Virtual Earth Control for Visual Studio 2008 Previewed at Remix Australia

I was very proud to announce and show for the first time in public Microsoft’s upcoming Virtual Earth control for Visual Studio 2008 as part of the Windows Live session at Australia’s remix event. Remix Australia was held last week in Sydney and Melbourne and brought together 700 web developers and designers to talk about what is new with Microsoft and the web. Angus Logan, Senior Technical Product Manager from the Windows Live Platform team, presented an hour session on Windows Live.

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During the last 10min I got to show something cool, the ability to simply drag and drop the latest Virtual Earth map control onto your aspx page, set properties, drag out the size and write server side .net code to interact with the map.

For those not familiar with JavaScript this control gives you the full functionality of VE with zero JavaScript code to be written. A set of “client-side extenders” allow you to extend any type of button control to carry out typical VE functionality like zooming, panning or even showing traffic again with some simple clicks of the mouse.

For those advanced users you’re not left out, the control covers all properties, all client side events and exposes access to everything you need to extend on the client side. Server side events are limited to those that make sense for the performance hit, no onmousemove for example. Two data sync options are available to either send the full set of data on the map to the server on postback and then accept a differential or simply let the server push the new data. From someone that lives and breaths VE the control is designed to make your job faster, of higher quality and as simple as possible.

The real power of this control is the simplicity of adding and interacting with server side data. With the whole AJAX code taken care of you can simply add data to the map and respond to server side event to make database changes. One person in the crowd remarked “I could integrate this into my SharePoint project in minutes not weeks”.

Stay tuned for release information.