Microsoft upgrades ASP.Net MVC to enable faster-loading Web apps

Mobile Web functionality will also be featured in the beta release of Model-View-Controller platform version 4

Microsoft is upgrading its ASP.Net MVC software, adding mobile Web functionalty and capabilities for building Web applications that load faster, a company official said.

ASP.Net MVC 4 Beta was released earlier this month. ASP.Net MVC enables development of Web applications via the popular Model-View-Controller architectural pattern. The beta release will be built into the beta version of Visual Studio 11/Net Framework 4.5, due to be released on Wednesday.

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"ASP.Net MVC 4 includes the new bundling and minification we are also adding to ASP.Net 4.5," said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president in Microsoft's server and tools business, in a blog post. "These features enable you to build Web applications that load faster and feel more responsive to users by minimizing the number and size of HTTP requests that your pages make." He cited inclusion of "cache busting" helper methods to enable proxy caching of bundled files, with automatic invalidation if cached CSS or JavaScript are changed.

For building mobile Web applications, ASP.Net MVC 4 includes the jQuery Mobile Web framework for smartphones and tablets, and new support for customizing, which view templates are used depending on the type of device accessing an application. Also featured in version 4 is new support for developing Web APIs for building HTTP services and APIs that can be programmatically called from clients including browsers, native applications, and mobile/client platforms. Web API support also provides a platform for building RESTful services. Database migration capabilities are offered via Entity Framework 4.3. "This enables you to easily evolve your database schema using a code-focused migration approach -- and do so while preserving the data within your database," said Guthrie.

Other capabilities in ASP.Net MVC 4 include version 2 of Microsoft's Razor view engine. "Razor V2 includes enhancements that enable you to make your view templates even cleaner and more concise, including better support for resolving URL references and selectively rendering HTML attributes," Guthrie said. Async support and WebSockets capabilities are featured in the release as well. With async backing, developers can write scalable applications by leveraging the ASP.Net MVC runtime and C# VB async language enhancements, Guthrie said. WebSockets support built into .Net 4.5 can be leveraged also, providing richer browser-server communication, he said.

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