With the advent of Microsoft’s new MVC framework for ASP.NET I think there will be a fairly significant impact on developers who have come to rely heavily on WebForms and related controls. I believe the new framework will require a significant “rethink” of how applications and controls are developed. If you watch Scott Hanselman’s video you’ll see he uses Rob Conery’s Mvc.ToolKit to flesh out the UI and notice that it doesn’t use the designer nor web controls at all.
The MVC framework is clearly going to change how the VS.NET web form designer will be used and certainly makes it less important. It will be interesting to follow the evolution of the framework and to see how MS updates the designer and code editor to fit this new (as in new to MS) model. It will also be interesting to see how 3rd party control companies like Telerik and Developer Express respond.
While at CodeGear I had frequent discussions with Jim Tierney (who I co-developed Delphi’s ASP.NET designer with) about moving Delphi’s designer away from being a WebForm centric because of the development costs involved and instead focus more on the code editing experience. I think the MVC style of development does just that and I expect Microsoft to come up with a number of improvements to the framework and tooling to better support it. I’ll be curious to watch what this means for Delphi’s ASP.NET support.
One thing I think is particularly interesting is with WebForms out of the way ASP.NET developers will be in a better position to leverage non-Microsoft AJAX frameworks such as Dojo, Prototype etc. etc.
Kudos to Microsoft for following through on this much needed alternative to WebForms!