Microsoft ships Visual Studio 2008

Accompanying .Net Framework 3.5 also available for download to MSDN subscribers now with disk versions to be offered in the next few weeks

Also included in Visual Studio 2008 are advanced development tools and debugging features, Microsoft said. Developers can target multiple versions of the .Net Framework, including versions 2.0, 3.0, and 3.5, and build AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) -enabled Web applications.

Tools are featured to speed development of connected applications on platforms, including the Web, Vista, Office 2007, the SQL Server 2008 database, and Windows Server 2008. Web developers can leverage ASP.Net and other technologies.

New ASP.Net controls allow for better page management and templates. Web development is boosted through new support for Web server communication techniques for AJAX/JSON-enabled Web sites.

.Net Framework 3.5 is intended to enable rapid construction of connected applications; it offers pre-fabricated software for solving common programming tasks. Web 2.0, SOA, and software-and-services applications are supported in version 3.5.

Included in.Net Framework 3.5 are enhancements to the base library, Windows Workflow Foundation; Windows Communication Foundation for Web services; Windows Presentation Foundation for presentation; and Windows CardSpace, for digital identities.

WCF supports native REST (Representational State Transfer) and RSS and backs multiple Web services specifications. These include

Web Services Atomic Transactions 1.1, WS-ReliableMessaging 1.1, WS-SecureConversation, and WS-Coordination 1.1.

Visual Studio Team System 2008, meanwhile, is an application lifecycle management system with tools, processes, and guidance. It supports management of application builds.

Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server (TFS) is a collaboration server for Visual Studio Team System. Featured in the 2008 edition of TFS are: Improved performance and security; support for such configurations as clusters, mirrors, and virtual machines; continuous integration; and scheduled builds. Also highlighted in TFS are version control features, query build improvements, and Web access to version control, work item tracking, and status reports.

Microsoft used TFS to manage this release of Visual Studio 2008. "TFS enables process enactment, collects a lot of data, and enables reporting on it. It provides visibility to everyone and it enables enforcement of certain things," Somasegar said.

But DiMichillie described improvements to TFS as minor. TFS lags behind the competition in areas like testing, he said.

Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition costs US$799 for new buyers and US$549 to upgrade from the previous release. Team Foundation Server costs US$2,799; upgrades cost US$499.

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Paul Krill

Paul Krill

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