3 Waves of Visual Studio in Roadmap

Microsoft has expanded on the roadmap for its Visual Studio developer suite through 2004 to give customers an indication of where the company is headed.

The company posted the roadmap last week, as it had promised to do earlier in August when Microsoft vice president Eric Rudder revealed that Microsoft would synchronize the release of the next version of Visual Studio with Windows .NET Server 2003, and both products would include a new version of the .NET Framework for building and running Web services.

The roadmap is available here:

"[The roadmap] is not a comprehensive feature dump, but more an overview of general themes and direction -- an explanation of the development issues that Microsoft is planning to help customers address in each successive release," Microsoft explained.

Some highlights from the document:

  • Microsoft has begun referring to Visual Studio .NET, which shipped in February, as Visual Studio .NET 2002.
  • The next version of Visual Studio .NET, code-named "Everett," will roll together a number of enhancements that have dribbled out of Microsoft as add-on downloads since Visual Studio .NET 2002 shipped. Examples include the Visual J# .NET development language and Smart Device Extensions. "Everett" will also have new features, including an API and configuration layer called the Enterprise Instrumentation Framework (EIF). "This will enable developers to publish audits, errors, warnings, business events, and diagnostic events to be monitored and analyzed by support and operations teams," according to the Microsoft roadmap.

  • The next version of the .NET Framework will be numbered 1.1, indicating incremental changes to the framework. Much like with "Everett," the .NET Framework 1.1 will roll together add-ons that have been coming out of Redmond, such as the .NET Compact Framework, a Microsoft .NET Framework Data Provider for Oracle and the Microsoft ASP.NET Mobile Controls, which were formerly known as the Microsoft Mobile Internet Toolkit. Documentation, security and deployment will also be improved.
  • Visual Studio .NET "Everett" will be a $29 upgrade for a limited time for Visual Studio .NET 2002 users. "Everett" will support Windows .NET Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Server with version 1.0 or 1.1 of the .NET Framework. On the client side it will support Windows 98 and later.
  • A service pack limited to bug fixes will be available for Visual Studio .NET 2002 shortly after the "Everett" release for customers who do not want to upgrade.
  • Future releases of Visual Studio .NET will coincide with two other coming waves of Microsoft products: the "Yukon" version of SQL Server and the "Longhorn" release of Windows.
  • "Yukon" is the code-name for the next version of SQL Server, which will embed the .NET Common Language Runtime in the database engine. That would allow developers to create database stored procedures in almost all popular development languages other than Sun's Java. The first major re-release of the .NET Framework, a 2.0 version, will be developed in parallel with "Visual Studio for Yukon."
  • "Longhorn" is the code-name for the version of the operating system to follow Windows .NET Server 2003. "A tools update, 'Visual Studio for Longhorn,' will support the managed interfaces, enhanced user interface features, and other new capabilities of the updated platform," according to Microsoft.

  • About the Author

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

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