At the Professional Developers Conference next week, Microsoft will present its new Distributed Network Architecture (DNA) for the first time. DNA is a set of technologies that Microsoft will use to move its operating systems and applications programs into the connected world of the Internet. "We need an overall architecture that helps developers and the public better understand how all of our technologies fit together," said Todd Nielsen, a general manager at Microsoft.
A central component of DNA is Windows NT 5.0, which will also be unveiled at the conference. Debuting with NT 5.0 is the Active Directory, which binds together previously unconnected technologies such as OLE-DB, Active Server Pages (ASP), security, digital certificates, transaction processing, and message queuing.
The feature-set for Windows NT 5.0 will not be finalized until next year, however, so Microsoft will be pushing NT 5.0 technologies that are already completed, such as Internet Information Server (IIS) 4.0 (code-named "K2"), Microsoft Transaction Server, and Microsoft Messaging Server.
The new version of Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM, the basis of ActiveX and OLE), dubbed COM3, is another key part of DNA. COM3 adds automatic garbage collection and a new run-time interface.
Visual Studio 98 will be announced at the PDC, along with the first glimpse at that suite's feature-set. One piece is already known: "Vegas," the code-name for the next version of Visual J++, is already testing. Visual Studio 98 will also add support for Dynamic HTML, most obviously to Visual InterDev 2.0