The new VSIP gives developers free access to the VSIP software development kit (SDK) and features three levels of participation. The Affiliate level is the free level of membership for small companies, hobbyists and academic users, who can get free Visual Studio support online and the free SDK. The Alliance level is targeted at tool and component independent software vendors (ISVs) and smaller systems integrators. It costs $3,000 annually to be a member and it includes the SDK, a year of Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscription, joint marketing and participation in a catalog and VSIP logo program. The Premier level costs $10,000 a year and is targeted at large global enterprise ISVs and large systems integrators. At this level members get the shell-only version of the Visual Studio .Net integrated development environment (IDE) to ship with their products. Fujitsu Software Corp., InstallShield Software Corp., and Intel Corp. announced they have joined as Premier VSIP members."The expansion of the program is a good thing for the [Visual Studio] ecosystem, meanwhile we need to develop our own part of the ecosystem," Kadhim said. Kadhim said Visual Studio .Net and being a member of the VSIP program has been beneficial to Fujitsu Software in its legacy migration initiative, and he said lead generation, in terms of "substantial leads" is four times what it used to be before the company joined VSIP back in 1999 as a new member.
Basim Kadhim, chief architect, languages, at Fujitsu Software, based in Bend, Ore., said Fujitsu already has products shipping with the Premier VSIP partner edition today, including version 2.0 of its COBOL compiler that supports Visual Studio.