Microsoft Names Orcas
- By Peter Varhol
The actual first public mention came about by accident, but Microsoft has now
made official the product name of the next Visual Studio: "Visual
One of the engineers demonstrating new technologies during the keynote speech
at Tech-Ed 2007 referred to the product by its new name, not realizing that
the announcement released only a few minutes earlier had not yet been made public.
The product, recently available as a beta 1, had been code-named "Orcas."
Visual Studio 2008 integrates all of the Vista development tools into the Visual
Studio IDE for a smooth developer experience. It also provides important capabilities
in the building of interactive Web applications, creating new Office applications,
and providing better accessibility to data.
Any surprises with the name here? I didn't think so. Are you looking at any
of the Visual Studio 2008 betas yet? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
-- and check out my beta review in the upcoming July issue of Redmond
Visual Studio Becomes a Platform
In a somewhat more interesting vein, Microsoft announced that the Visual Studio
platform, minus its languages, would be made available as a platform for tools
and application integration as an extension of the Visual Studio Integration
Program (VSIP) for partners. This platform will be freely available for development
and come with a royalty-free distribution license.
There are two types of Visual Studio platforms, known as the Visual
Studio Shell: The integrated Shell is able to combine seamlessly with existing
and future Visual Studio installations, while the isolated Shell is a standalone
toolset. The integrated version works well with tools and languages that are
complementary to Visual Studio languages, and the isolated version works well
with unique toolsets for specific vertical applications.
While the Visual Studio Shell is likely to be used primarily for development
tools, in fact it can be applied to any application. Enterprises may also be
interested in using it to integrate any custom development, testing or deployment
tools within the application lifecycle.
Anyone familiar with the Java-based Eclipse
certainly knows this model. If imitation is the best form of flattery, then
both Eclipse and Visual Studio Shell must be filling an important need here.
Are you using Eclipse as an application or tools platform? Would you rather
be using Visual Studio? Let me know at email@example.com.
Windows Communication Foundation Outperforms, Integrates
On Monday, the Microsoft Connected Systems Division released the results of
a benchmark study that showed that applications based on WCF Web services outperformed
J2EE applications running on IBM WebSphere by as much as 285 percent.
Furthermore, Microsoft also did a cost analysis of the respective solutions,
and determined that a .NET-only solution cost one-fifth of the analogous IBM
During the course of this study, Microsoft engineers also found that there
was a clean level of interoperability between the two application platforms.
.NET ASP.NET pages could communicate seamlessly with Enterprise Java Beans (EJBs)
and other back-end Java components, while Java Server Pages (JSPs) could work
with back-end WCF-based Web services.
Details of this study and its results can be found in a PDF here.
The company will also be making available the source code of the benchmark
for easy replication.
Do any of you combine both Java J2EE and Microsoft .NET in applications? Do
you use .NET as the front-end client or the back-end business logic? Let me
know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Infragistics Announces Silverlight, Visual Studio 2208
Leading UI components vendor Infragistics announced new
controls for Microsoft Silverlight, ASP.NET 2.0 and ASP.NET AJAX.
This set of announcements also notes that Infragistics controls can be used
with Visual Studio 2008. This was demonstrated to me at Tech-Ed, where the Infragistics
controls were referenced by Visual Studio and worked seamlessly with Visual
Studio features such as IntelliSense.
Do you currently use Infragistics controls in custom application development?
Let me know at email@example.com.
Peter Varhol is the executive editor,
reviews of Redmond magazine and has more than 20 years of experience as a software
developer, software product manager and technology writer. He has graduate degrees
in computer science and mathematics, and has taught both subjects at the university