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.NET Framework 2.0 Boosts Web Services

It looks like Web Services are set to get a boost with the upcoming beta 1 release of the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0.

According to a spec sheet detailing the new beta on Microsoft's Web site, "the .NET Framework 2.0 Beta 1 release represents a significant milestone for the Web services and XML Serialization stack in the .NET Framework."

A number of different feature enhancements have been made to the framework in response to developer demands and needs. The new features include productivity enhancements, performance extensibility, and an explicit commitment to interoperability and standards.

One productivity enhancement in the .NET Framework 2.0 is the client's ability to use one Order class that's shared by two proxy services as a result of type sharing.

Also new in .NET 2.0 is an event-based asynchronous programming model intended to simplify the invoking of a Web service asynchronously. Thread synchronization is now taken care of automatically in the new model, so that event handlers are invoked on the same thread that made the asynchronous call.

The new release allows users to automatically bind Web services data. This is accomplished by generating properties on client proxy types, which, by default, will create auto-generated proxy types that are suitable for data binding.

Saving bandwidth and improving application response time are additional benefits of the beta release. Compressing HTTP replies is one way the .NET Framework accomplishes this, and it relies on the IIS 6.0 Web server compression feature to do so.

Microsoft has also realized that the serialization infrastructure of .NET requires greater extensibility to match with some of the uses of Web Services in the real world. New features to make it more extensible include full support of imperative serialization using IXmlSerializable and custom proxy code generation through Schema Importer Extensions.

Adherence to Web Services standards has also been given a significant boost in this release with Microsoft's embrace of two key protocols. The .NET Framework now complies with the SOAP 1.2 protocol and the legacy 1.1 protocol. Microsoft has also included a basic security profile spec for Web services in this release.