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Microsoft Releases Visual Studio.NET, .NET Framework Betas

Developers interested in what the .NET future will look like can sneak a peek beginning today. Microsoft has released betas of two .NET development environments, Visual Studio.NET and .NET Framework.

Microsoft has updated its slate of developer tools to support the XML and SOAP-based .NET environment and further enhance Windows 2000 development with Visual Studio.NET. Visual Studio includes environments for programming the Basic, C++. J++, and FoxPro languages, as well as Web tags.

The .NET Framework, a new platform for COM development, also entered beta release today. The product will include three parts for web and web-enabled applications, the Common Language Runtime (CLR), Unified programming classes, and Active Server Pages+ (ASP+).

Microsoft is uniting the runtime translator for all of the code produced by Visual Studio into the CLR. Most languages require a runtime translator, and Microsoft’s goal is reduce the amount of code users need to execute a routine. Microsoft says this will simplify the job for both developers and administrators.

Microsoft is also creating a single set of APIs for all supported programming languages into the Unified programming classes. Again, developers will have one set of instructions to deal with when optimizing their code for Windows 2000 servers.

Finally ASP+ is intended to extend and enhance the capabilities of Microsoft’s implementation of dynamic Web pages. New features in ASP+ include XML and SOAP support, session state management and process recycling, as well as integration with Microsoft enterprise server products. Microsoft also delivered a candidate version of its new language C# and its Common Language Infrastructure to the ECMA, a vendor neutral standards body.

Visual Studio .NET and .NET Framework betas can be downloaded at http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio. -- Christopher McConnell

About the Author

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

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