Visual Studio .NET is Microsoft's visual programming environment for creating Web services based on use of the Extensible Markup Language (XML). The product suite provides a visual interface for identifying a program as a Web service, forms for building a user interface (including support for mobile device interfaces), features for integrating existing application data, and for debugging. Visual Studio .NET comes with the .NET Framework, including the Common Language Runtime, and includes several programming languages including Visual Basic, Visual C++, and Visual C#.
Visual Studio .NET comes in any of three levels of capability and price: Professional, Enterprise Developer (which includes Microsoft's SQL Server), and Enterprise Architect (which includes the Visio product for modeling an application program). In Microsoft's view, Visual Studio .NET aims at setting a benchmark of ease in application development for the Web in the present decade just as its Visual Basic set a benchmark for visual programming in the 1990s. Existing users of Microsoft's Visual line and related languages may upgrade to Visual Studio .NET for a discount from the full price.
Visual Studio .NET is generally comparable to Sun Microsystems' J2EE.
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