Exhibitors Tackle Today's Needs

Vista just got here and Orcas is coming, but users need their apps today -- and these vendors aim to help you provide them.

Every ISV for Microsoft tools has to be going at it in their skunk works, preparing for the promised year-end advent of the shipping version of Orcas. They're also building Vista tools in anticipation of the day Vista supplants XP on the average corporate desktop. Meanwhile, users need to solve today's problems, and VSLive!'s exhibitors are there for you. Here's a sample of their wares.

Microsoft Corporation
Microsoft featured the Microsoft Solution Accelerator for Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) 2007. It provides Microsoft's best-practices solution for deploying Vista or XP Professional and Office 2007 in business environments. In keeping with the conceptual nature of this product, the Microsoft booth featured a humongous whiteboard and a staff of developer evangelists ready to help visitors get into the particulars.

Microsoft was also touting its Visual Studio Extensibility Resource Kit, a guide to customizing and extending VS. It lists ISV products for VS, along with free downloads and guides for creating your own add-ins and packages using the Visual Studio 2005 automation model or software development kit (SDK).

Lastly, perhaps following up on Geico's caveman ads, Microsoft was promoting VB 2005 for developers still using VB 6.

ActivePDF was promoting its recently released ActivePDF Server 3.8. ActivePDF Server provides server-side PDF conversion and development tools for Windows. It lets you create PDFs dynamically from over 280 file types, including HTML. It also automates PDF manipulation such as stamping, stitching, securing, appending, splitting, and form-filling. Version 3.8 adds improved logging, enhanced fault tolerance, legacy support, and the ability to save and load specific server configurations as well as a new configuration editor UI.

Altova was demonstrating a recent release: Altova Umodel 2007, the latest version of its UML 2 software design tool. Umodel lets you visually design application models and auto-generate Java or C# code, or reverse engineer existing programs into UML diagrams, then fine tune the designs and regenerate the code. The new release includes four additional diagram types, giving the product a full complement of UML 2.1 diagrams. It also lets you model XZML schema files in UML, and adds support for reverse engineering Java and C# binaries, as well as letting you hyperlink elements of UML diagrams to other diagrams or external files.

Aptify featured its Application Lifecycle Platform. This extends the .NET Framework with a series of intelligent metadata tools that streamline and largely automate deployment of business apps through smart-client and Web-based environments. The platform also simplifies maintenance through a unified app management model. You can use any .NET language to seamlessly incorporate code into Aptify. The company complements the core offering with a variety of optional, building-block apps including CRM, education and training, sales force automation, product management, inventory control, order entry, and e-business.

ComponentOne had Studio Enterprise 2007 on display. This suite of visual components for ASP.NET, .NET, Mobile, and ActiveX application development supports everything from Ajax-enabled Web interfaces to the latest versions of ComponentOne's classic grid controls. Studio Enterprise 2007 comes with four new components: Schedule for .NET, Calendar for .NET, WebSchedule for ASP.NET, and WebCalendar for ASP.NET.

Developer Express
Developer Express showed off a long list of controls for Visual Studio, COM/ActiveX, and Delphi/C++. These include Windows controls, Web controls, reporting/printing suites, IDE productivity tools, and business app frameworks. Developer Express recently introduced its xPress Application Framework for both WinForms and ASP.NET. It also promises a near-future release of its WindowsForms products that will provide the Office 2007 UI look and feel across all components. It also announced that its new WPF controls just went into beta around the time of VSLive!

Lead Technologies
Lead Technologies demonstrated LEADTOOLS version 15 and the rest of its line of digital imaging development SDKs, from still frame color, grayscale, document, medical, vector, mobile and Internet imaging, along with printer drivers, multimedia, codecs, and compression technology. Recently the company announced that its DLLs are now digitally signed, plus 64-bit support for Vista, with more Vista-friendly products on the way.

One company that could probably list nearly every attendee as an end user was PayPal. The featured service was the PayPal Integration Center, which helps online retailers (and who isn't these days?) provide express checkout, buy now buttons, instant payment notification, payment data transfer, PayPal Web Services, credit card processing, and authorize and capture (to place a customer funds on hold, then actually capture them later). Most of this functionality can be done with API programming, but some only require basic HTML.

Sparx Systems
Sparx Systems was promoting its new UML 2.1 modeling tool Enterprise Architect 6.5. This product strives to differentiate itself with features such as built-in requirements management, project management and testing support, code engineering support for many languages, an integrated debug workbench, and a claim of great speed and scalability. The latest release adds XML 2.1 import and export, debugging, profiling and visualization of running objects, support for Microsoft Team Foundation Server, an enhanced HTML report generator, pan and zoom view, data modeling enhancements, and ANSI C support.

Sybase iAnywhere
Sybase iAnywhere displayed its Advantage Database Server 8.0. This is a full-featured, high-performance client/server data management system for C++ Builder and Borland Delphi developers. It provides both ISAM table-based and SQL-based data access, allowing a growth plan for legacy database apps that links them to the modern world. Its Advantage Extended Procedures are stored procedures you can easily write, store and execute on the server. Version 8.0 features Advantage Data Architect, Advantage Replication, Advantage Online Backup, and SQL scripting.

About the Author
Lee Thé's first computer was a state of the art unit with 48K RAM and a 1MHz processor. He has been writing and editing computer magazine articles since then, in between scuba diving trips. He's based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

About the Author

Lee The's first computer was a state-of-the-art unit with 48K RAM and a 1MHz processor. He has been writing and editing computer magazine articles since then, in between scuba diving trips. He's based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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