Microsoft on Tuesday released a free tool to help application developers better secure their programs. The SDL (Secure Development Lifecycle) Process Template for Visual Studio Team System provides a framework -- including auditable requirements -- for building security into applications. The offering complements previous Microsoft SDL releases: Optimization Model, Pro Network and Threat Modeling Tool. Microsoft developed SDL in 2004 to address security vulnerabilities in its software. The program is credited with reducing vulnerabilities in Vista and SQL Server. — DK