Ballmer Unveils Visual Studio 2005 Team System

SAN DIEGO -- Microsoft will deliver products around Visual Studio next year designed to tie the roles of developers and IT administrators more closely together to make the writing, deploying and maintaining of applications a more efficient and secure process, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Monday.

Kicking off the Microsoft TechEd 2004 conference, Ballmer said the technology will be called Visual Studio 2005 Team System. He positioned the technology, which Microsoft has discussed vaguely in the past but hadn't formally named, as part of an effort to help customers do more with less. While predicting "blue skies" in the future and steady growth in IT spending, Ballmer tempered his natural enthusiasm with a nod to new realities. "We're still all going to have to live in a world where the pressures to do new projects will exceed increases in IT spending."

Visual Studio 2005, formerly code-named "Whidbey," is primarily intended as an update to provide developers with hooks into SQL Server 2005. That database, formerly called "Yukon," is a long-delayed overhaul of SQL Server that will include deep integration with the Microsoft .NET Framework, native XML support, high availability, stronger security and enhanced business intelligence capabilities. Other enhancements for Visual Studio 2005 include further efforts to reduce coding requirements in common scenarios, simper and more secure deployment and built-in mobility.

The team system for Visual Studio represents an effort by Microsoft to fill in the gaps between two of its enterprise constituencies that commonly exist as silos in organizations -- application developers and IT professionals. "We do really think about our tools broadly and our products broadly as part of an application development platform," Ballmer said. "When I say that, some people think I'm just talking about Windows and Visual Studio or Windows and .NET." He said the company is also including SQL Server, Office and the Microsoft Business Solutions products when it talks about the platform.

Part of its Dynamic Systems Initiative, the Visual Studio Team System is a suite of life-cycle tools to make it easier to deploy service-oriented applications.

On the developer side, some of the tools run tests on the code, and color the code depending on whether it has been run through security or performance testing tools. Some of the security tools were developed by Microsoft for internal use in trying to sniff out buffer overruns and other vulnerabilities when the company was trying to improve the security of its own code. Developers also get visual representations of the Web services that are used in their applications and the ability to layer their applications over real-world IT resources, such as servers and Storage Area Networks.

The toolsets also give IT administrators integrated ways to push problem reports back to the development team and help in deploying and maintaining the applications.

About the Author

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


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