Today at Microsoft Corp.’s 12th annual Tech*Ed conference, Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer took the stage in front of a sold-out audience to showcase innovations that enable developers, IT professionals and information workers to get more value across all stages of the software application life cycle. Ballmer stressed how these advances in enterprise tools, paired with Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to security innovations and IT productivity, will boost business agility and increase software quality across the IT life cycle.
The new tools and technologies Ballmer announced include the following:
—Visual Studio® 2005 Team System, an expansion of the Visual Studio product line to include a suite of extensible life-cycle tools that enables all members of the IT organization to collaborate on delivering service-oriented applications that are designed for operations
—The immediate availability of Web Services Enhancements 2.0, a supported add-on to Microsoft® Visual Studio .NET and the Microsoft .NET Framework that enables developers to more easily build and consume security-enhanced Web services using the latest Web services protocol specifications. In addition, the technology preview of Microsoft BizTalk® Server Adapter for Web Services Enhancements 2.0 is available for orchestrating security-enhanced Web services and exposing business process flows as secure Web services.
—Technical beta release of the Microsoft Office Information Bridge Framework, an integrated set of tools and components designed to enable developers to rapidly build metadata-driven smart client solutions that enable seamless interaction with data from disparate enterprise systems for users of the Microsoft Office System
Ballmer also reinforced the ongoing priority of security-related issues and improvements.
“In order to take advantage of new business opportunities and effectively manage upfront and lifetime IT costs, it’s important for customers to look at the entire IT life cycle—from application development to operations and management—and to choose a software platform that provides strong tools, ecosystem partnerships, security and support,” Ballmer said. “The tools and technologies Microsoft is delivering today help customers work effectively and efficiently in distributed environments and across disciplines to drive growth and respond to change.”
Ballmer also reinforced Microsoft’s continued focus on providing innovative security products by highlighting the next version of its enterprise firewall, virtual private networking (VPN) and Web cache solution, Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA Server) 2004, part of Windows Server System™. Microsoft also announced agreements with an initial group of hardware solutions providers, including HP, to extend the advanced protection, ease of use and fast, more secure Web access benefits of ISA Server 2004 to customers who want all those benefits in a dedicated hardware solution. The announcement with HP and other appliance vendors further demonstrates Microsoft’s focus on delivering technologies to help protect customers against emerging Internet-borne threats.
Microsoft Tech*Ed is Microsoft’s premier technical training event, offering more than 400 sessions delivered by industry experts. More than 11,000 people are attending Tech*Ed 2004—an increase of more than 22 percent over Tech*Ed 2003.
Visual Studio 2005 Team System Delivers Powerful Life-Cycle Tools
As businesses look to transform their IT organizations from a cost center to a catalyst for overall growth, IT professionals seek to continually improve the efficiency and predictability of their infrastructure. Managing the life cycle of software development is a critically important component to overall business success and has become increasingly challenging as software teams become more specialized and geographically distributed. This effort is part of Microsoft’s Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI), an industrywide initiative focused on management of the entire application life cycle.
Unveiled today, Visual Studio 2005 Team System delivers productive, integrated and extensible software life-cycle tools that enable businesses to reduce the complexity of delivering service-oriented solutions. The Visual Studio 2005 Team System contains several tightly integrated design, development and testing tools that foster greater collaboration between architects, developers and IT professionals throughout the IT life cycle. Expanding on Microsoft’s proven success in delivering highly productive developer tools, the Visual Studio Team System increases the predictability of the software development process, shortens the development life cycle, and enables IT departments to deliver greater business value.
Visual Studio 2005 Team System creates even more opportunities for the Visual Studio partner ecosystem. Global systems integrators, service providers and tools vendors all play a vital role in complementing and extending the Microsoft Visual Tools family to customers. Today, Borland Software Corp., Compuware Corp., EDS, Telelogic AB and Unisys Corp. announced their support for Visual Studio 2005 Team System.
Partners can take advantage of the integration benefits of the Visual Studio 2005 Team System, giving customers a broad choice of development tool options. “We believe Microsoft’s entry into application life-cycle management is evidence that the industry is maturing, and will even further expand for leaders like Borland that have years of experience in the space and a set of mature products already available to customers,” said Dale Fuller, CEO of Borland Software. “Borland looks forward to continuing its long-standing collaborative relationship with Microsoft to deliver high-quality solutions for our mutual customers.”
Systems integrators can extend the Visual Studio 2005 Team System and Microsoft’s process guidance and prescriptive architectures to gain greater predictability in the development process.
“Visual Studio 2005 Team System offers maximum productivity using integrated tools while lowering risk and project-related costs through increased and continuous visibility into the overall project. This allows EDS to increase business agility for clients through configurable guidance, architectural guidance and life-cycle tools built on Windows Server System,” said Stan Alexander, vice president of Technology Strategy & Architecture at EDS.
Facilitating Service Orientation With More Secure Web Services
Microsoft’s service-orientation strategy focuses on enabling customers to integrate new and existing systems composed of heterogeneous technologies with Web services. To help developers build interoperable, security-enhanced Web services solutions, Microsoft today announced the immediate availability of Web Services Enhancements 2.0 for Microsoft .NET (WSE), a free add-on to Microsoft Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework.
Today more than 250,000 developers use WSE to build security-enhanced Web services that help improve business processes within and beyond corporate trust boundaries. Customers such as HP, the Ohio State University Medical Center, EDGAR Online Inc. and Siemens AG are already experiencing the benefits of developing advanced Web services solutions based on WSE 2.0.
The Ohio State University Medical Center required a solution that allowed authorized users to remotely and more securely monitor, record and replay generated vital-signs data and correlate this data with medications administered in the operating room.
“Microsoft was the only company that offered an implementation of the Web services protocol specifications (WS-Security, WS-Trust, WS-Policy, WS-SecureConversation) required to make the project a success,” said professor Furrukh Khan, director of technology for the Collaborative for Applied Software Technology, Electrical and Computer Engineering at The Ohio State University. “By using WSE 2.0, we were able to focus on the solution’s business logic instead of writing security code. WS-Policy allowed us to simply install digital certificates and write a few hundred lines of XML that describes how the Web services are to use them. Another big enabler was WS-SecureConversation, which gave us the security that was required without sacrificing performance.”
WSE 2.0 enables developers to build advanced Web services using the latest protocol specifications. Developers can use WSE to more easily enhance Web services security by incorporating WS-Security (based on the 2004 Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) standard), including WS-Policy, WS-Security Policy, WS-Trust and WS-SecureConversation.
Additional features include extensible transports, support for custom policies, the ability to host Web services independent from IIS, and asynchronous messaging based on the WS-Addressing specification.
To further support integration of systems using security-enhanced Web services, Microsoft also announced the Technology Preview release of the BizTalk Server Adapter for WSE 2.0. Using this adapter, BizTalk Server customers can easily orchestrate new business processes out of security-enhanced, autonomous Web services, creating further levels of business agility using service-orientation design principles.
Using Web Services to Help Information Workers and Developers Harness the Power of Microsoft Office for IT
The Microsoft Office Editions are some of the most widely used applications in enterprises today, but customers typically have to leave the Microsoft Office experience when they want to access many kinds of business data. Developers now have the opportunity to create intelligent business solutions that address today’s demanding business requirements while giving information workers the powerful, familiar user interface of the Microsoft Office Editions. In order to enable software developers to more powerfully leverage existing systems and information even when it is stored in multiple disparate back-end systems, Microsoft today released the technical beta of the Microsoft Office Information Bridge Framework.
The Information Bridge Framework provides developers with a set of tools and components to quickly and cost-effectively build smart client solutions that connect Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 to multiple enterprise systems via Web services. Information Bridge reduces the costs of solution development for IT professionals and increases flexibility and manageability of Office-based information integration solutions.
In addition, Information Bridge-based solutions empower information workers to easily find, access and work with line-of-business information within the familiar Microsoft Office environment.
The Information Bridge Framework provides the following:
—A client-side component that interprets XML markup, which describes the Information Bridge-based solution behavior, including its user interface and user actions
—A server-side component that enables Web services to expose the data, views and actions embodied by line-of-business applications
—Information Bridge Metadata Designer, a plug-in for the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET development system that creates and manages solution metadata
“We’re very excited about the possibilities of the Information Bridge Framework. Not only does it make it easier for our developers to build and manage integrated solutions that connect Office to our enterprise, but it also improves the productivity of our employees by building upon the Microsoft Office user interface,” said Ken Meidell, chief information officer at Cascade Designs. “We were able to save money and improve our product development process significantly by building upon Information Bridge and Office.”