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Microsoft Announces Extensibility Framework for .NET

Last week, Microsoft's .NET Framework program manager Krzysztof Cwalina announced that his team is working on a new framework for .NET -- Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) -- designed to improve compatibility with third-party extensions.

"In the absence of a built-in extensibility framework (like MEF), our developers who want to enable such extensions often are forced to create custom mechanisms, thus duplication," Cwalina wrote in his blog post announcing the project. "We hope that MEF will both stop such duplication and encourage/enable more extensibility in the Framework and applications built on top of it."

According to Cwalina, MEF currently consists of three technologies that work together: a Dependency Injection (DI) framework, a naming and activation service, and a "duck typing" structural type system. The team is working with the Unity framework as well as the DI community to develop MEF, Cwalina wrote.

Cwalina said that a ship date for the project is not yet known.

Cwalina's team is seeking input from developers on what they'd like to see in MEF. For more information on the project, including selected code samples, click here.

About the Author

Becky Nagel is the vice president of Web & Digital Strategy for 1105's Enterprise Computing and Education Groups, where she oversees the front-end Web team and deals with all aspects of digital strategy for the groups. She also serves as executive editor the ECG Web sites, and you'll even find her byline on PureAI.com, the ECG group's newest site for enterprise developers working with AI. She recently gave a talk at a leading technical publishers conference about how changes in Web technology may impact publishers' bottom lines. Follow her on twitter @beckynagel.

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