Windows 7 multi- touch functionality, extensibility features for taskbar and ribbon controls; and also for Surface 2.0 SDK.
New business orientated controls are available, such as: smart edit, charting control, DataGrid, calendar, DatePicker etc.
Also, it’s important to mention the visual enhancements that were made in terms of layout pixel snapping, localization, interoperability and text clarity.
Now, programmers can easily build SEO friendly web apps and respect standards by having more control over the HTML, custom CSS and “element IDs”. Even more, they can apply new dynamic data features, such as: entity templates, query filters and enhanced support for Entity Framework 4 to already existing web forms.