Approximately five months after the release of version 1.0 of ASP.NET MVC, Microsoft made available for download the first preview of ASP.NET MVC 2. Developers running ASP.NET MVC 1.0 are encouraged to take a look at the new version available. The Redmond company informed in this regard that v2 Preview 1 and v 1.0 could be installed and run seamlessly side-by-side on the same computer.
The “preview works with .NET 3.5 SP1 and VS 2008, and can be installed side-by-side on the same machine as ASP.NET MVC 1.0 (meaning they don’t conflict and your existing ASP.NET MVC 1.0 projects will not be impacted if you install it). If you have both ASP.NET MVC 1.0 and ASP.NET MVC 2.0 installed you’ll see two ASP.NET MVC project templates within Visual Studio 2008’s “New Project” dialog,” revealed Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president, .NET Developer Platform.
But at the same time, ASP.NET MVC 2 Preview 1 is in no way limited to Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1. In fact, Microsoft has already tailored the next iteration of ASP.NET MVC to the upcoming versions of its developer platform and tools.
“As mentioned in the roadmap and elsewhere, ASP.NET MVC 2 will run on both ASP.NET 3.5 SP1 and ASP.NET 4. We will be shipping ASP.NET MVC 2 in the box with Visual Studio 2010 and be making a separate installer for Visual Studio 2008 SP 1 available via download,” stated Phil Haack, a senior program manager at Microsoft on the ASP.NET team.
Of course that, together with the ASP.NET MVC 2 Preview 1, Microsoft is also offering the release notes designed to show developers how to upgrade ASP.NET MVC 1.0 projects to the latest v2 release. The migration will allow additional features in ASP.NET MVC 2 Preview 1 to be leveraged.
“ASP.NET MVC V2 will include a bunch of new capabilities and features,” Guthrie said. ““Preview 1” release contains a first look at some of the new features. Many more features will show up in future preview builds. The Preview 1 bits are still relatively early - the team is releasing today’s build to start receiving and incorporating feedback.”
According to Guthrie, one of the new features brought to the table is Areas Support. Via ASP.NET MVC 2 “areas” developers can partition and group functionality of MVC applications more easily. With DataAnnotation Validation Support, apps can play nice with ASP.NET Dynamic Data and .NET RIA Services, initially introduced in .NET 3.5 SP1, the software giant informed.
“Strongly Typed UI Helpers - ASP.NET MVC V2 includes new HTML UI helpers that enable you to use strong-typed lambda expressions when referencing the view template’s model object,” Guthrie added. “UI Helper Templating Support - The Html.EditorFor() and Html.DisplayFor() helper methods have built-in support for rendering both standard data-types as well as complex objects with multiple properties.”
It is important to note that ASP.NET MVC 2 is merely a Preview and in no way representative of the complete feature set that Microsoft plans to deliver. In fact, the company noted that there would be more goodies tucked away into future preview releases of ASP.NET MVC 2.
“The goal with doing these regular previews is to help make sure that this feedback process is open and that anyone who wants to participate can easily get involved. Please post any feedback, suggestions or problems you have to the ASP.NET MVC Forum on www.asp.net,” Guthrie said.
ASP.NET MVC 2 Preview 1 is available for download here.