Officials from Microsoft are previewing the next version of its Visual Studio developer suite, version 7.0 (code-named "Rainier"), this week at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Denver Colorado. Visual Studio 7.0 is designed to enable the COM+/Windows DNA programming model that will be used by Windows NT 5.0 applications. NT 5.0 features such as the Active Directory and OLE-DB, will also be supported.

As a preview to the next version of Visual Studio, developers will receive a Visual C++ "Technology Preview" that adds COM+ features to the current version of the product. Microsoft released a similar technology preview last Fall for Visual C++ as well.

Microsoft says that Visual Studio 7.0 will ship "within 60 days" of the release of Windows NT 5.0, which is itself due in the first half of 1999