Oracle has released version 1.0 of SQL Developer. a.k.a. Project Raptor, its free PL/SQL development IDE. SQL Developer is based on the same IDE platform as JDeveloper, giving it a stability, usability, and attention to detail rarely found in version 1.0 releases.

Download the software from the Oracle SQL Developer homepage

IE7 Beta 2 is now available for download.

There is also an Add-Ons site where you can find some cool tools that are screened by Microsoft and rated by users to help you select the ones that suit your needs and preferences.

The best developer add-on is not listed on this site, but comes directly from MS and works on IE6 too. You can download it at Developer Toolbar Download. This tool enables you to explore the DOM tree and find elements on the page, disable IE settings, view information, outline elements, control images, resize pages to common screen resolutions and have a powerful ruler that lets you measure pixel perfect content on your page.

Microsoft has extended last week the no-cost deal for Visual Studio 2005 Express, that it initially said would end a year after the software's November 2005 release.

Thus Visual Studio 2005 Express joins SQL Server Express in Microsoft's portfolio of entry-level freebies.

The software is available for download at http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/.

David Kirkpatrick has an excellent article in the latest issue of Fortune magazine about software genius Ray Ozzie's work to remake Microsoft and, even, conquer the Web.

Some excerpts:

Put simply, Ozzie's assignment is to Webify everything: To intertwine Microsoft's entire product line - software for consumers, software for businesses, Xboxes, all of it - with the vast and ever-growing power of the Net. "Everything we do should have a presence on the Web," Ozzie says.
"I cannot overstate the importance of what Ray Ozzie has done here," Gates says.

Article URL: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2006/05/01/8375454/index.htm

Mainsoft released a freely available Visual Studio .NET plug-in, for easy development and porting of n-Tier ASP.NET and server applications to Linux and other Java-enabled platforms. Code samples, how-to articles and developer forums are available at dev.mainsoft.com. Click here to download software.
Feedburner announced today a new service called FeedBurner Email which allows you to provide a way for your readers to subscribe to your blog via email. It turns out that not everybody is quite ready to ditch the old Inbox just yet. People like to be notified when their favorite publishers have something new posted, but a large audience still finds the familiar setting of email to be the most comfortable and reliable way to receive updates. I updated my blog to include this feature. You can see it at the left-top of the page. It's functional too so feel free to use it if you prefer old email to RSS readers.
Vineet Nayar, president of India's 30,000-employee HCL Technologies, is creating an IT outsourcing firm where, he says, employees come first and customers second.
"Every employee rates their boss, their boss' boss, and any three other company managers they choose, on 18 questions using a 1-5 scale. Such 360-degree evaluations are not uncommon, but at HCL all results are posted online for every employee to see."
That's mind-blowing to most of us. More on this topic in this article by David Kirkpatrick, senior editor at Fortune.
According to the Ivar Jacobson International, the Essential Unified Process will be launched in this year in June. I am very interested in the variations of Rational Unified Process (RUP) that take an agile approach to software development unified process, so this is great news. There is another similar project I'm following closely: The Agile Unified Process (AUP) of Scott W. Ambler. And there is, of course, the Basic Unified Process (BUP), from IBM-Rational itself, which donated to the Eclipse Process Framework a simplified version of the RUP as open source.
Google has launched its online calendar. It's even integrated with GMail through a link at the top of the page. More buzz at the following links: - c|net News.com - Tech Memeorandum - Google Blog Sadly, though, on my Internet Explorer 7, I get a warning message stating that my browser is not fully supported, even if the status page indicates Microsoft IE 6.0+ as fully supported browser. Do the math... (A screenshot from Business2.0) Google Calendar
Fortune magazine published an interesting interview with Bill Gates about his work habits. Pretty ordinary work, though:
"Days are often filled with meetings. It's a nice luxury to get some time to go write up my thoughts or follow up on meetings during the day. But sometimes that doesn't happen. So then it's great after the kids go to bed to be able to just sit at home and go through whatever e-mail I didn't get to. If the entire week is very busy, it's the weekend when I'll send the long, thoughtful pieces of e-mail. When people come in Monday morning, they'll see that I've been quite busy— they'll have a lot of e-mail."
Micorsoft launched recently a blog site for it's Open Source Software Lab research project. The driving force behind the lab is Bill Hilf, General Manager of Platform Strategy at Microsoft. Hilf joined the company in 2004 after working at IBM, where he was instrumental in driving IBM's Linux technical strategy for its emerging and competitive markets organization. Here's what Bill Hilf has to say about the Linux/Open Source Software Lab.
Charles Petzold's new book, Applications = Code + Markup: A Guide to the Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation, has just been released. You can see more about this book in the book's blog. Check out also this article Code Name Avalon: Create Real Apps Using New Code and Markup Model from the January 2004 issue of MSDN Magazine to see what did The Windows Presentation Foundation look like two years ago. His book, Programming Windows, made me the programmer that I am today, so I just can't wait to feel this new book im my hands. You can pre-order it too from Amazon.com
EiffelStudio was released under the GPL. You can read the press release here. Eiffel is an contract based object oriented programming language. More on the language at ECMA International standardization association.
Here's a GUI frontend to VSSConverter. VSSConverter is a command line utility that uses xml configuration files to transfer SourceSafe projects to TFS. If you don’t like command line utilities then that's the tool for you. You can download it from this link VssConverterGui.zip Note: Extract and place in the same location as VssConverter.exe
Microsoft made a big splash at LinuxWorld on Monday, announcing the availability of Virtual Server 2005 R2 as a free download. This also will apply to the forthcoming SP1 of Virtual Server 2005 R2. In addition, Microsoft announced the availability of virtual machine add-ins for Linux and a technical product support model for Linux guest operating systems running on top of Virtual Server 2005 R2. Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition, will allow you to run up to four virtual operating systems on one physical server at no additional cost, by integrating virtualization as part of the Windows Server operating system. Also, in a move few thought possible, Microsoft has teamed with the developers of the open source Xen product against the market leader VMware, by licensing the Virtual Hard Disk file format to open source specialist XenSource, but not granting a similar license to VMware for rather obvious reasons.
The newly updated Refactoring Databases Website by Scott W. Ambler and Pramodkumar J. Sadalage is a excellent resource for data professional who needs to produce results in the world of agile development and object technology. In this website the authors share with us the techniques and strategies that can be used to refactor at the database level.
Modeling and Tools Here's a new set of pages that examine the promises, challenges, and technical initiatives around model-driven development and management, specifically in the context of enterprise, solutions, infrastructure and industry architecture.