The Objectworld conference has offered developers a quick peek at the details of Microsoft's much-hyped .NET strategy.
The insight came from several .NET tutorials at Objectworld, led by Brad Abrams, lead program manager of the .NET Frameworks team. Abrams has been working on the common language runtime (CLR) of Microsoft's new framework for the last three years, which took in the input of the developer and academic communities. Among this input was the work of the Mercury project, a group of academics at Melbourne University (ARN, October 18).
Abrams describes the .NET framework as a common execution environment for applications to run on, which targets multiple languages.
"It allows developers to create Web-based applications on the server side as simply as Visual Basic programmers create client-side applications using drop-and-drag techniques," he said.
Marketed toward anyone building Web applications that run on the Internet and intranets, Abrams believes it will significantly impact the developer profession. Microsoft's connection with the developer community takes place through conferences such as Objectworld, as well as through newsgroups.
"Microsoft is paying attention to the feedback we are getting from these sources," Abrams said.
The initial release will be a value add on top of Microsoft's Visual Studio.NET design package, which is expected to be shipped in Australia during November or December. It will also be freely available for download at Microsoft's Web site.
For a detailed description of Visual Studio.NET, see the product review on page 60.