Microsoft moves ahead with ASP.Net MVC 3

Web development framework upgrade goes to release candidate stage

Microsoft made available this week a release candidate for its ASP.Net MVC (Model View Controller) 3 framework.

Downloadable at Microsoft's website, the software enables development of Web applications via a Model View Controller pattern and represents the third version of the platform. An MVC framework is provided atop the .Net 4 runtime. Release candidates generally are the final stage before a general release of technology.

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"ASP.Net MVC 3 is a pretty sweet release and adds a ton of new functionality and refinements. It is also backward-compatible with ASP.Net MVC V1 and V2 -- which makes it easy to upgrade existing apps," said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Developer Division, in a blog post.

Among the features in version 3 is Razor, a compact view engine for ASP.Net. Razor Intellisense support, for coding assistance, is now supported within Visual Studio and the free Visual Web Developer Express tool.

The NuGet package manager, previously called NuPack, is an open source package manager automatically installed in ASP.Net MVC 3, Guthrie said. "We think NuGet will enable all .Net developers (not just ASP.Net MVC ones) to be able to more easily leverage and share functionality across the community, and make building .Net applications even better."

Partial page output caching in ASP.Net MVC 3 allows developers to output cache regions or fragments of a response, instead of the full response. Also, AJAX and validation helpers now use an unobtrusive JavaScript approach by default, said Guthrie. "Unobtrusive JavaScript avoids injecting inline JavaScript into HTML markup and instead enables cleaner separation of behavior using the new HTML 5 'data-' convention (which conveniently works on older browsers -- including IE6 -- as well). This makes your HTML smaller and cleaner, and makes it easier to optionally swap out or customize JS libraries."

Also with version 3, the New Project dialog box has been improved. Scaffolding improvements include templates that do a better job of identifying ID/Primary Key properties on models and handles them appropriately.

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