Infragistics, Microsoft Tout Team Development

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2004-05-24

Infragistics, Microsoft Tout Team Development

SAN DIEGO—Infragistics Inc., maker of reusable presentation layer development tools for Microsoft Corp. systems and Java, announced Monday the release of a new video and position paper touting the importance of presentation layer development in enterprise applications.

The East Windsor, N.J., company released its information at the Microsoft TechEd 2004 conference here, featuring Mark Driver, a vice president of the Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc. market research firm; Rick LaPlante, director and general manager of enterprise tools at Microsoft; and Dean Guida, chief executive of Infragistics.

At the conference, Microsoft is expected to announce its strategy to help developers focus on the entire application lifecycle. In addition to delivering key core technology to provide support across the development lifecycle, Microsoft will be calling on partners to assist in providing the overall solution.

For a TechEd overview, click here.

Infragistics is one such partner, with its suite of presentation layer development tools.

Gartners Driver said work on presentation layer aspects of system development can account for between 25 percent and 40 percent of the time spent building applications. And Guida said Infragistics components can help developers recoup some 25 percent or more of that lost time by delivering reusable components.

LaPlante, who was prominent in the video, discussed the importance of standardization of tooling at the presentation layer level and the strategy behind the new Microsoft team system.

"The more you standardize on the presentation layer, the more productive the development team is going to be," LaPlante said.

Among the announcements Microsoft is expected to make at the conference is Microsoft Visual Studio Team System, which is intended to address team development.

For more on Microsofts Visual Studio Team System, click here.

"We wanted to expand the platform to focus on team development and also to focus on communication between disparate members of the development team" located in different places, LaPlante said.

LaPlante added that he believes the new team-focused tool will have a "substantial impact" on software development in the Microsoft environment.

Next page: A cry for integration.

Page Two

"When we ask people what they want in their tool, they say integration," LaPlante said. "Rather than best-of-breed they say they want integration across the tool. … So integration is a critical aspect of aligning everyone on the team to make sure were going in the right direction and going to get there at the same time."

"The user interface layer, more than any other aspect of the application, is where we see the most evolution," Gartners Driver said.

Infragistics Guida said, "Buy versus build is always being considered by development teams, and the presentation layer is the greatest place you can benefit by buying" versus writing code from scratch. "Its almost a no-brainer with the state of the IDEs [integrated development environments] out there."

Brad McCabe, chief technology evangelist at Infragistics, said Microsofts move simply indicates the maturing of the industry and also puts presentation layer and user interface development on the same level with other development components such as modeling and testing.

"Theyre all important, but theyre all important in different ways," McCabe said.

"Developers could always go out and pick up Mercury [Interactive Inc.] for testing or Rational for requirements, and do all the things you were taught to do as a developer, but now Microsoft brings that out and puts it in the forefront for them," McCabe said. "It makes the .Net framework and the .Net environment far more productive. It brings development full circle for anybody from the hobbyist up to mission-critical, 24-by-7 data center application developers."

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