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Microsoft Releases Enterprise Library 6.0

Microsoft has released a new version of its Enterprise Library, a collection of reusable software components for developers working in large environments, for the first time in three years.

The Library helps with "cross-cutting concerns" like logging, validation, data access, exception handling and so on. Microsoft calls these software components "application blocks". They contain not just source code, but also documentation and test cases. The latest version is called Enterprise Library 6; the previous full release, Enterprise Library 5, came out in April 2010.

The application blocks function like a best practices guide, only including a lot of software. In this MSDN document explaining the Enterprise Library, Microsoft says the blocks are easy to add to .NET Framework projects. For example, Microsoft says, "The Data Access Application Block provides access to the most frequently used features of ADO.NET, exposing them through easily used classes."

The goals of the Enterprise Library are consistency of design patterns and implementation approaches; extensibility through custom code; increased ease of use through functionality like a graphical configuration tool and better, more complete documentation; and smooth integration, since the application blocks are designed to work together.

Corporate VP of the Microsoft Developer Division S. Somasegar said on his blog that Enterprise Library 6 brings it up to speed with more recent technologies, integrating with ASP.NET MVC and ASP.NET Web API, for example.

Microsoft's Grigori Melnik, Principal Program Manager for patterns and practices, described "cross-cutting concerns" as tasks that need to be accomplished in several places in the types of large, sprawling line-of-business apps targeted by the Enterprise Library. "When trying to manage crosscutting concerns there is often the risk that you/different team members will implement slightly different solutions for each task at each location in your application, or that you will just forget them altogether," Melnik said.

Previous Enterprise Libraries included 4.1, released in October 2008, and retired versions 4.0 from May 2008, 3.1 from May 2007 and 2.0, from January 2006.

Enterprise Library 6.0, made available under the Microsoft Public License, can be downloaded through NuGet.

Posted by Keith Ward on 04/26/2013

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