Microsoft's release of ASP.NET MVC 3 offers developers a new and improved framework for building web applications in the Model-View-Controller pattern. As expected, ASP.NET MVC 3 comes with many new features that improve on the ones present in MVC 1 and 2. It can also be installed side-by-side with ASP.NET MVC 2. Before we discuss ASP.NET MVC 3's installation process, let's discuss some of the framework's new features first.

The new Razor view engine comes with plenty of useful features within itself, such as HTML helpers.  It is based on well-known languages such as Visual Basic and C#, so its learning curve is minimal.  The view engine also helps to improve efficiency by cutting down on keystrokes with syntax that is short and to the point.  You can unit test Razor views without having to run an application or launch a web server as well.

ASP.NET MVC 3 also offers support for multiple view engines and implements various controller improvements. The new ViewBag property is one controller improvement that is similar to the ViewData property, but offers a simpler syntax.  Other controller improvements in MVC 3 include some new ActionResult types and global action filters.

The realms of JavaScript and Ajax have drawn some improvements as well.  For example, client-side validation is now enabled by default, and JSON binding support has been integrated.  ASP.NET MVC 3's other highlights include better support for dependency injection, model validation improvements, partial-page output caching, sessionless controller support, and more.

Now that you have a preview of some of the improvements that ASP.NET MVC 3 has to offer, it's time to download and install the framework.

To begin installing ASP.NET MVC 3, visit the following link:

http://www.microsoft.com/web/gallery/install.aspx?appid=MVC3

Before you start the download, there are some system requirements to keep in mind.  For the installer to work, you will need to have administrator privileges on your computer.  You will also need to be using one of the following operating systems:

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Vista SP1, Windows XP SP2+, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2003 SP1+.



Begin the installation by clicking on Install Now.  Depending on which internet browser you are using, you may be asked to either save the installer file or run it.  After you have saved the file and it has downloaded, locate it and double-click to begin the installation using Microsoft's Web Platform Installer.



Once the installer appears, click Install.



A window will appear that displays the different components that will be installed.  Once you have looked over the components, click I Accept.  The installation should now begin.  The process could take a while, so give it some time to complete.



After the installation is completed, a congratulations window will appear.  Click Finish to exit the installation.

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