Microsoft Continues to Build on Vision for Web Services

SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 17, 2000 — Building on its vision for Web Services, Microsoft Corp. today announced at the Visual C++® Developers Conference key feature enhancements in the Microsoft® Visual Studio® 7.0 development system – a single unified development environment, ATL Server, Attributed Programming, and Web Services Support – designed to simplify the development of scalable enterprise Web applications. These enhancements enable the 1.2 million developers using Visual C++ to more easily utilize the power and performance of C++ to build the applications that drive the Web. Following closely on the heels of Microsoft President and CEO Steve Ballmer’s February keynote address at the Visual Basic® Insiders Technical Summit (VBITS), this announcement continues to deliver on the Microsoft vision for Web Services and to reinforce the company’s deep commitment to developers.

“Developers are at the heart of Microsoft’s vision for Web Services, and we are committed to delivering the tools necessary to capitalize on this vision,”
said Tod Nielsen, vice president, Platform Group, Microsoft.
“Microsoft is focused on arming developers with powerful and productive Web development tools based on XML that will power the creation of world’s largest Internet sites. The new Visual Studio enhancements we are announcing today will make it easy for developers to use Visual C++ to create high-performance Web services to power their next-generation e-commerce applications.”

“At drugstore.com, we’ve leveraged Visual C++ and Visual Studio to create one of the largest and most stable e-commerce sites in the world,”
said Sean Nolan, vice president and chief technical officer, drugstore.com.
“The enhancements Microsoft is making to their integrated development environment are perfectly targeted at the problems we need to solve every day – building supercharged, maintainable applications at a rate unheard of just a few years ago. We’re committed to providing our customers the best shopping experience on the Internet; we count on Microsoft to help us deliver on that promise.”

Unified Development Environment

Today, Microsoft demonstrated a new, unified Visual Studio shell that brings together the Visual Basic and Visual C++ development systems in a common integrated development environment (IDE) enabling rapid creation of Web-based forms, middle-tier business objects and database applications. Regardless of the language chosen for development, there is now a single environment to learn, configure and use. Whether building single language applications or creating mixed-language solutions, the common IDE supports high-productivity development via drag-and-drop visual designers for HTML, XML, data, server-side code and more. In addition, the common IDE provides end-to-end debugging of Web applications across languages, projects, processes and stored procedures.

ATL Server

The next release of Visual Studio also includes a technology called ATL Server that significantly simplifies the development of high-performance scalable Web applications. ATL Server offers a set of classes that extend the Active Template Library (ATL) for accessing the complete functionality of the Internet Information Server (IIS). These classes provide a base implementation for important areas such as caching, object pooling and session state, eliminating the need for developers to research, understand and code these themselves. By using ATL Server, developers can achieve very high performance from their Web applications at a fraction of the development time required by a hand-coded solution.

Attributed Programming

Also announced was attributed COM+ programming, an enhancement to the C++ language for significantly reducing the volume of code programmers must write to develop COM+ components. Attributes help improve developer productivity by encapsulating domain (Data, COM, Web Services) concepts in simple declarations placed directly into source code. These simple declarations can provide the Visual C++ compiler with contextual information that previously required hundreds of lines of code. Attributes also minimize maintenance concerns by centralizing code that might be spread across several files. There are a number of broad categories spanned by attributes including COM, IDL, registration, eventing, data, Web Services development and Windows® 2000 Performance Monitoring.

Web Services Support

Microsoft also demonstrated the ability to use any language in Visual Studio 7.0 to quickly create Web Services that directly link applications, services and devices with one another over the Internet using HTTP, Extensible Markup Language (XML) and SOAP, an XML-based standard for cross-platform object invocation. Using this approach, a developer can easily integrate a Windows DNA-based application running on Microsoft® Windows 2000 with other Web services running on any platform supporting XML. With ATL Server, developers using Visual C++ can enable any function to be exposed as a Web Service by clicking the
“Web Services”
checkbox. The AppWizard will automatically create the required code and generate the XML interface in ATL Server for seamless deployment to remote servers. Developers on any platform can reuse Web Services in their Web applications regardless of the hardware and software running the Web Services.

With Web Services as the foundation for next-generation applications, Visual Studio 7.0 with Visual C++ will bring a new level of productivity and power to enterprise Web development and provide developers with the tools needed to power the next generation of the Web.

About Visual Studio

The Microsoft Visual Studio development system includes a complete suite of award-winning tools for building scalable enterprise solutions. These tools provide comprehensive support for building all aspects of a multitier solution based on the Windows DNA platform. Visual Studio is the most widely used development system for enterprise Web applications, in use by millions of developers worldwide.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

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

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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