Jasper: Dynamic languages meet dynamic database development

Summary:It's code name central at Mix '07 in Las Vegas this week. On May 2 at Microsoft's Web 2.0 conference, officials are set to put "Jasper," a k a "Dynamic ADO.Net," through its paces.

It's code name central at Mix '07 in Las Vegas this week.

On May 2 at Microsoft's Web 2.0 conference, officials are set to put "Jasper," a k a "Dynamic ADO.Net," through its paces. In a session entitled "Rapidly Building Data Driven Web Pages with Dynamic ADO.Net," Microsoft officials are set to outline how the concepts of dynamic languages and ADO.Net can be used together to develop "data-driven Web pages" that are "scalable to even th emost complex databases."

Jasper is a set of extensions to Microsoft's ADO.Net Entity Framework. The ADO.Net Entity Framework allows developers to model data in a database. Microsoft had hoped to deliver the entity framework as part of Visual Studio Orcas. Microsoft recently announced that the entity framework wouldn't make the cut and won't be available until the "first half of 2008," as part of an update to Orcas.

In spite of the ADO.Net Entity Framework delay, Microsoft made available for download a pre-beta Community Technology Preview (CTP) release of the Jasper technology on April 30.

"As the project team likes to say, we want to make the experience of developing quick and dirty database apps one that is truly quick and clean," blogged Andrew Conrad, a member of Microsoft's SQL Server team.

There's a connection between dynamic languages and the dynamic database development enabled by Jasper. As explained by Conrad:

"For CTP release, we are specifically targeting Visual Basic 9 (Orcas version of VB.NET) and Iron Python 1.1. In other words, these are the languages we did a bulk of our testing for the CTP release. The reality is any CLR language that supports late binding (IronRuby, Managed JavaScript) can be used with the Jasper framework. In the future, we are very interested in leverage other features of Dynamic Language Runtime (also being announced at Mix07), for example the ability to modify types at runtime, to provide even a richer experience."

There's also a connection between Jasper and Astoria, another incubated project that is built on top of the ADO.Net Entity Framework that Microsoft unveiled at Mix '07 earlier this week.

"The astute reader might notice some areas where Jasper and Astoria might integrate nicely. Don’t worry – we already started thinking about that, but as usual any and all feedback is welcome," blogged Microsoft's Conrad.

Speaking of databases, Microsoft is slated to show off a preview of its next version of SQL Server, code-named "Katmai," at next week's VSLive conference in Orlando. Microsoft is expected to begin delivering an early drop of Katmai code to a select group of testers in June.

Topics: Microsoft


Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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