Today at Tech Ed Europe, Microsoft Corp. announced the expansion of Microsoft® SQL Server™ and Visual Studio® product lines to include new tools for hobbyists, enthusiasts and students. The Express products offer lightweight, easy-to-use and easy-to-learn products that enable the nonprofessional to quickly build exciting, dynamic Web sites and Windows® applications. Used together or separately, the Express products help a large class of entry-level developers learn and evaluate development on the Windows platform.
“With these Express products, Microsoft is focused on serving the needs of the next generation of IT professionals,” said Eric Rudder, senior vice president of Servers and Tools at Microsoft. “These low-cost, approachable products will help hobbyists and students learn new skills in a simple and enjoyable way.”
The Microsoft Express product lines for SQL Server and Visual Studio consist of the following:
SQL Server Express Edition, a free, easy-to-use version of SQL Server 2005 designed for building simple data-driven applications
Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition, a lightweight tool for building dynamic Web sites and Web services
Visual Basic® 2005 Express Edition, a streamlined programming tool that helps beginning programmers learn how to build exciting Windows applications
Visual C#® 2005 Express Edition, Visual C++® 2005 Express Edition and Visual J#® 2005 Express Edition, three programming tools for students and enthusiasts
SQL Server Express Edition
SQL Server Express Edition helps developers build reliable data-driven applications by providing a freely redistributable, easy-to-use and robust database. It includes the rich functionality included in the SQL Server 2005 database engine, such as stored procedures, views, triggers, cursors, Common Language Runtime (CLR) support and Extensible Markup Language (XML) support. Building on the success of the Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE), SQL Server Express Edition will be available for download at no cost to users. In addition, SQL Server Express Edition provides an embedded database that enables independent software vendors (ISVs) to embed a lightweight, cost-effective database into applications.
Web Development Innovations
With Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition, Microsoft delivers an easy-to-use tool for Web application development. Building on developers’ success with Visual Studio .NET 2003, ASP.NET Web Matrix and ASP.NET as a Web application platform, Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition is a highly productive tool that helps students and enthusiasts build dynamic Web applications, such as personal Web sites, blogging sites and more. Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition provides a dedicated Web tool that is built from the ground up to meet the specific needs of Web developers and includes innovations across the design surface, project system, platform and code editor, including IntelliSense® and debugging tools. Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition also includes a built-in development Web server and publishing tools that when used with SQL Server Express Edition enable users to quickly build and deploy dynamic Web applications to online hosting providers.
Expanding the Visual Studio Product Line to Nonprofessional Developers
The Express products are designed specifically for the needs of the nonprofessional developer, and include built-in learning and evaluation tools that offer not only a highly productive and streamlined development environment, but the tutorial guidance and sample applications nonprofessionals need. For example, each Express product includes one or more starter kits, source code and accompanying tutorials that provide users with a sample application that they are free to customize. With these products, nonprofessionals can build exciting applications for themselves, their friends or their school projects.
Content and Learning Partnerships
Microsoft today also announced collaboration with a number of content providers and community groups to build comprehensive resources for the hobbyist, enthusiast and student developer. E-commerce sites such as eBay Inc., PayPal and Amazon.com Inc., are enriching the tool set with starter kits for use with Visual Studio Express products. This gives the nonprofessional developer a wide array of content and programmable Web services with which to build fun and exciting Windows applications and Web sites.
“In addition to content providers, Microsoft today also announced partnerships with several book publishers to offer content, samples and other resources for the nonprofessional developer. “O’Reilly today is happy to announce that it will supplement the Express tools and starter kits with several new titles designed to help the hobbyist, enthusiast and student learn, evaluate and become successful,” said John Osborn, executive editor for Windows programming at O’Reilly Media Inc. “As the programming domain expands to include nonprofessionals, we are excited to provide the tutorial content that will engage and encourage them to continue.”
Each of the Express products will be available for download by the end of the week. More information on these Express products can be found at the following Web sites: