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.NET Framework 4.6.2 Ready for Prime Time

The .NET team has released a production-ready incremental update to .NET Framework that sports a number of improvements to the innerworkings of the Base Class Library, Common Language Runtime, and ClickOnce technology.

The .NET Team has pinned down the features for .NET Framework 4.6.2 and it's now available for deployment in applications. The update has quite a few changes, including a number of improvements to the inner workings of the Base Class Library, Common Language Runtime, and ClickOnce, as well as ASP.NET, SQL, Windows Presentation Foundation, and Windows Communication Foundation improvements.

Among the productivity improvements to the Base Class Library, a highlight is the removal of a 260-character file name limitation used by System.IO APIs.

"This limitation doesn't usually affect consumer applications," writes Stacey Haffner, a .NET team program manager, in a blog post, "but is more common on developer machines that build deeply nested source trees or use specialized tools that also run on Unix (where long paths are much more common)." Apps that target .NET 4.6.2 and newer just need to add the right version of .NET in the app.config or web.config file. Haffner notes that this is an opt-in behavior to maintain backward compatibility with older apps. The improvement is an attempt to get closer to the capabilities of the Windows OS, which doesn't have this limitation. Haffner references this blog post for more information.

Other BCL improvements include support for:

  • FIPS 186-3 Digital Signature Algorithm, which "enables X509 certificates with keys that exceed 1024-bit"
  • A slew of SHA-2 Hashing algorithms, including RSA-SHA256, RSA-SHA384, and RSA-SHA512 PKCS#1 signature methods, when using the .NET Framework SignedXML implementation
  • Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman Key Derivation Routines
  • Persisted-Key Symmetric Encryption

In the Common Language Runtime, the debugging APIs have been extended so that it does more thorough diagnostics when encountering an unhandled NullReferenceException, which will help in determining which reference comes up Null without having to do more analysis.

Microsoft's ClickOnce technology in this .NET version has a few security enhancements, namely support for Transport Layer Security 1.1 and 1.2, the version of which .NET Framework determines automatically at runtime. It also supports client certificates.

More information, including improvements and enhancements to .NET Framework when working with ASP.NET, SQL Server, WPF, and WCF, can be viewed in the blog.

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed several developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. He's also managed IT pubs for 1105 Media, including Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and Virtualization Review before landing his current gig as Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief. Besides his publishing life, he's a professional photographer, whose work can be found by Googling domingophoto.

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