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Microsoft Uses PDC as Launch Pad for .NET Products

Previews of new products and tools supporting the Microsoft .NET platform were offered Tuesday during the eighth Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Orlando, Fla.

The .NET platform, which was announced in late June, is the company's initiative for creating next-generation software to meld computing and communications.

"Microsoft has spent the last 18 months making XML an integral communications fabric of our enterprise server infrastructure to provide developers with the vital foundation for next-generation Web solutions," said Paul Flessner, vice president of Microsoft .NET enterprise servers. "By delivering the first set of fully Web-enabled servers in the industry, Microsoft is ensuring that developers will be able to rapidly build solutions for the next wave of the digital economy."

During the conference, Microsoft outlined how developers can now begin to build, deploy, manage and orchestrate Web services and enterprise Web solutions on the .NET Platform by taking advantage of the .NET enterprise servers -- Microsoft SQL Server 2000, BizTalk Server 2000, Commerce Server 2000, Application Center 2000, Host Integration Server 2000, Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2000 and Exchange 2000 Server

Microsoft also detailed how, with the introduction of the .NET Framework and Visual Studio.NET, developers will have new tools and infrastructure for quickly building Web services on the .NET enterprise servers with industry-leading scalability, availability and flexibility.

Visual Studio.NET is designed to provide an easy-to-use, extensible integrated development environment (IDE) for the .NET Framework.

Together, the new technologies are expected to enable developers worldwide to quickly build and consume scalable, reliable and manageable Web services.

The .NET Framework is open and designed for any programming language, and Microsoft has been working with tools vendors to ensure that developers are successful in targeting the .NET Platform with their current languages and skills.

Languages supported include:

  • COBOL, Fujitsu Software Corp.
  • Eiffel, Interactive Software Engineering
  • Haskell Utrecht Univ/Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology
  • Mercury, University of Melbourne
  • ML, Microsoft Research
  • Oberon, ETH Zentrum
  • Perl, ActiveState
  • Profiling Tools, NuMega Lab-Compuware Corp.
  • Python, Skippi-net
  • SmallTalk, QKS
  • Rational
  • Scheme, Norwestern University

Independent software vendors announcing support for the .NET Platform include:

  • APEX
  • Bunka Orient Corp.
  • Centura Software Corp.
  • ComponentSource
  • FarPoint Technologies
  • GreatPlains
  • InterAccess Co.
  • InVerge
  • Seagate Software
  • Sheridan Software Systems Inc.
  • Software Artisans
  • Stingray Software
  • WebGecko Software
  • WindwardStar

During his keynote address, Paul Maritz, group vice president of the Platforms Group at Microsoft Corp., said, "Delivering this software to developers is an important milestone in helping developers build next-generation Internet software and services.

"By creating a unified platform where devices and services cooperate with each other, Microsoft is unleashing a new wave of developer opportunity and creativity that will help developers reach a new level of power and simplicity," he said.

In related news, the company has published preliminary versions of two core specifications for creating and using Web services, adding to the SOAP group of XML interoperability technologies. The two specifications, published on the MSDN developer program Web site, are the SOAP Contract Language (SCL), which describes the capabilities of Web services, and SOAP Discovery, which provides rules for locating