Apr 24

Microsoft has released a beta version of the next major release of Visual Studio and the .NET framework.

Visual Studio “Orcas” will enable developers to write programs that can run on Windows Vista, Longhorn Server, Office 2007 and the Web.  The .NET Framework v3.5 will provide better support for Web 2.0 and AJAX applications.  Microsoft has been planning to release Orcas this year, but a corporate VP recently told ZDNet that it may not happen until 2008.

Visual Studio “Orcas” delivers key advances for developers in three primary areas:

  1. Improve Developer Productivity
  2. Manage the Application Life Cycle
  3. Employ the Latest Technologies

The technology improvements in Visual Studio “Orcas” focus on five critical areas:

  1. Windows Vista and .NET 3.0 Development
    Orcas unlocks the new features found in Windows Vista and .NET 3.0 and allows developers to incorporate Windows Presentation Foundation features into existing and new Windows Forms application.  New tools include a UI designer, XAML editor, project templates, debugging support, and deployment support for rich desktop and web applications.  You can also select which version of .NET to target, rather than being tied to the same version of .NET as Visual Studio.
  2. Create Microsoft Office Applications
    Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) is now fully integrated into the Visual Studio IDE.  VSTO enables developers to customize Office applications such as Outlook and PowerPoint.  Office UI elements such as the ribbon and task pane are available to use in your applications.  Developers can have Office manage the access and navigation of enterprise data.
  3. Handle Data More Smoothly
    Using Language Integrated Query (LINQ), developers can write queries natively in C# or Visual Basic without having to use specialized languages, such as SQL and XPath.  The Microsoft Synchronization Services for ADO.NET provide an API to synchronize data between data services and a local store.
  4. Enable New Web Experiences
    Developers can use Orcas to build expressive AJAX-enabled Web applications.  Orcas also provides RAD tools to easily create client connections and proxies to web services and test them without writing code.
  5. Improve Application Life-Cycle Management (ALM)
    New capabilities include integrating the database professional into the development life-cycle, extending unit test capabilities, improving enterprise load testing, and providing performance tuning and diagnostics.

Read more in the Microsoft whitepaper.  Download the beta version of Visual Studio Orcas and .NET 3.5.

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Article published on April 24, 2007

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