I wasn’t that excited about ASP.NET 2.0’s new site navigation infrastructure until I discovered security trimming. Security trimming enables site maps nodes to be selectively shown and hidden based on the role or roles that the requestor belongs to. For example, if you have an Admin link in your site’s navigation bar, you can tell ASP.NET to hide that node from non-administrators. Given that the new role management service makes role-based security a piece of cake, it’s incredibly easy to put security trimming to work–even on sites that use forms authentication.

Another cool feature that seems to be something of a secret (there’s not much in the way of documentation yet, but the feature is indeed implemented in beta 1) is health monitoring, which may become better known by the name “Web events.” With Web events, a few simple lines in Web.config can configure an app to do cool stuff like write an entry to the Windows event log when a login fails, fire off an e-mail to a system administrator when the application shuts down or throws an unhandled exception, and more. Once devs and admins become aware of this feature, I predict that it’ll be very popular.

In case you didn’t know, MSDN subscribers can download the first official beta of “Whidbey”–version 2.0 of the .NET Framework–from the MSDN Web site.