SAN DIEGO, Sept. 23, 1997 — Today at the seventh Microsoft® Professional Developers Conference (PDC), Microsoft Corp. kicked off an international campaign to provide developers with an architectural road map for future development, tools and information to build next-generation software applications. Over the next year, Microsoft will directly reach an expected 750,000 developers with this educational effort, providing them with the capabilities to synthesize the power and richness of the personal computer with the global connectivity of the Internet.
In his conference keynote speech before a capacity crowd, Microsoft Group Vice President Paul Maritz announced a series of Windows® -based products and technologies that deliver this vision. Discussion topics will include a new development framework called the Windows Distributed interNet Applications (DNA) architecture, the evolution of Microsoft’s Component Object Model (COM) technology, and core features of the Windows NT® 5.0 operating system that assist in the development of powerful new applications. Conference attendees will receive the first of approximately 200,000 copies of the beta release of the Microsoft Windows NT 5.0 software to be distributed on the Microsoft Developer Network.
Today’s Challenges Addressed
“More than 90 percent of the 5.6 million professional developers worldwide are taking advantage of Microsoft products,” said Tod Nielsen, general manager of developer relations at Microsoft. “The result is that we get constant feedback from developers all over the world. The PDC is designed to outline Microsoft’s plans and help developers understand our direction so they can make better technology decisions.”
The conference’s more than 150 break-out technical sessions will span four days, culminating in a speech by Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates on Friday. The PDC content will focus on addressing the challenges facing Microsoft’s developer customers today:
Web computing without compromise. Developers want to build applications that fully exploit the global-reach and on-demand communication capabilities of the Internet, while empowering end users with the full flexibility and control associated with today’s PC applications. In short, they want to take advantage of the Internet without compromising their ability to exploit advances in PC technology.
Interoperability. Developers want the applications they build to work with their existing applications, and to not require intensive effort and massive resources to deploy into a working environment.
True integration. To help developers build scalable applications, key capabilities such as security, management, transaction monitoring and directory services need to be developed, tested and delivered as integral features of the underlying platform. Historically, computing platforms have supplied these critical services as piecemeal, nonintegrated offerings from multiple vendors, which requires developers to function as system integrators.
Lower cost of ownership. Developers want to provide their customers with applications that are easy to deploy and manage, thus helping customers reduce their cost of ownership of both desktop and server computing.
Faster time to market. Developers want to be able to achieve all of the preceding objectives while meeting tight schedules and using mainstream development tools, and without massive re-education or a paradigm shift in the way they build software.
“Microsoft’s strategy integrates component-based ease of use, rich core services and cross-platform interoperability,” said Evan Quinn, an analyst at International Data Corp. “Windows DNA and COM deliver to developers the framework of the future for Windows and Web application development.”
The Windows Proposition
Windows DNA addresses these requirements and issues by providing a unified architecture that integrates the worlds of client/server and Web-based application development. Like the familiar PC environment, Windows DNA enables developers to build tightly integrated applications by accessing a rich set of application services in the Windows platform, using a wide range of familiar tools. These services are exposed in a unified way through the Component Object Model (COM). This is in direct contrast to the “layered middleware” approach commonly seen on UNIX platforms, in which the need for portability across various implementations leads to increased complexity, higher costs and greater integration challenges for developers and customers.
Like the Internet environment, Windows DNA fully embraces an open approach to Web computing by building on the many important industry-specification efforts approved by bodies such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
An Industry Effort
In separate announcements, companies working with Microsoft announced their intent to support key aspects of Microsoft strategy. The companies include The Baan Co., Cisco Systems Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., PeopleSoft Inc., SAP AG and Computer Associates. With these vendors working together to provide a common approach to extensibility and interoperability, customers will be able to create and customize software solutions more quickly and easily.
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