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Microsoft Advances .NET Platform with Several Releases

At the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Orlando, Fla., Microsoft Corp. released technology previews and beta releases of its family of .NET enterprise servers, as well as Microsoft .NET Framework and Visual Studio development tools.

The Microsoft (www.microsoft.com) .NET Framework and Visual Studio.NET fall under the umbrella environment of the Microsoft .NET Platform. The .NET Framework is a high-productivity, multi-lingual development and execution environment for building and running Web services with features such as cross-language inheritance and debugging. The .NET Framework simplifies the creation of Web services by automatically handling many programming tasks, regardless of language, reducing the amount of code developers must write and eliminating common sources of programming errors.

Visual Studio.NET is another tool set for developers building Web services on the .NET platform. Visual Studio.NET includes updates to the Visual Basic and Visual C++ development environments, the Visual FoxPro database development system, and the new language C#.

Microsoft also announced the preliminary versions of two core specifications for creating and using Web services, adding to the SOAP group of XML interoperability technologies.

The two specifications are SOAP Contract Language (SCL), which describes the capabilities of Web services, and SOAP Discovery, which provides rules for locating Web services.

The new SCL specification builds on SOAP to provide a mechanism to help developers describe the features of a Web service using XML. Developers will be able to use SCL to provide other developers and development tools with a description of the messages a Web service is expecting to send and receive.

The SOAP Discovery specification provides a set of rules for locating the SCL description of a Web service automatically - in other words, it enables an SCL description to be automatically discovered.

In addition to the new development tools and SOAP specifications, Microsoft announced strategic partnerships with 70 ISVs, 17 tools vendors, ten systems integrators and solutions providers, and four publishers to support the .NET Framework and Visual Studio.NET. - Isaac Slepner

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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