Microsoft Lines Up Partners for VS .Net

Company announces deals to support its upcoming development platform at VSLive conference.

Microsoft corp. has garnered a groundswell of support for the upcoming version of its flagship software development platform, Visual Studio .Net.

Visual Studio .Net 2003, due to be released next month, has spawned dozens of complementary products that will be integrated with Visual Studio .Net or enhance developers experience with it.

At VSLive in San Francisco last month, vendors announced products ranging from security enhancements to reusable software components to new language support to WinForms support and presentation layer technology to Web services enhancements.

Microsoft, its customers, ISVs and consultants say that Visual Studio .Net delivers productivity gains to developers and that the 2003 version adds to productivity.

"We think the best way to build Web services is with .Net. We neutralize the management decision," said John Hubinger, CEO of AmberPoint Inc., in Oakland, Calif., which announced a deal with Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., to deliver tools that manage and secure applications and Web services based on .Net.

Henry Dennig, director of technology and information management at the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation, a charitable organization that makes $180 million in grants a year, said Visual Studio .Net saved the foundation "time and money and improved performance by 20 to 40 percent" on a project being finalized at the foundation.

Also at the conference, ISV ActiveState Corp., of Vancouver, British Columbia, announced ActiveState PerlASPX, a .Net Framework-based offering that enables Perl developers to build Perl-based XML Web services hosted on Microsofts ASP.Net platform.

Groove Networks Inc., of Beverly, Mass., announced the release of its Groove Toolkit for Microsoft Visual Studio .Net. Officials said Groove will ship an updated version of the tool kit for Visual Studio .Net 2003 in the next quarter. The Groove tool kit makes it easier for developers to build Groove-based collaborative solutions, officials said.

Iron Speed Inc., in Mountain View, Calif., announced that its Iron Speed Designer application generation product generates native code for Visual Studio .Net and .Net Framework.

Visible Systems Inc., a Lexington, Mass., model-based toolmaker, announced Visible Developer 3.1. The next version of its application development tool supports the creation of Web services by working in Visual Studio .Net to automatically generate as much as 90 percent of the business logic and database access code in Visual Basic .Net and Visual C# .Net straight from the application model. The company said support for Visual Studio .Net 2003 is coming this summer.

ArtinSoft S.A., of San Jose, Costa Rica, announced it has integrated its WinFormsToWeb Conversion Assistant with Visual Studio .Net 2003. The product lets developers migrate Windows applications to the Web using Microsofts ASP.Net and the Web Forms designer, company officials said.

Preemptive Solutions Inc., of Euclid, Ohio, announced its Dotfuscator Professional Edition 1.2, a tool for encrypting, optimizing and reducing the size of applications built for .Net Framework.