A core part of our strategy has always been to have a strong, healthy, vibrant partner ecosystem.  That has always been our mantra for success.  Together with our partners, we can bring to the market a compelling set of solutions, products, technologies and services that will provide the best value proposition for our customers.


Along these lines, we have been doing a bunch of work in Visual Studio to enable a strong partner ecosystem.  Between the tools that we offer and what our partners offer, we have a richer and more comprehensive set of offerings.  This allows you to have a broader and richer choice of tools that will help you build applications and services and provide you the best programming experience – simpler and richer.


In Visual Studio 2002, we unified our developer tools into a single development environment.  In addition to integrating each of our products into this IDE, we also provide the same set of interfaces to Visual Studio Industry Partners (VSIP).  We have over 200 members (paid and active) and about 20 joint partners; these companies have helped us provide a complete ecosystem of products for developing Windows applications.  There are hundreds of products here including new languages like Fujitsu NetCOBOL which includes Intellisense, visual form design, and everything else you would expect in Visual Studio.  There are great database tools including Deklarit, a tool for simplifying database design that lets you easily refactor databases, and a recently announced integration from Oracle that will provide great tools for their databases inside the IDE.  There are a host of other tools covering the whole development lifecycle including custom controls, modeling tools, profilers, source control systems, and much, much more. To look for other products that integrate with Visual Studio, please use our Partner Catalog at http://www.vsippartners.com/search/AdvancedSearch.aspx.  


To learn more about extending Visual Studio, visit our Extensibility Dev Center at http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/extend.