About the ASP+ Final Release
Obviously, the preview version of ASP+ and
the runtime framework that we are using is not absolutely complete. However, it
is classed as being 'feature complete', which means that only minor changes and
additions are expected between now and the final release. In this last section, we'll examine some
of the things that you can expect to see in the final release that are not
available, or that aren't yet working properly.
Multiple Windows Platform Support
The final version of the NGWS framework and
ASP+ is aimed at all of the current and recent Windows platforms, including
Windows 2000, Windows NT4, Windows 95 and Windows 98. The preview release,
however, is only designed
for use on Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Professional. The versions for
Windows 95 and Windows 98 will be limited-functionality 'personal' versions,
but will allow these operating systems to provide a local source for the
execution of ASP+ pages. This will be useful for building applications designed
for running locally.
At the moment, the output generated by the
server-side ASP+ controls is basic HTML 3.2, and is not XHTML compliant. Good
coding practice suggests that all Web pages should be compliant with the new
XHTML recommendations from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), so as to allow them to be
manipulated if required by an XML parser or other application that expects
content to be well-formed in XML terms.
A complete specification of XHTML version
1.0 can be obtained from the W3C Web site at http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1, and Microsoft will attempt to generate XHTML-compliant HTML code from server-side components in the final release of
ASP+. However, as some popular browsers can behave oddly when confronted with
XHTML, the final level of support is difficult to judge at the moment.
Client-Specific Output Formats
Most of the intelligent server-side
controls supplied in the preview version of ASP+ only output standard HTML 3.2.
However, some (such as the validation controls we look at in Chapter 4) do
detect Internet Explorer 4 and above, and generate output that takes advantage
of the DHTML capabilities of this browser. This provides better performance
and a better user experience, as it dramatically reduces the need for
round-trips to the server each time the user changes the selected data in the
In the later beta and release versions of
ASP+, there will be more controls of this type. There will also be controls
aimed at creating output in different formats entirely, for example Wireless
Markup Language (WML). This might be a separate set of controls in some cases;
however, due to the extreme incompatibilities between the user interfaces and
client capabilities for these types of Internet device.
New Administration Tools
Finally, the release version of ASP+ will
include administration tools allowing you to configure and maintain
easily. You can expect to see tools to manage the config.web configuration files and global.asax application files. There should also be
graphical interfaces for viewing application performance, and examining
detailed trace information while debugging complete applications.