Microsoft Looks Beyond Launch of Visual Studio 2005

While developers are busy this week digesting the new features and upgrades in Visual Studio 2005, Microsoft is already looking ahead to the next version of the product.

While Microsoft Corp. is announcing the official launch of Visual Studio 2005 Monday, the company also is looking ahead to the next version of the product.

Rick LaPlante, general manager of Visual Studio 2005 Team System at Microsoft, said that as Visual Studio 2005 (codename Whidbey) is shipping, Microsoft has begun prototyping the next version of Visual Studio, codenamed Orcas.

And while there is much planning and prototyping to be done before ramping up development for Orcas, one area Microsoft is looking to cover in the next version of its VSTS (Visual Studio Team System) lifecycle development suite is testing, said LaPlante.

Microsoft has long partnered with members of its Windows and .Net ecosystem, such as Compuware Corp. and Mercury Interactive Corp., to provide testing solutions.

And although these partnerships will continue, Microsoft will be looking to address the testing needs of enterprise developers more and more, LaPlante said.

"I think when we release the next time around, well continue to look at what are our segments and where well make investments," LaPlante said. "And a big investment for us will be around the testing space in Version 2."

LaPlante said Microsoft has, "a great foothold in the testing tools market today, but thats a very interesting market around quality and secure development lifecycle.

"Thats a big investment for us. And we think we do it really well. We think inside of Microsoft we probably have one of the best secure development lifecycles around. And we certainly have a number of tools that were starting to make available to people."

However, LaPlante said Microsofts testing offerings will likely not be "just about the tools," but also about the process and the approach enterprises might take to threat modeling and related issues.

Microsoft has begun making its PreFast and PreFix code analysis and error detection tools, used internally, available to outside users.

And earlier this year the company released process templates with the Visual Studio 2005 Team Systems MSF (Microsoft Solutions Framework) to help enterprise developers get started with various development processes.

/zimages/4/28571.gifMicrosoft RTMs Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005. Click here to read more.

Meanwhile, at the launch event for Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and BizTalk 2006, Microsoft will host several partners announcing products in support of the new platforms.

Detroit-based Compuware will be on hand to announce new versions of two of its products aimed at accelerating development and improving application quality in the Visual Studio 2005 development environment.

Compuware will announce version 8.0 of its DevPartner Studio and version 1.5 of its DevPartner Fault Simulator.

Compuware DevPartner Studio 8.0 is fully integrated with Visual Studio 2005 and features a new Performance Expert that enhances the products performance analysis capabilities.

DevPartner Fault Simulator 1.5 is a testing tool that simulates errors and helps programmers find and resolve software defects.

LaPlante called the Compuware tools "a great complement" to Visual Studio 2005.

Moreover, LaPlante told "We have Compuware TestPartner integration. You can run their tests in our shell. But you can also get information on the bugs that were tracking based on the tests that they generate.

"Thats the next level of data integration. I think thats the next level of where were going to go with our partners," he added.

Jurek Makowiecki, President, Maze Computer Communications Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ, is a Compuware DevPartner Studio 8.0 beta tester, who said he used the technology in development of the latest version of a .Net-based solution for his company.

"DevPartner Studio 8.0 is an indispensable tool for catching the hardest-to-find problems with resource usage, program code paths and questionable pointer use, which is a must when your code might expose the host machine to a security compromise," Makowiecki said.

Compuware last week won a series of honors for its testing and performance tuning solutions at the Software Testing and Performance Conference last week in New York.

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