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Microsoft said it has released Beta 2 of its Windows Server AppFabric, a set of services meant to simplify writing composite applications that take advantage of both local servers as well as services in the cloud.
"We're encouraging developers and IT professionals working with .NET 4 and Windows Server to download the Beta and provide feedback, as we prepare to release the final version of Windows Server AppFabric to be delivered by Q3 of 2010," said a post in Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows Server Division Weblog on Monday.
Microsoft rolled out the first beta of Windows Server AppFabric at the company's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2009 in Los Angeles in November.
So far, more than 8,000 developers have downloaded Beta 1 of the AppFabric, according to Microsoft officials.
"Windows Server AppFabric is a set of application services focused on improving the speed, scale, and management of Web, composite, and enterprise applications," the post said.
The company also touted the capabilities that will be provided by the services, once they are released. Among them are speeding up performance of "in-memory caching and replication technology that works with current ASP.NET applications."
Further, the pre-built application services aim to simplify development of composite applications, working with Visual Studio and .NET Framework, including ASP.NET, Windows Communications Foundation, and Windows Workflow Foundation, the blog post said.
Additionally, Windows Server AppFabric is meant to simplify life for IT professionals in deployment, management, and monitoring of composite applications using tools such as PowerShell, IIS Management, and System Center.
While the Windows Server AppFabric is designed to provide services for on-premises application development, it also works with its cloud counterpart, Windows Azure platform AppFabric. Together, they enable the creation of composite applications that span both Windows Server and Azure, according to the blog post.
Windows Server AppFabric is available for download here.