Today, during the keynote address at Microsoft TechEd Developers 2007, S. “Soma” Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft Corp., announced that Microsoft will release Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 by the end of November 2007. Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 enable developers at all levels to rapidly create connected applications that offer compelling user experiences for Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, the 2007 Microsoft Office system, mobile devices and the Web. Soma also unveiled plans to open new opportunities for Visual Studio partners, as well as to deliver new tools and resources for developers, including a first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of the Microsoft Sync Framework and new capabilities for Popfly Explorer.
“The highly social and visual nature of the Web has fundamentally changed what users expect from all applications they interact with, regardless of whether it’s on a customer-facing Web site or Windows rich client application, or a desktop business application built using Microsoft Office,” said Somasegar. “Traditionally, organizations have been hard pressed to deliver the richer, more connected applications and services they need to boost productivity, drive revenue and stay ahead of the competition. With Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5, it is easy for developers to use the skills they already have to build compelling applications that take advantage of the latest platforms.”
FWBS Ltd., Xerox Corp., Dell Inc. and K2 are just a few of the early adopter customers that are already experiencing the benefits of these releases. FWBS used Visual Studio, the .NET Framework and the Microsoft Office system to build an Office Business Application (OBA) for the law field. The application enables users to work within Microsoft Office — the tools they use every day — while also dramatically improving productivity and helping users respond quickly to changing business needs.
Xerox has also had early success developing applications with the new tools. “We’ve already seen significant advantages from using Visual Studio Team System 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5. With the first application we built, we easily saved 50 percent of the time and money it would have taken to create the same application with other tools,” said Eugene Shustef, feature design lead, Global Technology, Xerox. “That’s more than a savings to IT — it delivers a huge time-to-market advantage because it put the tool into the hands of our analysts six months sooner than they would have had it otherwise.”
Creating New Opportunities for Partners
Microsoft also announced plans to make additional investments in the Visual Studio partner ecosystem. In response to partner feedback and in order to provide better support for interoperability with other developer tools and cross-platform scenarios, Microsoft is today announcing plans to change licensing terms, no longer limiting partners to building solutions on top of Visual Studio for Windows and other Microsoft platforms only. This licensing change will be effective for the release of Visual Studio 2008 and the Visual Studio 2008 SDK.
“Integrating dynaTrace’s cross-platform application performance management and diagnostics product with Visual Studio has opened up additional commercial opportunities for our business and delivered a compelling solution for our customers. .NET and Visual Studio is a strategic platform for our business, and Microsoft’s additional investments in the partner ecosystem make it even more compelling,” said Klaus Fellner, senior director of product marketing at dynaTrace. “We’re looking forward to taking advantage of the new technology available with the launch of Visual Studio 2008 and the partner benefits available through the Visual Studio Industry Partner (VSIP) program.”
In addition, Microsoft announced plans to create a shared source licensing program for Premier-level partners in the VSIP program. The program will provide these partners with the ability to view Visual Studio IDE source code for debugging purposes, and simplify the process of integrating their products with Visual Studio 2008.
Tools for Today and Tomorrow
Microsoft also announced a number of additional resources for developers of all skill sets, enabling them to make the most out of their Microsoft tools investments to build great applications on the latest platforms:
The first CTP of the Microsoft Sync Framework demonstrates Microsoft’s ongoing investments in synchronization and builds on the synchronization functionality available in Visual Studio 2008. With Visual Studio 2008, developers can rapidly take advantage of offline synchronization capabilities to sync-enable applications and services easily with rich designer support. The Microsoft Sync Framework extends the support featured in Visual Studio 2008 to also include offline and peer-to-peer collaboration using any protocol for any data type, and any data store. This is part of Microsoft’s long-term commitment to providing synchronization for partners and independent software vendors that can embed the Sync Framework into their applications easily to create rich sync-enabled ecosystems that allow any type of data to follow their customers wherever they go.
A new release of Popfly Explorer will add new Web tools that provide Web developers and Popfly users an easy way to add Silverlight gadgets built in Popfly to their Web pages, as well as publish HTML Web pages directly to Popfly.
These latest releases are part of the broader Microsoft Application Platform, a portfolio of technology capabilities and core products that help organizations develop, deploy and manage applications and IT infrastructure. They also mark another major milestone leading up to the global launch of Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008 on Feb. 27, 2008, in Los Angeles.
Product Information and Availability
Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 will be available by the end of November 2007. The .NET Framework 3.5 will also be available to end users via a free, optional download from Microsoft Update. A CTP of Microsoft Sync Framework is available today at http://msdn.microsoft.com/sync. Popfly Explorer is a hosted development environment available today at http://www.popfly.com/. More information about all of these releases is available at http://www.msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio.