Rockford Lhotka
    CTO at Magenic
    Author, speaker, software architect
    Creator of the CSLA .NET framework

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Why move from CSLA .NET 1.x to 2.x?


The move from CSLA .NET 1.x to 2.x involves some work. The amount of work varies, depending on how, or if, you've adapted your code to the new features in version 1.3 and later, most notably the RulesManager concept. You can read forum threads about the effort here and here.

Given that there is some effort required to upgrade your existing code from CSLA .NET 1.x to 2.x, the logical question is whether it is worth it. What are the benefits you can expect to gain by moving to CSLA .NET 2.0?

You can see a list of technical changes here, but that doesn't capture the value of the upgrade. What does CSLA .NET 2.0 "get you"?

Improved developer productivity

  • Support for .NET 2.0 data binding means easier UI creation with less code
  • New validation rules functionality means writing less business code
  • Standardized class code makes code generation easier and more powerful

Decreased maintenance cost

  • New authorization rules functionality minimizes expensive UI code
  • Ability to independently unit test validation rules increases reliability over time
  • Standardized class code decreases staff training effort and simplifies long-term maintenance
  • Use of data binding minimizes UI code, allowing for faster and cheaper UI changes

Increased flexibiilty

  • Validation and authorization rules can be meta-data driven, allowing for fast and easy changes
  • Easily switch between 1-, 2- and n-tier physical deployments
  • Choose between using .NET Remoting, Web Services and Enterprise Services

Powerful extensibility

  • Easily create custom security objects for powerful authorization and authentication
  • Extend and enhance CSLA .NET base classes without altering CSLA .NET itself
  • Create your own data portal channels to use different network protocols, compression, encryption, etc.

Track record of broad use and support

  • CSLA .NET 2.0 represents over a decade of work and is the fourth major release of the framework
  • Hundreds of users on active and friendly online forum
  • ~700 page book describing the framework and its use
  • DNR TV episodes covering the use of the framework

Designed for the future

  • Upgrade to use WCF in .NET 3.0 with no code changes
  • Data binding support enables building WPF UI in .NET 3.0 on existing business objects
  • Construct WF tasks in .NET 3.0 using existing business objects

(Updated 9/6/2006)