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Devs View Microsoft Vista Tools

Microsoft released early versions of the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and the Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF), which can be used by developers now, along with a Java driver for SQL Server.

The WCF Go Live Release and WWF Go Live Release are based on the latest code and authorized for production environments.

Microsoft also made the January Community Technology Preview (CTP) of WinFX available for download from MSDN.

WinFX is a superset of the Microsoft .NET Framework. It uses managed code APIs and is integrated with Visual Studio 2005, so that .NET developers can easily migrate.

The CTPs provide early access to the Windows Vista developer technologies, giving developers time to learn to build and test applications for compatibility with the next version of Windows, slated for release by the end of 2006.

While Microsoft originally planned WinFX as the programming model only for Vista, the company later decided to make it available for Windows XP SP2 and Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

Also on Wednesday, Microsoft released the SQL Server 2005 JDBC Driver (Java DataBase Connectivity (JDBC) Driver. The technology offers Java developers access to the data management and analysis platform, enabling Java/J2EE applications on any platform to interoperate with SQL Server.

It also provides ISVs with tools and support for building and redistributing SQL Server 2005 applications.

The driver will be offered via free download, which Microsoft said would be available "soon."