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Visual Studio Orcas March 2007 CTP

Microsoft has just released a new Orcas preview.

This new version is supposed to include almost all the functionality from the LINQ May 2006 CTP and more.
LINQ features in this version include:

  • VB 9.0: Query Expressions (Basic querying, filtering, and ordering support); Object Initializers; Extension Methods; Local Variable Type Inference; Anonymous Types; XML literals; XML properties; New Line and Expression IntelliSense
  • C# 3.0: Query Expressions; Object and Collection Initializers; Extension Methods; Local Variable Type Inference; Anonymous Types; Lambdas bound to Delegates and Expression trees; Complete design-time support (Intellisense, Formatting, Colorization)
  • LINQ to ADO.NET (LINQ to SQL, LINQ to DataSets, LINQ to Entities):
    • LINQ to SQL has enhanced the functionality from the May 2006 LINQ CTP. You can find it in System.Data.Linq namespace in System.Data.Linq.dll. New in this release is that DataContext provides optimized modes for read-only use and serialization . Also new is that DataShape streamlines eager loading capabilities and adds the ability to set queries on relationships
    • LINQ To SQL Designer: Methods can be created from stored procedures and functions within the designer; Better handling of database schemas; Improved inheritance support in the designer.
    • LINQ to SQL designer integration in websites and web applications
  • LINQ to XML:
    • System.Xml Bridge Classes added – There is a set of extension methods allowing XPath / XSLT to be used over LINQ to XML trees, allow XSLT transformations to produce an LINQ to XML tree, and to validate an XElement tree against an XML Schema.
    • Event Model - This allows LINQ to XML trees to be efficiently synchronized with a GUI, e.g. a Windows Presentation Foundation application
    • Class hierarchy changes - XObject class added, XStreamingElement class (temporarily) removed
    • Various understandability / usability improvements – There have been a number of relatively minor changes done in response to internal reviews, usability studies, and external feedback to make the API more clean and consistent.
  • LINQ to Objects: This API is defined in the System.Linq namespaces inside System.Core.dll.

Of course there are also features not related to LINQ. See the links below to learn more. 

The Orcas March 2007 CTP is available as a Virtual PC image or as a standard self-extracting install. Get ready to swallow more than 6GB of download!

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