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Visual FoxPro 6.0 on the way

Microsoft's new version of the database application development tool will make it easier to build data-intensive components and be Year 2000 compliant.

Microsoft's Visual FoxPro development tool keeps chugging along.

Microsoft plans to ship, by this summer, a new version of the database application development tool that will make it easier to build data-intensive components for middle-tier applications, and will include a new date format to ensure that FoxPro applications are Year 2000 compliant, the company said today.

Visual FoxPro 6.0 will also include support for Microsoft's Transaction Server, the company's component-based transaction processing package, along with better connections to the company's Active Server Pages server-side development technology, and Internet Information Server Web server software.

The tool now stores dates in a new format, using a four-digit year field, to eliminate any problems recognizing dates after December 31, 1999. To make older FoxPro applications Year 2000-complaint, Microsoft said developers can recompile them using Visual FoxPro 6.0.

Also new are the Application Wizard and Application Builder functions to help developers quickly build an application framework. Microsoft has also included a Web publishing Wizard for migrating forms and other information to Web servers.

Visual FoxPro 6.0 will ship as part of Visual Studio 6.0, Microsoft's development tool suite, now in beta testing and expected to ship this summer.

Visual Studio--which is actually the second release of the tools package--will include version 6.0 updates of Visual J++, Visual Basic, and Visual C++, in addition to Visual FoxPro 6.0.

Visual Studio 6.0 will add support for IE 4.0 controls, dynamic HTML, and Windows NT 5.0-specific technology and infrastructure components, such as the Microsoft Message Queue server, Active Directory services, and Microsoft's Zero Administration technologies.

A second future release of Visual Studio, code-named Rainier, is being developed in tandem with Aspen, Microsoft product managers have said. That release will deliver COM+ technology support, additional tools targeted at Windows NT 5.0, and specific OLE DB support for Microsoft's next-generation SQL Server 7.0 database server. That release uses OLE DB as its primary data access interface.

Rainier delivery is slated for sometime later this year.

The current version of Visual Studio is priced from $999.