Demystifying the .NET Asynchronous Programming Landscape

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Asynchronous programming is no longer an option, it’s become a must on various platforms, including Silverlight, Windows Phone 7, and various data-centric frameworks. Unfortunately, dealing with asynchrony is way too hard in today's world of development tools and frameworks. The huge amount of manual and error-prone plumbing leads to incomprehensible and hard to maintain code. As we reach out to services in the cloud, the desire for asynchronous computation is ever increasing, requiring a fresh look on the problems imposed by reactive programming. In this session, we explore various methodologies to address asynchronous programming, and explain how they relate and differ. First, we’ll explore existing patterns and libraries – such as the TPL – to sketch some of the pain-points. Armed with this knowledge, we’ll approach the problem from different angles, including a language-centric view with F#’s asynchronous workflows and the upcoming async and await features in C# and Visual Basic. Next, we’ll move beyond sequential composition of asynchronous computations, and introduce the Reactive Extensions (Rx) that enable you to express rich queries – even using LINQ syntax – over asynchronous push-based “reactive” event streams.



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