At long last, Visual Studio 2005 set to arrive

Although disappointed by product delays, Visual Studio 2005 beta users are nonetheless pleased with the product's feature set, noting enhancements in areas such as ALM (application lifecycle management) and Web development.

Visual Studio 2005 became available to Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) users last week and ships to everyone else on Monday, with the same status holding true for the SQL Server 2005 database. The company will laud these two products and the upcoming BizTalk Server 2006 business process software on Monday at an event in San Francisco.

"In general, I'm very excited about [VS 2005], especially the improvements in ASP.Net and Visual Studio Team System," said Joe Homnick, a beta user of Visual Studio 2005 and president of Homnick Systems, a learning solutions partner for Microsoft. He has been involved in three Visual Studio-related user groups in Florida, including founding the Gold Coast Users Group.

But Homnick acknowledged delays with Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005. "Of course, I'd like to have seen [them] a lot faster," he said. Visual Studio 2005 had been due in 2004 but slipped by about a year.

"I think the lateness was created by the integration between Visual Studio and SQL Server. This gives you that whole CLR (Common Language Runtime) integration, as well as data analysis services in SQL Server," Homnick said.

Another beta user was more blunt about the arrival of Visual Studio 2005.