Historically and industry-wide, programming and data have been two different islands. The development of data-enabled applications has presented developers with multiple challenges in the past decade. Developers have been asked to master multiple languages to build enterprise scale data-enabled applications. There are some key challenges primarily related to the semantic differences between the programming world and the data world. I recently heard one of our RDs (Regional Directors) use a nice metaphor to describe the situation – “This is like using one language to order the drinks and another to order the main dinner”.
At PDC 2005, we are announcing a solution to the above problem for the .NET platform. This solution is based on some innovative and ground-breaking work on programming languages, driven by Anders Hejlsberg in the division, and is called the Language Integrated Query (LINQ) project. LINQ is an extensible set of language extensions currently available for Visual C# and Visual Basic.NET. LINQ enables developers to query objects, databases and XML using a unified programming model because LINQ makes data transforms and queries first class NET citizens.
I strongly believe LINQ will significantly enhance developer productivity, which has been a key goal with every new version of Visual Studio. We are releasing a preview version of the technology at PDC 2005.
I would love to hear your feedback on this.