Will Microsofts Orcas Make
a Splash?"> Under the Other Languages (read, .Net) category, Visual J# support has been removed altogether, while the Visual Basic and Visual C# installed template categories have been completely restructured. There are many new templates to be explored, and these comprise the bulk of where Visual Studio 2008 deviates from 2005. Most of what is described in Microsofts Visual Studio 2008 white paper is contained in these new templates, including Forms applications, Service applications and SQL Server projects. Two particularly well-developed template categories have been added beneath both of the .Net languages: Web and Office.This is an area in which Microsoft is clearly trying to advance itself, and by making the templates readily available through the IDE, Microsoft has made it quite easy for Windows developers to transition into the Web development sphere. The Office category, which has also been added under both the C# and VB .Net languages, includes templates for Excel Add-ins, Workbooks, Outlook Add-ins and Word Templates, to name a few. While these sorts of applications are not relevant to most people, they are certainly the kind that will help to bolster other Microsoft products. Again, however, it is somewhat disappointing that such considerable development effort was put in an area that helps Microsofts business strategy but does not help the vast majority of software developers who use this tool. One bright spot is the ease of migration from previous versions of Visual Studio. Orcas uses the same .sln file format as Visual Studio 2005, and the same SDKs and associated .msi installers that are used for older versions of Visual Studio can be used for Orcas. However, just as with 2005, if you attempt to open an older work-space file from, say, Visual Studio 6, the IDE converts it to a new format that can no longer be edited or opened by the older version. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.