ASP.NET vNext - DevExpress Plans for ASP.NET 5

ASP.NET Team Blog
04 August 2015

Update: Announcing DevExtreme ASP.NET 5 TagHelpers - Available Now

DevExpress ASP.NET customers have been curious about the changes coming with ASP.NET vNext (aka ASP.NET 5), so let me take this opportunity to announce our plans:

  1. We will support ASP.NET 5.
  2. In fact, we're working hard on an upcoming release that will support ASP.NET 5.

The new version now has an official name, "ASP.NET 5" and for the rest of this post, I'll use that term. To be clear, ASP.NET vNext is Microsoft's term for the next version of ASP.NET that they are working on.

Which release will support ASP.NET 5?

The specific DevExpress release is still to be determined because as ASP.NET 5 is still in beta. Here's Microsoft schedule:

ASP.NET 5 Schedule and Roadmap

Because ASP.NET 5 will be released in early 2016, we expect to support ASP.NET 5 with DXperience v16.1 release.

There is a possibility that we could release some bits in DXperience v15.2. Take a look at the feedback section below for more info.

What is ASP.NET 5?

ASP.NET 5 is a significant redesign of ASP.NET. -Daniel Roth, ASP.NET 5 Docs

The Microsoft ASP.NET team has been working hard on the next version of ASP.NET. And there are major changes. And yet, many of the things that you know, will still work the same.

To understand what's coming with ASP.NET 5, I highly recommend you:

  1. Watch this video:

Introduction to ASP.NET 5
2. Or, read the docs.
3. Or, check out the links that Jon Galloway has compilied on this blog post: A 30 Minute Look At ASP.NET vNext
4. Or, check out any of the other great resources listed here: http://asp.net/vnext
5. Or, all of the above.

DevExpress Plans

Here is our plan to support ASP.NET 5:

New Runtimes

Before I discuss our plans, it's important to understand the different runtimes. This image shows the two major runtimes:

.NET 2015

Full .NET Framework 4.6

The .NET Framework 4.6 runtime is an incremental upgrade to the existing .NET v4.5 line. And therefore, it's backward compatible and provides all the framework features (WebForms, MVC 5.x, etc.). This framework provides the easiest path for upgrading an existing .NET project.

All DevExpress ASP.NET WebForms controls and MVC extensions work with the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6 runtime today.

.NET Core 5

As Daniel Roth mentioned above: "ASP.NET 5 is a significant redesign of ASP.NET". And at the heart of it is the new .NET Core 5 runtime.

The .NET Core 5 runtime is a new implementation of .NET that is server-focused and optimized for server and cloud workloads. It's also cross-platform which means you can run it on Linux and OSX:

.NET Core 5 is a modular runtime and library implementation that includes a subset of the .NET Framework. Currently it is feature complete on Windows, and in-progress builds exist for both Linux and OS X. -Steve Smith, ASP.NET 5 Docs

But writing for ASP.NET 5, using .NET Core 5, is very different than what you know today. WebForms and MVC 5.x are not included in this framework. It has been architected in a very different way for web development. Therefore, you cannot use current DevExpress ASP.NET controls with .NET Core 5.

However! There is good news. ASP.NET 5 favors client-side libraries for user interface. Therefore, we plan to leverage DevExtreme (DevExpress' client-side JavaScript framework and widgets).

Short Term Goal:

We plan to create wrappers and provide an easy experience for you to use DevExtreme widgets with ASP.NET 5. We have started this development work already and our non-visual documents library: Spreadsheet, RichEdit(Word), and PDF processing are close to being done.

Long Term Goal:

While the DevExtreme UI widget library does not have as many controls as our ASP.NET subscription, it is growing with each release.

And finally, we have do have some interesting ideas to bring you rich and powerful controls for ASP.NET 5. Stay tuned.

Feedback

If you are highly interested in ASP.NET 5 and DevExpress integration, then please leave a comment below. Your feedback will help us decide on what bits and which release we may target.

Thanks!


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