February 7, 2005 12:46 PM PST

Microsoft pitches new Visual Studio tools

SAN FRANCISCO--Microsoft says developers that stick with its tools can have their cake and eat it too.

Speaking to a crowd of programmers gathered for VSLive, a conference devoted to Microsoft's Visual Studio tool set, Corporate Vice President S. "Soma" Somasegar demonstrated new VS tools he said work well for creating programs that run in browsers and those that are stored and run on the PC.

Somasegar also said the tools work fine with all manner of outside programs and really shine when used with other Microsoft technologies, such as the .Net framework. In addition, he touted the interoperability of Microsoft's systems, hitting on a theme Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates outlined in a public e-mail last week.

And to celebrate the .Net framework's third birthday, the company wheeled out 12 large birthday cakes for the developers gathered here.

"We do want each and every one of you to have a slice," Somasegar said, driving home the metaphor.

But while the developers can eat their cake now, many of the tools Microsoft was highlighting are part of the Visual Studio 2005 family of products that won't ship until later this year.

Microsoft did announce that it was making available for free download a series of code templates developers can incorporate into their own products. Somasegar said customers are free to use the "Patterns and Practices Enterprise Library" snippets as is or to tailor them to their own needs.

"The cheapest piece of code is a piece of code I don't have to write myself," Somasegar said.

Somasegar also talked about other technology in the works, including the company's Avalon presentation engine. Microsoft released a technology preview of Avalon last year and a revised version of that code is slated to be released in the next six weeks, he said.

Kenneth Wilson, a database administrator for Sutter Health, said he was most interested in a demo Microsoft showed in which programs could be designed to connect to a database over the Internet but could use a locally stored copy of the information when a network connection was not available.

"That could be interesting," Wilson said, adding that such connectivity is usually not an issue for his company. "I can see other people needing it."

2 comments

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Just lovely
While MS does have some very nice compilers, its IDE's are suffering from Office-itis: aka bloat.

More bloat on the way, yippee!
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
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More blather
Not knowing what he said, he said it anyway.

Code bloat is when useless features are added, much of what's new in VS will have real world uses by more than just a fringe edge of it's users.
Posted by Not Bugged (195 comments )
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