Microsoft has spilled a series of details about forthcoming launches at the TechEd conference in Orlando, Florida.
First, the official names of the next versions of SQL Server and Visual Studio. SQL Server, codenamed Katmai, will be called SQL Server 2008, while Visual Studio, code-named Orcas, will be called Visual Studio 2008.
SQL Server 2008 is expected to go on sale this year, but Microsoft would say only that Visual Studio's release will be sometime in 2008. Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 is expected to be available later this summer and will include Visual Studio Shell, which lets developers create and share custom tools.
Bob Muglia, senior vice president, server and tools business, at Microsoft, used the official names during his keynote speech. Along with the name change, Microsoft also released the first public beta of SQL Server 2008, in what it calls a community technology preview (CTP). Microsoft plans to release a new CTP every 60 days.
Kim Colley, product manager for SQL Server, said Microsoft had acquired the code base of Dundas Data Visualisation's products and would incorporate the code into SQL Server Reporting Services. Previously, Microsoft had licensed the maps, graphing and charting capabilities from Dundas.
Microsoft also released the first CTP of BizTalk Services, a middleware service for service oriented architecture (SOA), and the first public beta of the .Net Framework 3.5 which includes Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow Foundation, Windows Presentation Foundation and CardSpace.
The options for Server Core installations on Windows Server 2008 now include Internet Information Services 7.0 (IIS7).
On the security front, Microsoft unveiled Stirling, a single console for all of its Forefront security products. A limited beta will be available at the end of the year, but shipment is not until early 2009. Microsoft said that it would release a Beta 2 of Forefront Server Security Management Console, a precursor to Stirling.
For the desktop, Microsoft said it released last week Version 2 of the Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack for Software Assurance. The new version includes SoftGrid Application Virtualisation. A version for Vista will be available on 1st July.
The desktop pack also includes Asset Inventory Service, an inventory scanning tool, System Centre Desktop Error Monitoring, and Advanced Group Policy Management for change management via group policy objects. The Vista version of all those tools is expected to be available on 1 July.
Microsoft’s Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset which helps in recovering a crashed PC, is available.
Lastly, the vendor has released a technology preview of Open XML SDK, which helps developers build Office applications using the Open XML file format.