Development Tools





Development Tools

Having a whole raft of new features in ASP.NET is great, but what about design tools? Version 2.0 of the .NET Framework will introduce the latest version of Visual Studio .NET—Visual Studio .NET "Whidbey." When ASP.NET 1.0 was released it quickly became apparent that a development tool targeted at Web developers was required. Visual Studio .NET provides great project and design features targeted at corporate developers. Web Matrix was released to appeal to ASP.NET developers who don't have access to Visual Studio .NET. It's a small stand-alone tool, specifically targeted at ASP.NET development, and provides some features that aren't in Visual Studio .NET.

With ASP.NET 2.0, Visual Studio .NET "Whidbey" has undergone some major enhancements and now provides a far superior environment for developing Web applications than previous versions. While the design environment is very familiar, the feature set has improved, making it a premier Web development tool.

Key design features for Visual Studio .NET "Whidbey" include the following:

  • Traditional in-line coding approach, plus a new code-behind model

  • Support for all managed languages

  • Ability to edit any file anywhere (FTP, File System, Front Page Extensions, and so on)

  • Support for data controls, drag and drop, and database access, with a rich design surface

  • Support for visual inheritance through master pages

  • No project files, allowing projects to be manipulated outside of the tool

  • Integrated Web Administration Tool

  • IntelliSense included

  • Debugging support

  • No "build" step—ability to compile on first run

This feature set is really a combination of features from Visual Studio .NET and Web Matrix.

Visual Studio .NET "Whidbey" is covered in Chapter 2.


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