Microsoft on Tuesday made available the second beta of its Visual J# .Net development tool, which now allows developers to begin creating applications based on the shipping version of the company's Visual Studio .Net tool set.
The new beta also contains a "re-distributable" version of Visual J# .Net, which gives developers the necessary code to deploy their applications to a system that only has the .Net Framework Run Time installed on it, according to Tony Goodhew, Microsoft's product manager for the .Net Framework.
"This makes it possible for developers using the tool to build applications, XML Web services, and components on the shipping version of the .Net Framework," Goodhew said.
In Beta 2, Microsoft has also improved the product's IDE (Integrated Development Environment) by upgrading its Wizard, making it easier for Visual J++ 6.0 developers' move into the new environment easier.
"What the Wizard helps developers do is covert all of their existing project and solution files and bring them over to the new Visual Studio .Net IDE format," Goodhew said.
Microsoft also has added a "specific" Visual J# profile that allows developers to keep familiar keyboard mappings and editor settings, cutting down on the time it takes to adjust to the new environment, Goodhew said.
Microsoft is providing significantly more documentation and samples with Beta 2, which gives examples of what developers can create using the tool and how to technically accomplish those goals, according to Goodhew.
"We think the technology of Visual J# .Net helps our developers migrate existing investments in the Java to the .Net Framework. And with native support of XML Web services an a number of programming languages, it has helped us avoid the costly process of replacing existing systems or retraining developers," said Chris Maeda, CTO at Kana Communications Inc.
The company in the next week or so will release a full implementation of the I, Buy, Spy store and portals that are written in J#. Developers can go to the Ibuyspy.com site and download a C# and Visual basic versions of the store and portal along with documentation on to build Web-based applications.
Additionally, Microsoft improved the speed of the product's compiler and has enabled it to produce the same types of assemblies and executable modules now in the company's shipping compilers.
Goodhew says Microsoft is still on schedule to ship the finished version of Visual J# .Net by mid year.
Developers can download Beta 2 by going to msdn.microsoft.com/visualj/jsharp/beta.asp.