Microsoft and Inprise are locked in a race to ship new development toolsets, with Microsoft Visual Studio 6.0 set to go on sale on 2 September and its rival close behind with Delphi 4.0.
Microsoft unveiled Visual Studio 6.0, the next generation of its suite of tools, at the recent Teched 98 conference in New Orleans (see previous story). The new line-up will include the Enterprise Edition of Visual Studio 6.0, Visual Basic 6.0 and Visual C++ 6.0. Other tools in the suite that have been demonstrated recently are Visual Interdev 6.0, Visual J++ 6.0, and Visual Foxpro 6.0.
Microsoft pre-empted its number one competitor, Inprise, formerly known as Borland, which is announcing Delphi 4.0 at PC Expo in New York next week and will probably ship it in October. Inprise will make a number of announcements, providing full detail on Delphi pricing and availability, along with Visibroker object request broker technologies, AS/400 development tools, Entera integration technology, JBuilder 2 and C++Builder tools.
Microsoft said: "Enterprise developers face a significant challenge in building distributed, Web based solutions that provide integration with their existing systems. Visual Studio 6.0 brings us closer to integrating the rapid application development concepts of our Visual Tools with the lifecycle and interoperability requirements of the enterprise."
Visual Studio 6.0 Enterprise Edition provides interoperability with Unix and SNA hosts using ActiveX Data Objects (ADO), SNA Server 4.0 and the COM/Cics Transaction Integrator (COM TI).
There are new OLE DB and ODBC drivers to all Microsoft databases, and for the first time, to Oracle VSAM and DB/2 databases running on AS/400s and IBM mainframes. Connectivity to other major database systems is through third party drivers.
Visual Studio 6.0 extends Visual Database Tools with new support for visual construction of Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle databases. Visual Database Tools includes Database Designer for point-and-click creation and modification of SQL Server and Oracle; Data View to connect and explore objects in OLE/DB or ODBC based databases; Query Designer for drag-and-drop creation and testing of SQL statements; and the Stored Procedure Editor to create and test stored procedures and functions on SQL Server and Oracle.
Visual Studio 6.0 pricing will be announced in September at the Developer Days 98 conference via a satellite broadcast from Bill Gates in Redmond. A three-day training course, 'Mastering Distributed Application Design Using Visual Studio', will be announced worldwide during October at $995.
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