The lid is being lifted off MVC 6, and there are some big and interesting changes afoot.
Microsoft's ASP.NET MVC Framework has gained a very strong footing over the last few major releases, with many if not most new projects being developed in ASP.NET MVC from scratch, where previously "classic" ASP.NET Web Forms would have been the staple.
The MVC design pattern, coupled with a rapidly evolving view engine, glued together with a mature language such as C# has brought rapid and sweeping benefits to .NET web developers - over the iterations there have been huge improvements in terms of web application performance and responsiveness of design (necessitated by the massive variety of mobile platforms consuming an increasing share of the Web these days).
Microsoft has been shifting its traditional stance regarding "opposing" platforms for quite some time, as evidenced by apps such as Office on iPhone & Android, Linux Integration Tools for Windows Server; and the capability to deploy Open Source technologies such as Hadoop, Python and Ruby straight to their Azure cloud platform. Enter ASP.NET vNext.
So what the heck is ASP.NET vNext?
Well essentially, it's the next ASP.NET. Let's hear what Scott Hanselman has to say:
"ASP.NET vNext will let you deploy your own version of the .NET Framework on an app-by-app-basis. One app with new libraries can't break an app next door with a different version. Different apps can even have their own cloud-optimized CLR of their own version. The CLR and cloud-optimized libraries are NuGet packages!"
...and the thing that will intrigue Friends of the Penguin and Apple-lovers alike, is that you can create ASP.NET vNext applications using Mono - you'll be able to hack out your code natively on your Ubuntu laptop or Macbook Pro and deploy your web apps to your Redhat server without ever having to see a Windows machine if that's your thing. On the subject of Mono, we'll be talking about Xamarin at some point very soon too.
So is it revolution, or evolution for ASP.NET? A bit of both really.
What's the deal with MVC 6 and vNext?
To be fair, vNext isn't only about MVC, as the whole stack is being simplified and defragmentationalised (yes, I think I made that word up). Alongside MVC 6, we'll see big updates for Web API, Web Pages, SignalR and Entity Framework.
MVC, Web API and Web Pages are being combined into a single programming model, so you'll find the same Routing concepts and a Unified Controller which could simultaneously return MVC views and Web API responses without missing a beat. You won't have to worry about whether your app is optimised for Cloud deployment or your regular ASP.NET hosting environment as the framework will handle that for you.
Thanks to improvements in the underlying CLR and the new .NET Compiler Platform ("Roslyn") you'll be able to pretty much immediately see and test any code edits as the whole build process is being overhauled too.
So when can we have these nice new things?
Patience you must have, young Padawan.
But stay tuned, as our .NET gurus are keeping a very close eye on the pre-release juicy bits and are already hard at work putting together rock-solid hands-on training courses - whether you're an old-hand who needs to get up to speed on the new features, or just beginning your .NET journey, we'll be here to help!