Five months ago we formulated our vision for the new version of Enterprise Library. Now we are delivering on it. I’m excited to announce the latest release of Microsoft Enterprise Library: version 6.
What is Enterprise Library?
Enterprise Library is made up of application blocks, each aimed at managing specific crosscutting concerns. Crosscutting concerns are those tasks that you need to accomplish in several places in your application. When trying to manage crosscutting concerns there is often the risk that you/different team members will implement slightly different solutions for each task at each location in your application, or that you will just forget them altogether. Writing entries to a system log file or Windows Azure table storage, dealing with transient error conditions and validating user input are typical crosscutting concerns. While there are several approaches to managing them, the Enterprise Library application blocks make it a whole lot easier by providing generic and configurable functionality that you can centralize and manage.
Enterprise Library application blocks are standalone. They work well together, but you only have to get the ones that you need. They are also customizable and extensible, so you can extend them to provide what you need in your specific contexts. You can choose to use it as a seedwork and grow your own library, which you can later reuse and sell. We ship under MS-PL, so this is allowed.
What are the main themes for this release?
- Simplifying the library all around
- Embracing semantic logging
- Increasing resiliency to errors
- Enhancing Unity type registration
- Supporting Windows Store apps (Unity, Topaz)
- Streamlining programmatic configuration of all blocks
- Integrating with other technologies (ASP.NET MVC and ASP.NET Web API)
- Improving ease of learning, ease of experimentation (fast start), and ease of use
What’s in the box?
- New block
- Semantic Logging Application Block (v1.0)
- New programmatic configuration
- Updated 7 blocks:
- Data Access Application Block
- Exception Handling Application Block
- Logging Application Block
- Policy Injection Application Block
- Transient Fault Handling Application Block
- Validation Application Block
- Unity Application Block/DI Container (v3.0)
- Configuration console (largely unchanged since v5)
As usual, we are shipping not only the binaries, but also the source code and test cases (unit, integration). To see the details of what have changed and deployment instructions, see the Release Notes.
The diagram below depicts all application blocks and their dependency on the Common package (needed to support configuration tool experience) and optional interblock dependencies.
Additionally, in the next couple of weeks we’ll be shipping a reference implementation and several Quickstarts to showcase how the Enterprise Library can be used in certain scenarios.
How to get it?
Our primary shipping channel for code is NuGet. There are 27 NuGet packages. Search for Unity or EntLib inside NuGet Package Manager.
Additionally, we’ve made all deliverables available as self-extractable zip packages via Microsoft Download Center.
Our guidance deliverables are available on Codeplex today. After post-production work is completed, they will be published on MSDN. You will also be able to order the hardcopies of the Developer’s Guides or get them in PDF, Epub or Mobi formats.
How to get started?
Whether you are experienced with Enterprise Library or new to it, we have guidance to help you make the most out of this release:
- Dependency Injection with Unity – new Developer’s guide (preview on Codeplex)
- Updated Developer’s Guide to Enterprise Library (preview on Codeplex)
- Updated reference documentation (preview on Codeplex)
- Reference implementation (v5 and v6) (available in May)
- Reference API (on MSDN)
- Quickstarts (available in May)
- New Migration Guide to help you move from v5 to v6
- Videos (on Channel 9)
The table below will help you orientate:
Do I have to upgrade?
Strictly speaking, no. If you are happy with Enterprise Library 5.0, you can continue using that version. If the new and improved features of Enterprise Library 6.0 appeal to you, then you would want to migrate. Note: Enterprise Library 6.0 targets .NET4.5 framework only. Enterprise Library 5.0 works fine on .NET3.5, .NET4.0 as well as .NET4.5. So, in order for you to move to .NET4.5, you don’t have to upgrade.
How to get help and provide feedback?
Many people provided feedback on our vision, our backlog and CTPs. We thank you all.
If you’d like to provide further feedback, please post it via the Codeplex forum. This is where you can also get support. We have a dedicated sustained engineering team monitoring the forum regularly. To report a bug, use online Issue Tracker.
If you have a story of how your team leverages EntLib and would like to share it with the broader community, please contact us. We’ll be happy to work with you on a case study.