The July Community Technical Preview (CTP) of Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 is now available for download. This is the 2nd CTP and like the first this one has a lot of new features and improvements. In addition to the list below you can see some of the features in the Welcome Letter and a complete list in the Whats New? document.

1.      New samples and tutorials: This CTP has many new samples and tutorials including:

1.      DSS Node Discovery using UPnP: A new UPnP sample illustrates how to use UPnP for discovering DSS nodes across a UPnP network.

2.      Transport Extensibility: PipeTransport and PipeTransportHost are two new tutorials on how to write your own transport and load it in your custom host. In addition you will also find the UdpTransport and UdpTransport as additional transport samples.

3.      LINQ: Service Tutorial 12 shows how to subscribe to the Directory Service using a LINQ Filter and how to receive filtered notifications.

4.      Silverlight: The XBox Controller Viewer sample shows support for use of interactive Silverlight-based UI

5.      Embedded Simulation Environment: The sample EmbeddedSim sample shows how to embed the Visual Simulation Environment in a custom Windows Forms user interface.

6.      Simulated Pursuit Camera: The PursuitCamera sample shows how to implement a camera entity that follows behind a target and avoids obstacles.

7.      Simulated 4x4-drive: The SimulatedFourByFourDrive sample shows how to implement an entity that behaves like a 4x4 off-road car.

2.      Global Assembly Cache: Core CCR and DSS assemblies are put into the Global Assembly Cache. means that they are a shared resource for all installations on a single machine.

3.      Simulation on 64-bit machines: Simulation now runs on 64-bit systems using the Microsoft Windows-32-on-Windows-64 (WOW64) subsystem. To use simulation on 64-bit machines, make sure you use dsshost32.exe which forces the WOW64 mode.

4.      Visual Studio Project Wizards: The Visual Studio Project Wizards have been rewritten to make it much simpler to create new service projects directly from Visual Studio 2005 and 2008. Project wizards are provided for VB.Net and C# targeting .NET Framework.

5.      Much Faster DSS Proxy Generation: The DssProxy tool has been completely rewritten to simplify the generation of service proxy assemblies and to make it much faster to compile services. In addition, the tool chain for writing services for .NET Compact Framework has been simplified to no longer need a companion service project targeting the desktop version of .NET Framework. This makes development for .NET Compact Framework much easier.

6.      DSS Log Analyzer: The DSS Log Analyzer is a preview of a powerful new debugging and monitoring tool that can visualize and analyze message exchanges between services sent within a DSS node or across nodes. In addition to showing the actual messages that have been sent it also provides message correlations, time lines, and illustrates how multiple message interactions are causally linked over time.

7.      Embedded Visual Simulation Environment: In addition to having a stand-alone UI, the Visual Simulation Environment can now be embedded in other applications. This enables other applications to show the Visual Simulation Environment as part of their application.

Please help us making this release better by trying it out and send your comments, suggestions, and bug reports to our MSDN forums.

Henrik