VS .Net Enters Final Beta Phase

Microsoft targeting 3 types of developers; rolls out .Net compact framework.

Microsoft Corp. last week announced the final beta of its Visual Studio .Net 2003 product—formerly known by the code name Everett—and released its .Net Compact Framework.

"With Windows .Net Server 2003 and Visual Studio 2003, Microsoft is delivering the ultimate developer platform," said Dan Hay, a Visual Studio .Net lead product manager at Microsoft, in Redmond, Wash.

And with the release of the .Net Compact Framework, Microsoft is targeting device developers. "Were rounding out the platform so developers can target cell phones and handhelds, all the way up to the enterprise," Hay said.

Microsoft will ship the final version of Visual Studio .Net 2003 with Windows .Net Server 2003 early next year, with a formal announcement planned in April, Hay said.

However, the version of.Net Compact Framework going out with the final beta of Visual Studio .Net 2003 is the final code for that technology, said Chris Flores, also a lead product manager for Visual Studio .Net 2003 at Microsoft. Flores said beta customers of Visual Studio .Net 2003 will be able to run applications based on .Net Compact Framework via a Go Live license. Microsofts Go Live license will lift the beta software license restriction on deploying production applications, he said.

With .Net Compact Framework, developers "can write the core pieces of the application once, and the mobile controls in Visual Studio .Net 2003 will automatically detect characteristics of the device and add the markup language for the device," said Flores.

Jon Box, a software architect at Quilogy Inc., in St. Charles, Mo., and a beta tester for Visual Studio .Net 2003, said he welcomes the license to use .Net Compact Framework.

"One of the biggest things that I am interested in is the inclusion of the Compact Framework and the Microsoft Mobile Internet Toolkit," Box said. "While MMIT is very stable, the .Net Compact Framework has definitely evolved this year and is ready for prime time."

Hay said Microsoft is targeting three sets of developers with this release of the Visual Studio product: enterprise developers, professional developers and device developers.

For enterprise developers, Microsoft has integrated .Net Framework into Windows .Net Server 2003 and added support for new Web services protocols including Web Services-Security, WS-Routing and WS-Attachments, Hay said. The product will also feature Microsofts Enterprise Instrumentation Framework, which helps enterprises monitor their systems.

For professional developers, enhancements include those to Microsofts C++, such as increased standards support and integration of Visual J# .Net into the Visual Studio .Net platform, Hay said.

Pricing for Visual Studio .Net 2003 is $29 for developers who are registered users of Visual Studio .Net 2002 and free to Microsoft Developer Network subscribers. The company said it will release full pricing for new customers at a later date.

New Visual Studio .Net 2003 Features

  • Availability of .Net Compact Framework
  • Improved scalability with support for up to 32 processors
  • Improved performance
  • Support for new Web services specifications: WS-Security, WS-Routing and WS-Attachments
  • 98 percent conformance with the International Organization for Standardizations C++ standard
  • Integration of Visual J#