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MS pitches C++ to IS developers

Microsoft is augmenting its Visual C++ tool to attract more corporate developers.

Microsoft today released an upgrade to its Visual C++ development tool that improves database connectivity and Internet development components to make it more appealing to corporate systems developers.

At a trade show in San Francisco dedicated to Visual C++, Microsoft today introduced a revamped version of the tool, called Visual C++ 4.2 Enterprise Edition, a new package that includes better connectivity to corporate data sources, enhanced team development features for sharing code though integration with its Visual SourceSafe tool, and new Wizards aimed at helping IS developers build corporate applications.

Visaul C++ Enterprise Edition is set to ship by September, priced at $999. The tool includes a new DataView feature that lets developers edit and view SQL database stored procedures and C++ functions that call them. Also new is an integrated debugger and data controls for binding database fields and records. Data controls can be bound to any ActiveX data source control for building Web-based applications.

Also at the Visual C++ Developer's Conference this week, Blue Sky Software will ship Visual SQL, an add-on program for VC++ that extends the tools with visual designers, wizards, and object-oriented data access. For a 60-day introductory period, Blue Sky's product will cost $999 and, after that, $1,499.

The introduction of Enterprise Edition of the tool follows Microsoft's shipment last week of Visual C++ 4.2, which included an update to the Microsoft Foundation Classes that makes it easier to build ActiveX-based Internet and intranet applications.

This fall, Microsoft will revamp its entire tools lineup--including Visual C++, Visual Basic, and Visual FoxPro--to the 5.0 release level and will begin to unify the tools under a common environment called the Developer Studio. The Developer Studio is already a part of Visual C++.

Microsoft eventually plans to ship new compiler releases as individual engines that plug in to Developer Studio.

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