Announcing NuPack, ASP.NET MVC 3 Beta, and WebMatrix Beta 2
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by Scott Guthrie
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Today we are also shipping a Beta Release of ASP.NET MVC 3.  This release is a significant update of the ASP.NET MVC 3 Preview we shipped two months ago, and includes a bunch of great feature improvements.

In addition to the ASP.NET MVC 3 features introduced with the first preview, today’s beta includes:

Razor Enhancements: ASP.NET MVC 3 supports the new Razor view-engine option. In addition to the functionality enabled with the ASP.NET MVC 3 Preview, today's Beta adds a bunch of additional capabilities: Cleaner MVC integration – including the ability to use a new @model syntax to more cleanly specify the type being passed to the view.  A new @helper syntax for declaring re-usable HTML helpers (really slick).  A new @* *@ comment syntax.  The ability to specify defaults (like layoutpage) once for the entire site - keeping your views DRY.  Support for using both C# and VB flavors of Razor.

New View Helpers: New view helper methods are now supported.  This includes a new Chart() helper method for dynamically creating charts (same features as the <asp:chart> control in ASP.NET 4 – except now using view helper methods), as well as a new WebGrid() helper method that can be used to create data-grid style UI (including paging and sorting).

Unobtrusive JavaScript and HTML 5: The AJAX and Validation helpers in ASP.NET MVC now both use an unobtrusive JavaScript approach by default. Unobtrusive JavaScript avoid injecting inline JavaScript into HTML, and instead enables cleaner separation of behavior using the new HTML 5 data- convention (which conveniently works on older browsers as well). This makes your HTML smaller and cleaner, and makes it easier to optionally swap out or customize JS libraries.  The Validation helpers in ASP.NET MVC 3 also now use the jQueryValidate plugin by default.

Dependency Injection: The initial ASP.NET MVC 3 Preview added better support for Dependency Injection (DI) with Controllers, Views and Action Filters.  Today’s Beta extends this with better dependency injection support for Model Binders, Model Validation Providers, Model Metadata Providers, and Value Providers.  It also supports a new IDependencyResolver interface that makes it easier to integrate Dependency Injection Frameworks.

NuPack Integration: ASP.NET MVC 3 automatically installs and enables NuPack as part of its setup.  This makes it trivial to take advantage of NuPack to find and add lots of MVC extensions and libraries to your projects.

Other Goodness: The initial ASP.NET MVC 3 Preview added lots of additional helpers and classes to make everyday coding better.  Today’s beta includes a bunch of additional improvements: more granular XSS HTML input validation, HTML helper improvements to support HTML 5, Crypto helpers for salting and hashing passwords, easier Email APIs, improved “New Project” dialog, etc.

The ASP.NET MVC 3 beta supports "go-live" deployments – which means the license does not restrict you from building and deploying production applications with it.

Learn more about ASP.NET MVC 3

Check out the below links to learn more about the ASP.NET MVC 3 Beta:

Phil Haack’s Overview Post

Brad Wilson’s Unobtrusive JavaScript Post

Brad Wilson’s Unobtrusive JavaScript Validation Post

Brad Wilson’s Dependency Injection Series (Model Validation, Model MetaData, Value Providers, Model Binders, Controller Activator, View Page Activator)

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