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Development support

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Development support

This topic contains a brief overview of the development support features in the Windows Server 2003 family. It is divided into two sections: New and updated features since Windows NT 4.0 and New and updated features since Windows 2000.

For links to more information about the features in this release, see New Features.

Developers writing server-based applications can work with the tools that are available in Microsoft Visual Studio® and also with other development tools. The system architecture in the Windows Server 2003 family allows developers to design applications that are easily translated and modified into local versions.

New and updated features since Windows NT 4.0

The Windows Server 2003 family offers the following improvements (in comparison to Windows NT 4.0) that help provide increased levels of support for developers:

Visual Studio .NET
Visual Studio .NET is designed to address the major requirements of organizations creating modern enterprise solutions. The design themes for Visual Studio .NET include:

  • A complete suite of tools for component-based development

  • Enhanced life cycle productivity

  • Enterprise database tools

  • Enhanced support for teams

  • Integration with application services

Multilingual technology
Because of the system architecture in the Windows Server 2003 family, the operating system, utilities, and properly written applications can be translated and modified into local versions for hundreds of languages.

New and updated features since Windows 2000

The Windows Server 2003 family offers the following improvements (in comparison to Windows 2000) that help provide increased levels of support for developers:

Automatic generation of link IDs
Link IDs are used by applications as they build new Active Directory structures (extensions to the Active Directory schema). If an application requests a new link ID that duplicates a link ID that is already in use, the schema extension fails to load. Automatic generation of link IDs avoids this problem by giving the application developer the option to request that the link ID be generated automatically.

Background Intelligent Transfer Service
Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) is a background file transfer mechanism. BITS prioritizes requests, and you can use it to specify that low-priority transfers occur only when the network is not at full capacity. The transfers continue even after network disconnections or computer restarts. You can write an application that downloads or uploads files in the background using BITS. For example, if a user has requested that Windows Update perform multiple downloads, Windows Update retrieves those updates in the background by submitting a request to BITS. The BITS service then downloads the files in the background and notifies the user when the files are downloaded.

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