When it comes to extending the combined Visual Studio and .Net Framework environment into interesting solutions that solve user problems and save money, Microsoft is looking to its partners for help.
So said S. "Soma" Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Developer Division, while addressing Microsoft Corp.s developer community at VSLive here this week.
As an example of how Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., works with its key partners, Somasegar mentioned Micro Focus International Ltd. of Berkshire, England.
Micro Focus announced Monday that it has chosen to standardize the .Net Framework and Visual Studio as the single environment for legacy application development, helping to move legacy applications to Windows.
Visual Studio and Windows are essential to Micro Focus legacy modernization strategy, officials said.
Ian Archbell, vice president of product management at Micro Focus, said the announcement bolsters Micro Focus commitment to Microsofts Visual Studio Industry Partner program and strengthens ties between legacy systems and Microsoft technology.
"Micro Focus has delivered an enterprise-ready mainframe system on Windows," Archbell said. "Were now offering, based on the Whidbey [code name for Visual Studio 2005] platform, the capability to develop enterprise-ready applications to take advantage of .Net."
This weeks news builds on a previously announced solution where Micro Focus aligned its Net Express with the .Net legacy migration tool to deploy COBOL applications to the .Net Framework using Visual Studio .Net 2003, Archbell said. The company has now pledged its commitment to Visual Studio 2005 for Net Express developers.
Mondays announcement means that Micro Focus has a single IDE (integrated development environment) for deployment to mainframes, Windows, Unix and Linux, as opposed to having three or four different IDEs.
"Windows has matured as an enterprise-ready platform," Archbell said.
Nick Abbott, group manager of business development for Visual Studio and the Microsoft Developer Network, said customers are driving the push for Micro Focus and Microsoft to work together.
"Its customers coming to us and saying, We need to get off this [legacy] platform, and What are the alternatives?" Abbott said.
The collaborative effort to open legacy applications for a new architecture is more cost-effective and efficient than some other solutions, officials said. "We have the capability at the lower end of the mainframe market to be able to take applications off larger mainframes and run them on more cost-effective [Intel Corp.-based] platforms," Archbell said.