Sunday, March 30, 2008

What's New in ASP.NET 3.5

Developers who are facing ASP.NET 3.5 for the first time are likely to wonder what happened to ASP.NET 2.0 and 3.0. It does not exist. Microsoft used the name .NET Framework to release new technologies- most notably, WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) a new user interface technology for building rich clients, WCF( Windows Communication foundation) A technology for building message-oriented services and WF(Windows workflow foundation) a technology that allows you to model a complex business process as a series of actions. However, the .NET framework 3.0 doesn’t include a new version of the CLR or ASP.NET. Instead, the next release of ASP.NET was rolled into the .NET Framework 3.5.

(Taken from Scott Mitchell Blog)

Compared to ASP.NET 2.0, ASP.NET 3.5 is a more gradual evolution. Its new features are.

  • Integrated ASP.NET AJAX support,
  • New Controls
  • LINQ
  • ASP.NET Merge Tool
  • New Assemblies


In ASP.NET 2.0, ASP.NET AJAX was used as an extension to it. You had to download the extensions and install it. However in ASP.NET 3.5, ASP.NET AJAX is integrated into the .NET Framework.

New Controls

The ListView and DataPager are new controls added along with a new datasource control called the LinqDataSource.


The ListView control is quiet flexible and contains features of the Gridview, Datagrid, Repeater and similar list controls available in ASP.NET 2.0. It provides the ability to insert, delete, page (using Data Pager), sort and edit data. It looks interesting because it basically allows you much more control over the layout than a DataGrid does while still giving you many of the more advanced features of the data grid.However one feature of the ListView control that stands apart, is that it gives you a great amount of flexibility over the markup generated. So you have a complete control on how the data is to be displayed. You can now render your data without using the

tag. You also get a rich set of templates with the ListView control.


DataPager provides paging support to the ListView control. The best advantage is that you need not have to keep it ‘tied’ with the control on which the paging is being done. You can keep it anywhere on the page.DataPager gives you a consistent way of paging with the controls that support it. Currently only ListView supports it as it implements the IPageableItemContainer. However support is likely to be added to other List controls as well.

Take a look at this example of ListView and DataPager in ASP.NET 3.5.


LINQ (Language Integrated Query) adds native data querying capability to C# and VB.NET along with the compiler and Intellisense support. LINQ is a component of .NET 3.5. LINQ defines operators that allow you to code your query in a consistent manner over databases, objects and XML. The ASP.NET LinqDataSource control allows you to use LINQ to filter, order and group data before binding to the List controls.

ASP.NET Merge Tool

ASP.NET 3.5 includes a new merge tool (aspnet_merge.exe). This tool lets you combine and manage assemblies created by aspnet_compiler.exe. This tool was available earlier as an add-on.

New Assemblies

The new assemblies that would be of use to ASP.NET 3.5 developers are as follows:· System.Core.dll - Includes the implementation for LINQ to Objects·
System.Data.Linq.dll - Includes the implementation for LINQ to SQL·
System.Xml.Linq.dll - Includes the implementation for LINQ to XML· System.Data.DataSetExtensions.dll - Includes the implementation for LINQ to DataSet· System.Web.Extensions.dll: Includes the implementation for ASP.NET AJAX (new enhancements added) and new web controls as explained earlier.

Some Other Important Points
1. ASP.NET 3.5 provides better support to IIS7. IIS7 and ASP.NET 3.5 modules and handlers support unified configuration.
2. You can have multiple versions of ASP.NET on the same machine.
3. For those who are wondering what happened to ASP.NET 3.0, well there isn’t anything called ASP.NET 3.0.
4. VS 2002 worked with ASP.NET 1.0, VS 2003 worked with ASP.NET 1.1, and VS 2005 worked with ASP.NET 2.0. However VS 2008 supports multi-targeting, i.e it works with ASP.NET 2.0, and ASP.NET 3.5.


How to make Web Setup in .NET 2.0

For making WebSetup with .NET 2.0, one need to download webdeployment.msi file from microsoft website. Advantage of webdeployment is, it copies only the design file not the code behind file. If you try to create the web setup without the webdeployment project added code behind file will also go in the setup.

Visual Studio 2005 Web Deployment Projects provide additional functionality to build and deploy Web sites and Web applications in ASP.NET 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005. This add-in includes a tool to merge the assemblies created during ASP.NET 2.0 pre-compilation, and provides a comprehensive UI within Visual Studio 2005 to manage build configurations, merging, and using pre-build and post-build tasks with MSBuild.

For more details about creating the Web Setup using web deployment project take a look at this link.
back to top