Speaking at MIX

Hey, I’m giving two talks at MIX this year. This is my first MIX! Come hear about all of the new changes coming with ASP.NET 4.0 and ASP.NET AJAX 4.0 at the MIX conference next week. I’m giving two talks: Microsoft ASP.NET 4.0: What’s Next? and Microsoft ASP.NET: Taking AJAX to the Next Level. My first talk is an overview talk on all of the new features and improvements coming with ASP.NET Web Forms 4.0

I’ve spent the last 6 months concentrating on ASP.NET MVC (because that is my day job) and I haven’t really been paying attention to all of the changes coming with ASP.NET Web Forms. I was surprised about the number of changes coming with ASP.NET 4.0. Here is a (very) partial list of these changes:

(1)  Control over client IDs — This is a welcome feature for those of us who do a lot of client-side programming. This change will make it much easier to target HTML tags rendered by server-side controls with JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheets.

(2)  Control over View State — Currently, view state is enabled for all controls by default. Most developers are pretty lazy about disabling view state when they don’t need it. In ASP.NET Web Forms 4.0, you can invert the normal state of things and disable view state by default.

(3) QueryExtender Control — The new QueryExtender control enables you to easily filter data retrieved by the EntityDataSource or LinqDataSource controls. You can use it to easily create search pages.

(4) Better support for web standards — Several improvements have been made to the ASP.NET Web Forms 4.0 framework that enable you to more easily build websites that are compliant with web standards such as XHTML and Accessibility standards. For example, you can prevent a FormView control from rendering an HTML table automatically.

(5) Improvements to Dynamic Data — Several great new features are being added to Dynamic Data. My favorite new feature is Entity Templates which enable you to create templates for display, editing, and inserting new instances of an entity (such as a Product entity).

(6) Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — There are several new features added to the ASP.NET framework that make it easier to get your website pages indexed by search engines. For example, the new ASP.NET Web Forms Routing framework enables you to expose your ASP.NET pages with more intuitive URLs.

Again, this is a partial list. To learn more about all of the changes coming with ASP.NET Web Forms 4.0, come to my MIX talk on Wednesday, March 18, at 11:30am.

My other talk is devoted to the new features coming with the new Microsoft client-side ASP.NET AJAX framework. This is an entirely new AJAX framework that enables you to create client-side templates and controls. For example, the ASP.NET AJAX framework includes a client-side DataView control that enables you to retrieve a set of database records and render the records in a browser. The amazing thing is that you can do all of this in an HTML page. This framework is not dependent on server-side ASP.NET pages.

My AJAX talk, entitled Microsoft ASP.NET:Taking AJAX to the Next Level, is on Thursday, March 19, at 4:15pm.

I hope to see you at MIX!


  1. Dave R. says:

    Re: ASP.NET AJAX – Why reinvent the wheel? There are existing JS frameworks for exactly this client-side functionality. Why not contribute an extension to one of these projects instead of creating yet another one?

    Previous ASP.NET AJAX versions have been scuppered because of large download sizes and over-complication – I would have thought abandoning this approach and going with jQuery UI or something similar would have been preferable.

    Will the interface between ASP.NET AJAX 4 and the server-side be documented and published so other vendors can integrate their offerings?

  2. Dr. Zim says:

    I believe if you do your research, Microsoft is directly supporting JQuery, literally and financially.

    ASP.NET is the wheel in this case, and extending it to the client makes sense, althoug h they also address this in previous presentations, calling it “AJAH”, or “with HTML”.

    I would be more excited to see how the MS Ecommerce project built with MVC turned out. They took it as far as covering DDD (Domain Driven Design), but stopped the public view of the project. They are supposted to release it at Mix, along with the source code.

    Looking forward…

  3. tomogoh says:

    may I ask you for a question:
    now ,asp.net webform ,asp.net mvc ,which should I choose ?

  4. Gill Bates says:

    Hi, I’ve heard about you speaking at the Master Cook’s Kitchen thing MIX. Can you get me your receipe for baking eggs?

  5. rickj1 says:

    Can’t wait to see videos are there going to be walkthroughs and tutorials for those of us who have to learn everything from scratch Great job on MVC Use your books all the time couldn’t build withou them keep up the good work

  6. Jeff says:

    What about support for HTML5 in ASP.NET 4? Right now all you have is the XHTMLConformance tag, which really isn’t enough and doesn’t quite do what you expect.

    I would expect that if you set it to STRICT then the doctype rendered on the top of any page in the site (Masterpage or otherwise) created during the actual build process as well as compiled output to the browser would meet that HTML Specification, but it doesn’t.

    Right now if you set it to STRICT it will ensure the HTML generated within the page meets the basic standard, but the doctype it applies to all the pages is XHTML Transitional which isn’t right.

    It would be nice to include support for XHTML 1.1 and HTML 5 in ASP.NET 4. After all, ASP.NET and Visual Studio are supposed to be cutting edge tools and technologies so how’s about we sharpen that edge a bit and support the cutting edge doctypes?

  7. mike johnson says:

    Glad there is news about winforms to counter the rather loud noise about MVC. I and others have poured a lot of money/time into winforms for LOB apps and the thought of retooling back to something like ASP was less than appealing.

  8. @Jeff — That is great feedback! The ASP.NET team is actively investigating how we should address standards such as XHTML and the (many)accessibility standards right now. This feedback is valuable for this discussion.

  9. Dave R. says:

    Thanks for the patronising comment, Dr Zim. I was referring to JQuery UI (http://jqueryui.com/), which is a bolt-on to the core JQuery library. I am familiar with Microsoft’s support of JQuery, which is laudable, but they aren’t extending that support to JQuery UI. The exact same argument would apply to other frameworks like Yahoo’s YUI (http://developer.yahoo.com/yui/) – why have yet another library? If the point is to bridge the client with ASP.NET on the server, then an open API would be preferable so all libraries could support it.

    Interestingly enough, Yahoo has spent considerable time and effort ensuring that their client-side controls comply with accessibility standards (for example see Todd Kloots videos on ARIA-compatible controls for the blind and partially sighted).

    Please don’t get me wrong. I enjoy developing with .NET technology, but it doesn’t make sense imo for MS to be duplicating existing technology on the client side.

  10. Fawad says:

    yeah i agree with you Dave R. Why aren’t they extending their support to jQuery UI? I really love it!

  11. Thanks for providing changes with ASP.NET Web Forms 4.0.

  12. Ya really some new features are given in ASP.NET 4.0 these features are very helpful. Thanks Stephen.

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