This will certainly take a few months to really understand and process, but today’s public preview release of the ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions is really a big deal.

What do we get to look forward to? For all the details, see the download page – here are the highlights from my perspective.

  1. ASP.NET MVC – a model-view-controller framework “burned in” to the .NET Framework.  It’s about time and I can’t wait for a project to try this out on.  ScottGu has details on this and has been doing a very detailed series of “how-tos” in anticipation of this day.  Lots of power and potential here.
  2. New Ajax stuff – Back-button support – enough said!
  3. ADO.NET Entity Framework – goodbye NHibernate?
  4. ADO.NET Data Services (i.e. Astoria) – again a lot here, but having REST/JSON/XML native methods and structures is another hotly anticipated feature set (not to mention all the rest in this library).
  5. Silverlight Controls for ASP.NET – wow it just keeps getting better.  A Silverlight MediaPlayer control (yes – <asp:MediaPlayer /> is now a reality) for drag-and-drop implementation of audio and video in your web pages, and a server control <asp:Silverlight /> to enable ASP.NET to reference the XAML objects and their events.  Combine with the above to get best-in-class integration of rich UI elements with active web content and data.
  6. Finally – Quickstarts to get you going.

Merry Christmas!!! 

2008 is going to be awesome.