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Differences between .Net Framework 2.0 and 3.5

Microsoft is always been stepping ahead of its competitors by bringing great new features and products in the market. Specially for developers Microsoft based technologies are like a dream come true. Considering from development point of view the latest product in Microsoft Box is Visual Studio 2008. The new development environment comes with tons of new features and design differences. .Net Framework 3.5 is ready to make futuristic websites with its extremely easy to use interface, rich accessibility features and new design that allows to reduce the time and efforts in website development.


One thing that was lagging in .net framework 2.0 was multi targeting. As in .Net framework 2.0 or framework 1.1 there was a separation in terms of development. Like one builds a site in framework 1.1 would have to use Visual Studio 2003, and for development in framework 2.0 we need to work in Visual Studio 2005. What Visual Studio 2008 has offered a great new experience to target multiple frameworks in one place.

Major advancements have arrived in new framework. Ajax extensions comes built in in .net framework 3.5. Support to place web parts in update panel is also supported.This new built in support has allowed us to create more rich and cross platform Ajax application easier. Apart from this, the extensive set of Ajax templates are also provided in the new framework support. ASP.net 3.5 enhancements for Ajax are totally rewritten for performance and new control types. The existing role management, authentication and authorization are now available as a service. Now we can merge two or more assemblies into one .net assembly with the new .net merge tool. The new controls introduced in Asp.net are LinqDataSource, ListView and DataPager.

Talking of framework 3.5, if is a sequel to framework 3.0, and is the latest in frameworks. Its service pack 1 has been released but it is still not comes in windows server 2008. Microsoft has also release a beta version of Framework 4 and Visual Studio 2010 which is available for download.

One of the major advancement in Framework 3 and 3.5 is LINQ, though we can use LINQ in Framework 2 as well after installing a separate executable, which is now fully supported automatically. Linq allows us to use and interact with data as an object. Now no matter what type of data we have we can play with them using Linq easily. In Figure below we can have an understanding of the architecture of Linq.

There is rich support for JavaScript coding, debugging, profiling and management in new framework. There is added extended support for JSON, there is design time code validation and checks, also, new design time editor support is provided.

If we have a cross chart of major advancements in framework,

New in .NET framework 2.0

It brings a lot of evolution in class of the framework and refactor control including the support of

Anonymous methods
Partial class
Nullable type
The new API gives a fine grain control on the behavior of the runtime with regards to multithreading, memory allocation, assembly loading and more
Full 64-bit support for both the x64 and the IA64 hardware platforms
New personalization features for ASP.NET, such as support for themes, skins and webparts.
.NET Micro Framework

New in .NET framework 3.0

Also called WinFX,includes a new set of managed code APIs that are an integral part of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 operating systems and provides

Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), formerly called Indigo; a service-oriented messaging system which allows programs to interoperate locally or remotely similar to web services.
Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), formerly called Avalon; a new user interface subsystem and API based on XML and vector graphics, which uses 3D computer graphics hardware and Direct3D technologies.
Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) allows for building of task automation and integrated transactions using workflows.
Windows CardSpace, formerly called InfoCard; a software component which securely stores a person's digital identities and provides a unified interface for choosing the identity for a particular transaction, such as logging in to a website

New in .NET framework 3.5

It implement Linq evolution in language. So we have the following evolution in class:

Linq for SQL, XML, Dataset, Object
Addin system
p2p base class
Active directory
Anonymous types with static type inference
Paging support for ADO.NET
ADO.NET synchronization API to synchronize local caches and server side datastores
Asynchronous network I/O API
Support for HTTP pipelining and syndication feeds.
New System.CodeDom namespace.

If we take a look into .net Framework 3.0, we clearly see four major break troughs

Windows Card Space

sWindows card space is a specialized library for identity and authentication. Three main component are Info Card, Digital Identity and Identity Provider. IT provides enhanced security techniques which helps developers to develop more secure and durable websites.

Windows Presentation Foundation

Windows Presentation Foundation or code name Avalon is built for rich media graphics, it is a replacement for windows GDI graphics library. It is a one stop shop for Forms, media, documents and 3d graphics. It is based on XAML (eXtensible markup language) which provides a bridge between developer and graphics designer. Silver Light also uses XAML for displaying its content.

Windows Communication Foundation

Windows Communication foundation or code name Indigo is SOA (Service oriented applications) and built on rich service oriented architecture. The remoting architecture is changed a lot in WCF. WSE 3 introduced with enhance upgrades to Web services. Support of distributed transactions and Message queing are totally rewritten.

Windows Workflow Foundation

It is a workflow foundation for windows based application. It provides both sequential workflows as well as State based workflows. We get a more process oriented view of Software development. Workflows help define the process of an application in a more elite manner.

More notable of point is that .Net 3.5 is not visible in IIS as a separate version, we can just see .Net 2.0 even if there is .Net framework 3.5 installed. Even in windows .Net framework folder, the .Net Framework 3.5 core files reside in .Net framework 2.0 folder and only WPF and WCF libraries are in Framework 3.5 folder. This means that Framework 3 or 3.5 is a wrapper upgrade to Framework 2.0, with support for cross platform and cross framework integration and development.

All in all, .Net framework 3.0 and above is lot more enhanced and still getting better for Rich Internet Applications and Service oriented applications. It is keep getting better and better. As Microsoft's passion is our satisfaction.

Written by: Ali Sufyan

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