At its latest conference for developers, Microsoft announced a technical preview of Microsoft Office Information Bridge Framework, and the release of Web Services Enhancements 2.0. The company also previewed Visual Studio 2005 Team System, a collection of tools designed to help software development. “[IBF and WSE] are two of the absolute biggest releases we’ve ever done in terms of improving developer performance,” Steve Ballmer told the audience. “But the biggest is Visual Studio 2005 Team System,” which will ship in 2005.
Ballmer said developers could expect a 50 percent reduction in code for common scenarios when using Visual Studio 2005. Both Microsoft Office Information Bridge Framework (IBF) and Visual Studio 2005 Team System are designed to make development faster. IBF includes client-side and server-side components, as well as Information Bridge Metadata Designer, a plug-in for the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET development system that creates and manages solution metadata. IBF lets Office act as the front end for both creating and consuming Web services.
Web Services Enhancements (WSE) 2.0 lets nondevelopers build Web services using wizards and drag-and-drop tools. Microsoft also released the technology preview of Microsoft BizTalk Server Adapter for WSE 2.0 for orchestrating security-enhanced Web services and exposing business process flows as secure Web services. Ballmer said the foremost concern of customers is the pressure to do more with less.
He pointed to the disappointment of how little impact the huge technology ramp-up of the dot-com era made. We’ve been in a drying out period, but now, good, solid, steady increases in IT spending. But the pressure to do new projects will still exceed the budgets.