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Sidebar: Microsoft Executive Explains VS 2005

By Heather Havenstein
February 14, 2005 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Microsoft Corp. provided new details on Visual Studio 2005 -- due this summer -- at its VSLive developer conference last week in San Francisco. Soma Somasegar, vice president of Microsoft's developer division, sat down with Computerworld during the show to discuss the new smart-client platform in Visual Studio 2005, and the Visual Studio 2005 Team System.

Microsoft says it has a focus on smart clients in Visual Studio 2005. How does Microsoft define smart clients? If I take a simplistic view, I say take the best from the Web client world, take the best from the rich-client world, put them together, and that is what smart client is. Most of us are mobile most of the time now. If I am going to be on the road, the thing that is most important to me is having a great off-line experience. I want fantastic off-line support. When I sync up, all the data on the local machine gets synchronized with the data on the server so that is transparent to me. If I have a Tablet PC or a smart phone, I want to be able to leverage the computing resources available no matter what device I have. Web clients are easy to deploy and maintain because it is all on the server side. They also give low total cost of ownership. The smart client takes the benefits from both worlds.

What are some of the key new features in VS 2005? [For] developers [that] care about the RAD [Rapid Application Development] experience, using your language of choice gives you the RAD experience to allow you to easily connect to Web services and to any kind of data source. One of the things we are supporting is the ability to build a smart application on top of [Microsoft] Office. The other feature is our new ClickOnce Deployment. Once I have an application, I want to be able to deploy that application to all the machines or clients in my enterprise in an easy, straightforward, secure and reliable manner. In today's world, I put out an application today and three weeks later I have three more features that I want to add. People are constantly enriching and updating their applications. Every time you touch an application, you don't want to go through the pain of deploying it again.

What is the philosophy behind VS 2005 Team System, and what will it offer developers? The key goal for Visual Studio Team System 2005 is to provide tools that let people communicate and collaborate effectively no matter where they are geographically located. If you look at a software development team today, you probably have one or two architects, a project manager, a set of developers, a set of quality-assurance people. If I am a developer, I have a set of tools and I will go and develop some code. The tester has a different set of tools, and they will test the product. Wouldn't it be great to integrate these tools so that there is then an integrated workflow that flows through the system?

Read more about App Development in Computerworld's App Development Topic Center.

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