A platform proposition Most of the IDEs (integrated development environments) that have been favored by eWEEK Labs have focused on C++ or Java, reflecting the personality of one language throughout their designs. Microsofts own Visual C++, for example, when it came forth as a breakthrough tool for that hybrid language, was all about taming the complexity of its mix of machine-level directness and object-oriented superstructure. Top-flight Java environments such as Borland Software Corp.s JBuilder have instead built on that languages consistent and deep-dyed object orientation to give multiple, synchronized views of work in progress.Spanning those differences is a charter that makes Visual Studio 2005 as much about inducing developers to build the next generation of applicationsas Microsoft defines that visionas it is about preserving developers past investments in skills and code. Microsoft does pay homage to the investment that developers make in not merely mastering but also fine-tuning a tool. From the moment a developer first fires up the Visual Studio 2005 environment, it invites customization and maintains an accumulating record of a developers preferences and modifications (such as redefining shortcut keys). Rearrangement of tool panes has become a good deal more intuitive, with new visual indicators of docking options that make it much easier to figure out where things can go . None of this is especially novel, but it becomes more so when combined with export and import commands that make it easy to transfer customizations from one workstation to another. Whatever you might not like about Visual Studio 2005, Microsoft would like to make it easy for you to change it. Next Page: Core capabilities.
Visual Studio 2005 reflects a different approach, one thats driven by a platform rather than a language. It delivers access to Microsofts evolving .Net framework in a way that presents different faces to different developer communities; it reflects the connection of programming language choices to developer skill sets and development tasks.