In addition to facilitating development of next generation apps and XML web services, .NET Framework also provides developers with an object-oriented code execution environment. The object-oriented code execution environment makes it easier for developers to execute code safely, simplify software deployment, and minimize performance issues and versioning conflicts. Many developers even take advantage of .NET Framework to make users experience delivered by various types of apps consistent.
Microsoft has been updating .NET Framework regularly to accelerate next generation app development and meet emerging software development trends. In October, Microsoft announced .NET Framework 4.7.1 with a number of enhancements and improvements. The developers can access .NET Framework 4.7.1 as a part of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Also, they can run the latest version of the software development platform on Windows 7+ and Windows Server 2008 R2+. Hence, it becomes essential for developers to understand the improvements included in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
Overview of Important Improvements included in .NET Framework 4.7.1
Built-in Support for .NET Standard 2.0
In August, Microsoft announced .NET Standard 2.0 specification for .NET Core 2 and .NET Framework 4.6.1+. The latest version of .NET Framework comes with built-in support for .NET Standard 2.0. The built-in support enables developers to accelerate software development by availing about 200 application programming interfaces additionally. The developers can further not required to deploy support files additionally while deploying a .NET application.
Garbage Collection (GC) Performance Improvement
.NET Framework 4.7.1 improves memory allocation performance of applications by making several changes to garbage collection (GC). The architectural changes made to garbage collector boost the performance of .NET applications by dividing larger object heaps into a number of small object heaps. Hence, an application can easily reduce allocation lock contention by avoiding large object heap allocation.
The latest version of .NET Framework enables developers to build and inject configuration for applications at runtime through configuration builders. The developers can use configuration builders to pull configuration data from various sources dynamically at runtime. They can even use configuration builders to apply custom-defined set of builders to specific config sections and make changes to the configuration data of specific config sections. Unlike its predecessors, .NET Framework 4.7.1 makes configuration dynamic.
ASP.NET Forms Authentication
While working with ASP.NET, developers often store user credentials with hashed passwords in configuration files. .NET Framework 4.7.1 makes it easier for developers to enhance security of user data by using more secure SHA-2 hash options. Despite being compatible with SHA-1, SHA-2 adds a number of new hash options to .NET Framework — 256, SHA-384 and SHA-512. Moreover, it supports Message.HashAlgorithm which specifies the hash algorithm used by message queuing at the time of authentication. .
ASP.NET Execution Step Feature
ASP.NET processes requests through its own pipeline which includes 23 events. It further executes an event handler as an execution step. .NET Framework 4.7.1 enables developers to run the execution steps directly in their code by availing a new feature called ExecutionStepInvoker. The programmers can use ExecutionStepInvoker run the execution steps in the code instead of pipeline. They can even take advantage of this new feature to manage the libraries required for the application’s execution flow efficiently.
ASP.NET HttpCookie Parsing
.NET Framework 4.7.1 provides a new ASP.NET API called HttpCookie.TryParse. The developers can use the API to create HTTPCookie object from a string in a standardized way. The API even allows developers to capture key properties of a cookie — path, expire date and secure indicator — accurately. The ASP.NET developers can take advantage of .NET Framework 4.7.1 HttpCookie.TryParse to simplify creation and manipulation of HTTPCookie objects.
.NET Framework 4.7.1 comes with several improvements to boost the performance of the compiler. It facilitates binary serialization by making System.ValueTuple types as serializable. It further provides initial support for a new C# 7.2 language feature — ReadOnlyReferences. At the same time, the runtime improves the performance of applications by making .NET Framework support Portable PDBs. The developers can even use a new API to check if a particular feature is supported by a specific runtime. The compiler will consume the API, and check if a feature is supported at runtime. Hence, developers can accelerate code compilation by knowing the compatibility of a feature with specific runtimes.
The accessibility improvements included in .NET Framework 4.7.1 aims to keep various libraries compatible and accessible. The latest version of .NET Framework further improves accessibility of Windows Forms by extending UI accessibility pattern, improving display in high contrast mode, and enhancing screen narrator. The improved tools included in WCF SDK further improve keyboard navigation and keyboard focus order.
New WPF Features
.NET Framework 4.7.1 accelerates desktop application development by providing a number of new Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) features. The developers can update elements automatically each time the resource changes by using implicit data templates. They can even implement a new method to check if the value obtained from the data template is dynamic or static. They even have option to make a WPF application share its internal information using the he VisualDiagnostics features.
A developer can download and install .NET Framework 4.7.1 through both web installer and offline installer. Microsoft even allows developers to download .NET Framework 4.7.1 runtime and dev pack for Visual Studio. The developers can further avail the enhancements and improvements provided by version 4.7.1 of .NET Framework by upgrading to Visual Studio 2017 15.5. Hence, the Dot Net developers can easily take advantage of the improvement provided by .NET Framework 4.7.1 without putting extra time and effort.