23 August 2002 Microsoft is readying updates to its rapid application development suite, Visual Studio .Net, to improve compatibility with future products including Windows .Net Server.
The first upgrade to Visual Studio .Net will provide tools for writing software for mobile devices such as mobile phones, as well as Visual J#, a tool for programming in Microsoft’s version of Java called J#. It will also include improved connections to Windows .Net Server, the next version of Microsoft’s server operating system Windows 2000 Server, which will enable users to provide web services using Microsoft’s .Net framework.
“You can either write a program using Visual Studio .Net that offers web services, or you can take an existing application and offer its capabilities as web services,” said Gavin Smith, developer tools product manager at Microsoft UK. “If the application has COM [common object model] interfaces, you can click a radio button in an administrator dialog and those interfaces will be open to web services calls. It’s as simple as that.”
Microsoft will provide a larger upgrade to Visual Studio .Net in late 2003 which will feature new visual design tools and support a new data-storage architecture that Microsoft says will make it easier to find and use corporate data. The architecture will be one of the main features of an upgrade to Windows due out in 2004 which will also have a new user interface.