I am proud to announce today, that after 700 pages of textbook reading and an intense period of studying, I have passed Microsoft exam 70-305, Developing and Implementing Web-based Applications with Microsoft Visual Basic .NET and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET.

In my March 28, 2003 new release, I told you a bit about Microsoft’s new .NET certifications, and the value of hiring a contractor or employee with industry certifications. Today, I would like to touch a bit more on the new .NET platform.

You may have heard about Microsoft’s .NET initiative in the news recently, but you are likely thinking what I was originally thinking — so what? “What is .NET anyway,” you may be asking? Put simply, .NET is Microsoft’s new unified programming platform. In the past, Microsoft offered, among other programming languages, Visual C++ and Visual Basic. With .NET, the language your developer programs in becomes, for the most part, insignificant. The focus shifts, instead, to the business value of the programming, not the technological aspects of the programming. That is not to say that .NET is just a simplification of previous languages. In reality, .NET offers a wide array of new potential for your business applications. Specifically, .NET allows systems to integrate together easier, in addition to easier deployment and more rapid application development, just to name a few advantages.

With my latest Microsoft certification, I can now offer clients integrated solutions that provide both web-based and Windows-based interfaces. A great example of this is an application that provides both an interface for customers (accessible via the web) and an interface for customer service (to be used internally). After all, what custom application development is really about is efficiency. I am happy to add yet another tool to my tool belt, allowing me to help realize your company’s systems potential.

I look forward to talking with you!

John R. Pattison