Microsoft will release Beta 2 versions of its .Net Framework and Visual Studio.Net at the TechEd developers conference later this week.
Visual Studio.Net will include software modelling and database modelling features, support for Unified Modelling Language 1.2, templates and frameworks for building and deploying web services, and customisable tools for testing the scalability and functionality of web services.
The high-end versions of its language suite, which include Visual C++, Visual Basic and C Sharp, are aimed at easing the task of group development of eXtensible Markup Language, or XML, applications for the web.
Microsoft officials said the developer feedback from the second beta trials would be incorporated into a final release of Visual Studio.Net before the end of the year.
Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect, will tell conference attendees that .Net will make it "effortless" for developers to move quickly and easily into the new era of the programmable web.
Microsoft, which has partnered with dozens of third-party vendors to create tools for web services, said tool vendors including CAST, Compuware, Merant, WebPutty and RadView Software will link their tools to Visual Studio.Net.
Besides the early releases of toolkits at TechEd, a number of companies developing on Microsoft's .Net Framework are also expected to come forward at TechEd.
Compuware said it would make an announcement in conjunction with Microsoft's Mobile Information Server, and Canadian server software maker Ixiasoft is expected to demonstrate its TEXTML embedded content server for XML native databases, which is complementary to Microsoft's SQL Server.
Accenture is expected to release a set of tools to provide a way for its enterprise customers to turn their applications and services into .Net-ready products.
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