PDC-2008 Managed Development on Windows Server Core 2008 R2
Windows Server Core is a subset of Windows Server 2008 dedicated to a specific mission. If you want to setup a DNS Server, a File Server, or a Media Server you don't need to full blown Windows Server machine. You don't need the Windows Shell, You don't need sound capabilities, you don't need ... you have got the idea.
Using a subset of Windows Server 2008 results a smaller memory footprint, faster server and smaller attack service. For example comparing to the full Windows Server 2008, only 40 percents of the patches were needed for the Server Core.
The first release of Server Core was a good choice for all the predefined roles that came with it, but was not suitable as a target machine for many of the current projects in the industry. You can argue that there are many server applications that don't need UI and that may benefit from running on such installation and I'd agree, but there was not managed code support. You could use IIS but with no ASP.NET applications.
Server Core 2008 R2 will support a subset of the .NET framework as well as the ability to host an ASP.NET application.
Here are some facts about the product:
- There will be only an x64 bit version, however WoW64 is an option for 32bit compatibility, so it is better to target x64.
- Since we will have the .NET framework we will have the PowerShell
- We will have a subset of .NET 2.0, 3.0, 3.5.
- We will be able to install .NET 2.0 and/or .NET 3.x with WF, WCF and LINQ support
- No WinForm and no WPF, actually nothing that related to UI and User Experience (MMC, Sound, Etc.)
- Remote debugging (Msvsmon.exe) works
- You can manage IIS and ASP.NET remotely (no MMC on Server Core)
You can think about managed development for Server Core as another target platform such as .NET CF, XNA, Silverlight and so forth. It is .NET but you should know the differences, what is in there, how to install, how to configure, how to debug and what is there that you can use.