Review: Alpha Five

In its new version, Alpha Five brings impressive Web accessibility to desktop databases - turning them into full-fledged Web applications without any code.

Useful bits of software

From time to time I intend to use this space to mention truly useful bits of software that I use on a regular basis. Today is a good time to start, and the picks for today are the WinZip E-Mail Attachment Add-On for Outlook, the search program X1, and SpamBayes.

Review: ANTS Profiler

Now in its second major release, ANTS Profiler is a super-easy to use profiler for .NET applications, letting you track speed or memory usage and drill down to a very granular level.

Briefing: Fortify

Fortify's toolset is designed to catch security bugs through static code analysis. With editions covering a wide range of price and functionality, they're accessible to almost any developer.

Using .NET to make applications play together

If your organization is like most out there, you've got a raft of disparate legacy applications that don't talk much to each other. Butch Clark's new book provides a recipe for injecting some order into this chaos. Read on to get my impressions of the book.

Where's the killer app?

Microsoft has been heavily promoting and investing in the Tablet PC, even to the extent of paying out prizes to developers writing software for it. Despite the hype, though, I haven't been able to find any good reason to buy one myself. Here's my current reasons for staying off the Tablet bandwagon.

Briefing: Grand Central

Grand Central offers an easy way for you to get started on a service-oriented architecture without investing a ton of money.

Welcome to Developer Central version 2!

Now Developer Central is a blog rather than an e-mail newsletter - but you can still expect the same developer-oriented content, and a bit more!

Write a Web Service Client

Web services have become a standard for building client/server applications. Learn an approach for using the JAX-RPC SI toolkit to generate a Web service's client-side code.

Perspective on XML: Be humble, not imperial

Information systems have earned an unfortunate reputation as a retardant of business innovation. Structured programming and modern database design methodologies have established a mandate to closely control business analysis.

Software factories come into modern times

What if software were manufactured like an automobile or a refrigerator, using off-the-shelf components and assembly-line production techniques to help automate many of the most repetitive development tasks? A new Microsoft strategy revives debate over whether software development can become a manufacturing discipline.

THINKPIECE: Quality counts, especially in outsourcing

For many companies, outsourcing IT work is seen as mandatory to stay competitive, and even software product companies are offshoring product development and maintenance work to reduce costs. But many experts will tell you that outsourcing software development carries increased risks, most notably, quality.

Too much control is crazy making

I thought of Charlie Chaplin’s classic film, Modern Times, after reading Stephen Swoyer’s piece on software factories, a concept for automating software development that Microsoft has beenchampioning lately. Modern Times was Chaplin’s protest against industrial society and the dehumanizing effect of the factory assembly line.

Business Intelligence: How to turn it into information

In many cases, IT and the business side continue to battle each other for control. But technology, and changes in attitude on both ends, can help improve business-IT alignment.There is a lot of talk about the need to align business objectives and the IT department, but enterprises are making little progress.

New Products

News from vendors on new products for application development.

It's true: Location is everything

Location-based services help enterprises track employees, manage inventories, process customer orders and even find potential customers

Project management makes for a credible integration story

Gartner, which plots market leaders and challenges in a "Magic Quadrant," says the 2004 project and portfolio management leaders are Primavera, Niku, Mercury, PlanView, Systemcorp, and Lawson Software; and the challengers are Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and PeopleSoft.

Project portfolio managment promises to step up to the ROI challenge

IT and the enterprise want it all: time to market, quality, and cost. And they want it quickly. Now, they just might have the right stuff to get it.

Model of integrating components

Two years ago, the Object Management Group (OMG) introduced the model-driven architecture (MDA), a development specification that taps the OMG’s Unified Modeling Language (UML) to automate the integration of software from applications, middleware, or custom components. To a certain extent, says Thomas Murphy, a vice president with consultancy META Group, the software factory and its attendant notion of Domain Specific Languages (DSL) constitute Microsoft’s response to MDA.