Microsoft will release test versions of some forthcoming web-development tools, as well as clarify its strategy for adding application-modeling to its software portfolio, at its TechEd Developers conference this week.
At the show, which began on Tuesday in Orlando, Florida, Microsoft will release beta 2 of Silverlight 2, the second full release of Microsoft's application-development and delivery platform for Web-based multimedia. Microsoft released the first version of Silverlight last September to compete with Adobe Flash.
The company also will reveal more information about an ambitious project, codenamed Oslo, for adding application-modeling capability across its software -- including its Visual Studio developer tools and System Center network-management software -- to help organizations create and deploy service-oriented architectures (SOAs).
The Silverlight 2 beta, which will have a GoLive license so developers can immediately use it for deploying applications, includes Microsoft's .NET development framework, giving developers the ability to handle both managed code and Web-development code from within the environment, said Jon Perera, a Microsoft general manager.
Developers also can begin using Expression Blend, Microsoft's Web-design tool, to begin working with the Silverlight 2 beta, the company will unveil at the show.
Another Web-centric technology Microsoft will reveal and give developers a preview of at TechEd is an in-memory data caching technology codenamed Project Velocity. The technology allows data from a database to be made available at the Web-development tier in a Web server, giving an application quicker and more efficient access to data, Perera said. This will improve the performance of Web-based applications, he said.
Eventually, Microsoft plans to integrate the technology from Project Velocity into its ASP.NET Web-development environment and the .NET framework, Perera added.
Microsoft has been guarded with specific information about Project Oslo, which it discussed first publicly last October. On Tuesday the company will reveal that one of the first steps of the project will be to add visual modeling to its Visual Studio development environment, Perera said.
For example, in the next version of Visual Studio Team System, codenamed Rosario, from Oslo may surface as visual modeling capability for application architects, he said.
Microsoft also will unveil that it is working with partners and the industry group the Business Process Alliance to come up with the modeling language for Project Oslo, a move that suggests the company will not create its own proprietary language but instead will work with standards such as BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) that already exist.