New Whidbey Tools Hit Market

Microsoft’s Visual Studio development application, code-named
Whidbey, may only be in beta, but one partner company is wasting no time shipping
a toolset that works with the latest features.

Infragistics, a maker of presentation layer development tools, said
its flagship NetAdvantage 2004 Volume 3, which just shipped, supports the
new look and feel of Visual Studio 2005.

Already, the NetAdvantage refresh Volume 3 has been compiled natively
against the 2.0 version of Microsoft’s .NET Framework, explained Dean
Guida, CEO of the New Jersey-based Infragistics. This means developers can
continue to build applications in the early betas of Visual Studio 2005 with the
same features and functionality they have with NetAdvantage.

In addition, NetAdvantage supports key features for .NET Framework
2.0, which is also in beta, including out-of-band callbacks, design-time
data binding, smart tags support, Snap Lines and GDI text in Windows
Forms.

“We committed early to Avalon,” Guida added, referring to Microsoft’s
graphics subsystem that is planned for the next major Windows release.
With that in mind, he added, the company is “building a next-generation
presentation layer that combines the Internet and Web-based applications
with animation and desktop apps, while making sure you have good access
to data.”

Infragistics’ CalcEngine and
Formula Builder features in NetAdvantage are also due in December.
The CalcEngine helps developers take any data feed and build separate
interfaces from the same feed. The idea with the latest tools is to help the end
user see data displayed within any element after it is calculated as
specified by the application, officials explained.

Premium subscribers to the company’s NetAdvantage tools will also
have access to the CalcEngine source code once the final version is shipped
in December, Guida added.

“You’ll be able to learn from the code and add
benefits as a business driver,” he said.

The idea of shipping the source
code means the customer will own all the code it deploys.

“It’s a security/safe-harbor feature that takes away that concern companies have
about building on a customers’ platform, then wondering what happens if
the company is no longer around.”

Guida said the company is protecting its own IP and copyright through
the license, which stipulates that customers can’t create a work that would
compete with Infragistics.

The company’s latest toolset arrives at a time when more companies
are embracing Web services and service-oriented architecture.

A recent survey
of major enterprises by Yankee Group found a significant majority
planned an investment in service oriented architecture and Web services tools over
the next year, with Microsoft seen as an early leader in the space with its
.NET Framework, followed by IBM, whose middleware is based on the competing
J2EE platform.

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