Join Jess Chadwick for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with beta software, part of Up and Running with ASP.NET 5.
- In this chapter, I gave you a high level introduction to the ASP.NET 5 framework and set some expectations on how to get the most out of this course. There is one detail that I left out, however, the videos that you're about to watch were created and recorded using a pre-release version of ASP.NET 5, Beta4 to be exact. What's more, we're not going to see the final release version of the framework known as the Release to Manufacturing or RTM version until early in 2016.
I know this because the ASP.NET team is nice enough to say so in the ASP.NET 5 Roadmap that they keep up to date on their GitHub repository which you can access here. According to the roadmap, the team plans to release several more beta versions between now and the final RTM version in 2016. In other words, even though the code that I'll be showing in this course worked fine when I recorded the videos, by the time you watch this course, it'll already be out of date. This means that you will almost certainly run into situations where things don't work exactly as I've described them.
However, even though many of the details can and will change between the time of this recording and the final release of the framework, the concepts that I'll be showing such as middleware, controllers, views, and web APIs will almost certainly remain exactly the same. So don't be afraid to invest the time to learn the beta versions of the framework. It will be time well spent just as long as you keep a few things in mind. First off, even though I'm about to tell you in the next video that all you need to install is Visual Studio 2015, during this pre-release stage, you will probably also be prompted to install additional versions of the .NET Runtime that support the version of the framework that you're using.
For example, when opening up the Exercise Files for this course, you'll probably be prompted to install the Beta4 version of the Runtime. When this happens, go ahead and say yes to install the Runtime. You may also need to install the updated web tools for Visual Studio. I used this link to download the tools; however, by the time you watch this there will probably be a newer version of the tools so it's probably best for you to do a Google search for Visual Studio Web Tools 2015 and install whatever comes up from Microsoft.
Second, and perhaps most importantly, if you're going to follow along and write the code that I write in this course, pay very close attention to the version numbers that I use when I reference libraries in the project.json file. These version numbers indicate which Beta version of the framework you're using. In all of the videos in this course, I will refer to library versions that end in -beta4 which is the latest version of the framework as of the time of this recording. However, when you attempt to type the library names in, Visual Studio will give you the option to reference one of the later versions of these libraries such as Beta6, or Beta7, or Beta8.
When this happens, always be sure to choose the Beta4 version of the library exactly as I do in the video. If you install these additional tools and pay close attention to these library versions, the code that I write in this course should work just fine even though it is an older beta version. Once you've gotten through the whole course and learned how to build applications with the Beta4 version of the framework, you'll inevitably run into another issue. Learning to write applications with the Beta4 version of the framework is great except for the fact that you'll probably also want to keep up with newer versions of the framework as they're released even if they're not what I show in these videos.
In fact, by the time this course is even published, Visual Studio will default to the Beta6 release when I show you how to create a new project in the next chapter. Each new Beta release will inevitably change something in the framework which will mean that some of the code I show in these videos may not even work anymore, and obviously I don't know what those changes are going to be to tell you what to look for right now. But the biggest problem is that it's not possible for me to re-record this entire course for each new Beta release.
Even still, I think it's a great idea for you to keep up with the latest versions of the framework as they come out. And in order to help you with that without re-recording the whole course, I'll be maintaining two sets of the Exercise Files that I introduced earlier in this chapter. The first set of Exercise Files will contain code written against the Beta4 version of the framework. This code matches exactly what you will see me type in the videos throughout the course. The second set of Exercise Files will contain the same code that I write in this course, but I'll continue to update it with each new version of the ASP.NET 5 framework as it's released.
That means that there will be a different set of Exercise Files for each Beta release that comes out after this course is published. Also note that I will only be updating the final application in this updated set of files so they will not be available on a video-by-video basis. This shouldn't be too much of a problem for you though since the updated code should still contain the same file that you're having a problem with. Just as I mentioned in the Using Exercise Files video, both sets of Exercise Files will be available in two places.
First, you'll be able to download them from the Lynda.com website. Second, you'll also be able to view and download the files from the GitHub repository for this course located at this address. I'll keep the master branch of this repository up-to-date with the latest Beta version so if you choose to clone the repository, you'll be downloading the latest version. I'll also create a branch for each beta version as well so that if I've updated the master branch to say Beta8 and you want to see the code for Beta6, simply select the Beta6 branch from the branch drop-down to go back in time and see the code that is compatible with that Beta6 release.
In addition to fixing the code for each version, I will also update the ReadMe file that appears on the repository home page with Release Notes that describe exactly what changes I had to make when upgrading from beta version to beta version. So when you run into a situation where the code that I tell you to write in one of these videos doesn't work for you using the latest version, you can always check the Release Notes and the updated source code to see how that code had to be changed. I know that dealing with pre-release code can be painful, but these two tools should help reduce the pain in learning what has changed between each new beta version that gets released.
And rest assured that when the RTM version of ASP.NET 5 is finally released, I will not only be updating the Exercise Files, but also re-recording the entire course as quickly as possible. And once that's done, you won't have to deal with any of these issues again. So now that you know all of this, please feel free to continue on with the rest of the course knowing that even if some things do change, you will be among the first folks in the world that are able to get up and running with ASP.NET 5.
- Understanding ASP.NET 5's new request processing pipeline
- Downloading client-side libraries using Grunt and Bower in Visual Studio
- Adding ASP.NET MVC 6 to your application
- Handling web requests with controllers
- Rendering dynamic views with Razor markup
- Using Entity Framework to write and read data to a database
- Using TagHelpers to create simple dynamic HTML forms
- Registering and authenticating users with Identity services
- Dynamically update portions on the server using partial rendering
- Using dynamic routing logic to customize URLs
- Exposing data with web APIs
- Leveraging custom configuration and logging
- Increasing application maintainability with dependency injection