The Future of the Virtual Earth ASP .NET Control

Oh man, this has been a hot topic since we announced the Virtual Earth ASP .NET Control CTP last year. And, with today’s announcement to retire the Live Frameworks CTP the question (yet again) today is what will happen with the Virtual Earth / Bing Maps ASP .NET Control? In brief, it’s toast. It was great for what it was (ASP .NET wrappers for the AJAX control); but, we really needed to build a control that used the services in a direct fashion and were supported from Microsoft. Now, just to be clear, there wasn’t a whole lot of magic here other than we wrapped what the AJAX control already did into an ASP .NET friendly library. So, everything that it did can still be done just using JavaScript.

“CP – I’m an .NET developer! Why have you done this to me? What do I do now?”

Well, it’s not the end of the world. FWIW, Chris Pietschmann from Simplovation has his Bing Maps ASP .NET control (Web.Maps.VE v2.0). You can download Web.Maps.VE trial for free. His control actually gets updated and is leveraging the latest technology from Version 6.2 of our Bing Maps AJAX Control, including accessing the Edge Caching Network. Hey, and he’ll even tell you the road map – something I can’t do without the right Microsoft lawyers okaying it.

What else – John O’Brien from Soul Solutions who wrote the original VE ASP .NET control for us, plans to take the code and post it to CodePlex. We’ll open source that bad boy and see what you community developers can add with it. Huge ups to John for owning that.

Finally, if you want a supported .NET interface from Microsoft, you can use the Bing Maps Silverlight Control which is currently in CTP. This WILL come out of CTP and become a supported version, so do not fear it will share the ASP .NET Control’s fate.

So, it’s a bit of a sad day; but, every ending also means a new beginning. And hey, maybe now’s the time to tip your toe into the Silverlight pool – the water certainly is warm.


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