Microsoft Corp. today announced availability of Visual Studio® 2005 Beta 2, Microsoft® .NET Framework 2.0 Beta 2 and the SQL Server™ 2005 April Community Technology Preview (CTP), the latest milestone in delivering these products to customers. Together, the products provide a deeply integrated development and data management platform, enabling customers to utilize existing skills and familiar tools to harness data in powerful new ways that increase productivity and efficiency. Several early adopters such as ABS-CBN Interactive, ORF and Townsend Analytics Ltd. have deployed these products in their production environments to reap the benefits of close tool and database integration. Because of broad customer demand to work with these prerelease products today, Microsoft also announced the Microsoft Go-Live license program for customers interested in deploying Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 Express Edition immediately. Microsoft and multiple partners today also announced plans to provide customers with educational resources that will help them prepare for the launch of these two products.
“Delivering Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 and the SQL Server 2005 April CTP to customers is a milestone because it indicates that we have entered the final stages of the development cycle for both products,” said Eric Rudder, senior vice president of Servers and Tools at Microsoft. “When we set out to develop these products, we envisioned building a solution that offered unprecedented integration between development and the database to help our customers be more productive. With these releases, we have delivered on that promise and expect to drastically change the way our customers develop and utilize their applications.”
Visual Studio and .NET Framework Customers Go-Live
In response to strong customer demand, Microsoft will again provide an addendum to the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Beta 2 End User License Agreement (EULA) that will enable customers to deploy applications into production based on the Beta 2 release. This addendum, called the Go-Live license, will permit the deployment of not only ASP.NET Web applications, but also a first-of-its-kind Go-Live license for Windows® Forms, Visual Studio Tools for Office-based applications, and .NET Compact Framework applications supporting current and future Windows Mobile™ -based devices.
“Visual Studio 2005 and ASP.NET 2.0 have provided us with a rich and full-featured development framework, which has improved developer productivity and assists us in meeting very short project timelines,” said William Freker, lead solutions architect at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “The additional membership, testing and security features have given our development staff the much-needed time to concentrate on application functionality. In addition, a common look across the applications was easily achieved with the use of the new master page functionality.”
The ability to deploy applications with beta code will enable customers to get their products to market even more quickly after the official launch of Visual Studio 2005.
“Wine.com and Magenic Technologies have been able to quickly deliver a service-oriented architecture with increased business functionality,” said Kevin Kriner, practice lead for Application Development at Magenic Technologies Inc. “This has significantly reduced the time and cost to execute Wine.com’s key operational processes using the rapid application development environment, architectural tools and quality assurance tools that support an agile approach built into Visual Studio 2005 and the new functionality in ASP.NET 2.0. The team has also been able to deploy this functionality in a manner that was not possible in the past.”
For more information, customers can visit http://msdn.microsoft.com/vs2005/golive .
Customers Embrace CTP Model
With the availability of the SQL Server 2005 April CTP, Microsoft also announced that it would adopt CTPs for the remainder of the SQL Server 2005 development cycle. By being given more interim releases, customers have the ability to experiment with the new features gradually instead of having to wait for infrequent, more cumbersome releases. The CTP provides greater predictability and the ability to manage changes over time. The April CTP is the fourth in a series of releases leading up to the launch of the next version of the company’s flagship data management and analysis platform; it includes the features that will be available with SQL Server 2005 and can be used in conjunction with Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2.
“Moving to an all-CTP model for SQL Server 2005 is really a testament to where we are in the development cycle,” said Paul Flessner, senior vice president of applications servers at Microsoft. “We have heard positive feedback from our customers such as Barnes & Noble, Recall Corp. and Summit Partners, which have already deployed SQL Server 2005 and have seen an increase in performance and productivity. The quality of each CTP we have offered has improved, and each one from this point forward will only get better. The SQL Server 2005 April CTP is feature-complete, and we encourage customers and partners, especially ISVs, to download and test the April CTP as they ready their applications for launch.”
SQL Server 2005 is a data management platform that includes integrated business intelligence, development and management tools. To date, customers ABS CBNi, Barnes & Noble, MetaLife, Recall, Sandvik Coromant, Summit Partners and Townsend Analytics have deployed the CTP for SQL Server 2005 in production and are experiencing performance, manageability and productivity gains compared with SQL Server 2000. One example is Townsend Analytics, a Chicago-based financial solutions company.
“SQL Server 2005 gives us the ability to do more with less; we have seen a 20 percent performance increase in our beta tests,” said James Holt, vice president of Server Development at Townsend Analytics. “It’s absolutely rock-solid, and we’ve never seen the engine crash. SQL Server gives us an out-of-the-box competitive advantage. The price/performance ratio is phenomenal, and customers will see enhanced uptime and dramatically improved response time.”
Microsoft also continues to deploy SQL Server 2005 internally and has more than 65 applications in production today. In addition, Microsoft is running full SAP payroll, expense, tax data warehouse and document repository systems, and has more than 10 instances of SQL Server 2005 storing multiple terabytes of data. These SQL Server 2005 installations have been responsible for processing more than 7 billion transactions against Microsoft’s SAP system. The SQL Server 2005 April CTP is available today on BetaPlace and to MSDN® Universal, Enterprise and Professional subscribers. More information about putting SQL Server 2005 Express Edition into production with the Go-Live license program can be found at http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/express/default.aspx .
Learning Resources Will Be Available Pre- and Post-Launch
Microsoft is committed to providing customers with training resources and tools for lifelong learning. To support the availability of Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2, Microsoft Learning is offering developers who register Beta 2 a free online Microsoft Press® book. Microsoft Learning will further support the Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 and SQL Server 2005 April CTP availability with Microsoft E-Learning titles planned for this summer, and will continue to support Visual Studio 2005 with training opportunities such as books in the box, free Microsoft E-Learning and vouchers for discounted exams. Microsoft Learning enables customers to adopt and take immediate advantage of new technologies. With hundreds of Microsoft E-Learning modules, courses and certifications, and dozens of books for Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 to be made available at all stages of the product life cycle, Microsoft Learning enables users to deliver business value to their organizations faster. To view the full list of 2005 and SQL Server 2005, customers can visit http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/vs2005/resources/learning/default.aspx .
“Visual Studio 2005 Team System is a major new initiative to improve the software engineering process, and we at Addison-Wesley Professional are thrilled to be collaborating with Microsoft on a series of practical and authoritative books,” said Karen Gettman, editor in chief of Addison-Wesley Professional. “We view this as a great chance to continue our history of helping developers quickly master the newest advances in the software engineering field.”
Third-party training and consulting firms also will help customers prepare for these product rollouts. In separate announcements, companies including Addison-Wesley Professional, Apress LP, DevelopMentor, Deitel and Associates, Hitachi Consulting, MCW Technologies, New Horizons Computer Learning Centers Inc., Olenick & Associates Inc., Pluralsight, Scalability Experts, and Wintellect announced products and services that will be available with the launch of SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005. Further information about what these companies are offering can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/vs-sql/default.asp .