The .NET Framework is Microsoft’s comprehensive and consistent programming model for building applications that have visually stunning user experiences, seamless and secure communication, and the ability to model a range of business processes.
Improvements to Windows Workflow (WF) that enable developers to better host and interact with workflows. These include an improved activity programming model, an improved designer experience, a new flowchart modeling style, an expanded activity palette, workflow-rules integration, and new message correlation features. The .NET Framework 4 also offers significant performance gains for WF-based workflows.
Improvements to Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) such as support for WCF Workflow Services enabling workflow programs with messaging activities, correlation support. Additionally, .NET Framework 4 provides new WCF features such as service discovery, routing service, REST support, diagnostics, and performance.
Innovative new parallel-programming features such as parallel loop support, Task Parallel Library (TPL), Parallel LINQ (PLINQ), and coordination data structures which let developers harness the power of multi-core processors.
The .NET Framework 4 works side by side with older Framework versions. Applications that are based on earlier versions of the Framework will continue to run on the version targeted by default.
- The Microsoft .NET Framework 4 provides the following new features and improvements:
- Improvements in CLR and BCL
- Performance improvement including better multicore support, background garbage collection, and profiler attach on server.
- New memory mapped file and numeric types
- Easier debugging including dump debugging, Watson minidumps, mixed mode debugging for 64 bit and code contracts.
- Innovations in the Visual Basic and C# languages, for example statement lambdas, implicit line continuations, dynamic dispatch, and named/optional parameters.
- Improvements in ADO.NET
- Entity Framework, which simplifies how developers program against relational databases by raising the level of abstraction. The Entity Framework has many new features in the .NET 4 Framework. These features include persistence ignorance and POCO support, Foreign Key Associations, lazy loading, test-driven development support, functions in model, and new LINQ operators.
- Data Services framework consists of a combination of patterns and libraries that enable the consumption of REST-based data services for the web. ADO.NET Data Services has many new features in the .NET 4 Framework. These features include: enhanced BLOB support, Data Binding, Row Count, Feed Customization, Projections, and Request Pipeline improvements. Built-in integration in Microsoft Office 2010 now makes it possible to expose Microsoft Office SharePoint Server data as a data service and access that data using the ADO.NET Data Services client library.
- Enhancements to ASP.NET
- More control over HTML, element IDs and custom CSS that make it much easier to create standards-compliant and SEO-friendly web forms.
- New dynamic data features including new query filters, entity templates, richer support for Entity Framework 4, and validation and templating features that can be easily applied to existing web forms.
- Web forms support for new AJAX library improvements including built-in support for content delivery networks (CDNs).
- For a comprehensive list of enhancements to ASP.NET go here.
- Improvements in WPF
- Added support for Windows 7 multi-touch, ribbon controls, and taskbar extensibility features.
- Added support for Surface 2.0 SDK.
- New line-of-business controls including charting control, smart edit, data grid, and others that improve the experience for developers who build data centric applications.
- Improvements in performance and scalability.
- Visual improvements in text clarity, layout pixel snapping, localization, and interoperability.
For more information and to download the Microsoft .NET Framework 4 RC, please visit [http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=a9ef9a95-58d2-4e51-a4b7-bea3cc6962cb]