Microsoft Outlines the Active Platform:Comprehensive Foundation for the Next Generation Of Internet Software Development

SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 28, 1996 — At the Site Builder Conference today, Microsoft Corp. outlined the Active Platform, a comprehensive development platform for building the next generation of Internet and intranet applications. The Active Platform is an open platform that enables developers to take full advantage of Microsoft’s leading, standards-based implementations of HTML, open scripting, component architecture and underlying operating system services. For the first time, developers can now target a consistent, unified platform from client to server to build robust Web-based applications with a broad set of easy-to-use tools.

The Active Platform offers four fundamental benefits to developers: the opportunity to create the richest, most interactive Web-based applications; the opportunity to provide the most integrated end-user experience; the broadest availability of easy-to-use and powerful tools to build these applications; and the full integration of a Web-based and PC-based development platform.

With the Active Platform, developers can build on their expertise in languages including the Microsoft® Visual Basic® programming system, Java
™
and C++, extend desktop and LAN-based applications written in any of these languages to Web environments, and capitalize on the momentum behind ActiveX
™
technologies and the industry of commercially available ActiveX Controls. At the same time, corporations can leverage their existing IT investments to build innovative Web-based solutions that work seamlessly with their current infrastructure.

“The Active Platform meets the foremost demands made by Internet and intranet application developers – the need for a development platform that brings rich, distributed application to the Web, and allows for full integration of PC-based and Web-based development,”
said Paul Maritz, group vice president of the platforms group at Microsoft.
“The unmatched support for the HTML plus scripts plus components plus system services programming model on both the client and the server makes the Active Platform the easy, flexible way to build powerful Internet and intranet applications.”

The Active Platform consists of three key parts:

  • Active Desktop. The Active Desktop provides developers with the best technology to reach a broad set of users on multiple operating systems, as well as take full advantage of the richness of the Windows® operating system. The Active Desktop includes language-independent scripting, component integration and new dynamic HTML technology. Developers who target the Active Desktop for their application can be assured that those applications will run on multiple operating systems.

At the same time, Microsoft is committed to providing state-of-the-art integration of the Active Desktop on the Windows 95 and Windows NT® operating systems. This integration will allow the Active Desktop to take advantage of Windows system services such as integration with the shell and the ability to access APIs such as DirectX
™
.

  • Active Server. Built on Windows NT Server and Internet Information Server, the Active Server complements the Active Desktop by providing a consistent server-side component and script-based programming environment that enables developers to create and deploy applications for the Internet and intranets. Active Server includes Internet Information Server 3.0 with Active Server Pages (formerly code-named
    “Denali”
    ), Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM), Microsoft Transaction Server (formerly code-named
    “Viper”
    ), and
    “Falcon,”
    the code name for Microsoft’s message queuing-based middleware. Active Server helps makes it easy to take advantage of a rich set of distributed services provided by Windows NT Server to enable high-performance, scalable Web applications.

  • ActiveX. A set of technologies that enables software components written in different languages on different operating systems to communicate on the same machine and across networks. Microsoft has submitted these technologies, including reference implementations, source code and validation tests, to The Open Group. Using this source code, any operating system vendor can now provide these ActiveX core technologies to their operating system, allowing applications on their systems to interoperate seamlessly with other parts of the Active Platform.

Today, many products and technologies were announced that are either part of the Active Platform or support the building of Active Platform applications. Some of these include Internet Information Server 3.0, the leading commercial Web server that now supports compile-free execution of server-side scripts and components;
“Internet Studio,”
the code-name for a visual Web-application development tool for corporate intranet and Internet development; dynamic HTML, an HTML technology that gives developers and end users unprecedented control over Web pages; and Visual Basic 5.0, Control Creation Edition, which enables developers to quickly and easily build ActiveX Controls.

The Active Platform has tremendous industry support, with leading tools vendors supporting the platform and over 2,000 ActiveX Controls commercially available that can be easily incorporated into Active Platform applications.
“The Active Platform enables developers to build compelling Web applications,”
said Rob Veitch, director of product development for the Powersoft Languages Division of Sybase Inc.
“Powerbuilder, Optima++ and NetImpact Studio will enable developers to create applications that fully exploit the potential of the Active Platform.”

During the next two weeks at the Microsoft Site Builder Conference and Professional Developers Conference, more than 5,000 developers will receive in-depth training and education on developing for the Active Platform. For access to a white paper on the Active Platforms, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/webdev/ .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

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Microsoft, Visual Basic, ActiveX, Windows, Windows NT and DirectX are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems Inc.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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