As anticipated, today’s big launch went off as scheduled – Microsoft Joins Customers and Partners to Launch SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006:
Microsoft customers and partners gathered today to show their support for the launch of Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2005 and Visual Studio® 2005 and the upcoming release of BizTalk® Server 2006. Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer kicked off the event by highlighting the tens of thousands of customers and partners that played a major role in the product development process, providing ongoing input to deliver the next evolution in Microsoft’s application platform.
The advancements Microsoft is delivering with Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006 build on the foundation put in place over the last several years with significant investments in Windows Server™ 2003 and Microsoft .NET, providing developers and IT professionals with a dependable application platform that has underlying support for Web services and service orientation capabilities. The deeper integration of the server and tools with today’s releases enables a host of innovative scenarios and range of new capabilities:
• Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0 enable developers and development teams to build high-performance, security-enhanced and reliable solutions using an enterprise-ready development platform. Visual Studio 2005 features an expanded set of tools including Visual Studio Team System, an extensible life-cycle tools platform that enables collaboration among software development teams to deliver modern service-oriented solutions.
Hit the VS 2005 home page for version details, features, and launch tour events. (.NET Framework 2.0 info is here.) The Visual Studio Express Editions are available for download free for 1 year. Finally, although it did not get any press release ink, Web Services Enhancements (WSE) 3.0 also shipped and is available for download.
• Microsoft SQL Server 2005 provides an integrated data management and analysis platform that helps organizations reliably manage mission-critical information and confidently run complex business applications. With embedded reporting and data analysis tools included with SQL Server 2005, companies can gain greater insight from their business information.
• BizTalk Server 2006 delivers new features that enable enterprises to better monitor, manage and deploy their mission-critical business processes.
In addition, Microsoft announced that it will include 16 new integration adapters in BizTalk Server 2006 Enterprise and Standard editions at no additional charge to customers. The move gives customers native interoperability to industry-leading business applications such as PeopleSoft, Siebel, Oracle Database Connector and Oracle Application Suite.
This policy for the BizTalk adapters rated it’s own press release:
Microsoft Corp. today announced that it will include 16 new application and technology adapters in the Enterprise and Standard editions of BizTalk® Server 2006 at no additional charge, including adapters for Oracle Corp., PeopleSoft and Siebel Systems Inc. This announcement marks a significant break from the industry norm of charging additional license fees for application and technology adapters, and offers customers a simple and cost-effective way to reduce the complexity of purchasing, building and implementing application integration and business process automation solutions. Separately, Microsoft announced pricing, licensing and product timelines for BizTalk Server 2006.
More details by following the link.
So what does it all mean besides the release of the latest versions of 2 major Microsoft products and a wannabee? Joe Wilcox says it’s all about integration of the products:
The three products launched today are the first wave of a tide of tightly, integrated products. There is simply no way to overstate how tightly Microsoft has integrated features among its late 2005-2006 software releases. While some Microsoft executives have said that Microsoft bet the company on Longhorn (now called Windows Vista), the real bet is on “Integrated Innovation.”
(See also the press materials , ) He goes on to discuss the pros and cons of this integration for customers, but I tend to think of the dependency problems for the Microsoft developers – you can’t ship one of the products until all of the prerequisite products are ready and getting them to line up always seems to mean “later” or loss of features and we’ve seen both in this package.
Update:Video of the launch event.
Today is the launch event for Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005, BizTalk Server 2006, and related products like .NET Framework 2.0 and Web Services Enhancements 3.0 with a keynote by Steve Ballmer which is being webcast starting at 9AM Pacific Time. There will be the customary Launch Tour and Microsoft E-Learning is, for a limited time, offering free VS 2005 and SQL Server 2005 courses.
Robert Scoble has a puzzling post asking if this is one of Microsoft’s last big launches since the new mantra is more agile development. The basic point is fine, but I’d be very surprised if next year’s planned Vista launch wasn’t huge. Finally, I doubt we’ll hear about the VS 2005 quality complaints.
Microsoft on Monday is releasing an upgrade to its free WSE ( Web Services Enhancements) package for Windows developers, focusing on security.
An add-on component to Visual Studio 2005 and the .Net Framework 2.0, WSE 3.0 “dramatically simplifies the development of secure Web services,” said Ari Bixhorn, director Web services strategy at Microsoft. WSE 3.0 also serves as a prelude to the planned Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) for Web services, formerly known as Indigo, which is planned for inclusion in the Vista release of Windows in 2006, Bixhorn said.
“Developers are going to see a 30 percent improvement in the performance of their Web services, upgrading from WSE 2.0 to WSE 3.0,” Bixhorn said.
The package includes turnkey security profiles. “What those do is allow developers to build five of the most common secure Web services scenarios with just a few clicks of a mouse,” Bixhorn said. One profile features the building of a secure Web service that can be called via the Internet using a name and password.
“Developers are going to benefit greatly from these profiles because [they] dramatically reduce the amount of code that they have to write to build secure Web services,” Bixhorn said.