Latest Microsoft Innovations Help Developers Build Better Applications, Faster
New tools and programs improve collaboration and enable developers to create more stunning and secure applications.
BARCELONA, Spain — During the keynote address at Microsoft Tech•Ed EMEA 2008 Developers, Jason Zander, general manager of the Developer Division at Microsoft Corp., highlighted how Microsoft is dramatically simplifying everyday development tasks through recently released technologies, such as Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, and the forthcoming Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4 releases. In addition to disclosing more information about Visual Studio 2010, Zander announced new programs and tools modeled after the company’s internal Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) that enable software developers to create more secure and privacy-enhanced applications.
“Developers are under increasing pressure to deliver more complex applications that work across a variety of devices, but with fewer resources and less time,” Zander said. “We continue to refine Visual Studio and the .NET Framework to help simplify the application development process and ultimately improve the day-to-day experience for anyone building, managing, deploying or using applications and services.”
Simplifying Development Today and Tomorrow
Zander showcased the substantial enhancements available in Visual Studio 2008 SP1 and the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, including 20 percent to 45 percent performance improvements for Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)-based applications, a streamlined installation experience for client applications, and Windows Communication Foundation improvements that give developers more control over the way they access data and services.
For developers interested in taking advantage of these new capabilities immediately, Microsoft announced several special offers for both new and existing Visual Studio, Visual Studio Team System and Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) customers. These offers include upgrade pricing on Visual Studio Professional Edition for developers using any developer tool, a range of discounts for Visual Studio Professional customers to add an MSDN subscription, and a 30 percent discount on the step-up to any Visual Studio Team System role edition or to Visual Studio Team System Team Suite. Those customers starting a new MSDN Premium subscription today will not only immediately enjoy access to products such as Expression Web 2 and Expression Blend 2, but also get access to Visual Studio 2010 when it ships. More information about pricing and eligibility for these offers is available at http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/promotions.
“Microsoft’s goal is to enable our customers to use the latest and greatest development tools, and we don’t want cost to be a barrier to their success, particularly in these challenging economic times,” said Dave Mendlen, director of Developer Marketing at Microsoft.
Zander also disclosed details on two more areas of the forthcoming Visual Studio 2010 release focused on “inspiring developer delight” and “riding the next-generation platform wave.” Designed to simplify and improve the day-to-day experiences for millions of developers, Visual Studio 2010 will deliver the following:
• Windows 7 support. Advances include investments in Visual C++ to simplify development of native Windows 7-based applications and support of Windows 7 innovations such as multitouch user interfaces.
• Microsoft Office Business Applications support. Updates include the ability to build applications that span multiple versions of Office and new support for building applications using SharePoint Products and Technologies.
• WPF-based editor. The new editor provides an unprecedented level of insight into an application, presented in context with the code in a rich and easy-to-understand manner.
• Further C++ investments. Visual Studio 2010 also marks a major renovation of the C++ integrated development environment (IDE) to not only support emerging trends such as parallel computing, cloud computing and Web services, but also to provide a first-class C++ development experience through an IDE that scales to the large size of code bases that are typical of C++ sources.
Partners and customers also have expressed their excitement for the release of Visual Studio 2010. “There are a number of features we’re looking forward to in Visual Studio 2010. It opens the door wide to extensibility within the IDE. Features that simply were not possible previously are now easily crafted with the new editor model,” said Julian M. Bucknall, CTO of Developer Express Inc. “For developers, this means the beginning of a much richer, easier way to work, including source code documents that truly appear to transcend the limitations of text.”
Raising the Quality Bar
Microsoft also announced Lab Management capabilities that are fully integrated with Visual Studio Team System 2010. Lab Management will deliver features that enable software development teams to deliver higher-quality applications as well as create tighter integration across development and testing teams throughout the application life cycle. Capabilities include these:
• Significantly reduced time required to set up, tear down and restore virtual environments to a clean state
• Elimination of bugs that are difficult to reproduce (“no repro”) by allowing testers to file rich bugs including links to environment checkpoints that developers can use to recreate complex multitiered environments
• Improvement of build quality through automation of virtual machine provisioning, build deployment and build verification testing in an integrated fashion
By driving better collaboration across development and testing teams, Lab Management enables teams to increase efficiencies throughout the quality assurance process, deliver higher-quality applications and reduce costs.
“Businesses and users have high expectations of software applications today, and it’s essential for developers to have tools that enable them to take advantage of the latest advancements in today’s platforms. Those tools also need to provide an environment that simplifies the development process and enables developers to deliver applications in a cost-efficient manner,” said Bola Rotibi, principal analyst at Macehiter Ward-Dutton Ltd. “Tools that enable developers to become more efficient, effective and productive are very much needed, particularly in times of budget constraints.”
Secure Today, Secure Tomorrow
Giving developers the tools they need to write more secure applications goes a long way toward making their lives easier. To that end, Microsoft is extending its SDL best practices to customers and partners via the release of three new programs and tools:
• SDL Optimization Model, a free download that facilitates consistent and cost-effective implementation of the SDL in development organizations outside Microsoft
• SDL Pro Network, a network of nine consultancies that specializes in application security and that can guide and support organizations in implementing the SDL in their environments
• Microsoft SDL Threat Modeling Tool beta, a free tool that allows developers to identify and mitigate potential security issues early and that offers a methodology which any software architect can lead effectively
Microsoft created the SDL in 2004, significantly improving the security, privacy and reliability of the company’s software. Now, with the release of these programs and tools, Microsoft is sharing its security and privacy expertise, guidance, technology and processes with the industry as part of the company’s commitment to create a more trusted computing experience for everyone.
Product Information and Availability
More information about Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/2010. More information about the Visual Studio 2008 Price Promotion is available at http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/promotions. The SDL Optimization Model and the Microsoft SDL Threat Modeling Tool are available for download today at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/aa570309.aspx. More information on the SDL Pro Network is available at http://www.microsoft.com/sdl.
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