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Over the last six months the ASP.NET team has been steadily releasing preview, then beta, and now release candidate builds of ASP.NET MVC 2.

Given that the final release is not too far away, I thought it was a good time to start a new multi-part ASP.NET MVC 2 blog series that discusses the new features and how best to take advantage of them.


We shipped ASP.NET MVC 1.0 last March.  Since then, almost 1 million developers have downloaded and used the final release, and its popularity has steadily grown month over month.

ASP.NET MVC 2 is the next significant update of ASP.NET MVC. It is a compatible update to ASP.NET MVC 1 – so all the knowledge, skills, code, and extensions you already have with ASP.NET MVC continue to work and apply going forward. Like the first release, we are also shipping the source code for ASP.NET MVC 2 under an OSI-compliant open-source license.

ASP.NET MVC 2 Features

ASP.NET MVC 2 adds a bunch of new capabilities and features.  I’ll cover them in a lot more depth with this blog series.  Some of them include:

  • New Strongly Typed HTML Helpers (posted: Jan 10th, 2010)
  • Enhanced Model Validation support across both server and client (post coming soon)
  • Auto-Scaffold UI Helpers with Template Customization (post coming soon)
  • Support for partitioning large applications into “Areas” (post coming soon)
  • Asynchronous Controllers support (post coming soon)
  • Support for rendering sub-sections of a page/site using Html.RenderAction (post coming soon)
  • Lots of new helper functions, utilities, and API enhancements (post coming soon)
  • Improved Visual Studio tooling support (post coming soon)

How to download ASP.NET MVC 2

ASP.NET MVC 2 is designed to work with both VS 2008 / .NET 3.5, as well as with VS 2010 / .NET 4.  Supporting both versions means that you can start using it today without having to wait to upgrade to VS2010 / .NET 4.

Click here to download the ASP.NET MVC 2 release candidate for .NET 3.5 and VS 2008.  It can be installed side-by-side with ASP.NET MVC 1.0 on the same machine.

ASP.NET MVC 2 is a built-in component of VS 2010 / .NET 4 – which means you will not have to download or install anything to get it once you install any version of Visual Studio 2010.  The current public VS 2010 Beta 2 release includes the ASP.NET MVC 2 Preview 2 release.  The upcoming VS 2010 Release Candidate that will be available for download next month will have a more recent ASP.NET MVC 2 RC built-in.


We are always careful to make clear that ASP.NET MVC is an option with ASP.NET.  ASP.NET Web Forms continues to be the most widely used approach when building applications with ASP.NET, and the new ASP.NET 4 release contains significant improvements for ASP.NET Web Forms development (clean client IDs and CSS based control markup, better viewstate management, new data and charting controls, URL routing, SEO improvements, and much more).  You can learn more about these improvements within my ongoing VS 2010 and .NET 4 blog series.

We’ll be improving and enhancing both the ASP.NET Web Forms and ASP.NET MVC programming models even further in future releases. Developers can and should choose to use whichever model feels most comfortable and natural to them. We’ll be publishing new videos and guidance on the www.asp.net shortly that helps provide additional guidance about each and how to pick the one that feels most comfortable to you. 

Hope this helps,