PASS Data Community Summit logo

PASS Data Community Summit 2023

Get all the latest announcements direct to your inbox

AsyncBridge? Async on .NET 4.0 using VS11

I’ve just found something quite cool. It’s a code snippet that lets you use the real VS 11 C#5 compiler to write code that uses the async and await keywords, but to target .NET 4.0. It was published by Daniel Grunwald (from SharpDevelop).

That means I can stop using the Async CTP for VS2010, which is not at all supported anymore, and a pain to install if you have windows updates turned on. Obviously I couldn’t ask all my users to install .NET 4.5 beta, but .NET Demon is a VS 2010 extension, so we already have .NET 4.0. At the time of writing, VS11 is in beta still, but hopefully it’s stable enough for my team to use!

I would have written the code myself, but I had the wrong impression that the C# 5 beta compiler only looked in mscorlib for the helper classes it needs to implement async methods. Turns out you can provide them yourself.

You can get the code here:

You just add it to your project, and the compiler will apparently pick it up and use it to implement async/await. I’m at my parents’ place for Easter without access to a machine with VS 11 to try it out. Let me know whether you get it to work!

This reminds me of LINQBridge, which let us use C# 3 LINQ, but only require .NET 2. We should stick up a webpage to explain, with a nice easy dll, put it in nuget, and call it AsyncBridge.

If you were really enthusiastic, you could re-implement the skeleton of the Task Parallel Library against .NET 2 to use async/await without even requiring .NET 4. Our usage stats suggest that practically everyone that uses Red Gate tools already has .NET 4 installed though, so I don’t think I’ll go to the effort.