Microsoft plans to boost the application server capabilities of Windows Server 2008 with more SOA-friendly features, in order to help developers working with the company's upcoming .Net 4.0 framework.

Redmond said it will release a preview of new app server features, formerly codenamed "Dublin," at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) later this month in Los Angeles.

Dublin's features include pre-built developer services, greater scalability and easier manageability, and support for Microsoft's "Oslo" modelling platform, according to a Press Pass interview posted at Microsoft's website.

Besides the Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Dublin, Microsoft also plans to release CTPs of the 4.0 iterations of Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF) and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). WWF and WCF are workflow management and application communication technologies that are part of the .Net framework.

WWF 4.0 will include performance and scalability improvements, new workflow control models and an updated visual designer. WCF 4.0 will have, among other things, enhancements to the REST architecture key to web services, as well as messaging transports and protocols.

The news follows Monday's announcement that the next major release of Visual Studio Team System, until now codenamed "Rosario," will have the year 2010 appended to its name.

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Products that will support .Net 4.0 and Dublin include Microsoft's ERP software, Dynamics AX, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Microsoft said it has some third-party vendors also committed to using .Net 4.0.

The final release of these technologies is undetermined, according to Microsoft, though Dublin will come sometime after .Net 4.0 and Visual Studio 10 ship. Dublin will initially be released via download to Windows Servers customers, and later included in future releases of Windows Server. It will be backward compatible with applications built on earlier versions of .Net, and will also work with both Oslo and BizTalk Server's enterprise connectivity services, Microsoft said.