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Product: Visual Studio .NET Integrated Developer Environment (IDE)
Company: Microsoft
Estimated Street Price: See Pricing
Review By: Roy J. Salisbury


Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Setup & Installation
3: Pricing & System Requirements
4: Customizable Interface

5: Code Editor & Designer
6: Help System & Debugging
7: Additional Tools
8: Conclusion

When I first decided to write a review of Visual Studio .NET, I thought it would be simple and straight forward. I mean, it was not a review on the .NET initiative, but of the Visual Studio IDE itself, and all integrated development environments are pretty much the same. You have an editor to write the code in, a way to compile your application with a single command, and most have nice debugging features built into the system. However, the Visual Studio .NET IDE has left me feeling a bit overwhelmed by the vast number of features and options that are available without making it complicated to use.

Features in all three versions:

  • XML Web services
    Expose any component as an XML Web service by using the WebMethod keyword. Use XML Web services from any platform.
  • Windows Forms
    New shared Windows Forms Designer, Form Inheritance, and control anchoring and docking enable you to build Microsoft Windows®–based applications quickly.
  • Web Forms
    A shared Web page editor enables developers to create Internet applications using the same "drag-and-drop, double-click to write code" technique that made Microsoft Visual Basic® famous. Code can be written with any language, including Visual Basic .NET and Microsoft Visual C#™ .NET.
  • Mobile Web Forms
    Create applications for mobile Web browsers that render on any device.
  • Pocket PC and Windows CE .NET–based applications
    Build rich applications for smart devices such as the Pocket PC, targeting the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework, a rich subset of the Microsoft .NET Framework for mobile solutions.
  • .NET Framework and the Common Language Runtime
    Built for the Web, the .NET Framework provides an agile, scalable environment for building, deploying, and running distributed XML Web services and applications.
  • Visual Basic .NET Upgrade Wizard
    Seamlessly upgrade code and applications from Visual Basic 6.0 with tools and guidance.
  • Visual Basic .NET
    Visual Basic .NET enables full object-oriented programming with implementation inheritance, structured exception handling, and free-threading.
  • Visual C# .NET
    Visual C# .NET, a new object-oriented programming language, combines the power of C and C++ with the functional ease of modern, rapid application development (RAD) tools.
  • Visual C++ .NET
    Microsoft Visual C++® .NET enables developers to build managed and unmanaged applications, using the .NET Framework, Active Template Library (ATL) Server, and Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC).
  • Visual J# .NET
    Microsoft Visual J#™ .NET is a development tool for Java-language developers who want to build applications and services on the .NET Framework.
  • Built-in support for additional programming languages
    With support for multiple programming languages, you can easily program in the language of your choice and integrate the code from any other language.
  • Shared Visual Studio .NET integrated development environment (IDE)
    Leverage a tightly integrated visual development environment for all languages that include a single Toolbox, Task List, and Debugger.
  • RAD for the server
    Access and integrate server administration tools, event logs, databases, and XML Web services. Server Explorer and tools incorporate server-side application components.
  • Visual Studio .NET Debugger
    Shorten the development cycle with cross-language, cross-process, and remote debugging.
  • Dynamic Help
    Instantly access help that is relevant to the current development task.
  • Task List
    Organize the development process by annotating code and by monitoring and quickly accessing errors and warnings.
  • HTML Designer
    Develop HTML, ASP, and Microsoft ASP.NET Web Forms graphically without delving into HTML or script.
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE 2000)
    Build applications that are fully compatible with SQL Server and migrate them directly to SQL Server without changing a single line of code.
  • Visual Database Tools
    Design stored procedures, indexes, tables, triggers, user-defined functions, and other database elements visually. In the Visual Studio .NET Professional Edition, these design capabilities are limited to the SQL Server Desktop Engine.
  • XML Designer
    Use drag-and-drop tools for working with XML and XSD files.

Features in Enterprise Architect and Enterprise Developer:

  • Enterprise templates and frameworks
    Take advantage of application templates to jump-start development and access best practices with the XML-based Template Description Language.
  • Microsoft .NET–based reference applications
    Learn how to design and structure .NET-based applications with end-to-end reference applications, including design documents, models, and code.
  • Visual Studio Analyzer
    Locate performance bottlenecks visually in distributed COM applications.
  • Microsoft Visual SourceSafe® 6.0c
    Provide a collaborative, team development environment with version control for source code, components, applications, and design documents.
  • Application Center Test
    Perform functional, performance, and load testing of XML Web services and applications. Easily automate tests to run regression tests.
  • Microsoft SQL Server™ 2000
    Use the complete database and analysis offering to rapidly deliver the next generation of scalable e-commerce, line-of-business, and data warehousing solutions.

Features in Enterprise Architect Only:

  • Visio-based UML application modeling
    Model application architecture and functionality visually, and clearly communicate requirements with the development team.
  • Enterprise template project type
    Share best practices and provide architectural guidance across the development team with the new Enterprise template project type.
  • Microsoft Visio®–based database modeling
    Capture and communicate business requirements clearly with conceptual, logical, and physical database modeling tools.


  Setup & Installation »


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