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New Jargon From Microsoft

  • December 18, 2003
  • By Bradley L. Jones
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One thing that is true about the computer industry — there will always be new jargon to toss around! Here are a few terms ranging from Avalon to XAML that we are adding to our Microsoft .NET glossary. Following the new terms, I've also listed a number of old terms and acronyms that you may — or may not — have heard about.

Aero—The code name for the user experience provided by Microsoft's Longhorn Operating System.

Application Manifest—The part of an application that provides information to describe the components that the application uses.

Avalon—The code name for for the graphical subsystem (User Interface framework) of Longhorn. It is worth noting that this will be a vector-based system.

ClickOnce—A deployment technology introduced with the release of "Whidbey" that allows client program to be used and installed as seamless as Web applications. This includes the ability to download files to be installed, versioning, side-by-side installation, and more.

Code Access Security (CAS)—The common language runtime's security model for applications. This is the core security model for new features of the "Longhorn" Operating System.

Deployment Manifest—The part of an application that tells the system how to install and maintain an application.

Indigo —The code name for the communications portion of Longhorn that is built around Web services. This communications technology focuses on providing spanning transports, security, messaging patterns, encoding, networking and hosting, and more.

Longhorn API—The application programming interface for the Longhorn operating system.

MSBuild—The build tool (MSBuild.exe) for Longhorn applications.

Orcas—The code name for the version of Visual Studio .NET to be released near the time Microsoft Longhorn is released. This follows the release of Visual Studio .NET "Whidbey".

Primary Interop Assemblies (PIAs)—Assemblies that come with Microsoft Office 2003 that allow managed code (VB.NET, C#, etc.) to call Office code.

Seamless Computing—A term indicating that a user should be able to find and use information effortlessly. The hardware and software within a system should work in an intuitive manner to make it seamless for the user. Seamless computing is being realized with the improvements in hardware (voice, ink, multimedia) and software.

Secure Execution Environment (SEE)—A secure, managed-code, runtime environment within the Microsoft Longhorn Operating System that helps to protected against deviant applications. This is a part of Microsoft's "Trustworthy Computing" initiative.

WinFS—("Windows Future System") The code name for the new type-aware, transactional, unified file system and programming model that will be a key part of Longhorn. WinFS allows various kinds of data and information stored on your machine to be associated and categorized. You can associate relationships between information and these associations can be used to access what is stored on your machine.

WinFX—The new Windows API that will be released with the Microsoft Longhorn Operating System. This will include features for Avalon, Indigo, and WinFS as well as a number of fundamental routines.

XAML—(Extensible Application Markup Language) The declarative markup language for "Longhorn" that allows an interface to be defined. Longhorn applications can be created by using XAML for the interface definition and managed procedure code for other logic.

Some Old Terms

The following are some old terms and acronyms. Some of these terms were changed before the technologies were even released.

COM+ 2.0—This was one of the pre-release names for the original Microsoft .NET Framework. See also Web Services Platform.

NGWS—This stands for Next Generation Web Service. This was one of the pre-release names for .NET before its release.

Saturn—the code name for the original ASP.NET Web Matrix product.

Starlite—A code name for the original Microsoft .NET Compact Framework

The Web Matrix Project—A free WSIWIG development product (IDE)for doing ASP.NET development that was released as a community project. The most recent version — The Web Matrix Project (Revisited) — can be found here.

Web Service Platform—This was one of the pre-release names for the original Microsoft .NET Framework. See also COM+ 2.0.

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