.NET Framework 4.5 Performance Evolution

.NET 4.5 Developer Preview was released in mid-September

The boost in performance is bound to be one of the obvious enhancements that developers will notice about .NET Framework 4.5, when comparing it with previous releases of the technology.

According to S. Somasegar, the corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft, the investment in increasing the speed of .NET 4.5 is twofold.

On one hand, the software giant focused on making existing code run faster, while on the other work was done to ensure that new code written would benefit from more performance than ever before, from increased responsiveness and scalability.

Kicking up a notch the performance of the runtime environment was the responsibility of the Common Language Runtime (CLR) team.

“With additions like background server garbage collection, multi-core background JIT compilation, and profile-guided optimization, managed applications (especially those on the server) can now start faster and run with better throughput and lower latency,” Somasegar explained.

At the same time, the software giant focused on boosting performance in a range of key scenarios, going beyond the runtime execution environment.

Somasegar offered just such an example. “The Stream class in .NET sits at the heart of most I/O-related operations, and asynchronously reading and writing with Stream is extremely common; these operations now have significantly less overhead in .NET 4.5. As another example, ItemsControl in Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) has been made much faster at handling certain kinds of data.”

Together with the next version of Visual Studio, .NET Framework 4.5 continues to push asynchrony forward, according to Microsoft.

Case in point: developers can now build asynchronous projects leveraging both C# and Visual Basic, which benefit from first-class language support.

The work done related to asynchrony also impacted performance in a positive way, Somasegar stressed.

“Languages enable developers to express their intentions for the behavior of their programs. To be as productive as possible, however, developers rely on runtimes and libraries to encapsulate commonly needed functionality. Our teams have augmented.NET 4.5 significantly to enable developers to be as productive as possible while building out rich, reliable, and high-performance software in managed code,” he added.

A Developer Preview of .NET Framework 4.5 was released in mid-September together with the Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview and the Windows 8 Developer Preview. All three continue to be available to early adopters.

.NET Framework 4.5 Developer Preview is available for download here.

Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview is available for download here.

Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102 Milestone 3 (M3) is available for download here.

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