At the Microsoft Partner Summit 98 last week, Microsoft previewed the themes it will publicly unveil at its developer events this Fall. The ever evolving marketing scheme to bring Windows into the new internetworked world--which Microsoft has dubbed Windows DNA (Distributed interNet Architecture)--is basically a plan to extend the Win32 API (which software developers use to create Windows applications) into the 21st Century. The plan revolves around three key core strategies:
COM+ -- Announced late last year, COM+ is the successor to Distributed COM (DCOM), Microsoft's component object model for creating programmable objects that can communicate over the Internet or any other network. Basic support for COM+ is expected in Visual Studio 6.0, due September 2, but full programming support won't occur until late 1999 when Visual Studio 2000 ships.
Storage+ -- Another technology that was formally announced late last year, Storage+ is a unified storage architecture that will originally be shared by SQL Server 7.0 and Exchange Server 6.0. Much of the groundwork for Storage+ was created with OLE-DB, the successor to ODBC: The idea is to create a common programming interface for any type of storage so that programmers can access the data in a single, unified manner. Vic Gundrota, the director of Platform Marketing for Microsoft says that the company is planning to give developer partners a CD with over 30 OLE-DB providers, including ones for Exchange Server and Lotus Notes. The current crop of OLE-DB providers is limited to ODBC-compliant databases.
Forms+ -- This is the next generation of Microsoft's proprietary HTML extensions, which began with Dynamic HTML in Internet Explorer 4.0. Microsoft wants to make the HTML interface as rich as a multimedia CD-ROM while retaining HTML's relatively simple programming model