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NuGet Package Manager Tweaked for Enterprise Customers in .NET 4.5.1

Microsoft adds a libraries feed that is as fully supported as the .NET Framework.

The .NET Framework just had its official update to version 4.5.1. Along with that update is a new effort by Microsoft to get NuGet, a package delivery system for Visual Studio, into the hands of more enterprise-level customers.

Microsoft has substantially tweaked NuGet in .NET 4.5.1 for better enterprise use, Alok Shriram, a Program Manager on the .NET Core Framework Team, blogged earlier this week.

"Some larger enterprise customers have been hesitant to adopt our NuGet releases, for a few different reasons. We believe that we've solved those issues in the .NET Framework 4.5.1."

Among the most persistent complaints from customers were that NuGet packages lacked discoverability, and a lack of package support. The answer for Microsoft was to create a  .NET NuGet libraries feed. The feed has the same level of support as the .NET Framework, according to Shriram. The feed, he blogged, is basically the same as regular .NET libraries, delivered via NuGet instead of only through a standard .NET Framework update.

The other major change for large customers is that the .NET Framework Microsoft Update servicing model has been extended to the NuGet libraries feed. One practical effect of the change is that security patches, for example, can be pushed through .NET NuGet assemblies with Windows Update, allowing for more timely fixes. Shriram noted that such support is only enabled for apps running on .NET 4.5.1.

The .NET NuGet feed shows up in Visual Studio the way it always has, but it's been enhanced in the just-released version Visual Studio 2013: a new item will appear in the NuGet client as "Microsoft and .NET". The client is also available as an update to Visual Studio 2012.

NuGet is a Visual Studio extension for managing libraries. When a developer installs a package, NuGet copies the necessary files to the solution and makes any needed changes, like adding references and changing app.config or web.config files. Some of the most popular packages include the Entity Framework, SignalR, Razor and the Web API. The packages come bundled as a .nupkg file.

NuGet runs on all versions of Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2010, as well as Visual Web Developer 2010 and Windows Phone Developer Tools 7.1. NuGet is supported on all Windows operating systems back to Windows XP SP3.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization Review.

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