In-Depth

Video From Windows Tools Launch

EDITOR'S NOTE: THESE VIDEOS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE.

How SQL Server Benefits Developers
Ilya Bukshteyn, Director of SQL Server Marketing at Microsoft
Watch the video! (Running time: 1 minute, 17 seconds, Windows Media format)

How does SQL Server benefit developers, and how do its business intelligence capabilities affect them? Bukshteyn pointed out in our longer conversation that business intelligence is really business insight—communication of key performance indicators that used to be available only to top management because of prohibitive cost. But now BI is mission-critical and available to people throughout an organization, which can have a direct impact on the bottom line. The bottom line for developers? BI apps and capabilities will become increasingly important for enterprise apps.

Hosting and ASP.NET
Eric Feagler, Microsoft's Group Product Manager of Developer Tools Marketing
Watch the video! (Running time: 1 minute, 16 seconds, Windows Media format)

ASP.NET 2.0 introduces not only capabilities for developers that we've listed elsewhere, but, Feagler detailed, capabilities for Web hosting providers to ease hosting for developers. These capabilities should help developers focus on building solutions and less on building Web plumbing and coding Web site components that are, as he put it, "solved problems." Feagler also highlighted the Visual Web Developer product and its significance for the "lower-end" developer.

What 'Trusted Platform' Really Means
Kirsten Ward, Group Product Manager of SQL Server
Watch the video! (Running time: 1 minute, 27 seconds, Windows Media format)

Ward explains Microsoft's new "trusted platform" phrasing and what it really means. It's not an official initiative, but a new way of presenting Microsoft's platform benefits in a brief phrase. In our longer discussion, she elaborated that Microsoft's "trusted platform" includes all of the "abilities" Microsoft touts in the Windows Server products: reliability, scalability, availability, and so forth. She added that a trusted platform is also "familiar," including both a widely used platform and a familiar interface and technology.

Why Care About BizTalk?
Steven Martin, Director of Marketing for BizTalk Server
Watch the video! (Running time: 1 minute, 28 seconds, Windows Media format)

Why should developers care about BizTalk now? Martin highlights its abilities in helping with integrating services and automating business processes, as well as its integration with Visual Studio. In our longer conversation, Martin highlighted two items of particular interest. First, note that BizTalk is not yet shipping—it's in beta. At the launch event, Microsoft distributed a "code complete" community technical preview (CTP), with a (final) Beta 2 due by the end of the year. The final release of BizTalk Server 2006 is due in the first half of next year.

Martin also highlighted changes in BizTalk pricing and licensing. Recently acquired BizTalk adapters as well as other new adapters are now included in the core pricing—which, for most customers, will be more than they need. Previously, he explained, customers had to make "poor architectural decisions" or build their own adapters to keep adapter costs low. This change should eliminate that need. It's also significantly cheaper than competitive solutions, he said.

Transparent Development
David Treadwell, Corporate Vice President of Developer Tools at Microsoft
Watch the video! (Running time: 1 minute, 5 seconds, Windows Media format)

One observer noted that there was very little code shown in the launch keynote—a significant departure for a developer launch. Treadwell explains why: Microsoft's shift to a "highly transparent development process," including frequent community technical previews and earlier disclosure, means most aware developers already know the features of the new products. Instead, the launch is a chance to show how SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005, and BizTalk Server 2006 are integrated and how "developer skills are applicable across all three products."

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