So many .NET Frameworks – Which is which?

December 10, 2007

Over the past few weeks, Microsoft have been hammering out frameworks and structures for .NET Development. 

Microsoft Voltron Volta

Earlier last week, Microsoft Live Labs released the prototype of Microsoft Volta, a “let’s do AJAX and control the DOM without writing JavaScript” framework that is pretty cool.  I’ve whipped up a few examples that I’ll post up later today. 

The dream is that the system manages the tiered architecture of design—and automagically refactors your code onthe fly.  Think of the syntax an odd mix of Astoria (web-based data services), Nikhil Kothari’s Script# access to the DOM from C#-esque code, and Volta’s new twist of tags and attributes for async transactions—all mixed into one bit application.

So, is this the platform of the future?  AJAX-ala-C# and full DOM control with automagic architecture separation?

And yes, I keep accidently calling it Voltron.

Microsoft MVC Framework (ala 3.5 Extensions CTP)

Finally!  Late last night, ScottGu announced that the .NET 3.5 Extentions were available; read all about it and download the bits from his blog.

The MVC framework sites at the same .NET revolutionary stage as LINQ (in my opinion)—something that .NET has been missing for quite a while.  During the short works I’ve had with Java, the clear break between the layers of development made swapping in and out forms quite simplistic.  I followed a similar path with .NET development, but this required a bit more work and didn’t flow quite as easily (and you had to hand code all the handlers).

So, is this the platform of the future?  True tiered separation at design time and a step closer to the Ruby/Java world?

Silverlight 1.1 2.0 Alpha

While the Silverlight still boasts the 1.1 version number, the drastic changes between the two version (and the rumors from Microsoft) will probably see it at 2.0 when it hits CTP.  I would like to have a few good examples to show regarding Silverlight (the prototypes on are fun to play with), however, I’ve yet to get the VS2008 Extentions to work—I can create, but it won’t accept that I have Silverlight installed.  :(.

So, is this the platform of the future?  Rich, interactive applications using XAML markup and XML templates?

.NET WebForms Development

This isn’t new, but the changes in .NET 3.5 for WebForms and AJAX can’t discount this medium.  I, for one, am still more comfortable with this than the “new fangled” technologies and find the latest tools that are out (VS2008, the new controls in .NET 3.5, and even the extensions that keep coming) are making WebForms easier and easier to create.  Also, while the “new” may be cool, we have a slew of existing applications that can’t be forgotten.

So, is this the platform of the future?  The pluggable framework and web forms that allows for the easy creation of anything from personal web sites to enterprise applications?


For now, the my gut feeling is that the “platform of the future” is what works for the situation.  I can think of a few of our minor “web applications” that have no need for the complexity of Volta, MVC, or Silverlight; however, I cannot ignore the specific appears to each of the technologies for future projects.  I do not believe that these REPLACE our current WebForms, but simply add additional tools to the toolkit (and requirements for us to learn).

It keeps it new and exciting!


  1. December 11, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    magic david longnecker

    I got some visitors to my site today from those keywords. Do you moonlight as a magician?


  2. December 11, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    ROFL… hmm, creepy. About 13 years ago, I owned a consulting company called Magic Technologies, Inc; maybe that’s it… but that’s been YEARS ago.

    *does a card trick*

    Crazy stuff. 🙂

  1. December 10, 2007 at 8:20 pm
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