Joe Bains of Squirrel Systems, which develops point-of-sale software for the restaurant industry, said his development team has to continuously re-invent the software using third-party tools that, up until now, are missing from Microsoft’s core platform.“We shouldn’t be having to go out and buy third-party tools such as a reporting services tool or something to transport data,” Bains said at a roundtable discussion here at last month’s Microsoft Professional Developers Conference.
“Why isn’t that in the core of Microsoft? Give (developers) the tools that they can use easily, as opposed to having them reinvent the whole wheel.”
New tools coming
Microsoft will respond with a new generation of development tools on both Windows XP and Vista platforms that it hopes will allow developers to spend more time creating unique software that differentiates them from their competitors.
Windows Presentation Foundation, formerly code-named Avalon, is a unified presentation subsystem for Windows exposed through WinFX — an extension of the .Net framework — that allows developers to create visually rich applications.
Applications created in Windows Presentation Foundation are written in Transaction Authority Markup Language (XAML) code, an XML-based model that allows an application to run across multiple platforms including IBM, Oracle and Sun.
This feature allows developers to take advantage of the write once, deploy anywhere model to develop applications for the plethora of devices and platforms from tablet PCs to media centre to PDAs that exist in the market today, according to IDC Canada analyst Dave Senf.
“What that means for the spectrum of consumers to businesses is that they then have the opportunity to have more applications at their disposal that are more integrated into their organization,” said Senf.
Windows Communication Founda-tion, formerly code-named Indigo, uses a variety of Microsoft technologies such as ASP.Net and transports such as HTTP and TCP to create a single runtime environment for building distributed systems, enabling developers to build Service Oriented Architectures across platforms.
In his keynote address, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates said SOA has to be simple to use so that businesses can easily deploy software and reap the benefits of cross-platform capabilities.
“We have to move to a new level,” said Gates.
“We have to understand what people work with.
“We have to have a workflow level that not only helps people coordinate from software to software but to people to people as well.
“This is where SOA really comes together.”