Visual Studio details revealed

Microsoft Corp. with Visual Studio 2005 is pledging to provide mobile application developers with facilities equal to what desktop developers have had, said company officials at the VSLive conference here on Thursday.

Due to ship next year, Visual Studio 2005 will support native Active Template Library (ATL) to ease development of C++ applications for devices, said Jonathan Wells, product manager for Microsoft .Net Compact Framework. Currently, ATL is limited to desktop applications. Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC), which provides the same functionality, also will be extended to mobile development. Embedded Visual C, for building COM objects, will be included as well and cease to be its own product, although existing versions still will be supported. These COM objects can be extended to devices.

“We’re bringing all of our tools in the 2005 timeframe into Visual Studio, all in one package,” Wells said.

Developers in Visual Studio 2005 also will get easier access to Pocket Outlook Object Model (POOM) in Visual Studio 2005, said Irwin Rodrigues, lead product manager in the Microsoft Mobile Devices Division. POOM enables access to Outlook facilities such as mail contacts.

Visual Studio will feature wizard technology making it easier to replicate between the upcoming SQL Server 2005 database and the mobile version of the database. The mobile database, currently named SQL Server CE, will be renamed SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition.

“The reason we’re calling it Mobile Edition is we’re going to support a future version of the Windows Mobile smart phone, and on top of that we’re going to support TabletPC,” said Kevin Collins, senior program manager for SQL Server CE. This provides for the same data store and behaviour across different applications.

Visual Studio 2005 also makes it easier to synchronize data between databases such as Oracle and IBM DB2 and the mobile version of SQL Server, through data transformation services tools, Wells said.

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