New Dev Tools Integrate With VS 2005

Vendors at TechEd showcase new development tools, including products that help you build database apps, enhance your app''s presentation layer, design Web apps more easily, and more.

Microsoft has put a lot of effort into developing the next generation of Visual Studio .NET and SQL Server 2005. One advantage to this long development cycle is that it allows other vendors to prepare and produce new third-party products that will integrate with and add even more functionality to these powerful tools. Take a look at this list of releases that aim to enhance your development efforts.

ActivePDF Server
ActivePDF Inc.
If you need any type of portable document format (PDF), take a look at ActivePDF. This company provides a series of different tools and services that transform any data into PDF format on the fly. In addition, the services provided by ActivePDF integrate directly with ASP.NET and the .NET Framework, making it a seamless component of any new Web application. These tools are relatively low cost and provide excellent functionality.

Aurora XAML Designer for WinFX
Mobiform Software Ltd.
Are you interested in building next-generation applications? Then Aurora XAML Designer for WinFX might be for you. Aurora is a new tool designed specifically to let you take advantage of the powerful new interface capabilities of Avalon—Microsoft's next-generation user interface.

Just like a drawing program, Aurora lets you work directly with Avalon objects and integrate them into the new Visual Tree Avalon provides. This means you can create user interfaces by drawing them on the screen and associating dependency properties to the visual objects you create. This gives you direct access to Avalon's power.

DeKlarit 4.0 for Visual Studio 2005
DeKlarit 4.0 for Visual Studio 2005 is a unique set of tools that integrate directly within the integrated development environment (IDE) provided by Visual Studio. DeKlarit turns Visual Studio into a rapid application development (RAD) tool designed specifically to build database applications. What makes DeKlarit interesting is it builds database applications through the description of entity structures and business rules in a declarative way. This means little or no programming. It's an interesting way to build a database application's various layers, such as the data model, data access, and business logic.

What makes version 4.0 unique is it integrates directly with the SQL Server 2005 common language runtime (CLR). This means stored procedures can be called directly from the CLR through DeKlarit, and the entire middle tier of the application can be run directly inside SQL Server 2005.

Multilizer 6.1 Enterprise
Multilizer Inc.
If you need to program in multiple languages, perhaps Multilizer 6.1 Enterprise is for you. It provides an XML-based tool that lets you modify applications visually to turn them into multilingual tools. This lets you modify dialogs, menus, and other resources that require translation to provide a sound user experience in another language. In addition, it supports teamwork through a central repository of translated items, and it includes validation routines that ensure common mistakes in the text are avoided. Finally, Multilizer supports any language thanks to its Unicode integration.

SQL Bundle Developer Edition
Red-Gate Software
Red-Gate Software's SQL Bundle Developer Edition combines into one package five different SQL Server products: SQL Compare, SQL Data Compare, SQL Packager, SQL Toolkit, and DTS Compare.

SQL Compare synchronizes the structure of SQL database objects automatically, and SQL Data Compare works at the database level to replicate copies of databases from one point to another. SQL Packager packages databases for installation into new servers. The last two tools, SQL Toolkit and DTS Compare, are used to access other tools through the command line or to perform comparisons and synchronization of any data transformation services (DTS) components of your databases. Overall, SQL Bundle Developer Edition provides access to all tools while providing considerable cost savings.

SQL tools from Idera
Idera provides five tools that support SQL Server implementations: SQL diagnostic manager provides real-time monitoring and diagnostics; SQL safe focuses on backup and recovery of SQL databases; SQL compliance manager provides compliance management and data auditing; SQL config (one of the best tools in this collection) provides a complete change and configuration management tool for SQL databases; and SQL tool provides a Web interface for SQL Server administration. SQL config and SQL tool provide job-management and data transformation or migration services.

Overall, this suite of tools makes working with SQL databases much simpler and more controlled. If you're working with SQL Server (and soon SQL Server 2005), you should take a look at these tools.

Studio Enterprise 2005 v2
ComponentOne LLC
ComponentOne's Studio Enterprise is an online subscription that provides more than 110 elements that support .NET, ASP.NET, ActiveX, and even mobile computing development. All the components are oriented toward enhancing the presentation layer of your applications.

Studio Enterprise's tools integrate directly with Visual Studio .NET and provide seamless access to the components for developers. Developers requiring tools for designing grids, reports, charting, data access, and user interfaces will find this suite especially useful. In addition, the components support e-commerce site building.

This suite is of high interest to anyone working with the latest interface standards, including Office 2003 and Longhorn. You can purchase a one-year subscription, and you can download new updates when available.

Web.UI 2.1 for ASP.NET
If you're building ASP.NET applications, Web.UI 2.1 for ASP.NET might be just what the doctor ordered. Web.UI provides a set of navigation controls such as Menu and TreeView that make Web application design much easier. In addition, Web.UI includes components such as TabStrip, MultiPage, and SiteMap.

What's interesting with this presentation-layer toolset is the tools are optimized for improved performance on the client side; they take up little page real estate and work with many different browsers. All the controls are designed to work with ASP.NET 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005. If you need to build user interfaces for applications running on ASP.NET, check out Web.UI.

About the Author

Danielle Ruest and Nelson Ruest, both Microsoft MVPs, are IT professionals focused on technologies futures. They are authors of multiple books, including "Microsoft Windows Server 2008: The Complete Reference" (McGraw-Hill Osborne Media, 2008), which focuses on building virtual workloads with Microsoft's new OS.

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