Note: Visual Studio .NET 2003 is currently available to MSDN Subscribers from MSDN Subscriber Downloads.
Visual Studio .NET 2003 Professional enables you to rapidly build a broad range of applications for Microsoft Windows®, the Web, and mobile devices. Developers can use Visual Studio .NET 2003 Professional to:
Visual Studio .NET 2003 delivers the developer productivity you need to deliver a range of professional software in record time. The integrated development environment (IDE) provides a consistent interface for all languages, including Microsoft Visual Basic® .NET, Microsoft Visual C++® .NET, Microsoft Visual C#® .NET, and Microsoft Visual J# .NET. Using the language best suited to your skill set, you can take advantage of shared visual designers to build rich Windows-based applications and dynamic Web applications that render in any browser.
Windows developers will find the enhanced Windows Forms designer to be intuitive and efficient. Windows Forms are also compatible with any .NET development language.
With visual inheritance, developers can greatly simplify the creation of Windows-based applications by reusing common logic and user interface throughout their solution. Using control anchoring and docking, programmers can build resizable forms automatically, while the in-place menu editor enables developers to visually author menus directly from within the Forms Designer.
With its powerful WYSIWYG designer for Web pages, IntelliSense® HTML editing features, and Style Sheet Editor, Visual Studio .NET 2003 helps developers feel comfortable authoring complex Web-based solutions.
Extending visual design capabilities to the server is easier than ever with Visual Studio .NET 2003. The Component Designer provides a canvas for building and instantiating business logic components using the familiar drag-and-drop paradigm. In addition, the Server Explorer delivers direct access to server-side resources, including databases, message queues, event logs, Windows Services, Crystal Reports, and performance counters.
Integrating any of these resources into your application is as easy as dragging controls onto a form. The enhanced XML Designer provides panning and zoom capabilities for graphically navigating and manipulating XML data and schema files. Visual Database tools deliver powerful designers and wizards for creating and managing data-driven applications.
Numerous productivity features within the IDE knock down traditional barriers to rapid development of professional software:
A comprehensive object model and a fully extensible IDE provide you with the benefits of a vibrant third-party add-in and component vendor community. And, with Visual Studio macros, you can automate routine tasks within the IDE to enhance your productivity during the software development process. Macros can be both recorded and played back, or manually created using the Macros IDE and the full power of the Visual Basic .NET language.
Visual Studio .NET 2003 empowers you to build professional software using your choice of modernized programming languages.
Visual Basic .NET 2003 delivers the most productive route to professional application development. Familiar Visual Basic syntax, expressive coding constructs, a powerful background compiler, and unsurpassed support for productivity within the code editor enable you to crank out software in record time. The fully modernized Visual Basic language supports Structured Exception Handling and optional power features including object-oriented constructs and multi-threading.
Visual C++ .NET 2003 delivers maximum power, performance, control, and flexibility for creating applications that directly leverage Windows. New support for the Windows Forms designer offers C++ developers unprecedented productivity in building rich Windows-based applications. With attribute-based programming and ATL Server, an extension to the ATL libraries, you can use the C++ syntax to build ISAPI Web applications. Additionally, C++ developers can target the .NET Framework using Managed Extensions to Visual C++.
In Visual Studio .NET 2003, developers using Visual C++ will also find that the key metric for measuring code portability, ANSI/ISO compliance, has been increased significantly. The ANSI/ISO C++ standard is the generally accepted standard for the C++ language, and all C++ compiler vendors measure compatibility against this standard.
Visual C# .NET 2003 provides a modern, innovative language, ideal for constructing object-oriented components and business frameworks. Based on the ECMA C# standard, Visual C# .NET offers increased productivity for both the C and C++ developer. With first-class support for components with properties, methods, indexers, attributes, versioning, and events, Visual C# .NET 2003 provides a robust foundation for building .NET-connected applications.
Visual J# .NET 2003 is a development tool for Java-language developers who want to build applications and services on the .NET Framework. Visual J# .NET 2003 joins more than 20 previously announced languages with its ability to target the .NET Framework and first-class XML Web services.
Visual Studio .NET 2003 contains an updated version of the .NET Framework, version 1.1, that builds upon the previous version with new capabilities and improved scalability, reliability, security, and performance. These core enhancements in the underlying development framework combine with improved IDE responsiveness to enable reduced costs associated with application development, deployment, and ongoing maintenance.
A key design goal of the .NET Framework 1.1 was to provide a robust platform for building professional software. Extending the proven foundation laid by version 1.0, the .NET Framework 1.1 delivers additional security features that provide more granular, flexible control over security policy and protect against malicious attacks.
The fine-grained security policy built into the .NET Framework delivers role- and user-based security models in order to safely restrict application access to only those users who are authorized. Code Access Security (CAS) provides an additional, complementary security mechanism to ensure that malicious code is prevented from executing on client machines.
The new deployment model introduced in Visual Studio .NET 2002 and the .NET Framework 1.0 is enhanced in Visual Studio .NET 2003. Aimed at addressing today's most pressing application deployment challenges, the .NET deployment model provides a range of options for all application types.
Developers building Windows-based applications can benefit immediately from the ability to XCOPY-deploy applications that consist of .NET Windows Forms, controls, and business logic. In addition, No Touch Deployment provides Windows-based application developers with a mechanism for deploying Windows-based applications as seamlessly as they deploy Web applications.
This deployment option can significantly reduce costs associated with distribution and ongoing maintenance of Windows-based applications, particularly in scenarios that involve large installed bases. Advanced deployment of applications can be achieved using Visual Studio .NET 2003 Setup and Deployment Projects that leverage Windows Installer technology.
Finally, self-describing assemblies and side-by-side installation protect against "DLL Hell" to ensure that application installations do not corrupt existing software. This also enables multiple versions of Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework to be installed on a single machine.
In addition to providing capabilities to build new applications, Visual Studio .NET 2003 was architected with existing applications and components in mind. Whether your existing applications have been authored in Visual Studio .NET 2002, or an earlier version of the Visual Studio family of tools, existing investments carry forward with Visual Studio .NET 2003.
Addressing the emerging opportunities represented by XML Web services and mobile application development were key design goals of Visual Studio .NET 2003. Using the skills you already have, Visual Studio .NET 2003 enables you to create and consume XML Web services and provides intuitive designers for rapidly building broad-reach Mobile Web applications as well as smart device software.
Visual Studio .NET 2003 provides the easiest route to creating and consuming XML Web services, the crucial standards-based technology that facilitates seamless software integration behind the firewall, across organizational boundaries, and spanning multiple platforms.
Tracking the important SOAP standard, Visual Studio .NET 2003 and the .NET Framework 1.1 continue support for SOAP version 1.1. The Visual Studio .NET Add Web Reference dialog, used to locate and bind XML Web services from within the development environment, gains additional capabilities and usability features in version 2003. The new Web Services Development Kit (WSDK) adds support for some of the latest advanced XML Web services specifications, including security, routing, and referral, all integrated with Visual Studio .NET 2003 so developers can add support for these specifications using the familiar attribute-based programming approach.
Visual Studio .NET 2003 integrates device development as a first-class citizen within the IDE. Visual Studio .NET 2003 provides native support for the .NET Compact Framework, bringing devices such as the Pocket PC, as well as other devices powered by the Microsoft Windows CE .NET operating system, to the forefront of .NET development.
All the power of Visual Studio will be available to the smart device developer, including visual designers, reusable interface components, editing and project management tools, and IntelliSense coding support. Developers of traditional Windows- and Web-based applications can easily extend their existing skills to mobile development with Visual Studio .NET 2003.
For the broadest possible reach to Internet-enabled devices, developers using Visual Studio .NET 2003 can use ASP.NET mobile controls (formerly Microsoft Mobile Internet Toolkit) to build a single mobile Web interface to support a broad range of devices, 200 at last count. Supported mobile technologies include WML 1.1 for WAP-enabled cellular phones, compact HTML (cHTML) for i-mode phones, and HTML for Pocket PCs, Palm devices, and pagers. Server-side mobile controls intelligently generate the appropriate rendering and pagination for the target Web device, providing a rich and consistent user experience while preserving developer flexibility.