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Visual Basic 6.0 shown off

Microsoft gives developers a look at the next release of its Visual Basic development tool.

NEW ORLEANS--Microsoft today gave developers here a sneak peek at the next release of its Visual Basic development tool.

Visual Basic 6.0 will include features to make it easier to build server-side applications, link to databases and other data sources through the company's ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) technology, an existing interface to Microsoft's OLE DB universal data access application programming interface (API), said Paul Gross, Microsoft's vice president of developer tools.

Visual Basic 6.0 will debut this fall, as part of the company's Visual Studio 6.0 development tool package. As previously reported Microsoft today announced Visual Studio 6.0 Enterprise Edition, a new package of its development tools intended to be more enterprise-friendly.

In a demonstration here today, David Stutz, a Microsoft developer who calls himself an "architectural wonk" showed VB 6.0 being used to build a server-side application, linked to both a Microsoft SQL Server database and Microsoft Index Server, the company's text search tool for corporate intranets.

The demonstration application queried both SQL Server and Index Server using ADO, and enabled the deployment of thin-client HTML applications.

Stutz said Microsoft is adding features to Visual Basic 6.0 intended to allow server-side application development using the same forms-based interface currently used to build client applications.

Earlier, Gross demonstrated new debugging tools that will be included in VB 6.0 and in Visual C++ 6.0. The new tools let developers debug middle-tier applications built using the company's Transaction Server middleware.

Visual Studio 6.0 is slated for introduction in September. No pricing has been announced.