In the shadow of its NetPC specification announcement, Microsoft made a number of other significant declarations at the company?s Site Builders' Conference, held in San Jose on Monday.
The announcements centred round the company?s newly outlined ?Active Platform?, a development environment for building future Internet and Intranet applications.
Some of these include Internet Information Server 3.0, a commercial Web server that now supports compile-free execution of server-side scripts and components; Internet Studio, the codename for a visual Web application development tool for corporate Intranet and Internet development; Dynamic HTML, an HTML technology that gives developers and end users more control over Web pages; and Visual Basic 5.0, Control Creation Edition, which enables developers to quickly and easily build ActiveX Controls.
The Active Platform consists of three main parts: The Active Desktop, which includes language-independent scripting, component integration and new dynamic HTML technology; The Active Server, which provides a server-side component and programming environment, incorporating services such as database access and transactions processing within Web applications; and ActiveX, a set of technologies that enables software components written in different languages on different operating systems to communicate on the same machine and across networks.
The company claims that Internet Information Server 3.0 is close to becoming a full-blown application server. The product includes Active Server Pages technology, which allows Web masters to generate pages on the fly, by combining components of those pages stored on a database.
Internet Studio is an integrated development tool for building Active Server Web applications based on open Internet standards. It will allow developers to take advantage of server-side processing using Active Server Pages and Active Data Objects (both new technologies found in IIS version 3.0.) In addition, Internet Studio will enable developers to incorporate Active Desktop features such as advanced HTML, ActiveX, Java and scripting in the Visual Basic programming system, Scripting Edition or Jscript.
Microsoft has delivered an alpha version of the product to more than 2,000 attendees at the Microsoft Site Builders' Conference. A public beta version of Internet Studio will be available for downloading from the Microsoft Web site later this year.
Microsoft claims that the Active platform has already received industry support, with leading tools vendors supporting it and over 2,000 ActiveX controls commercially available to be incorporated into Active Platform applications.
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