Rational cuts the cost of developing Microsoft Web services applications

Businesses planning to build Microsoft .net applications received a boost this week with the launch of software that promises to...

Businesses planning to build Microsoft .net applications received a boost this week with the launch of software that promises to cut development times.

Rational Software has created a development environment that allows programmers to use systems from Microsoft, IBM, BEA Systems or Borland as part of the same package. Languages C++, Visual Basic .net, Active Server Pages .net, and C# can similarly be selected by programmers using the Rational Extended Development Environment (XDE).

Users have welcomed the addition of Visual Basic .net and Active Server Pages .net. Naveen Raju, software architect at AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, said, "The inclusion of Visual Basic and ASP to XDE should enable us to develop and deploy applications more rapidly and save money because we do not have to leave the XDE environment and can switch from one programming language to another almost without thinking about it."

Microsoft general manager Chris Weber said the announcement was a "milestone for Visual Basic .net", showing how it is now becoming an enterprise-strength development environment.

Although Microsoft Visual C# offers an environment where the interface can be developed alongside the business logic, Raju said developers are not using the language yet. "We have developed in Visual Basic and C++ and we are happy with this choice," he said.

"We will probably move to C# over time, but in the meantime the use of XDE allows us to use the programming languages of choice as well as imposing a standardised modelling environment across all of our current and future projects."

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