Over the past few weeks, the Visual Studio Development team has been very busy helping enable the .NET development community with enhancements to Visual Studio and advanced looks into what's to come in future versions of the product.

Let's start with the enhancements:

  • Visual Studio 2005 Team System for Database Professionals Service Release 1 - On July 23, 2007, SR1 was released to the public. A full description of it's features can be found here.
  • Visual Studio 2005 Team System Web Access Power Tool - On July 30, 2007, we released the first power tool for Team System Web Access. This is release is based on the release candidate that devBiz, the original developers of Teamplain Web Access for TFS and our team has made a number of enhancements and improvements based on customer feedback. Brian Harry wrote a good breakdown of the features and improvements made to this power tool.

Now to the technology previews:

  • Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 - On July 26, Visual Studio 2008 (formerly codenamed "Orcas") Beta 2 was made available. Use this link to go the Visual Studio 2008 Beta Download site. From there, you can download disc images various editions (Express, Standard, and Professional, Team Suite, and Team Foundation Server) and VPC images of Team Suite only or Team Suite with Team Foundation Server.
  • Microsoft Expression Blend 2 August CTP - Expression Blend is a development environment that allows you to create Silverlight-based applications. If you're not familiar with Silverlight? Microsoft Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering rich interactive applications over the Web. Dr. Dobb's Portal has some very good information about Silverlight as well as an online tutorial on how to create your own Silverlight-based game. You might be thinking that Silverlight doesn't sound very "Visual Studio-ish," but the reality is the technology is based on .NET 3.0 technology called the Windows Presentation Foundation and you will be able to work with applications you started in Blend with Visual Studio's IDE.
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 July CTP - Not directly related to Visual Studio, but how many business application can you write without having to access a database?
  • Visual Studio "Rosario" August CTP - I know...we've just given "Orcas" a real product name (Visual Studio 2008) and released Beta 2 of Orcas, and now we're making available parts of the release coming after Orcas. You can't say our development teams haven't been busy. We've released a white paper that goes into pretty good detail about what Rosario is all about, but if you want the quick Reader's Digest version, I suggest you go to Jeff Beehler's blog that gives a good overview of what the Rosario team focused on.

Don't think that this is the last wave of new technology on the way. There's more on the way. Stay tuned!

Excelsior!