- Platform: Windows NT / 2000 / XP
- Media: CD-ROM
- Item Quantity: 1
In XML, Visual Studio .NET developers can build data-driven applications using built-in ADO.NET tools that target a variety of databases, including SQL Server, Oracle, or any other XML source. With support for XML, ADO.NET enables developers to share data across computing platforms. Additionally, Visual Studio .NET includes the Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE), a SQL Server-compatible database that provides programmers with a viable development database and natively supports XML.
Visual Studio .NET allows programmers to create and deploy critical server-based programming. With Visual Studio .NET, developers can visually compose middle-tier components using the Visual Component Designer (VCD). The VCD enables developers to drag and drop nonvisual objects such as message queues, timers, and event logs to a design surface, automatically discovering all necessary server-based resources and configuring required components.
C# and .NET are the biggest additions to this environment over previous versions.
Our development environment went through a few upgrade pains. The VS .NET 2003 version fixed many usability problems found in VS .NET 2002. The UI is much better than MSVC 6.0. As with most compiler upgrades, certain C/C++ language features changed, which took us a little time to resolve (e.g. <iostream>, __FILE__ and a few other things). I recommend a phase in approach when migrating to this new environment. Don't jump into this environment.
If you want to do real C/C++ programming, you need at least the professional edition. The Visual C++ .NET 2003 Standard edition doesn't do optimization, but the professional environment does do optimization. Sadly, you can't get just the C/C++ compiler. Fortunately, there are more optimization options in this compiler, and it has buffer security checks, which I have found useful a couple of times.
The HTML editor doesn't create 100% valid strict HTML 4.01, but it's a better HTML editor than MSVC 6. It also makes it easier to edit basic CSS.
I haven't used all of the nifty features of this environment, but it's a decent improvement over MSVC 6. It's way better than MetroWerks CodeWarrior 5, at least with regards to price (current CodeWarrior version is 8.0, but 5.0 had some stability issues when I used it). I can't compare it very well to Eclipse, since I haven't used it that often (I like Eclipse, which is freely available at http://www.eclipse.org/). CygWin is a little difficult to use at times, but the price is right (free).
Overall I recommend Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 Professional. If you're a casual C/C++ programmer, look elsewhere. This will probably be too pricey for you. If you're a professional programmer, you should consider getting this software. If you're a professional Windows programmer, you need this software because this is the future of Windows programming.
It seems that with this platform there is a bit of a learning curve even for the most experienced developers because of the great differences. But the online help is dynamic and useful when you get stuck on something.
Visual Basic is not Visual Basic now. They seemed to have completely renovated the way VB works.
The Common language Runtime (CLR) makes it possible to create solutions by interweaving any of the languages included with the studio. I believe there is a way to import 3rd party or future MS designed languages as well. So if one language is better at a specific task, then you can switch to it.
The integrated development environment (IDE) is meant to maximize developer productivity. In using it, I haven't experienced the contrary. I must mention that I do like the flexibility of working on web applications in .NET. You can use a grid layout like a form builder, or the flow layout like a web page editor.
I noticed a couple of funny things so far, but not worth mentioning. It takes some getting used to, but this is certainly worth it.