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Compuware links driver tool and .NET

Compuware Corp. today unveiled DriverStudio 3.0, a suite of tools that can accelerate the driver development life cycle used to build Windows device drivers.

The new version of the toolset adds integration with Microsoft's Visual Studio .NET toolset and Visual Studio 6, which officials maintained can ease the development of drivers. The DriverStudio suite incorporates tools for helping device driver developers write, debug, test and tune high-quality driver code that meets strict quality standards for Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) driver certification.

"While DriverStudio already had device driver debugging nailed, the new features in DriverStudio 3.0 take driver development to a new level," said John Robbins, co-founder and debugging expert at Wintellect, a Knoxville, Tenn.-based .NET training firm.

DriverStudio components, including DriverWorks, DriverNetworks, BoundsChecker Driver Edition, TrueTime Driver Edition and TrueCoverage Driver Edition, now plug into Visual Studio .NET 2002 to provide the device driver developer with a set of tools that can address the complete driver development life cycle, Compuware officials said.

Compuware officials said that the new release includes an updated DriverWorkbench component with improved integration with Compuware's Visual SoftICE debugging tool and with other DriverStudio tools like BoundsChecker Driver Edition, TrueTime Driver Edition and TrueCoverage Driver Edition. Additionally, the DriverStudio Framework tools, DriverWorks and DriverNetworks, can now plug into the Visual Studio 6 IDE, officials said.

DriverStudio 3.0 also adds a new system-level debugger to the SoftICE toolset, a two-machine debugger with a multiple-window, configurable graphical user interface that uses a 32-bit master machine to debug one or more 32-bit or 64-bit target machines.

IDC Analyst Al Gillen said the new version boosts Microsoft's effort to minimize Windows system outages by speeding the process of building reliable and robust device drivers.

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