"Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates today responded to critics who call his company's .NET initiative incomplete and lacking innovation by acknowledging that it will take at least four or five years before the promise of .Net is realized. ".Net is not an overnight thing," Gates told 325 university facility members as he opened the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit here. "A lot of work needs to be done to put standards such as reliable messaging and transaction support in place. We have a commitment to XML to allow for information exchange." Read the report at eWeek.
Hitting snags as it stitches together its wide-reaching software-as-a-service plans, Microsoft casts .Net farther and wider. Microsoft acknowledges that its software strategy has been slow to catch on and lays out a plan to move it forward. Therefore, it's opening up to one of the most important open-source software projects, Apache, and getting closer to a key software rival as well, Oracle.
Contrary to reports that Microsoft has abandoned its HailStorm technology (aka .NET MyServices), company officials have revealed plans to embed components of the XML schema and data-access technology throughout its .Net application, server, and client stack. The software giant is combining HailStorm services, a unified storage system, and collaborative SharePoint services toward the goal of building a universal canvas infrastructure across multiple product groups. Read the report at InfoWorld.
"Microsoft Corp. is mapping out the next major version of its .Net Framework, with features designed to make it easier for enterprise developers to deploy .Net applications and Web services. .Net Framework 2.0, code-named Whidbey, should be available late next year, but coding on the technology is scheduled to begin this month, according to developers close to the Redmond, Wash., company." Read the report at eWeek.
Today Microsoft launched Microsoft Visual J# .NET, a development tool for Java-language developers building applications and services on the Microsoft .NET Framework.
"Microsoft is pitching a new development tool at non-professional developers who want to make use of the features of .NET. The new tool, known as the Web Matrix project, offers all of the basic single-user features that would be expected and doesn't have some of the management features that are to be found in Visual Studio .NET. The idea is to provide a simple and easy to use development tool that will promote the use of .NET at all levels and also engender the idea of a development community where individuals help each other to come up with solutions. Web Matrix is available free of charge as a relatively small 1.2 MB download." Read the story at TheRegister.
About a month ago, everyone was reporting that .NET My Services were dead. Today, Microsoft says that .Net My Services plan is in 'disarray' - so says top executive Jim Allchin, who revealed in antitrust testimony that the company is headed back to the drawing board on the Web strategy.
"If you have just finally finished figuring out the relationship between the various versions of operating systems coming out from Microsoft over the past couple of years, get ready to be challenged once again. The successor line to the server versions of the Windows 2000 operating system is called .NET Server and is currently available as a Beta 3 release to MSDN subscribers and other beta testers. It was originally called Whistler Server, but after the Beta 2 release it acquired a new name (despite an interim announcement that Whistler Server would be released as Windows 2002 Server). In this article I'll try to summarize what is new and exciting in this new release." Read the article at O'Reilly.
"Web Services signal a new era of lightweight distributed application development. While Web Services are not intended nor do they have the power to solve every distributed application problem, they are an easy way to create and consume services over the Internet. One of the design goals for Web Services is to allow companies and developers to share services with other companies in a simple way over the Internet." Read the lengthy and informative article at ExtremeTech. Another Web Services article, an editorial this time, is hosted at the Open Standards web site. The author has concluded pretty much the same as we did in our .NET editorial, that "Web services is at least a solid beginning to a new era of distributed computing that is as inevitable as paved roads. If web services is not hype, what remains to be questioned are the tools and services the hype masters themselves know you do not have to choose. Will .NET be the answer for everyone? Will Java take the lead through its community involvement and open source support? Will supply and demand for web services skyrocket in the next few months? These are things to be hyped. Will web services and distributed computing change our lives? Now I hear a ring of truth."
Visual Studio .NET and the Microsoft .NET Framework SDK provide a new set of APIs and tools that let you consume Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) data and events from managed .NET applications. After presenting an overview of what's new for WMI in the .NET Framework and the Visual Studio .NET environment, the author provides an in-depth exploration of the Management Extensions in Visual Studio .NET for Server Explorer. These extensions help you develop management-aware software and come in handy in a variety of distributed application development scenarios.
"Microsoft is readying a test version of software for bringing its .Net Web services plan to mobile devices. The software maker said on Tuesday that it has posted a test version of its .Net Compact Framework, a programming infrastructure for writing mobile device Web services software, along with additional mobile device tools, to its Web site. The .Net Compact Framework works in conjunction with Microsoft's Visual Studio.Net tools to let developers write Windows-based Web services programs to run on cell phones, personal digital assistants and other wireless mobile devices powered by the company's Windows CE and Windows CE.Net operating systems." Read the rest of the report at News.com.
"Microsoft has quietly shelved a consumer information service that was once planned as the centerpiece of the company's foray into the market for tightly linked Web services. The service, originally code-named Hailstorm and later renamed My Services, was to be the clearest example of the company's ambitious .Net strategy. It was intended to permit an individual to keep an online persona independent of his or her desktop computer, supposedly safely stored as part of a vast data repository where there could be easy access to it from any point on the Internet. At the time of the introduction of My Services, Microsoft also proclaimed that it would have a set of prominent partners in areas like finance and travel for the My Services system. However, according to both industry consultants and Microsoft partners, after nine months of intense effort the company was unable to find any partner willing to commit itself to the program." Read the rest of the report at Yahoo!News. It's worth noting that this is quite a setback for Microsoft's overall .NET strategy.
"To help stop the spread of worms, viruses, and other hostile activity, it is important to track down and report the servers used in these attacks along with those used to send spam. Many Web admins, however, don't take the time to track them because the manual process can be quite cumbersome. The Microsoft .NET Framework comes to the rescue with several networking classes, including the Dns class and the TcpClient class, that abstract away the complexity of performing DNS and WHOIS lookups. These classes make it easy to create a simple, straightforward ASP.NET-based utility for performing these lookups and automating this very important task." Read the article at MSDN.
"Smart Device Extensions (SDE) for Visual Studio .NET allow programmers to develop applications for the .NET Compact Framework, a new platform that maintains many of the features of the .NET Framework in a version optimized for handheld devices. This article shows how SDE provides access through Visual Studio .NET to a variety of .NET classes for devices running Windows CE, including classes for creating user interfaces. Data access classes and Web Services for the .NET Compact Framework are also explained. Following that overview, a sample Web Service called XMLList is built. Then the UI—the XMLList client-side application—is created." Read the rest of the article at MSDN.
Many interesting articles at O'Reilly's .NET corner, more than twenty articles, most published the last month. Among the very recent ones, you will find "Uncovering Rotor -- A Shared Source CLI", four parts of Web Services essentials, "An Architectural Tour of Rotor", "Get Your Rotor Running" (which includes some compiler speed differenes between FreeBSD and Windows) and many more.
"The purpose of this paper is to provide a concentrated, yet pragmatic, overview of ADO.NET by highlighting the performance and usability benefits of using ADO.NET with Microsoft SQL Server 2000. The intended audience is architects and developers who are familiar with ADO and are interested in learning about data access in the Microsoft .NET Framework." Read the article at MSDN. "When developing the design-time architecture for the .NET Framework, Microsoft chose to use source code as the persistence mechanism for user code rather than a binary or other private solution. Code persistence allows users to learn from the code that the Designer outputs as well as be able to easily build projects outside of the Visual Studio .NET environment if desired. It also allows understandable and accessible customization for advanced scenarios and components." Read the article at MSDN.
"Availability of Over 1 Million Lines of Source Code for FreeBSD and Windows Underscores Microsoft’s Commitment to Open Standards, Academia and Developers," the press release reads. Microsoft today announced the availability of source code for its Shared Source CLI implementation. The Shared Source CLI source code implements the ECMA Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) and C# standards.
"Web Services signal a new era of lightweight distributed application development. While Web Services are not intended nor do they have the power to solve every distributed application problem, they are an easy way to create and consume services over the Internet. One of the design goals for Web Services is to allow companies and developers to share services with other companies in a simple way over the Internet." Read the rest of the article at ExtremeTech.
"Microsoft .NET Framework Service Pack 1 provides the latest updates to the .NET Framework. Service Pack 1 is highly recommended for all users of the .NET Framework, including customers of Visual Studio .NET." Download the Service Pack at Microsoft.com. On related news "the Microsoft Visual J# .NET Redistributable Package includes everything you need to run your Visual J# .NET applications on a machine that already has the .NET Framework installed. The Visual J# .NET Redistributable Package is not intended to run applications written with other Java-language development tools. Applications and services built with Visual J# .NET will run only on the .NET Framework; they will not run on any Java virtual machine."
From MSDN: "Welcome to Beta 2 of Microsoft Visual J# .NET, a development tool for Java-language developers who want to build applications and services on the .NET Framework. The tool integrates the Java-language syntax into the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET IDE, and supports the functionality found in Visual J++ 6.0, including Microsoft extensions such as JavaCOM and JDirect. Microsoft Visual J# .NET is not a tool for developing applications intended to run on a Java virtual machine. Applications and services built with Visual J# .NET will run only in the .NET Framework; they will not run on any Java virtual machine. Visual J# .NET has been independently developed by Microsoft. It is not endorsed or approved by Sun Microsystems, Inc." The installation file is 12 MB.