Top 5 .NET Trends for This Year

by Steve Anglin

.NET primarily provides and implements a Web services framework that Windows as well as Linux and other developers use. Web services is essentially comprised of these already existing technologies and standards (W3C, etc.): XML, SOAP, WSDL and UDDI, which can (should) be found on O'Reilly & Associates' (ORA) O'Reilly Network's .NET DevCenter covers these as they are specifically implemented using the .NET framework.

The .NET framework also includes Web services interfacing with server-side logic and access to database and Legacy systems. Of course, Microsoft gives .NET developers C#, FCL (i.e., ASP.NET, ADO.NET, etc.) as well as a revamped Visual Basic .NET language and supporting IDE developer toolset, Visual Studio .NET (Visual C++, VB .NET, JScript, etc.). Additionally, there's a CLR that serves as Win32/64 virtual machine for compiling/processing. While of course Microsoft prefers that you use this for Windows Web services development, it's not prerequisite. That's because .NET includes the IDL (Interface Definition Language).

For example, if you're servers are Linux-based, you may want or need to use Java as part of your server-side-based Web services component (EJB), servlets and JSP development in your, perhaps, dominant .NET environment. Another possible example includes open source .NET projects such as ActiveState's Perl.NET and Python.NET. With the .NET IDL, Perl and Python may be used instead of the C# and Java programming languages and their respective components. If you want to learn about the specific open source .NET projects and implementations, the .NET DevCenter is your source for this as interest in these endeavors continues to evolve.

Therefore, look for the following top 5 trends to be covered on the .NET DevCenter:

1. .NET programming language interoperability using IDL (in theory and practice)

2. .NET Web services interoperability (in practice)

3. Open Source .NET projects such as Python.NET and Perl.NET.

4. Visual Studio .NET, Hailstorm and Passport security

5. Taking .NET to wireless and embedded devices.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts on the top five .NET technology trends, stories and/or issues for 2002.