Visual Basic v5.0 Professional Edition was launched last month by Microsoft. Said to deliver up to 2,000% performance gains over v4.0, its features include native code compilation, high speed data access and a much improved rapid application development environment – with `IntelliSense’ technology.
Most importantly, there’s also now built-in facilities for ActiveX Controls. So you can build reusable component-based code using VB v5.0. Over 250,000 developers have been doing this using the freely-downloadable VB 5.0 Control Creation Edition.
As Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman, said: `It’s been a long time coming, but the industrial revolution of software is now upon us.’ Developers now have a clear path to ActiveX component-based applications for the Internet/intranet and client/server nets.
* Microsoft has announced its Application Foundation Classes (AFC) – a set of building blocks to help developers create cross-platform Java applications. The libraries are written in Sun’s open Java network language, and are said to provide richer graphics, user interface and multi-media functionality for any Java platform.
* Microsoft’s VisualStudio 97, now out, is a suite of development tools for client/server and Web-based systems. It includes Visual Basic, Visual C++, Visual J++, Visual FoxPro and Visual InterDev development software.
* VRML 2.0 is now shipping in beta – for C++ and Java, allowing 3D on the Internet. Go to http://www.microsoft.com.