Dev Bytes

Microsoft Corp. has announced the Exchange 2000 Server XML Web Services Toolkit for Microsoft .NET, and beta releases of SQL Server 2000 Notification Services and SQL Server 2000 Windows CE Edition (SQL Server CE) Version 2.0. These tools are designed to further enable developers to push XML Web services into the .NET Platform.

The Exchange 2000 Server XML Web Services Toolkit provides the tools and resources developers need to bring contextual collaboration to .NET-based applications using Exchange 2000. Visual Studio.NET developers can tap the data and services of Exchange, such as calendaring and scheduling, contacts, workflow and messaging to add to the context of a larger solution. The toolkit provides sample code, white papers, how-to videos and a self-paced training course to accelerate the design and development of XML Web services.

Oracle app server knows where you are

Object FX Corp. said it has developed a version of its software for Oracle Corp.’s 9 i Application Server, providing developers with a way to embed location-based services in applications deployed on Oracle’s middleware platform.

Using geographical mapping technology, the company’s SpatialFX software platform can be used to build applications that deliver information based on a user’s physical location. Object FX, based in St. Paul, Minn., said applications built using its Java-based SpatialFX components can deliver information to users on a range of computing devices, from PCs to handheld computers. For example, developers could build an application that uses GPS (global positioning system) to track the location of a fleet of trucks. In addition to displaying a map pinpointing a truck’s location, the application could also deliver real-time information such as how fast the truck is moving and what it is hauling. In addition to transportation industries, similar location-based services can be developed to dispatch service technicians to customer locations.

Apple offers developer assistance through ADC

The Apple Developer Connection (ADC) is helping new developers bring their products to the Mac platform than ever before, according to Apple.

Mac OS X opened an entire new group of developers to Apple Computer Inc. when it was released just over a year ago. ADC is becoming a facilitator for many of these new developers by offering resources and contacts for porting companies that are able to bring applications to Mac OS X. Apple is also helping the new developers with channel resources, as well as manufacturing and distribution assistance.

Google unveils Web search engine query API

Google Inc. has released Google Web APIs (application programming interfaces) service, which enables developers to query more than 2 billion Web documents accessible from the Google search engine via their own computer programs, according to the company.

The free beta service uses SOAP (simple object access protocol) and WSDL (Web services description language) Web services standards so developers can program in their favourite environment, including Java, Perl, or Visual Studio.NET, according to Google. “Basically, our approach is an experiment to see what people do with it,” said John Piscitello, Google Web APIs marketing manager, in Mountain View, Calif., of the service. Developers have expressed a strong interest in the service, he said. “There are different things they’re interested in doing. One of them is searching from a different type of interface.” Also, “a lot of people are interesting in monitoring the Web for new information on different subjects,” said Piscitello.

Test time for Microsoft’s wireless .NET

Microsoft Corp. is expected to release the first public beta version of a software product that will help extend its .NET initiative to mobile devices and to elaborate on its strategy for bringing .NET services and applications to wireless users, a company official said.

Called the .NET Compact Framework, the beta version will be released at Microsoft’s Mobility Developer Conference in London and includes software needed to run .NET services and applications on portable devices such as handheld computers and smart phones. Microsoft will offer details about how the software should be used and hand out free copies to attendees at the show, said John Montgomery, a group product manager with Microsoft’s .NET developer platform group. The .NET Compact Framework includes the runtime environment and class libraries needed to run .NET applications and services. A version for desktops and servers, called simply the .NET Framework, has already been released. The compact version is essentially a subset of that for use in handheld computers running Microsoft’s Pocket PC software, its operating software for smart phones, and other Windows CE-based devices such as in-car computers, Montgomery said.