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29 May 2013, 11:59

PostSharp 3 refreshes .Net aspect-oriented programming

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PostSharp logo A new version of PostSharp, the aspect-oriented programming framework for .Net, is now available as PostSharp 3. Among other things, the developers have improved the framework's integration into Visual Studio so that, for example, the IDE will display a smart tag proposing actions that make sense in the current context when the text cursor is moved to the name of a class or a method. These actions could apply a threading model, add logging, or implement property change notification. When one of the proposed actions is selected, a wizard will then help with implementing the chosen aspect.

The developers have also added three libraries (Model Pattern, Diagnostics Pattern and Threading Pattern) with frequently used design patterns. Portable Class Libraries are designed to ensure the support of .NET platforms such as Windows Store, Windows Phone and Silverlight. The PostSharp developers have decided to use NuGet and the Visual Studio Gallery for deployment, despite the associated limitations. In their announcement, they state that they are "aware of some negative consequences and will be happy to work with customers who may be affected by this choice."

There is also a new maintenance model: while, previously, all updates for a major product release were available free of charge, PostSharp now comes with a one-year maintenance subscription. The new maintenance model is designed to resolve a conflict of interest between developers who need to get paid for their work and customers who can't wait for a new major version to access important new features. The developers also said that the old model was the reason for the delayed support of Visual Studio 2012 and have promised that new features will, from now on, be released as soon as they are needed – independently of the version number.

Three versions of PostSharp are available: PostSharp Express, a free version with limited features for individual developers, PostSharp Professional ($449, £279, €329), for automating custom design patterns and including the detailed tracing, and PostSharp Ultimate ($799, £499, €589), which includes all libraries as well as extra features.


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