Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Revisiting .NET

Its been a fair while since we've been commissioned to do any projects with .NET, and it looks like Microsoft have been busy in the interim!

First some background. Mark and myself both started out working for a Microsoft Certified Solution provider, and back then most of the coding work was in Visual Basic. Web applications were starting to get more sophisticated (our first "web" applications were old school ASP with Visual Basic ActiveX DLLs running on IIS3 and 4) but everything felt a bit hacked together. We then did some work with MTS (Microsoft Transaction Server) which improved things a bit, but it wasn't until the first versions of .NET came along and Mark and myself persuaded the company to let us do a major project using C# that web applications became the norm for the company.

Since we set up Digital Morphosis, however, our focus has been on cross-platform web applications, mostly written in Java (and more recently Groovy & Grails), although we've done a handful of .NET applications since, so its been a bit of a learning curve getting back into .NET development.

Our latest .NET project has allowed us to get right up-to-date with the latest and greatest .NET technologies, so I've learned quite a bit about the state of play of .NET and how it compares with how we do things in Java, and have lots of things to write about, notably:

  • MVC 2 and how similar it is to Spring Web MVC and Grails
  • Getting Visual Studio 2010 express set up to run NUnit tests
  • Unit testing with NUnit and Moq
  • Continuous integration with .NET and Hudson

I'll be posting more over the next few weeks. Hopefully this should serve as some help for Java developers who have to make the switch.

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