Microsoft is expected to officially launch both Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 in November in San Francisco.
As both its PDC and the launch of its Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 products loom in the next few months, Microsoft is working on delivering technology to eager users, prepping to RTM VS 2005, deliver a release candidate of the technology and provide a third beta version of a key component.
Microsoft will officially launch both Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 on Nov. 7 in San Francisco.
"We are going to issue an RTM [release to manufacturing] of the product in time for the Nov. 7 launch," said Prashant Sridharan, senior product manager for Visual Studio 2005.
"That RTM of the product will also include the planned Beta 3 of Team Foundation Server, which is the server component of Visual Studio Team System. And then we intend to ship the Team Foundation Server in the first quarter of 2006. Thats all according to plan; we havent deviated."
In addition, when Microsoft issues the RTM of those client pieces of Visual Studio, "when we ship that Team Foundation Server Beta 3, we will also include product support for that Beta 3 as well as a Go Live license," Sridharan said.
Microsofts Go Live licenses enable developers to use Microsoft technology to build applications for commercial use.
"We are on track to deliver a release candidate of Visual Studio 2005 at PDC [Professional Developers Conference] or somewhere around the PDC timeframeIm not sure if its going to make it in the attendee bags or not. But around PDC we will issue a release candidate of Visual Studio 2005," Sridharan said.
"And at that point were pretty much on track to launch. And the SQL Server guys are pretty much coincident with our release candidate and they will issue another CTP [Community Technology Preview] of SQL Server 2005. And theyre on track to ship with us on Nov. 7."
Meanwhile, Microsoft has recently completed a CTP of Visual Studio 2005, "and well be getting that out through MSDN [Microsoft Developer Network] in the next week or so," he said.
"The August CTP will be released, and that will be the last CTP of Visual Studio 2005."
Sridharan noted that a CTP is but a snapshot in time. He said the quality of the product has gone significantly higher, and the new CTP offers improved stability, performance and bug fixes.
Click here to read more about Microsoft releasing previews of more of its technologies via Community Technology Preview builds.
"Within the company on .Net Framework 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005 we have seen the greatest number of people using our internal builds than we ever have before," Sridharan said.
"There are a number of product groups that are betting on both the .Net Framework 2.0 and the Visual Studio IDE or the Visual Studio product itself. And youll see when we launch BizTalk on Nov. 7; theyre building all of their development tools on top of Visual Studio 2005.
"So there are a number of internal users that have stressed this product in a number of ways, so we feel pretty strong about the level of quality and the level of performance in the product."
Meanwhile, despite some recent complaints from a small percentage of users about bugs in Visual Studio 2005 builds, Microsoft said it is staying the course on the product.
"Most of those assumptions were either based on CTPs or on Beta 2, which was feature complete, but not shipping quality," Sridharan said.
"So its not surprising people saw a lot of bugs in those builds. But the mainline [code] tree and the mainline product getting toward release candidate and RTM is of significantly higher quality than weve seen in the past. And its of high enough quality for other users within Microsoft to sign off on it as well as customers in the TAP [Technology Adoption Program] program."
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Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.