Visual Studio (VS) .NET is a development tool that developers can use to easily build powerful applications. As shown in Figure 1.8, .NET integrates many tools into a single environment. Here are some examples:
- Projects and workspaces provide a comprehensive view of all the files in a project. You can manage multiple projects in a single workspace.
- The IDE lets you use various programming languagessuch as VB, C++, C#, J#, and othersto develop applications.
- The visual Form Designer enables the developer to create dialogs or Web forms without doing any programming.
- Visual Studio supports Internet applications development. It deploys the Web application to the IIS in a way that is transparent to the developer.
- The integrated debugger supports stepping through the source code even for remote Web applications.
- .NET supports external tools such as the versioning control tools Visual Source Safe and Rational ClearCase and the performance analyzer Rational Quantify.
Figure 1.8. Debugging in the Integrated Development Environment
With the new Visual Studio.NET Version 2003, a number of improvements have been added. Those features include the following:
- Enhanced C++ floating point performance: Added support for Pentium 4 processors and the SSE/SSE2 instruction set enhances the performance of floating-point-intensive processing by as much as 20 percent.
- C++ Rapid Application Development wizards: New designers and wizards enable C++ developers to easily create forms-based .NET applications.
- Integrated smart device and wireless programmability: Support for the .NET Compact Framework has been added. This enables .NET developers to easily develop programs for Pocket PC or Windows CE. In addition, Visual Studio.NET supports more than 140 Internet-enabled mobile devices.
- Support for J# developers: To ease the transition of Java developers to the .NET Framework, J# is integrated into Visual Studio.NET.
- .NET Framework 1.1 support: The new .NET Framework 1.1 that ships with Windows .NET Server is fully supported in Visual Studio.NET 2003.