Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What is .Net Framework 3.5 ?

Do you or any of your customers suffer from…version confusion? I’m referring to .NET Framework versioning confusion.I know that I have frequently been asked by customers questions like:

So what is the .NET Framework 3.5?

There is a fair amount of confusion about the different versions of the .NET Framework. It’s important that we spend a few minutes to clarify any confusion that might exist in this room.

Let’s walk through this diagram:




.NET Framework 3.5

The .NET Framework 3.5 is an incremental release of the .NET Framework. It provides several new enhancements including LINQ, ASP.NET 3.5, the CLR Add-in framework and several others.

The .NET Framework 3.5 builds upon the previous versions of the framework, namely the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0. More specifically, you can think of it as though the .NET Framework 3.5 has a dependency on the .NET Framework 3.0 with SP1 and 2.0 with SP1.

.NET Framework 3.0

The .NET Framework 3.0, which was formerly known as WinFx, introduced several key new technologies including:

Windows Presentation Foundation – provides the ability to build rich, interactive client applications
Windows Communication Foundation – provides a common programming model for building services and connecting applications
Windows Workflow Foundation – provides the ability to define declarative, long-running workflows
Windows CardSpace – provides a safer and more secure alternative to username and password authentication within web sites and rich client applications

.NET Framework 2.0

Finally, the .NET Framework 2.0, which was initially released in 2005 provides the common language runtime and base class libraries that are used by the .NET Framework 3.0 and 3.5 components.

So how will developers get the .NET Framework 3.5?

The .NET Framework 3.5 will be available as an optional update through Windows Update, as a bootstrapper installation, and as a full package.

With all of these packages, your machine will be examined during the installation and the .NET Framework 2.0 with SP1, 3.0 with SP1, and the new 3.5 assemblies will be installed.

The setup for the .NET Framework 3.5 will only install the necessary bits. So if the .NET Framework 2.0 or 3.0 is already installed, then only the service packs and the 3.5 bits will be added.

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