If you build client applications, especially business focused line-of-business applications, on .NET then we hope that you'll find Acropolis useful and interesting.
We're very excited to have released our first CTP last week during Tech Ed 2007. CTP 1 is an important milestone for us but we have a way to go yet before we reach our destination. We hope you'll join us for that journey - from the CTPs, through the Betas and on to the full release - and help us to make sure that Acropolis really meets your needs.
This blog will your point of contact with the Acropolis team. We'll be posting regularly to keep you up to date on our progress, to answer your questions, and to solicit as much feedback from you as we can.
So what is Acropolis?
In a nutshell, Acropolis is a set of components and tools intended to make it much easier to build modular, business focused clients applications on the .NET Framework.
Many, many developers are using .NET to build successful business oriented client applications today. But we know from speaking to many of these developers that building compelling, easy to use, flexible, customizable, easy to manage client applications that deliver a next generation user experience is not as easy as it should be.
We hope to change that with Acropolis by providing you with the components and tools you need so that you can leverage all of the power of the .NET Framework and the .NET technologies in your client applications much more easily. In fact, we want to not only make it easier to build client applications on the .NET Framework, we want to make it fun again!
The key to Acropolis is its modular approach.
Acropolis lets you divide your application into various functional pieces - components - that each encapsulates some specific pattern, strategy or piece of business or presentation logic. Acropolis then provides the ‘glue' to let you easily recombine these components to make a fully functional application.
This modular approach improves the chances that if you write a component that encapsulates some specific piece of functionality, you'll be able to re-use it in more than one application. Then, you can build your next application more quickly, by re-using your existing components, leaving you to focus on your new application's specific requirements.
The modular approach also improves the chances that if (or rather when!) you have to change your application, due to new requirements, additional functionality, new business process, new business opportunities, etc, you'll be able to do that more easily by adding or replacing components.
We'll be providing many pre-built components with Acropolis. These will provide support for the many common patterns and elements that you'll find in a modern client application - such as those that support navigation, layout, and supporting services like authentication and personalization - leaving you free to focus on your business logic and solving your business problem. And of course, you'll be able to develop your own re-usable components easily, allowing you to encapsulate the patterns and elements that are important to you.
The center of the Acropolis community is located on http://www.windowsclient.net/ - your one stop shop for all things related to .NET client application development. Links to the Acropolis CTP1 downloads, forums, videos and blogs are located on the Acropolis home page at www.windowsclient.net/Acropolis. For a quick intro to Acropolis, check out the Getting Started video here. We'll be posting new samples and videos in the coming weeks to illustrate the various features of Acropolis, so check back often.
We're fairly early in the development cycle for Acropolis - we decided to release this CTP release so that we can get your early feedback on the direction and features of Acropolis and to allow you to get involved in its evolution - so we really need your feedback. Let us know what you like about Acropolis, what you don't like, what you think is missing, and what you think should be removed or changed.