Back in 2005 I spent a week with our Product Support professionals “helping” to answer support calls… I was amazed that at the world’s largest software company the tools these folks use were not well integrated (I believe it has sense been addressed). A customer call comes in via one application giving some limited caller ID type of information, the operator cuts-and-paste the name from there into another app to look up their account status, then opens a case in a tracking application and again cut-and-pasts that information in and then opens up a website to check out the availability of a hot fix the customer was asking for.. Wow.. one simple action 4-5 applications. Why didn’t we have one application to unify them all? Well, our story my sound familiar, different parts of IT, different legacy systems, different schedules, different backends, etc, etc.

But even under these constraints, there has to be a better solution… and indeed there is.. over the last few years the notion of modular, composite frameworks have been embraced. CAB is very popular and in the web space Rails has gained some interest and generally customers continue to ask me for simple solutions that help them focus on their business problems rather than plumbing code.

To that end, we have created the acropolis project as the first in a set of investments we are making around the .NET Client “futures”. Acropolis is an initial “experiment” at up leveling the .NET Framework application model to enable more modular application that enables developers to focus on their business logic while reaping the benefits of Xaml and WPF and of course carrying forward all of your existing Windows Forms assets.

So check out the latest on

1. Downloads: Download the bits

2. Learning: Watch this video and read the docs (on line version coming) 

3. Communing:

Hang out on the forums

Check out these blog
· Kathy Kam – PM for the UI space on the team
· David Hill – Sr. PM\Architect on the team
· Ricky Tan – Developer on the team
· Acropolis team blog – Stay tuned

And if you are at TechEd, drop by the booth and come to our talks!

· DEV302 - Windows .NET Client: Introducing the “Acropolis” Client Application Framework - David Hill
· DEV318 - Windows .NET Client: Building Rich Client UI with the “Acropolis” Framework - Kathy Kam

Enjoy and we’d love to hear from you!


Here is a screenshot of an acropolis application in design mode in Orcas beta1

AcroTheme AcroSelectLayout