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Basta! 2005 Spring Edition first impressions

Today I’m attending the Basta! 2005 Spring Edition. Basta! is a german .NET and Visual Studio .NET conference. This is a first impression of the sessions I visited.

One of the top sessions is certainly Scott Guthrie’s introduction to ASP.NET 2.0. Scott is a very eloquent speaker and gave a great performance. It is beyond the scope of this blog entry to even summarize all the topics he addressed. Therefore I’m picking the ones which I found most impressive.

The most interesting concept is the ASP.NET Developer Stack. The stack consists of

What’s so interesting? Every layer builds upon the one below. Nothing special about that. The interesting stuff begins at the building block, the API respectively. For every aspect of a web application an API exists. The API gives programmatic access to these aspects. The framework and its components use this abstract framework. Abstract means that nothing is hard wired. Every aspect is customizable by the provider model. Every API uses a provider (adapter) to access the concrete implementation of an aspect. Imagine roles within your web application. There are controls which address security and role management features. These controls use the underlying API to access role data. The API uses a provider to eventually collect the requested information. The default provider for instance fetches the data from the web app configuration. If you want the data to be fetched from a database, i.e. use the database roles for example, just configure another provider which accesses your database. Providers are configured within the web.config file of your web site. Providers enable the developer to use any controls and a consistent API to access any logic, data source or backend. If your data source changes, just configure the corresponding provider. No code has to changed. Pretty slick!

Another great improvement is code generation. It is a very good example that less or even nothing is often better than much. With VS.NET 2005 if you create a new project or solution a single directory is created - nothing more! VS.NET has changed its strategy. Instead of generating tons of default code which was a pain in the a.. to change, it just does nothing. This strategy is used throughout VS.NET. For instance HTML code isn’t changed by the designer anymore. Strike! This applies to the formatting, too. Any change to properties within the designer will only add corresponding source code and use the formatting applied in the source.

Designers and configuration have been greatly improved. For instance formatting is highly configurable. A very interesting configuration topic is the configuration of your web site via IIS console. The providers I mentioned above maybe configured at runtime, deploy time respectively. The web site may also be configured by an ASP.NET application, i.e. a web frontend.

There’s lots of more stuff, but the topics I mentioned are my favourites. I’ll continue blogging about other sessions pretty soon. Stay tuned!

Posted by Hartmut Wilms at 15.02.05 16:24

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