Microsoft Rolls Out Key

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2007-07-26 Print this article Print

Development Tool Betas"> Using the Visual Studio 2008, a developer will be able to target an AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) application using ASP.NET AJAX extensions, or to deliver rich media experiences with Silverlight, or deliver applications or customizations that run on top of Office using Visual Studio Tools for Office, or target Windows Vista for rich client application development, Somasegar said. "And if youre using the latest and greatest .Net technology, youre able to have designers in the box to be able deliver applications," he said.
On the server side, Microsoft offers Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), all the technologies that came out in the .Net 3.0 Vista timeframe.
"Orcas is turning out to be more compelling release than any other release we have done so far, with the kinds of advances we are doing both on the tools side and on the .Net Framework side," Somasegar said. "The kinds of innovations we are making are probably as exciting, if not more exciting, than when we came out with the .Net Framework 1.0. That was probably the biggest evolution of the platform with the first version." To read about how Microsofts .Net Framework has shifted its product perspective, click here. Moreover, Microsoft is providing an environment to support multi-targeting "so that you as the developer can say, Im going to use one toolset and be able to build applications that target multiple versions of the runtime—such as the .Net Framework 2.0, 3.0, 3.5. So from a compatibility perspective, we feel like its going to be a good experience for people who want to move from Visual Studio 2005 to Visual Studio 2008 and take advantage of the latest platform features." The aspects that are now feature-complete in Visual Studio 2008 beta 2 include the Language Integrated Query support, the Cider visual designer for WPF, and tooling support for Office 2007. "At this point in time, what you see with beta 2 is pretty much what youre going to see with the final version," Somasegar said. Moreover, Microsoft made progress in how it built its product this time around, he said. "Its primarily starting with engineering improvements that we made in terms of what methodologies that we use, what kinds of tools we used and how we go about doing things," Somasegar said. "And incorporating feedback is a part of that." The process is still a journey, he said, but Microsoft has made five big steps toward its goal. "I used to talk about being code-complete, but to me, a better way to look at where we are in a project is to say were feature complete," Somasegar said. "We started working on this philosophy with Orcas and that has worked very, very well for us." Indeed, Microsoft now works with what the company calls feature crews. "For each of the features, we have picked a feature team that includes a handful of developers, a handful of testers and a couple of program managers," Somasegar said. "So it could be a team of six to 10 to 15 people, and that team operates as one unit and they own the responsibility of that particular feature, and they are done when the feature is complete." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.

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.

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