Kiwibank, one of New Zealand’s largest early adopters of Visual Studio 2008, has given the thumbs-up to the latest version of the Microsoft developer tool.
Launched last week, the tool, code-named Orcas, claims more than 250 new features and promises significant enhancements in every edition, including Visual Studio Express and Visual Studio Team System, to enable developers of all levels to build applications.
Microsoft says the new development platform provides a consistent solution for developing applications for the latest platforms, including the web, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and the 2007 Office System.
In addition, new ASP .Net controls allow for better page management and templates, and WCF (Windows Communication Foundation) delivers native support for RSS and REST (Representational State Transfer).
Bohdan Szymanik, who is enterprise architecture manager for Kiwibank, says the bank has trialled the software in recent weeks and plans to install it in all its development environments.
Szymanik says a number of things make the development tool “very useful”, including how it targets multi .Net environments, so they no longer need to run different versions of Visual Studio.
“It is much easier [now] to manage all that [different] source code from one development tool,” he says.
The strength of the Visual designers, for both Windows applications and ASP .Net applications, is another plus.
Kiwibank used Visual Studio 2005 extensively for internal web development and Windows form application development.
It plans to use the new version to further develop applications for customer access through the internet, retail and telephone banking.
The new software offers better performance and usability, he says.
And its design tools make websites better-looking and more functional.
Visual Studio also allows for common development across all data, which means it can be used to create Business Intelligence tools, says Szymanik.
Wellington-based Darryl Burling, a developer evangelist for Microsoft New Zealand, says Visual Studio 2008 has just been released to manufacturing and should be available in January, although it can already be downloaded to those with an MSDN subscription.
Microsoft Gold Partner Intergen already uses Visual Studio 2005, but plans to transfer quickly to the 2008 version for website development work.
Datacom, another Gold partner, has been trialling the new software with its customers, including the Paymark EFTPOS-processing company.
And Provoke, a systems integrator, is using Visual Studio 2008 to load-test the functionality for the new Fly Buys website launched earlier this month.
Burling says Visual Studio 2008 has a new language framework for integrating with data that allows developers to work with databases and other data-sets, without needing other tools.
“We have also worked hard to enable team collaboration — [to] help developers work in one environment to build their project, so developers, architects and project managers work together off the same repository.
“This means that projects are much more predictable and the outcomes will be a lot more consistent.”