By eweek  |  Posted 2003-04-24 Print this article Print

Development What keeps Windows in its leadership position is that Microsoft caters to developers with conveniently packaged services, leveraged by refined but not overpriced tools. Those developers, in turn, add value to the Windows platform. The launch of Windows Server 2003, and its associated upgrade of the Visual Studio .Net tool set, maintains the companys focus on enlarging that virtuous circle. The forthcoming Visual Studio .Net 2003, already available to Microsoft Developer Network subscribers and expected to ship soon after Windows Server 2003, will offer developers ease of access to the server products new features. No one should be surprised, though, to discover that this access paves a path of least resistance that leads to an integrated all-Microsoft solution.
The Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter Editions of the new server, for example, will include Microsofts implementation of Enterprise UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) Services for cooperative exchange of Web service capabilities. To an impressive degree, XML Web services and local or network-resident objects will all appear to applications as a single pool of resources. That UDDI implementation depends, however, on Microsofts Active Directory for authentication and authorization. And authentication of remote, Internet-based users relies on Microsofts Passport service.
Development for Windows Server 2003 does lower some of the barriers among the domains of Windows client applications and more generic Web-based tools. For example, Visual Studio .Net 2003 offers automated aids for packaging Windows applications to be distributed and installed, via Internet connections, with minimum end-user skills or effort. Application development has become a somewhat fragmented field in the last several years; the combination of Visual Studio .Net 2003 and Windows Server 2003 unifies Windows server-side and client development, Web client development, and mobile/pocket client development through the .Net 1.1 family of programming frameworks. —Peter Coffee


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