Visual Studio .NET
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Visual Studio .NET Entry Points
Visual Studio .NET Overview
Visual Studio includes the following:
- Visual Basic .NET
- Visual C# .NET
- Visual C++ .NET
- Visual J#
Some versions include a developer edition of Microsoft SQL Server.
The following products were included in past versions:
- Visual InterDev, a web page development application used for modifying Active Server Pages as well as HTML and other web scripting files.
- Visual J++, a Java development tool
- Visual FoxPro, an xBase programming language independent of the Visual Studio platform but supported by Microsoft.
Visual Studio 1997
Microsoft first released Visual Studio in 1997, bundling together many of its programming tools for the first time. Visual Studio 97 was released in two editions, Professional and Enterprise. It included Visual Basic 5.0 and Visual C++ 5.0, primarily for Windows programming; Visual J++ 1.1 for Java and Windows programming; and Visual FoxPro 5.0 for xBase programming. It introduced Visual InterDev for creating dynamically generated web sites using Active Server Pages. A snapshot of the Microsoft Developer Network library was also included.
Visual Studio 97 was Microsoft's first attempt at using the same development environment for multiple languages. Visual C++, J++, InterDev, and the MSDN Library all used one environment, called Developer Studio. Visual Basic used a separate environment, as did Visual FoxPro.
Visual Studio .NET 2005
Visual Studio 2005, code-named Whidby, was released online in October 2005 and hit the stores a couple of weeks later. Microsoft removed the ".NET" moniker from Visual Studio 2005 (as well as every other product with .NET in its name), but it still primarily targets the .NET Framework, which was upgraded to version 2.0.
The most important C# language feature added in this version was the introduction of generics, which are very similar to C++ templates. This potentially increases the number of bugs caught at compile-time instead of run-time. C++ also got a similar upgrade with the addition of C++/CLI which is slated to eventually replace Managed C++.
Other new features of Visual Studio 2005 include the "Deployment Designer" which allows application designs to be validated before deployments, an improved environment for web publishing when combined with ASP.NET 2.0 and load testing to see application performance under various sorts of user loads.
Visual Studio 2005 also added extensive 64-bit support. Visual C++ 2005 supports compiling for x64 (AMD64 and EM64T) as well as IA-64 (Itanium). Previous versions of Visual Studio did not come with 64-bit support. The Platform SDK only included the 64-bit compilers and 64-bit versions of the Visual C++ 6.0 libraries. The 64-bit versions of the Visual C++ .NET 2003 (7.1) libraries were available only by e-mailing Microsoft with this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visual Studio 2005 is available in several editions, which are significantly different from previous versions: Express, Standard, Professional, Tools for Office, and Team System. In addition to these, four separate Team System editions are provided in conjunction with MSDN Premium subscriptions: Team Suite, Team Edition for Software Architects, Team Edition for Software Developers, and Team Edition for Software Testers.
Team System includes support for large development organizations, and comes in separate editions for software architects, developers, and testers.
Tools for the Microsoft Office System lets developers create extensions to Microsoft Office.
Express Editions were introduced for amateurs, hobbyists, and small businesses, and are available as a free download from Microsoft's web site. There are Express Editions for each language (Visual Basic, Visual C++, Visual C#, Visual J#), each targeting the .NET Framework on Windows, as well as a Visual Web Developer for creating ASP.NET web sites. The Express Editions lack many of the more advanced development tools and extensibility of the other editions.
Individual language editions of Visual Studio are no longer available.
Compared to the previous versions of Visual Studio, this time its interface has come to closely resemble the IBM Eclipse interface (particularly IBM IDEs' distinctive notched tab corners).
Visual Studio 2005's internal version number is 8.0.
Visual Studio .NET 2008
In March 2007, version 3.0 of the .NET Framework appeared, supporting Windows Vista. This was not a replacement for version 2.0, but instead wrapped the core technology of version 2.0 within it and added new features. So applications written in version 2.0 would run on version 3.0 but not vice versa.
Visual Studio 2008, code-named Orcas, was released in November 2007. It primarily targets the .NET Framework, which was upgraded to version 3.5. The number of versions were reduced, with the professional edition being the most comprehensive for the sole developer. Four new versions of the Express editions were also released, however J# Express was dropped and SQL Server Express was not upgraded.
.NET 3.0 saw the release of four new technologies:
.NET 3.5 brings another new technology to the mix called LINQ.
Visual Studio 2008's internal version number is 9.0.
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