ORLANDO, Fla.—Microsoft has given a formal name to its next version of Visual Studio and said a second beta is upcoming.
At its TechEd 2007 conference here, Microsoft announced June 4 that the next version of Visual Studio, which has been known by the code name "Orcas," has been dubbed Visual Studio 2008.
In addition, C. Joe Marini, group product manager of developer marketing at Microsoft, said beta 2 of Visual Studio 2008 will become available later this summer and will include a new feature known as the Visual Studio Shell. The Visual Studio Shell enables developers to create and distribute their own custom tools built on top of the Visual Studio IDE (integrated development environment).
"Partners and developers want a way to build their developer tool products on top of Visual Studio as a starting point so they can use the Visual Studio base technologies and services," Martini said in an interview with eWEEK.
The Visual Studio Shell will operate in two different modes. The first is the Integrated Mode, which is for developers creating programming language integration with Visual Studio, Marini said. The second is known as Isolated Mode and is for Microsoft partners and customers who want to take the base technology of Visual Studio and custom brand it, he said.
"The Shell offering is for people who have no interest in having to maintain their own IDE infrastructure," Marini said. "With Visual Studio Shell, they can just focus on the value they want to provide in their own product."
The Visual Studio Shell technology is free, he said. "When we ship it, anybody can use it without having to pay any licensing fees," he said.
Marini said Microsofts partners have been requesting a product like Visual Studio Shell for some time. However, with Visual Studio 2005, Microsoft offered a Premier Partner Edition, which was the predecessor of the Integrated Mode of the Visual Studio Shell, he said.
Meanwhile, Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., also announced the name for the next release of SQL Server: Microsoft SQL Server 2008—formerly code-named SQL Server "Katmai"—and the delivery of the first SQL Server 2008 CPT (Community Technology Preview), now available for customer download at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/prodinfo/futureversion/default.mspx.
In addition, the company announced the acquisition of Dundas Data Visualizations data visualization products, which provide charting within SQL Server Reporting Services and enable users to create information-rich reports and applications.
Microsoft also has recently released the first public beta of the Microsoft .Net Framework 3.5 and a CTP of BizTalk Services, which supports Microsofts approach to SOA (service-oriented architecture) and its vision of enabling customers to build more dynamic applications, said Steven Martin, director of product management in Microsofts Connected Systems Division.
Microsoft will deliver BizTalk Server 2006 R2 in the third quarter of 2007. It also will provide RFID (radio frequency identification) infrastructure, native support for EDI (electronic data interchange), and new technologies for integrating the .NET Framework 3.0, the 2007 Microsoft Office system and Windows Vista, Martin said.