ASP.NET "Futures" Release

I am super excited about the ASP.NET Futures release we did recently.  I think it shows off some cool new thinking in the ASP.NET space, for Ajax applications and of course Silverlight support.

I  demoed much of this stuff as part of my Mix talk, but I wanted to highlight a few here for


New functionality includes CSS selector APIs, navigation history support (Back button support), a utility for extracting resources from assemblies, and more. Check out my mix talk for some cool stuff on back button support.

Silverlight Controls for ASP.NET

Enables the ability to include media (video, audio) vector graphics, and animations by using familiar and powerful ASP.NET server controls.  This is very cool because it enable server side databinding for video, audio, etc.

Again, Check out my mix talk and Nikhil's talk

Dynamic Data Controls for ASP.NET

Introduces a set of data controls that provide a simple, intuitive user interface for data-driven Web pages.  Check out Maheshp and Polita's talk from some cool demos.

ASP.NET Application Services

Offers new application services to make AJAX and Silverlight Web applications more discoverable from search engines and easily searchable from within the site. Additional services help you gather and analyze data about client errors.

Check out Stefan and Johnathan's talk

Dynamic Languages support in ASP.NET

Begins support for two languages that are hosted on the DLR, IronPython and Managed Jscript..   Check out Just Glue it...

oh, and be sure the check out the reference pages we have for this release.  I think it is very complete for such an early release. 

I would really value your feedback... we are looking forward to hearing from you about what works and doesn't work in your applications so we can decide what to focus on for a future release. 


Comments (25)
  1. I am super excighted about the ASP.NET Futures release we did recently. I think it shows off some cool

  2. o3APA3A says:

    I don’t see ANY use for Dynamic Data Controls. I never needed to dump 10 million rows from a table to the user interface.

  3. Kevin Dente says:

    The big question is – when are we going hear something definitive about the future of the Futures?

  4. BradA says:

    Kevin – by that you mean when is it going to ship?  Well you have a go-live license for it now, so feel free to use it if you’d like.    

    As far as an RTM date… we are looking forward to hearing your feedback about what is most valuable and interesting…  But very likely all of this stuff is for a post Orcas release.

  5. Brad Abrams からの投稿です。 ASP.NET Futures Release 思い切り「Back Button Support」「ASP.NET 上のSilverlight コントロール」等、ASP.NET

  6. Anon says:

    Brad, I saw, I read, but did not comprehend. From what I see, this ‘Dynamic’ stuff is to empower those people who didn’t understand a GridView. I presume I am missing something because a GridView is pretty easy to configure.

    I would have thought using words like ‘dynamic’ and web-page in the same sentence would imply a Comet like set of interactions. Alas, no, this ‘Dynamic’ stuff is an automagic one-2-one relationship of pages to tables.

    Honestly, these controls should all be called ‘Rapid’ and not ‘Dynamic’ since that is what they are targeting and have nothing to do with Web2.0, but more to do with RAD.

  7. Kevin Dente says:


    My understanding is that the Go-live license is not applicable for ISVs who ship packaged software.

    Even aside from that, it’s hard to commit resources to a technology with a totally indeterminate future. Some sort of roadmap would certainly make me feel a lot better.

  8. В общем об этом уже начали активно писать

  9. Jim Carlson says:

    Does the server need Silverlight 1.1 alpha to support the Futures?

  10. Matt T says:


    I was wondering how downloaded assemblies are treated in Silverlight.  Lets say I have a silverlight app (A) that makes references to two other assemblies (B) and (C).  As far as I understand, the user goes to my website and the browser downloads all the assemblies needed to run app A so they download A, B and C.  So here’s the scenario that I am wondering about:

    Day 1- User goes to website and download Assemblies A, B, C and runs the app.

    Day 2 – User returns to website to use the app again.  Will they now have to download all the assemblies again?  Or will they be in the browser cache and can they use the cached versions instead.

    Day 3 – Developer changes Assembly C, but doesnt change A and B.  If the user visits the site, will he have to download A, B and C or just C?

    Day 4 – Developer changes the app assembly A, but doesnt change anything else?  Will the user have to download A, B and C or just A?

    I guess the basic question is, will the user have to pay a time penalty in downloading the app and the related assemblies everytime they want to use the app or will they only have to download what changed?



  11. BradA says:

    Jim — thanks for your comment… I should have been more clear.  

    No, the server does not need Silverlight installed at all… Only the client..

  12. BradA says:

    Matt — thanks for your comments..

    You should think about the silverlight assembly refernece model as being just like client side javascript libraries… they are stored on the browser cached and shared via URL… they are reloaded only with the server version of the assembly changes or the client cache is cleared…

    does the help?

  13. Dflying Chen says:


  14. Matt T says:


    Thanks for the info.  That does make things clearer.


  15. Mike says:

    Hello Brad,

    here’s my feedback:

    1. More ASP.NET controls please! Not everyone is interested in Silverlight.

    2. Keep developing the client side MS Ajax library until it is at least as good as JQuery.

    3. I’d like to see bigger stuff in the Control Toolkit, like a gridview extension and a layout manager (please have another look at YUI and the YUI-Ext project).

    4. The dynamic controls, please tell us the use cases for it? Is it like scaffolding in Ruby on Rails?

    5. The timeline, where is it? After Orcas, you must be kidding!? Especially the Ajax library, I was hoping to see major updates this summer. Otherwise I’ll go with JQuery.


  16. paul says:

    Hi brad, great stuff.

    My feedback.  I’ve played with almost everything from the latest Futures release now, and it’s all great stuff.  One thing that I’d say though is that I think it’d be great if there was a little more freedom in how the DynamicData stuff gets displayed.  Right now, it looks like it all has to be output as Gridviews, DetailViews or menu controls (unless I’m missing something).  I’d like to do some RAD scaffolding-like stuff that doesn’t force me into those niches.  What about allowing DataLists or Repeaters or heck, even free-formatting that you wire back to a page level ‘data’ property?  Or maybe that’s already there and I’m just missing it?

  17. Polita says:

    Anon, the goal of the Dynamic Data Controls is to help people create webpages that show the contents of a database table quickly, while still allowing the customization and power of ASP.NET.  To that end, all the Dynamic Data Controls follow the extender pattern so the controls themselves can be declared on the page.  The goal isn’t to make a simpler GridView.  You’re right- GridView is pretty easy to use.  The goal is to give you a starting point for the most common scenarios so you don’t have to worry about the details of data configuration when you want to show, update, insert, and delete data.

    The ‘dynamic’ part of the name is indicative of two things.  The first is that Dynamic Data Controls came out of the Dynamic Languages project and integrates well with dynamic languages such as IronPython.  The second thing is that the schema of the database is dynamically discovered at runtime, and the columns of the controls are created dynamically at runtime based on that schema.  In other words, if your schema changes, Dynamic Data Controls will automatically pick that up when the webserver is restarted and the controls will reflect the new schema.

    Hope this clears up some of the questions.  We’d love to hear your feedback on the Futures forum.

  18. Well, after taking the red-eye from Seattle last night I made it to TechEd in time to get some really

  19. McYou says:

    I think the silverlight thing is spinning a ton of confusion right now.  People see Silverlight and hear Ajax and think to themselves "Web2.0" but it really isn’t.  Somepeople are even thinking it smells of being a "flash-killer" but I think it is too far behind the curve of actual two-way web2.0 functionality for a very limited number of client-side platforms.

    At best, this stuff is just "Microsoft2.0" because I think that Microsoft seems to only be listening to sold-out MS developers, but not to the rest of the web community.  The latest and greatest Web2.0 stuff is still mostly outside the paradigm of these new tools.

    I don’t see this as pushing anything forward just MS playing a bit of catch up, and not much at that.

  20. .NOT Developer says:

    Instead of spending millions of $$ on AJAX and silverlight, why doesn’t MS spend this time and money improving IE? FireFox is streaks ahead of the browser game in terms of W3C compiance for the DOM standards… I think I’ll continue using traditional javascript AJAX with FireFox!

  21. BradA says:

    Thanks for your comments,  We are investing heavily in the next version of IE… we made great strides with IE7 and the next version promises to do an even better job at usablity, standards conformance and performance.  

    One of the things I love about working at Microsoft is that it is big enough to invest in both IE and AjaxSilverlight!  There is good things for the community in both of these things!

  22. loicbar says:

    I’ve writed an introduction about XAML Control (in french) :

  23. Jacky_Xu says:


    本期共有3篇文章(太少了,就不放在首页了,呵呵。最近Silverlight风头正旺,ASP.NET廉颇老矣……): ASP.NET

  24. Bueno como ya sea visto en varios sitios(como Blog de Luis Miguel Blanco , Brad Abrams , blog de Paulo

  25. Bueno como ya sea visto en varios sitios(como Blog de Luis Miguel Blanco , Brad Abrams , blog de Paulo

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