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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 Converge360 Group, where she oversees the front-end Web team and deals with all aspects of digital projects at the company, including launching and running the group's popular virtual summit and Coffee talk series . She an experienced tech journalist (20 years), and before her current position, was the editorial director of the group's sites. A few years ago she gave a talk at a leading technical publishers conference about how changes in Web browser technology would impact online advertising for publishers. Follow her on twitter @beckynagel.

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