Visual Studio 2005 Promotes the Integration Dev

Microsoft this week ships its long-awaited Visual Studio 2005. IDN looks at how the latest IDE takes the next step in bringing the .NET developer into the role of integration developer -- working to unite apps with databases, workflows, security and business rules. IDN looks at how Visual Studio, and its future roadmap, may change how devs think, work and design apps.

Tags: Designer, Visual Studio, Security, Devs, Designer Tools, Developer, Microsoft,

Microsoft this week officially ships its long-awaited Visual Studio 2005, which takes the next step to bringing the .NET developer into the role of providing tighter integration with underlying databases and business rules.

While Visual Studio offers a variety of IDE tools and connections, IDN's look at Visual Studio focuses on how Microsoft's latest technology, and future roadmap, may change how developers think, work and design apps - and take the next step toward the high-value integration developer.

Our guide for this Visual Studio overview is Prashant Sridharan, Microsoft's Group Product Manager of the .NET Developer Product Marketing Group. We highlight 3 technology areas: Designer Tools (and metadata), SOA Templates/Patterns,

SOA Designer Tools
Visual Studio sports three (3) different apps designers
  • The first designer lets you describe your SOA, and offers a drag and drop metaphor for services on the design surface that makes it easier for devs to tie together.
  • A second designer lets a user visualize their data center and what it should look like, representing servers and routers, etc.
  • A third designer is for deployment, enabling devs to determine whether the application they have designed will actually work well in the data center described (in Designer 2).

    Empowering all these designer tools, Microsoft uses a version of metadata implementations which it called the System Definition Model. The SDM will be at the core of much of Visual Studio's ability to interact with designer tools, as well as other .NET components, including SQLServer 2005 and the Windows Communications Framework.

    Using SDM, Microsoft intends to enable devs, architects and system/network managers can model their requirements (software, data flow, net architecture) and be able to communicate across roles. For example, an SDM-based design from a software architect can be consumed by another IT worker to conduct tests or apply workflow rules. "We will be feeing up these SDM capabilities in future versions to extend this collaboration capability," Sridharan said.

    SOA Fabric Support - Security, Authorization, etc
    There will be a first-gen family of network services tools in Visual Studio 2005, and the IDE will progress from there, Sridharan said. Core capabilities will let devs:

    (a) analyze their code for security and performance areas,

    (b) analyze the semantics of their code for security inconsistencies/incompatibilities.
    Visual Studio 2005 also provides security validators, which can run over an app model to determine if your architecture is secure to begin with. Also, Visual Studio provides some built-in guidance to help devs make sure their code aligns with security policies. Further, many ISV partners have offerings that extend Visual Studio's security capabilities for ensuring code complies with workflow and authentication policies.

    For the future, Sridharan said, Microsoft is looking at extending this visibility into security for devs, by providing "green twigglies" for the code screens identify security or semantics warnings much the same way those green lines underscore other code errors today.

    SOA Templates, Patterns
    At present, Visual Studio 2005 does not have use scenarios or patterns for popular SOA deployments. But, tools to link the business analysts with the developers/architects for designing workflows will be coming in BizTalk 2006.

    "We are no where near where we want to be for bringing together the business analysts with IT to define the whole enterprise business process," Sridharan admitted. "Our end-to-end story is not as baked as it should be, but you'll see some very strong next steps with BizTalk 2006." He also added that Microsoft may incorporate some standards-based SOA and Java interop patterns in an upgrade to Visual Studio 2005.

    Microsoft ships Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 today. But, BizTalk Server 2006 will not ship until next year. To bridge the lull between today and next year's BizTalk shipdate, Microsoft will release Community Technology Preview that customers can work with.