Visual Studio 2005, the latest version of Microsoft's .net development environment, is released this week, but without a much-anticipated component, which will not ship until 2006.
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The product offers users a software development system for building PC, internet-based and mobile Windows applications. The Premium Edition includes new versions of SQL Server Developer Edition, Visual Basic, C#, J# and C++ programming languages, 64-bit tools, Visio and Office Suite development tools and a subscription to the Microsoft Developer Network.
But Microsoft will not be shipping Team Foundation Server, a server component required to use Visual Studio as a team development environment.
John Allwright, Microsoft Visual Studio product manager, said Team Foundation Server would not be available until the first quarter of 2006. But he said, "Team Foundation Server is in its beta 3 release and is of operational quality." Those who use this beta of the software will be supported and can migrate onto the finished product when it becomes available, he said.
IT departments are increasingly focusing on team development to deliver high-quality software and to ensure code complies with in-house standards.
Users do not have to rely solely on Microsoft to provide team support. Supplier management services provider Achilles is using Borland's team development tools. Rupert Gladstone, director of IT at Achilles, said, "Our current project is to allow any developer to work on our core product using the same quality processes."
This week the company has started running the Borland Starteam development tool across four development sites.
HMV uses SQLServer 2005 for online music downloads
HMV is one of the first UK users of SQL Server 2005, the latest version of Microsoft's relational database, launched this week.
The retailer is using the database to power its music download site, HMV Digital. Development work took place at Microsoft's UK head office in Thames Valley Park in January.
David Cameron, head of software development at HMV, said, "The server environment has been designed to be easily scaled without redesign."
The application uses a mirrored configuration comprising 10 dual Xeon-based servers each configured with 2Gbytes of memory and 36Gbytes of storage.
Cameron said HMV would be looking at other digital initiatives, such as film and games.
One of the technical hurdles for HMV was how to link the Microsoft technology with its IT infrastructure based on Java 2.0 Enterprise Edition and the DB2 relational database from IBM. Cameron used Visual Studio 2005 with ASP.net and web services to achieve this.