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    $699.99 $149.95 list($799.99)
    1. Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003
    $2,439.99 list($2,799.00)
    2. Microsoft MSDN Universal 7.0 Revised
    $1,059.99 list($1,199.00)
    3. Microsoft MSDN Professional 7.0
    $479.99 $149.95 list($549.99)
    4. Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003
    $799.99 list($899.00)
    5. Microsoft MSDN Professional 7.0
    $92.99 $72.99 list($109.00)
    6. Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Standard
    $1,999.99 list($2,299.00)
    7. Microsoft MSDN Universal 7.0 Upgrade
    $1,279.99 $600.00 list($1,489.00)
    8. Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Standard
    $92.99 list($109.00)
    9. Microsoft Visual C++ .NET Standard
    10. Microsoft MS Visual FoxPro Professional
    $92.99 $85.99 list($109.00)
    11. Microsoft Visual C# .NET Standard
    $42.99 $24.99 list($49.99)
    12. Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Developer
    $269.99 $38.57 list($299.99)
    13. FileMaker Pro 7
    $787.96 list($799.95)
    14. Borland C++ Builder 5.0 Professional
    $454.99 $399.00 list($499.99)
    15. FileMaker Developer 7
    $19.99 $17.98
    16. Garfield Typing Pal Deluxe
    $269.99 $33.67 list($299.99)
    17. FileMaker Pro 7 (Mac)
    $74.99 list($99.99)
    18. DarkBASIC Professional
    $169.99 list($199.99)
    19. Microsoft Visual Studio Tools
    $529.99 $129.89 list($549.00)
    20. Microsoft Visual Sourcesafe 6.0

    1. Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 Professional Special Edition
    list price: $799.99
    our price: $699.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002UECTI
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Microsoft Software
    Sales Rank: 789
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    2. Microsoft MSDN Universal 7.0 Revised - 1 Year
    list price: $2,799.00
    our price: $2,439.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006Q99RI
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Microsoft Software
    Sales Rank: 1602
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    Product Description

    Microsoft MSDN Universal Subscription 7.0 Rev.1 (1 Year Subscription) .MSDN Universal provides priority access to essential resources for developers, including timely delivery of everything you need to build XML Web services and applications. Through MSDN Subscriber Downloads and automatic shipments, you receive the latest Microsoft technologies and information as soon as they release. With developer-licensed versions of Microsoft operating systems and Microsoft enterprise servers you can fully test the broadest range of applications. ... Read more

    Features

    • Receive the latest Microsoft technical resources, including code samples, SDKs, DDKs, public betas, and product documentation.
    • MSDN Universal keeps you on the cutting edge with priority access to the latest versions of Visual Studio .NET.
    • Enjoy uninterrupted access to the latest Microsoft technologies online and through regular CD or DVD updates.
    • Get development and test versions of the latest Microsoft operating systems, including Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP.

    3. Microsoft MSDN Professional 7.0 Revised - 1 Year
    list price: $1,199.00
    our price: $1,059.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006Q9AQS
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Microsoft Software
    Sales Rank: 2247
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Microsoft MSDN Professional Subscription 7.0 Rev.1 (1 Year Subscription) .MSDN Professional provides priority access to essential resources for developers, including timely delivery of everything you need to build XML Web services and applications. Through MSDN Subscriber Downloads and automatic shipments, you receive the latest Microsoft technologies and information as soon as they release. With developer-licensed versions of Microsoft operating systems you can fully test the broadest range of applications. ... Read more

    Features

    • Development and test versions of Microsoft operating systems
    • Note: This is a version/competitive upgrade
    • Everything needed to build XML Web services and applications
    • Uninterrupted access to the latest Microsoft technologies
    • Build next-generation Internet applications

    4. Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 Professional Special Edition Upgrade
    list price: $549.99
    our price: $479.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002UEDS8
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Microsoft Software
    Sales Rank: 516
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    5. Microsoft MSDN Professional 7.0 Upgrade Revised - 1 Year
    list price: $899.00
    our price: $799.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006Q9ASQ
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Microsoft Software
    Sales Rank: 2692
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Microsoft MSDN Professional Subscription 7.0 Rev.1 Upgrade (1 Year Subscription Extension) .MSDN Professional provides priority access to essential resources for developers, including timely delivery of everything you need to build XML Web services and applications. Through MSDN Subscriber Downloads and automatic shipments, you receive the latest Microsoft technologies and information as soon as they release. With developer-licensed versions of Microsoft operating systems you can fully test the broadest range of applications. ... Read more

    Features

    • Development and test versions of Microsoft operating systems
    • Note: This is a version/competitive upgrade
    • Everything needed to build XML Web services and applications
    • Uninterrupted access to the latest Microsoft technologies
    • Build next-generation Internet applications

    6. Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Standard 2003
    list price: $109.00
    our price: $92.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000089GKW
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Microsoft Software
    Sales Rank: 299
    Average Customer Review: 3.09 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com Review

    Visual Basic is a hugely popular programming language that is suitable for students and beginners as well as professional development. This is the .NET version, which is significantly different from older variants of Basic. It’s also the Standard edition, which is intended to be introductory. Professional developers should consider Visual Studio .NET 2003, which includes a more advanced version of Visual Basic as well as other languages. The full Visual Studio is needed for features like compiling code into libraries, or targeting the Compact Framework for mobile devices. Even so, this Standard edition is a capable package that includes all you need to build applications for both Windows and the Web.

    Two things make Visual Basic .NET Standard 2003 easy to learn and use. One is the language itself, which is designed to be closer to natural English than others. The other is the array of tools and wizards that Microsoft provides, including a visual form designer for both Windows and Web projects. The web technology is called ASP.NET, and enables easy creation of web page that query and update databases, although note that a Windows web server running .NET is required. The programming environment is slick, with convenient features like docking and tabbed windows, project wizards, auto-completion and pop-up help in the code editor. The .NET version of Visual Basic benefits from full object-orientation and a rich class library. It also supports advanced features like multi-threading, which is a way of writing code to do background tasks.

    Whereas Visual Basic 6.0 and earlier version needed a small runtime library, this .NET edition requires the .NET Framework, a runtime engine and class library that manages memory and enforces security. Framework applications perform well, since they are compiled to native code at runtime, but there is an overhead in terms of memory usage and the Framework runtime must be installed. These factors, together with less than perfect code compatibility, have made some Visual Basic developers reluctant to switch. While that’s understandable, the .NET technology is now maturing and this release is probably the right moment to make the move. It’s still important to note the heavy system requirements, and that .NET applications do not run on Windows 95. --Tim Anderson, Amazon.co.uk ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Microsoft has a very deceptive website
    For the money, I guess I can't complain. The standard edition is a fraction of the cost of the "full meal deal", but wish that MS wasn't so deceptive with their advertising. Microsoft's web page for VB.Net 2003 standard edtion displays all the features of the full blown version and none of the limitations that are in the standard version are listed. Given that, I would still buy it as this is my only choice. The one big limitation is that the standard edtion will not talk to a real SQL server data base. It will hook up to a MSDE database. I did discover that I can talk to an Access database that has tables linked to a SQL server database, so you can fake it, but I can't do Stored procs.
    MS used to have a page that listed the differences between versions, but I can't find it now. I don't think you can develop mobile applications either.

    Good luck

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great buy for the little guy
    I bought VB.Net Standard 2003 shortly after having to learn VB for some advanced MS Access programming. What you basically get is the Visual Studio interface with just the VB.Net language functionality. You also get the MSDN library on 3 CDs which comes in handy. There are, however, limits to its functionality:

    1) You don't get the Mobile device programming functionality that you get with full Visual Studio.

    2) Windows XP Home Edition users: You won't be able to effectively design ASP.Net applications since Microsoft made XP Home incompatible with IIS. There's a couple ways around this, though: (1) there is an unsupported way to install IIS from a Windows 2000 CD- do a web search to find instructions, or (2) download the free WebMatrix from ASP.Net; a very cool and handy program that has it's own little server.

    3) Compiling DLLs is not supported in VB.Net Standard. Although I suspect it's possible to program your own compiler, how to do it is still beyond my abilities.

    4) There are SQL limitations as well. From what I've read, I think there are limits when using anything more complicated than MSDE or using remote servers.

    5) Also, remember how easy it was to draw graphic lines in the VB6 interface? Well those days are definitely over- you had to become a real programmer sometime.

    But if you want to learn and program simple executables, this is definitely the way to go. And being able to program ASP.Net websites using VB.Net code from my applications is way-cool.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Microsoft Visual
    This was great, I got it for a really good deal from one of the Amazon Sellers and I learned alot from it

    2-0 out of 5 stars Great marketing - short on delivery
    Microsoft has once again succeeded in making a fairly uncomplicated programming enviroment, COMPLICATED. That is not, however, my problem with VB .NET, because after all, if you read up, you will quickly adjust to the platform. My problem is that if you don't buy Visual Studio, you will simply not have the tools to build advanced applications. As usual, if you want a robust MS product, get ready to shell out a weeks worth of pay.

    5-0 out of 5 stars For $100, you can't beat it.
    If you you are not flush with cash, but want to get the nack of the .Net world, then this is for you.

    It is NOT intended for serious production. You CAN NOT talk to a database off your machine (unless you know how to link Access to a SQL Server, then you can).

    You can learn how to use WinForms and WebForms, i.e. client-server and WEB apps, talking to a database on your development machine. The MSDE (Microsoft Data Engine) is the heart of the SQL Server 2000 database engine.

    If you want to see if programming is for you or get an inexpensive look at the JAVA killer, this is the ticket. ... Read more


    7. Microsoft MSDN Universal 7.0 Upgrade Revised - 1 Year
    list price: $2,299.00
    our price: $1,999.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006Q99QE
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Microsoft Software
    Sales Rank: 961
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Microsoft MSDN Universal Subscription 7.0 Rev.1 Upgrade (1 Year Subscription Extension) .MSDN Universal provides priority access to essential resources for developers, including timely delivery of everything you need to build XML Web services and applications. Through MSDN Subscriber Downloads and automatic shipments, you receive the latest Microsoft technologies and information as soon as they release. With developer-licensed versions of Microsoft operating systems and Microsoft enterprise servers you can fully test the broadest range of applications. ... Read more

    Features

    • Receive the latest Microsoft technical resources, including code samples, SDKs, DDKs, public betas, and product documentation.
    • MSDN Universal keeps you on the cutting edge with priority access to the latest versions of Visual Studio .NET.
    • Enjoy uninterrupted access to the latest Microsoft technologies online and through regular CD or DVD updates.
    • Get development and test versions of the latest Microsoft operating systems, including Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP.

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Product
    I use this everyday and it has saved me a lot of trouble dealing with purchasing a bunch of different products.

    You get full access to all the products you need as a developer. ... Read more


    8. Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Standard Edition (5-client)
    list price: $1,489.00
    our price: $1,279.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004VP4G
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Microsoft
    Sales Rank: 2592
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    The next-generation database for the business Internet, Microsoft SQL Server 2000 is the fastest way to deliver the next generation of scalable Web applications with Windows DNA. It dramatically reduces the time required to bring e-commerce, data warehousing, and line-of-business applications to market, while offering the scalability needed for the most demanding environments. The foundation for Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) and data mining is included and fully integrated with SQL Server. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Small Upgrades, Some Issues
    There are some important additions, such as clustering and failover support, and a few niceties like user-defined functions and indexed views. Upgrading the data format from 7 to 8 was seamless, but replication was painful. Gone are the Enterprise Manager HTML-based pages at the machine level, replaced by a small maze of things to do to make replication happen. We finally had to reinstall the server to make replication happy. The help file on this topic is a joke. It reads something like "Step 1, configure replication. Step 2, start it up." with absolutely no detail.

    My bottom line: take your time in upgrading.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Modern, Fast, Smart, Stable
    Each time i did something on this new release of SQL Server within some first weeks i was saying two phrases: "Wow! How can i live without this cool thing?" and "It's should be done erlier! It's so simple!". Thousands of new features, improvements. Now i will go home, because i do my work faster than i could think. ... Read more


    9. Microsoft Visual C++ .NET Standard 2003
    list price: $109.00
    our price: $92.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000089GKV
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Microsoft
    Sales Rank: 195
    Average Customer Review: 2.17 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    Visual C++ .NET 2003 provides developers with a proven, object-oriented language for building powerful and performance-conscious applications. With advanced ISO-conforming template features, low-level platform access, and an optimizing compiler, Visual C++ .NET 2003 delivers superior functionality for generating robust applications and components.

    Developers can use Visual C++ .NET 2003 to build a wide variety of solutions, including Microsoft Windows-based and Microsoft .NET-connected applications. C++ is one of the world's most popular systems-level languages, and Visual C++ .NET 2003 gives developers a world-class tool with which to build best-in-class software.

    Use Managed Extensions to C++ and compiler support for optimized Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL) code generation. Incorporate Microsoft .NET Framework features including garbage collection, Windows Forms, and threading. Call unmanaged code using high-performance C++ interoperability technology. Write and compile purely unmanaged x86 code. Speed up your application or reduce its size with optimization options for a range of processors, including Whole Program Optimization, and support for Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) and Streaming SIMD Extensions 2 (SSE2) instruction sets. ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Optimizing Compiler is available!!
    I have been researching this product after reading some disturbing reviews here. The standard edition does not come with the code-optimization features.

    You can, however, download the 2003 toolkit - FOR FREE - which includes the Microsoft C/C++ Optimizing Compiler and Linker. This is the same compiler and linker that ships with Visual Studio .NET 2003 Professional!

    It can be downloaded here:
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/visualc/vctoolkit2003/

    The new compiler moves toward ISO conformance. So this version of VC++ is actually more standardized than previous versions. This can be helpful when porting applications to other standardized environments and compilers.

    I program mostly 3D graphics and have experienced a frame rate increase since downloading the toolkit. This new version is helpful when working on large group projects as well. Oh and the shader debugger is a plus when writing vertex and pixel shaders.

    1-0 out of 5 stars This product is not practical for any type of development.
    I've been writing an OpenGL engine for a while now, and decided to make the step up from VC6 to .net in order to continue development. I was already quite adjusted to the interface since I'd been using it for about 6 months where I was previously employed. That said, I'm not a fan of the new interface, having spent so much time adjusting myself to VC5/6. I've got quite a few pet peeves with it (like alt+F7 no longer bringing up project settings even with the VC6 keyboard layout), but that is not my main problem with the product... (obviously, or I would not have ordered it anyway)

    Once it arrived, I decided to do some benchmarking to compare performance of builds between VC6 and vc.net. I made a build of my engine to arbitrarily do 500 box-triangle collisions against level geometry per frame, figuring that would be a good way of averaging things out since it's completely cpu-based (and largely dependant on compiler optimizations). I was a bit shocked by the results. My VC6 build maintained a consant 40+ FPS on my p3 1ghz, while using the exact same code and assets, the vc.net build stayed at around 15-20fps. I fiddled with the project settings for a while, but concluded this speed loss was due the lack of compiler optimizations in vc.net standard. Which means there isn't a darn thing I can do about it. Oh, and no, I didn't do something silly like test a release build against a debug build. I made sure the project settings for each build were as similar as possible.

    So, in conclusion, I've got no choice but to keep using vc6, and this was a great waste of 100 dollars. My advice is, if performance matters to you at all, don't buy this product. I was expecting to see some amount of performance loss due to the lack of "compiler optimizations", but this is completely absurd. The loss of performance makes this product completely unusable as a serious development platform. For serious development, you really have no choice but to go for a higher-priced development suite. Otherwise if you just want to fool around and performance isn't an issue, you might as well be using one of the many free compiler/IDE sets out there instead of blowing 100 dollars.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Stick with Visual C++ 6.0
    Absolute and total crap. Try and compile any of your programs with and you will see the following error:

    D4029 : optimization is not available in the standard edition compiler

    That's right, Visual C++ .NET Standard Edition performs absolutely NO OPTIMIZATION.

    My DirectDraw went from rendering more than 100 FPS to *17* FPS. I have never been so pissed off in my life, I have just blown $100.00 for NOTHING.

    What's worse, you can not buy just Visual C++ .NET Professional Edition. To get an optimizing C++ .NET compiler, you have to buy *ALL* of Visual Studio .NET (it will only put you back a cool grand).

    CRAP, TOTAL CRAP, STICK WITH VISUAL C++ 6.0 STANDARD EDITION

    1-0 out of 5 stars Megasloth keeps getting crappier
    I got the free evaluation of Visual Studio .net 2003 and couldn't believe how much the product has gone downhill in the last few versions. Microsoft is definately in the business of bloatware! The program hogs up about 4GB on your harddrive, reconfiguring and corrupting your whole operating system so nothing works well ever again.

    Nevertheless, I kept trying to work with .net. I've been programming C++ for Windows for a long time. I was expecting new features to help me make better programs, but found just the opposite to be true. After doing a lot of reading and banging my head against the wall, I finally realized that the only new features .net has to offer are:

    1) A giant overhead of automatic functions ("managed C++") that slow down the performance and increase the size of programs you make, but they allow sloppy Microsoft programmers to slap together messy code that doesn't crash as much. (I for one don't write programs that crash, because I can manage my own memory, thank you very much!) You are forced into proprietary language syntax, a total departure from standard C++, so that your eventual switch to Linux or whatever else will be difficult or impossible (hopes Microsoft).

    2) Support for using multiple programming langauges in projects (forcing you to learn thousands of things from all the other inferior languages that you never wanted to mess with, just so you can make a simple program that shows a dialog box on the screen, for example).

    3) A big push to develop "software as a service", with a plethora of difficult and cumbersome new tools that you are forced to use in order to build software that only works with an internet connection, helping Microsoft obtain world domination at last.

    Because these features attempt to take me in a different direction than I want to go, I'm looking to use something else. I encourage you to do the same.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not a downgrade...
    If you've been using visual studio prior to .Net, .Net adds a lot of time saving features that really make it worth switching over. Some of the most prominent features include code completion, and the ability to put your code into sections that can be expanded or retracted for readability, which really helps for a project with a large codebase (Such as a senior computer science project for a bachelor's degree). Regardless of C++'s standing in the microsoft suite of programming tools, .Net is a good C++ ide. ... Read more


    10. Microsoft MS Visual FoxPro Professional Edition - ( v. 9.0 ) - upgrade package ( 340-01230 )

    Asin: B00066FHMY
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Microsoft Corporation
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    11. Microsoft Visual C# .NET Standard 2003
    list price: $109.00
    our price: $92.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00008I9K3
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Microsoft
    Sales Rank: 1006
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    Visual C# .NET 2003 is a modern, innovative programming language and tool for building .NET-connected software for Microsoft Windows, the Web, and a wide range of devices. With familiar C++-like syntax, a flexible integrated development environment (IDE), and the capability to build solutions across a variety of platforms and devices, Visual C# .NET 2003 significantly eases the development of .NET-connected software.

    Visual C# .NET provides users with a superior developer environment, bringing together the development community and valuable online resources. The Start Page offers developers a one-click portal to updates, preferences, information on recently used projects, and the MSDN Online community. Improved IntelliSense, the Toolbox, and the Task List provide significant productivity enhancements, while AutoHide windows and multiple-monitor support help programmers maximize screen real estate and customize their development environment.

    With Visual C# .NET 2003, developers can take advantage of Microsoft .NET and incorporate next-generation technology for resource management, unified types, and remoting. With Microsoft .NET, developers gain superior memory management technology for seamless garbage collection and reduced program complexity. Developers can use the Microsoft .NET Framework Common Type System to leverage code written in any of more than 20 languages that support .NET, while making efficient remote procedure calls. ... Read more

    Features

    • Build .NET-connected software for Windows, the Web, and a wide range of devices
    • Build a variety of applications, from device solutions to datacenter servers. Use code obfuscation technology to protect your intellectual property
    • Reuse code from within any programming language that supports .NET
    • Packed with enhancements and new features
    • Immediately familiar to C++ and Java developers

    Reviews (3)

    3-0 out of 5 stars careful
    There is a typo in the feature list on this page...

    It mentions that this product supports development of Compact.NET applications for mobile phones and pocketpc's however this is incorrect. The standard edition does not support pocketpc development, only the professional edition that comes in visual studio supports it. I bought the product partially because i thought i could make programs for my ppc. :/ Other than lack of PPC support in this standard edition, visual C# standard seems like a decent program for web development or quickly making windows apps.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Language Ever
    Tis is the most powerful and Dynamic tool for programmers even JAVA or other platforms, Is so easy the OOP process and Web Services XML Creation

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dang Wicked Awesome
    First of all...I'm not a Microsoft employee nor do I own any of their stock. So, with that said, this is The Best Damn Development Tool, Period! With the purchase of this single piece of software, anyone (and I mean anyone) can learn how to build, test, and deploy (i.e. deliver) professional-grade windows applications.

    If you are a C++/MFC developer and thinking of migrating to the the .NET platform. Number 1 - DO IT; Number 2 - USE C#; Number 3 - BUY THE STANDARD VERSION. I, too, was a C++/MFC developer for 5 years. Then, as luck would have it, a project came up where we could flirt with C#, and in literally half the time, we had a more advanced prototype than our C++/MFC prototype. The big hitters were intuitiveness of the language, speed of the compiles, auto-documenation generation (check-out NDoc software), and profession delivery via .msi files.

    The professional version is totally over kill for what most businesses need and has more features than you'll ever use. Don't waste you money playing the I-might-use-that-feature-somtime-in-the-future game. The standard edition allows for the complete development of any size software. The 2003 version has fixed a number of quirks found in the last version (which was amazingly stable for a 1.0). One thing to remember if migrating form VC#.NET 2002 to 2003 is that any project build under 2002 must be converted to 2003 and those changes can't be undone. This really isn't an issue for mose people, including myself. ... Read more


    12. Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Developer
    list price: $49.99
    our price: $42.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000050AVL
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Microsoft
    Sales Rank: 426
    Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    SQL Server Developer Edition is a version of SQL Server with some restrictions on functionality, and is designed for development and testing purposes. It is ideal for those developers who want to get a taste of the Enterprise Edition before purchasing the full product. The description following applies to the full product.

    SQL Server 2000 is a fully Web-enabled database product, providing core support for XML and the ability to query across the Internet and beyond the firewall. Its features include a data-mining feature called Analysis Services, which lets anyone with SQL and Microsoft Visual Basic programming experience use OLAP tools to create custom analysis applications. Using a middle-tier server, SQL Server 2000 can perform complex analyses on large volumes of data with exceptional data-retrieval performance. Two new features, linked OLAP cubes and HTTP access to cubes, offer powerful data analysis over the Web. In addition to enabling you to extend your analysis capabilities to partners outside the firewall, these features deliver new value by creating opportunities to sell access to your database to new customers over the Web.

    SQL Server 2000 extends your e-commerce functionality through rich support for XML, easy Web access to database information, and powerful analysis tools, coupled with high availability and tight security. This means that Web developers can access data using XML without having to do complex programming, and database administrators can manipulate data easily in XML format using Transaction SQL (T-SQL) and stored procedures. Secure HTTP database connectivity ensures that data can be queried--even by relatively inexperienced users--through a URL and intuitive user interfaces. SQL Server 2000 also makes querying from the Web relatively easy. The enhanced English Query tool allows developers to build natural, English-language interfaces to SQL Server in Microsoft Visual Studio. In addition, English Query can now generate Multidimensional Extensions (MDX) to query against OLAP cubes. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    1-0 out of 5 stars read the small print carefully
    The product description states ..."SQL Server Developer Edition is a version of SQL Server with some restrictions on functionality, and is designed for development and testing purposes. It is ideal for those developers who want to get a taste of the Enterprise Edition before purchasing the full product. ..."
    What it does not tell you is that SQL Server 2000 will NOT install on Windows XP.
    I am a fan of Sybase because their latest server ASE 12.5 does run on Windows XP ... oh, and by the way, the Sybase developer edition is free ...

    5-0 out of 5 stars For developers
    SQL Server has proven to be very reliable. This is the version I develop with and it has been good. Looking forward to Yukon.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good product, smart licensing
    Choosing a database server is largely a matter of personal preferences. I've been using SQL Server 2000 & 7 for more than 5 years for large scale applications, and I'm quite happy with this product's features, performance and value for money. Compared to other database engines, it's main limitation is SQL Server's weird implementation of triggers. One more thing: I have entered C# programming thru Visual C# 2003 Standard (cheap & powerful). If you want to access SQL Server from this Standard edition, you will have to install a local MSDE copy, and only then, SQL Server's client tools. At runtime, however, you can change the connection string content to access any other server or instance. And don't forget to install Service Pack 3, to protect the engine against the Slammer virus.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Careful - Not backward compatible
    I still have not used the product to full capacity, however, it is much faster. I would be careful however if you are putting it in a native SQL 7 environment - you can upgrade the database, however any manipulations you do in 2000 will not be reflected when transfering back to SQL 7. If you upgrade (as if you have a choice), realize there is no capability to use both versions. ... Read more


    13. FileMaker Pro 7
    list price: $299.99
    our price: $269.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001LUH9M
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Filemaker Inc.
    Sales Rank: 658
    Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Track and manage people, projects, images, and data
    • Do more, faster with 30 starter solutions
    • Exchange data with a virtually limitless number of applications
    • Store, track, and archive files and documents
    • Secure data with assigned accounts and privileges

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Database Application
    Now that you've read the previous 0 star rating, (tab buttons - give me a break), realize that FileMaker 7 is a great database development platform.

    Just a few of the upgrade's improvements:

    No File Size Limit (that's a heck of a lot of recipies Bob). The days of needing to migrate when a file hits the 2 Gig file size wall are OVER. Your database can grow to fill the largest hard drive a computer can support.

    Multiple data tables per file.

    Improved browser support of buttons and scripts through instant web publishing feature.

    Improved security.

    And if one is really worried about lining up their "tab buttons" on layouts, FileMaker offers a free 30 day evaluation for download from their website.

    In fact, the only negative comment I can make is that the Server version won't be available until this summer.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Easy to Use
    I've been using FileMaker Pro for many years. I used to use Microsoft Access, but FileMaker is much easier to setup and share your data. I highly recommend this software for both Mac and Windows users.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Only for recipe or CD collections databases
    I purchased and installed this FileMaker Developer product and ran into a brick wall, that precludes its use as a serious development tool. FileMaker Pro suffers from the same deficiencies. My real rating is 0 stars.

    Filemaker does not use tab controls. It gets around this shortcoming by requiring that a separate layout be designed for each tab. Importantly this is not just for the information on the tab, BUT FOR THE WHOLE COTTON-PICKIN layout!!!

    Then when a user clicks on the tab "button", a new layout is repainted over the old. Even though Filemaker provides the ability to copy a form, I have found that the repainted forms "jump" and give an entirely unsatisfactory visual experience. Like watching a web form flicker repaint over a slow dial up connection.

    Filemaker appears to be a maintenance nightmare. If you have a layout with header information and with a five tab area, and you wish to change the header information (field width, color, etc.) you have to change it five times on each layout!

    I thought the purpose of databases was to normalize information, that is to reduce redundancy in data storage. Filemaker may reduce this redunduncy, but it it adds it back in spades when it comes to application development!

    The screen flicker caused by full screen repaints and the large number of forms required to accomodated simple tab displays makes this a no brainer. Filemaker is fine for your receipe or CD collection database, but forget about using it for serious development. ... Read more


    14. Borland C++ Builder 5.0 Professional
    list price: $799.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004NHN0
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Borland International
    Sales Rank: 7762
    Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    C++Builder 5 Professional combines the C++ Windows developmentenvironment for building desktop and database applications with native Internetcomponents for building high-throughput Web applications. C++Builder increasesproductivity and manages the entire development cycle with over 150 reusablecomponents, the XML Based Project Manager, and a true ANSI/ISO C++ 32-bitoptimizing compiler to deliver reliable applications to market faster.C++Builder includes a professional IDE, WebBroker, Native Internet Components,InterBase Express, and robust debugging tools. Use the CodeGuard run-time errordetection tool to easily locate and diagnose memory and resource leaks on thespot. Understand and navigate your code and data modules with the ProjectBrowser, Code Explorer, and Data Module Designer views. Visually buildcomponents for your business with Frames. Build and reuse COM objects andservers, including a complete suite of MS Office automation controllers. ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Windows C/C++ Development Package Available
    Over the years I've developed software solutions professionally using various C/C++ development enviornments. I've written DOS applications with MSC, Turbo C, and Windows applications with Visual C++ and C++ Builder. When the Windows operating system replaced DOS, programming became tedious. A programmer had to keep up with a lot of details that literally sucked the joy out of programming. C++ Builder relieves the programmer of the Windowing details and allows the programmer to focus on the project at hand. C++ Builder has put the joy back in C/C++ program development. You can keep MSVC++. Until Microsoft developes true visual GUI C/C++ programming (like their excellent VB environment), I'll stear clear of them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars C++ Visual development
    I'm a self-taught novice programmer, so these comments are not geared towards for the experts.

    Borland's C++ Builder is light years ahead of MS Visual C++ (which is an extremely painful programming environment). C++ Builder is like Visual Basic for C++. It's really easy to learn, and I've been able to get results very quickly.

    The only problem with C++ Builder is the lack of documentation. Borland is obviously not the market leader, consequently it's harder to find helpful, intelligent C++ Builder books than it is to find books for VB, Access, VC, ASP, SQL or other programming languages.

    Several reference books that are essential: Charlie Calvert's C++ Builder Unleashed by Sams (unfortunately only up until version 4). And for non-visual reference, the C++ Builder complete reference by Osborne.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Competetive comparison with MS VC++ 6
    C++ Builder is a pretty product. Within few minutes, you can finalize your IDE drag and dropping. Within few hours you can finish a medium sized application and even enterprise using its very powerful VCL (MFC's counterpart). Another major plus, it complies to C++ Standard. In addition, the packaged CodeGuard makes debugging memory bugs(C/C++ programmers nightmare) a pleasure. Compared to VC6, this really is a gold.

    Why just 2 stars? Compared to VC6 it has three major disadvantages that made me switch back to VC6.

    First is performance optimization. For some reasons, code produced by C++ Builder is larger than VC6. I once developed an app simpler than a competitor's. However, my app is still larger! So I had to do it again in VC6. I have also observed that my app written in VC6 runs faster and consumes less memory.

    Second Borland's VCL is written in C++ but rather in Borland's proprietary language Delphi. That means in order to examine the library's code, you have to learn another language. This also introduces some quirks you have to live by. For instance, a class property, say "Caption", does not necessary mean a variable, but rather a function that is made to look like a variable through language extensions. This means you can't be sure what does "&Caption" means unless you check the helpfile.

    Third, VCL is not as good in low level. For instance you are force to use your main application thread for all access to VCL objects, which include WIN32 controls. Also, you can't flush the message stack. Things you can do easily with MFC

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent C++ RAD environment for begginers on up!
    For those of us coming from the MS world, C++ Builder does for C++ what Visual Basic did for Basic years ago. This is an excellent package. It's far easier to work with than Microsoft's Visual C++.

    The only problem is that there is not a lot of documentation on the market for C++ Builder. "C++ Builder How-To" by the Waite Group Press is very good, but doesn't go into enough depth.

    You won't regret getting this one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Professional Edition Well Worth The Money
    OK, maybe it wasn't *my* money but I won't hesitate to continue recommending to employers and clients that they procure this product for Windows software development. A number of salient points have been made about this product in other reviews here, so I'll limit comments to issues that haven't been fully addressed. The on-line help for this version of the product is separated distinctly into two different references... one for Borland interface routines, and another for Windows SDK/API. The product allows you to freely utilize from either or both as your requirements dictate; I am finding the mixing/matching approach to my current development both painless and convenient. In the past, I have not been enthusiastic about utilizing Borland Classes of C++ facilitation, but I've come to the point with this product that it's just too compelling and simple not to increasingly utilize what's offered. A case in point would be the introduction of graphics into a chosen area of the screen. In previous versions of the product, I stuck to the typical Windows methods in what amounted to fifteen or so lines of code. Using the supplied Borland TClass constructs, it now takes about four lines. I found the migration from previous versions of Borland to this one relatively painless considering that I'm making the jump from primarily C-based code to primarily C++ facilitated code purely to take advantage of the assistance Borland provides for previously tedious Windows programming. Another reviewer pointed out that if you're not already a competent Windows programmer, this product won't be the way to become one. I would continue to agree with this (in addition to the fact that this has been the case from the first day Win3.0 hit the streets... so don't take it too personally that it's not like opening up FrontPage and cranking out a web page). I enjoy that the old Resource Workshop, while still invokable as a separate program, has to some degree been incorporated into the primary IDE, so you have instant access to all of your program's forms (ie., dialog boxes etc.) in a more integrated association with your code than in the old days. I especially enjoy the inclusion of InstallShield's development process in this distribution. There are a number (ie., four CD's worth) of additional freebees (or demos) that I haven't really explored yet, but from what I've seen thus far, you're best off browsing these disks when you're connected to the web; the packages appear to attempt connections with their own home pages in a number of cases. In all, I am very highly satisfied with what I got in return for the money and I won't hesitate to continue recommending it. I'm giving it 5 stars simply because I don't really see what they could have done further short of coming here and writing my code for me. ... Read more


    15. FileMaker Developer 7
    list price: $499.99
    our price: $454.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001LUI1E
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Filemaker Inc.
    Sales Rank: 3370
    Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Streamline database development and maintenance
    • Deploy customized kiosk and runtime applications
    • Debug scripts with systematic tests and troubleshoot scripts
    • Re-use calculation logic across tables, only change in 1 place
    • Develop and troubleshoot solutions more effectively

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dual Platform
    Previous produt from Filemaker (version 6Dev) is overall satisfactory.
    Even if the way of building tabs might take some work, other improvements do largely compensate for this weakness. To avoid the "flicker" one has just to be precise to the pixel in the placement of the layout elements. And FM does offer tools to do so even in version 6!
    Previous versions and information from Filemaker Inc. clearly state that the intaller is dual platform, Mac AND Windows on the same disk. So, unless amazon is marketing a special version this product should also work for Mac computers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Development Tool
    Now that you've read the previous 0 star rating, (tab buttons - give me a break), realize that FileMaker 7 is a great database development platform.

    Just a few of the upgrade's improvements:

    No File Size Limit (that's a heck of a lot of recipies Bob). The days of needing to migrate when a file hits the 2 Gig file size wall are OVER. Your database can grow to fill the largest hard drive a computer can support.

    Multiple data tables per file.

    Improved browser support of buttons and scripts through instant web publishing feature.

    Improved security.

    And if one is really worried about lining up their "tab buttons" on layouts, FileMaker offers a free 30 day evaluation for download from their website.

    In fact, the only negative comment I can make is that the Server version won't be available until this summer.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Developer edition is an oxymoron
    I purchased and installed this product and ran into a brick wall, that precludes its use as a serious development tool. My real rating is 0 stars.

    Filemaker does not use tab controls. It gets around this shortcoming by requiring that a separate layout be designed for each tab. Importantly this is not just for the information on the tab, BUT FOR THE WHOLE COTTON-PICKIN layout!!!

    Then when a user clicks on the tab "button", a new layout is repainted over the old. Even though Filemaker provides the ability to copy a form, I have found that the repainted forms "jump" and give an entirely unsatisfactory visual experience. Like watching a web form flicker repaint over a slow dial up connection.

    Filemaker appears to be a maintenance nightmare. If you have a layout with header information and with a five tab area, and you wish to change the header information (field width, color, etc.) you have to change it five times on each layout!

    I thought the purpose of databases was to normalize information, that is to reduce redundancy in data storage. Filemaker may reduce this redunduncy, but it it adds it back in spades when it comes to application development!

    The screen flicker caused by full screen repaints and the large number of forms required to accomodated simple tab displays makes this a no brainer. Filemaker is fine for your receipe or CD collection database, but forget about using it for serious development. ... Read more


    16. Garfield Typing Pal Deluxe
    list price: $19.99
    our price: $19.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000AQPTB
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Enteractive Inc.
    Sales Rank: 69
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Play with Garfield, Odie and their friends as you develop essential keyboarding skills
    • Special exercises walk you through each lesson, and you'll see your skills improve as you chuckle with Garfield
    • Multiple skill levels to keep the challenge fresh for any skill level
    • Special reports track your progress and encourage better performance
    • Based on 12 years of research and development; keeps motivation and interest high

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars BUY IT YOU'LL LOVE IT
    I can tell you all about Garfields Typing Pal. It is an excellent software. It has exercises that help you learn how to locate keys with out looking at the keyboard. It also has a section on 10-keying, oral dictations and ergonomics. As well as written texts for practice and games. I first came across Garfield typing pal online after downloading the free demo off the internet.I knew after that I had to get the full version. However, I was unable to find the full version anywhere else in the U.S. besides amazon.com. It's great for adults who know how to type but want to improve their performance as well as those individuals who are just getting started. BUY IT YOU'LL LOVE IT.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Garfield Typing Pal Deluxe
    I just want to see a preview to determine if I will like this product. ... Read more


    17. FileMaker Pro 7 (Mac)
    list price: $299.99
    our price: $269.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001LUHEM
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Filemaker Inc.
    Sales Rank: 1677
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Track and manage people, projects, images, and data
    • Do more, faster with 30 starter solutions
    • Exchange data with a virtually limitless number of applications
    • Store, track, and archive files and documents
    • Secure data with assigned accounts and privileges

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Have been using for 2 months now.
    I have been using Filemaker 7 for Mac for 2 motnhs now. I am so happy with all the improvements they have made. Hands down this is the best database program (Mac or PC) ever made. A must buy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great software!
    This Filemaker is the best version yet! Highly recommended!

    2-0 out of 5 stars Filemaker Pro 7
    I ran out an got this immediately when it was announced because I like to get the latest software and have been using Filemaker for over 10 years.
    Now I want to go back to 6.
    For some reason 7 is SLOWER than 6. All functions hang before executing from performing a find to changing between layout views there is a noticeable lag before the desired screen comes up and when you asked for it. Additionally once you perform the function you find yourself waiting. Especially performing finds I am noticing that it takes a while for the program to give me results. Since I use this function constantly that's a major pain in the ass. In 6 the delay between when I hit the find button and the results coming up was non existant. Performing finds in 6 on the same machine was lightning fast. In 7 it is not.
    Since I use this function more than any other and because there is also an increase in wait times on many other functions in the program , like creating a new record, sorting and everything else, I would not reccomend this upgrade.
    Ray ... Read more


    18. DarkBASIC Professional
    list price: $99.99
    our price: $74.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000C7FOD
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Enteractive Inc.
    Sales Rank: 428
    Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Powerful language for creating games
    • Ideal for both beginners and more experienced programmers
    • Create 2-D and 3-D effects
    • Make games using Quake 3 levels
    • Powerful, flexible, and easy to use

    Reviews (7)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good product, bad manual.
    In reviewing this product, I would like to fairly say that I have not written a single complete program using this product yet.

    Now, that scentance could be a double edged sword, it could meen I am incompetent, or it could meen there is something wrong with darkbasic pro. What I like to think is that dark basic pro has thoroughly flawed documentation. Just as Peter Patterson said in his review. The programing lanuguage is great and very easily allows you to write software very fast, yet, when you are stuck, the manuals are no help.

    Many of the commands do not work as predicted, and same functions seem to be implemented differently for different commands. The 3D rotation commands can drive you nuts. The coordinates system also seems to be a bit unpredictable.

    I love the programing language, and that is why I gave it four stars, but they realy need to work on the documentation and help files.

    I heard there is an update, hope the documentation update is up to expectations.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Once the shine wears off
    I have read the other reviews of this product, and wouldn't dispute any of those users experiences with it. There are however many things that become evident once the shine wears off and you try to go beyond the simple spinning cubes you can get running in ten minutes or so.

    I have been using DarkBasic now for several months, and while I was initially as enthusiastic as most of the other reviewers, I have run into enough problems that only become apparent when you try to go beyond the basics that I feel compelled to submit a more balanced review.

    For example.. while one review mentions the built in help system that has a brief description of each command, what they failed to mention was that this brief description is the only description of the commands available at all even in the printed manual. The printed docs and the online docs are one and the same, and they are not only brief, but provide circular definitions in many cases, and they are definitely not comprehensive descriptions of what each command does.

    The reviewer also mentioned the extensive examples, but failed to point out that the examples are lumped into several huge programs that do nothing meaningful except to demonstrate one particular way to use each command and do nothing to help you figure out how to use each command in all possible ways. Again.. there is no comprehensive reference to all of the commands the language provides.

    The online help forums are indeed helpful, but more to the point you will almost certainly have to go there to find out how to use the language. Sufficient information and examples are not provided in the box to use this language on your own, even if you are a professional developer.

    Familiarity with Direct X will only help out so far. While DarkBasic Pro is really a thin wrapper for accessing the underlying functionality of Direct X, most of the familiar Direct X terminology has been hidden and replaced with new terminology that is never explained leaving you guessing and experimenting just to find out how a command is supposed to work.

    Updates for the program are also few and far between. There are many bugs in the various commands that make entire sets of functionality impractical to use, and many of the DarkBasic forum members have games they would like to ship, but cannot do so until and unless updates are provided to make functionality that is advertised as being in the product already work.

    Word is that there may be an update sometime around the fall, but if you are used to using other development tools and getting frequent patches, give some thought to how this kind of infrequent update policy will impact your schedule. You should also check out their online forums and make sure that the features you think will make your development cycle go smoothly work as advertised. Some of the documented commands have actually been removed from the language, although they are still listed as valid commands and provide no indication that they have been disabled when you try to use them (other than simply not working).

    My feelings about this product are not entirely negative. It is a very useful tool for rapid prototyping of 3D experiences, and it's a great way to explore Direct X concepts. As the teacher who wrote an earlier review said, it allows you to focus on the game aspects without worrying about the low level details, and it is also very cost effective.

    There is also an SDK that allows you to expand the language by writing a DLL in C++, and there are many such free and inexpensive third party DLL's to expand the language beyond the basics.

    But it falls short as a professional development tool primarily in the areas of documentation and simply working completely as advertised. You would probably find that you can get your idea implemented halfway five times faster than in some other game engine, but you might also find that after getting halfway there, something doesn't work and you need to spend a lot of time trying to come up with a workaround or having to redesign things using different commands.

    In short.. if you just want to experiment with and learn about 3D, this product is perfectly suitable. If you want to use it to develop a professional game, or you want something that just works out of the box and doesn't require a lot of guesswork and experimentation, you may end up dissapointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!!!
    I am a professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and I use this for my Game Programming class.
    In my 15 years of being in the computer graphics field I have never seen a software package integrate all this high-end graphics capability, into a simple-to-use, yet real programming language that creates compiled code. Not only that, the compiled code can be bundled as an executeable that you can then distribute as a standalone running program. This is an excellent way for budding independent game programmers to get a start. Furthermore the online forum is EXCELLENT. I usually get an answer to my questions within half an hour! There are some real dedicated fans out there!

    Things that my graduate students used to take a semester to write for research projects are now accessible with a simple command in this language. For example: Binary Space Partion Trees, Surround Sound, Forced Feed Joystick support, A multitude of camera manipulation capabilities, collision detection, model loading and animation, forward kinematics, toon shading, real time shadows, and the list goes on and on... I've even written code to enable stereoscopic rendering so that I can take the output of a dual-headed graphics card, feed it into 2 DLP projectors with polarizing filters. Now my students can write games in true stereoscopic 3D! I know I am not allowed to post web sites in a review, so if you want more info on how to do something like this do a google on geowall darkbasic.

    The interesting thing about providing students with so much capability at their finger tips is that they tend to take it all for granted. My students were complaining that the system had this bug or that bug. The hot-shot students wanted to do the class project in C++ and OpenGL instead. So as an experiment, a few of them took an undergrad research class with me the following semester to try and rewrite the game that they had written in DarkBASIC Pro, in C++ and DirectX. A month later I asked them, "next year, when I teach the class again, should I use DarkBASIC or should I use DirectX and C++?" They all said DarkBASIC was the way to go. New students would be too bogged down on the tiny details to be able to understand the whole game development process in a semester. DarkBASIC Pro frees you to think about developing the graphics, the game play, the sound effects- not waste all your time hunting down pointer errors.

    Also a great low cost modeling package to go with this is Milkshape. The DarkBASICPro website recommends 3D Canvas. All my students hated 3D Canvas. It was crashing all the time, had an unintuitive interface and created a kzillion windows registry entries making it impossible to use for multiple login IDs on a single Windows box. There were also frequent version changes where 3D models were no longer compatible. Very annoying.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
    In three days of using this program I made. (note: I had never used Dzrk BASIC before)

    A 3d pong game
    A first person shooter (with
    a calculator with buttons (harder than it sounds)

    This IDE is great, the language is great, and the community is even better.

    -Cyberflame

    5-0 out of 5 stars Easy and fun to learn, powerful, educational.
    Look no further for an easier language to learn, DarkBASIC Pro (DBPro) is by far the easiest language in the market today. The language is procedural and not object oriented, it contains many of the "old school" BASIC commands such as DATA, RESTORE, GOTO, GOSUB plus many modern features such as pointers and user-defined data types. This language is even used in introductory programming courses in many educational institutions all over Europe because of its ease of learning.

    If you are planning to develop your own games for commercial purposes, it will be good to know that your games will be license and royalty free, and all games can be distributed as .EXE files with no need to have a runtime application.

    In terms of power for developing games I can tell you that it is a very strong and fast language. You can witness its power by going through the many demos with source code included on the bundled CD as well as their website darkbasicpro.com.

    Creating your programs is very simple using their Windows-based Integrated Development Environment (IDE), this is one of the many differences between this language and its little brother DarkBASIC.

    What types of games can you create? mostly anything you can imagine: 3-D games, First Person Shooters (FPS) such as Quake, Unreal Tournament and Half-Life, Role playing games (RPGs), 2-D scrolling games (a la R-Type), Maze Games (Pac-Man), Multi-player, Online games, Educational, your imagination is the limit. There's even a best-selling professional driving simulation program developed in England using DBPro (http://www.thegamecreators.com/?f=dts), so you get the idea on the quality level you can reach using this relatively inexpensive development tool.

    DBPro is not drag and drop, let's be very clear, but the language commands are intuitive and easy enough to understand for anyone without exposure to programming. To have an idea, I'll show you a 4 line program that creates a 3-D cube and rotates it on it's Y axis, something that would require hours using other programming languages:
    MAKE OBJECT CUBE 1,100
    DO
    YROTATE OBJECT 1,OBJECT ANGLE Y(1) + 0.1
    LOOP
    The parameters that follow the commands (e.g. 1,100) are easily understood by simply looking at the context-sensitive HELP menu, summoned with F1 while highlighting the command (In this code example the 1 is the object number assigned to the cube and 100 is the cube size.)

    There's a 30-day full-featured downloadable demo version of DBPro on their website. The HELP menu has all the commands available with brief instructions on their purpose. The full version has even working versions of code examples (showcase examples) for every command plus thousands of sample images, maps, sound effects, sprites, etc. to get you started real quick with your own games. I'd recommend downloading this demo to get a good taste of the language and determine if it is for you.

    Make sure to download the DBPro patch from their website as soon as you install the CD, to have the latest and greatest release. The DBPatch can not be applied to the demo version though.

    The only negative comments I have about this product is their language documentation included in the box. It could be more detailed and extensive. The good thing is that the DBPro community is growing and there are many resources for learning on the Internet. Amazon has a good introductory book on DarkBASIC (with some DBPro on it), ISBN 1592000096, but I think this book still lacks many advanced features since it was written mostly for DarkBASIC. If you are not familiar with 3-D terminology I would recommend to purchase an introductory book in this subject, or do an Internet search for this topic before getting your hands in the 3-D commands of DBPro.

    Recommended for game enthusiasts, beginners and to-be professionals. ... Read more


    19. Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office 2003 Upgrade
    list price: $199.99
    our price: $169.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000BZO8F
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Microsoft
    Sales Rank: 961
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Bring .NET Framework-based development to Word- and Excel-based business solutions
    • Build Microsoft Office solutions in the familiar Visual Studio environment
    • Simplify deployment and maintenance of secure Microsoft Office solutions
    • Distribute royalty-free Access 2003 solutions
    • Get started building applications with Visual Basic .NET

    20. Microsoft Visual Sourcesafe 6.0 CD
    list price: $549.00
    our price: $529.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00002SFLN
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Microsoft
    Sales Rank: 1450
    Average Customer Review: 2.71 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    Visual SourceSafe 6.0 is the latest edition of Microsoft's award-winning version-control system for managing software and Web-site development. Fully integrated with the Visual Basic, Visual C++, Visual J++, Visual InterDev, and Visual FoxPro development environments, as well as with Microsoft Office applications, it provides easy-to-use, project-oriented version control. Visual SourceSafe works with any file produced by any development language, authoring tool, or application. Users can work at both the file and project level while promoting file reuse. The project-oriented features of Visual SourceSafe make managing the day-to-day tasks associated with team-based application and Web site development more efficient. ... Read more

    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Actually, it's a pretty darn good software program.
    (...) Microsoft does in fact use VSS in-house for their production. I know this, because I worked there.
    VSS is an excellent program to use as long as you have the staff (which any decent IT department should have) with the know-how to use it. We didn't have any problems incorporating it into part of our daily routine, and we used it to produce the entire Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit, both online and print versions. We also used it for Windows 2000 Help, and we used it for the Windows 2000 Professional Resource Kit as well.
    Since moving on from Microsoft, I've found other such production tools to be clunky, and I heartily recommend VSS. Obviously you need someone in your IT department to have the know-how to implement it, but that's the same with *any* such software program. The time and money you save by eliminating human error in the writing and editing process for any style of development is huge, and VSS is absolutely indispensable for professional-level development of product. Once you get everyone accustomed to using it, it becomes second nature and a seamless part of the normal production process.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Buggy, Unreliable, Frustrating, Scary
    Source Code Management, no doubt, is a vital part of any development shop. Any team based development effort needs a centralized repository in which to store their work.

    That being said, I would implore you to choose another product - such as the open source CVS (which can hook into VS.net with the right plug-ins).

    VSS is a buggy, unreliable, unbearably slow...and fundamentally unuseable product. This is *not* the sort of system you should use hold vital data that ammounts to months and months of hard work.

    For your sanity and your time, DO NOT buy this product. As each version seems to bring very little in the way of rethinking this disaster, Microsoft has made it very clear that they could care less about source control.

    (by the way, MS doesn't even use this product in-house).

    1-0 out of 5 stars Lackluster tool: Consistent with Microsoft overall design.
    If all you ever want of your revison-control software is ``check-in'' and ``get latest version'', then perhaps this is the tool for you.

    If you want to have branching for separate development paths, tools for merging contributions from separate sources, and abilities to affix attributes and labels in non-trivial ways then you are out of luck. To get these features, try ClearCase by Rational Software.

    There is no comparison with the config-spec methadology of ClearCase, which allows one to specify exactly which file/directory elements are assembled into your ``view''.

    If Microsoft truely believed in their product Visual SourceSafe, then wouldn't they use it themselves? No. They use ClearCase.
    QED.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Decent, but no more
    Source control is critical, and for small scale operations this app works great. Occasionally there's some db corruption, but in general you should do alright. But it really doesn't scale, lacks many features, and hasn't had any significant feature additions, or development effort in years. Sometimes I think there are no developers currently working on this app at all. There's got to be a better way.

    2-0 out of 5 stars a frustrating tool, but the industry standard
    I think it's time to set the record straight on Visual SourceSafe. This is a product badly in need of updating, but it doesn't seem to have any direct competitors (nobody wants to be Borlanded or Netscaped), so it probably won't happen any time soon.

    If you're creating non-web applications with a programming tool that supports SourceSafe integration, then you probably won't mind SourceSafe. You will have to work around a few frustrations: the lack of drag-and-drop, the amazingly dated look to the client app, and the fact that a lot of discipline is required to use it properly and safely. If you don't train a developer new to SourceSafe, you can count somebody writing code referencing a wrong relative path, and having to merge lots of changes people made because they didn't check files out properly.

    However, if you're trying to develop a web application with others in an integrated programming tool, then there will be times you want to tear your hair out until you sit down and really learn how the thing works (without any aid from the skimpy online help), because the interaction between the web files, the local files (if an ASP app), and the SourceSafe files is poorly documented and very finicky. Hint: whatever you do, don't remove the SourceSafe binding inside Visual Studio .NET and attempt to put it back again later -- instead delete all the local files and do "Open from Source Control" inside Visual Studio.

    I should also mention that it networks very poorly. This is because there is no server component; clients just grab files via ordinary network shares. If you are trying to use SourceSafe from a remote site, then you will need patience, because doing a large operation such as a recursive "get latest" takes a long time even if you are telecommuting from the same city over a high-speed internet connection. Please note though that another company makes an inexpensive product called SourceOffSite that works with SourceSafe to overcome the networking deficiencies.

    In general, SourceSafe is a whole lot better than collaborating without help, and it is priced relatively reasonably, which is why it's still around. It's just long in the tooth, and is missing obvious features such as viewing all the check-in comments for a file at the same time. It really should come with printed manuals for end users detailing best practices to use and pitfalls to avoid. Instead, the online help makes it seem as if a child could use the product and everything is always sunny when using it. I know there are competing products, but I've never had the opportunity to try them, because for better or worse the market has chosen Visual SourceSafe as the standard. ... Read more


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