S. Somasegar is the corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft. Learn more about Somasegar.
Since we introduced the Express Editions of our products with Visual Studio 2005, there have been millions of downloads of the Express products by people around the world. The original intent of the Express products were to enable an easy and fun way of learning to program and create cool, fun applications. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned hobbyist, we wanted to make the Visual Studio Express products ideal for your needs.
With the VS 2008 editions of Express, we are improving the offerings on a variety of different fronts – be it for Windows development or Web development. We have also added some interesting features for your data-driven application development needs.
Included in both C# and VB Express, the WPF designer allows you to build either WPF Windows Applications or WPF Browser applications in much the same way you create Windows Forms today by dragging controls onto your designer surface, editing XAML attributes in the properties window, and enabling an instant preview of your application when you edit XAML in split design/code view. With Visual C++ Express 2008, we have added support for Win32 development right out of the box. No more large download or IDE tinkering is required in order to build native Windows applications.
Right away you will notice the first major improvement in Visual Web Developer Express 2008, the newly redesigned Web page designer. Incorporating many new features such as rich support for CSS editing, improved XHTML Standards compliance, and split code/design view, the new designer enables you to rapidly develop beautiful HTML and AJAX-based Web Sites without much Web development experience.
Jscript Intellisense and debugging has been vastly improved in Visual Web Developer 2008 providing a much better development experience for those wishing to build AJAX-based applications. Visual Web Developer also improves upon the JScript debugging experience by enabling instant breakpoint setting on your ASP.NET page, providing a much richer type information window, and adding the useful ability to step into both client-side and server-side code using a single debugger session!
The O-R Designer is a mapping tool that allows you to create query-able .NET objects from SQL Server Express tables or stored procedures. It allows the user to quickly enable LINQ to SQL querying with only a few lines of code. SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5 that is a part of VC# and VB Express enables you to create client-side data-driven applications who want the power of SQL Server in a light-weight way.