Microsoft Releases Longhorn Server CTP, Visual Studio 2005 RC1

Microsoft on Thursday handed out the first Community Technology Preview of Longhorn Server and Visual Studio 2005 Release Candidate 1 at its Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles.

September 15, 2005

2 Min Read
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Already polishing Windows Server 2003 R2 to ship later this year, Microsoft on Thursday handed out the first Community Technology Preview of Longhorn Server, which is due out in 2007.

At the company’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles, Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Windows Server Division, lifted the veil on planned Longhorn Server features such as Citrix-style application publishing/remoting, Internet information Server 7.0, a Transaction File System dubbed TxF, and workflow services support.

Microsoft also handed out Visual Studio 2005 Release Candidate 1 to developers at PDC and to MSDN subscribers.

Beta 1 of Longhorn Server was released in late July. Though the new bits represent a minor update of that code, Muglia drew applause by unveiling plans for TxF, a Transactional File System update to the existing NTFS that offers rollback capabilities.

"TxF storage is a Transactional File System update to NTFS allows all file systems to be transacted. If you aren’t using it, there's no overhead, and if you are using it, there's little overhead."With TxF, customers can copy and move files and perform rollbacks, according to Muglia. "This is interesting in applications where [users want to] coordinate files with the database," he said. "We'll use TxF for software deployment, so if a failure occurs during an update it can be rolled back."

The Redmond, Wash., software giant had planned to integrate its WinFS file system into Longhorn but delayed it until the next major Windows upgrade, which is code-named Blackcomb and due out later this decade.

Microsoft also plans to integrate into Longhorn server-based computing capabilities pioneered by Citrix that provide customers with application publishing and remoting capabilities. The server will have access for Terminal Services and the ability to deploy remote applications across firewalls, according to Muglia. "The applications can run on the desktop in Windows and from the server anywhere and can take advantage of new capabilities in Longhorn,” he said.

The next version of Microsoft's Internet Information Services, IIS 7.0, will be modular and offer a Windows Activation Service that activates WS* protocols, asp.Net integration, diagnostics and tracing.

"We'll take existing asp.Net and plug into the new IIS pipeline, so if you're writing in C# [you] can plug directly into IIS," Muglia said. "Visual Studio and IIS 7.0 is the richest application platform on the planet to develop sophistciated Web and Web-based applications."In addition, Microsoft is prepping a new Security Token Service for InfoCards that’s designed to vastly improve access and authentication capabilities, though it won't be available for the Windows server until after Longhorn ships.

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