The Visual Studio team today released an update to the Visual Studio Async CTP which allows it to be used with Visual Studio SP1. This new CTP includes some very nice new additions over the previous CTP. The main highlights of this release include:
- Compatibility with Visual Studio SP1
- APIs for Windows Phone 7
- Compatibility with non-English installations
- Compatibility with Visual Studio Express Edition
- More efficient Async methods due to a change in the API
- Numerous bug fixes
- New EULA which allows distribution in production environments
Anybody using the Async CTP should consider upgrading to the new version immediately. For details, visit the Visual Studio Asynchronous Programming page on MSDN.
While the Visual Studio Async CTP provides a fantastic model for asynchronous programming, it requires code to be implemented in terms of Task and Task<T>. The CTP adds support for Task-based asynchrony to the .NET Framework methods, and promises to have these implemented directly in the framework in the future. However, existing code outside the framework will need to be converted to using the Task class prior to being usable via the CTP.
The .NET Framework has always supported asynchronous operations. However, different mechanisms for supporting exist throughout the framework. While there are at least three separate asynchronous patterns used through the framework, only the latest is directly usable with the new Visual Studio Async CTP. Before delving into details on the new features, I will talk about existing asynchronous code, and demonstrate how to adapt it for use with the new pattern.
Today’s announcement at PDC of the future directions C# is taking excite me greatly. The new Visual Studio Async CTP is amazing. Asynchronous code – code which frustrates and demoralizes even the most advanced of developers, is taking a huge leap forward in terms of usability. This is handled by building on the Task functionality in .NET 4, as well as the addition of two new keywords being added to the C# language: async and await.