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What's New in Windows Forms for the .NET Framework 3.5

Many of the new features added in the .NET Framework version 3.5 are supported by Windows Forms and will enhance your Windows Forms applications. The following describes some of the new features and how they can be used with Windows Forms.

Client application services are new in the .NET Framework 3.5 and enable Windows Forms application to easily access the ASP.NET login, roles, and profile services. These services enable you to authenticate users and retrieve user roles and application settings from a shared server.

You can enable client application services by specifying and configuring client service providers in the Visual Studio Project Designer or in your application configuration file. These providers plug into the Web extensibility model and enable you to access the Web services through existing .NET Framework login, roles, and settings APIs. Client application services also support occasional connectivity by storing and retrieving user information from a local data cache when the application is offline. For more information, see Client Application Services.

The System.Windows.Forms.Integration namespace contains classes that enable interoperation between the Windows Forms and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) technologies. You can use WPF content and controls in your Windows Forms applications. You can also use Windows Forms controls in your WPF applications. For more information, see the System.Windows.Forms.Integration documentation. Additionally, the Windows Forms Designer in Visual Studio allows you to visually design WPF content in Windows Forms. Using Windows Presentation Foundation Controls
Using WPF Controls

Existing Windows Forms applications work seamlessly on Windows Vista, and they are upgraded to have the same appearance as applications written specifically for Windows Vista whenever possible. Common file dialog boxes are automatically updated to the Windows Vista version. The .NET Framework 3.5 also supports the User Account Control (UAC) Shield icon. For more information, see FileDialog Class and Shield.

Improvements to ClickOnce include the ability to deploy from multiple locations and the ability to add third-party branding. ClickOnce also offers alternative browser support and XCOPY publishing in some scenarios. For more information, see ClickOnce Deployment Walkthroughs.

If you are developing Windows Forms applications using Visual Studio 2008, you will see many improvements in the design-time experience. Previously, when a form or control failed to display on the design surface, the resulting error list was cluttered and confusing. In Visual Studio 2008, The Windows Forms design-time error list has been redesigned to provide targeted assistance. The new design-time error list displays the specific error information that you need to quickly determine the error’s source. Design-Time Errors in the Windows Forms Designer
Design-Time Errors in the Windows Forms Designer

In addition, you will see improvements in smart tag stability, Toolbox population and general designer responsiveness and performance.