Microsoft's worldwide DevDays show begins today and brings with it the release of Visual Studio 97, Visual InterDev 1.0, Visual J++ 1.1, Visual Basic 5.0, and Visual C++ 5.0. DevDays is being held in 90 cities in 45 countries around the world. A record 45,000 developers around the world are expected to participate in Microsoft Developer Days this year, which offers a series of intensive product unveilings and informative sessions.

If you're interested in Web and/or application development, this is the place to be. If you aren't going to the shows, make sure you at least check out some of the Web sites listed below.

Microsoft Visual Tools Evaluators Site
Microsoft Developer Days
Microsoft Developers Network News

"This is our biggest tools announcement ever," Microsoft CEO Bill Gates said during a taped Keynote speech: "not just because of the breadth of Visual Studio, but also the depth of integration."

Well, not really. The integration in Visual Studio is about as good as the integration was in the first version of the Office suite: that is, it's almost non-existent. Of course, product integration will improve over the next few releases. This isn't a slam on Visual Studio: it's still an incredible product and an incredible value. Most of the components of Visual Studio, especially Visual Basic, Visual C++ and Visual InterDev, are best-of-breed products