Well, after taking the red-eye from Seattle last night I made it to TechEd in time to get some really good feedback.  I feel lucky to get to drill into two different areas of feedback... the web space with ASP.NET, AJAX and Silverlight and the client space with WPF, Cider and Acropolis.

In the web space...

I had on my conspicuous Ajax Experience shirt partially to see if it would server as fodder for an interesting conversation.  It did!  On the ride from Dallas to Orlando I talked with the owner of a set of career\HR web sites... many of them are in ColdFusion and he is looking for how to revitalize them... I gave him a private showing of the demos of my talk at TechEd and the Ajax stuff really resonated with him.  He was exited about how he could use mass-market skills (like C#\VB.NET) to create very compelling user experiences without learning a ton of client side javascript.  Features such as UpdatePanel, asp:History and AutoCompleteExtender really seamed to resonate with him.  Because of his ColdFusion background I suggested he check out BlueDragon as a way to help migrate to .NET, though he may still want to consider a deeper native .NET implementation. 

In the booth, there was a ton of buzz on Silverlight and ASP.NET AJAX... The vast majority of folks are still trying to figure out exactly how to think about these products.  Many customers already have their own Ajax framework (homegrown or from a 3rd party).. when they see the support in Visual Studio 2008 (aka Orcas) and the richness of the control toolkit they are already starting to plan a migration. 

Lots of good questions about how these stuff fits together... That is how can I have islands-of-richness with Silverlight in my ASP.NET pages. How can I use databinding and the general server control model to take incremental advantage of Silverlight?  The demos around $getXaml, asp:Media and asp:Xaml are huge winners here. 

 

In the client space...

Acropolis continues to get a lot of buzz... The most common quote is something like: "Finally Microsoft, what took you so long"... 

We did start getting some slightly deeper questions... Many of them are along the lines of "What about CAB?".   Acropolis is certainly heavily inspired by CAB in concept and we are working closely the P&P guys to ensure we have an easy migration for users from today's CAB to acropolis.  So the best way to prepare for acropolis in the future is to use CAB today!
Brian Wilson posts on CAB is dead! Long live CAB!  and Glenn Block has a nice posts about Acropolis, the future of Smart Client.  Also Benjamin Wulfe (DevLead for Acropolis) talks about this on the forums a bit... 

 

What about about deployment?  This question usually comes up around application deployment (things like making clickonce work on a finer granularity than "the entire application")  as well as platform provisioning issues like ensuring the platform has the right version of MDAC and the .NET Framework.    We hear you clearly on this front.. it is a hard problem, but we are working on it!  Keep the feedback coming!

 

Workflow, Page Flow, Workflow Foundation.  Many folks are intrigued about the idea of getting a real workflow engine on the client.  The prospect of encoding the business rules of applications in a declarative workflow format is very attractive to many folks... we are too early in the process to know exactly how this feature will work... But our general design principles in the space tend to lead us to a pluggable modular architecture that let you optionally take advantage of particular work flow engines such as WF or more general defaults or even your own custom one.   We are also working very closely with the other 1/2 of my team to ensure that we have synergy across the web workflow in asp.net and the acropolis workflow..

 

Can I go live with this?  When are you shipping? Should I bet my next one mission dollar project on this CTP?  While I love the enthusiasm here, we are not quite ready for that... We are coming out very early in the cycle to get your feedback, but we are not ready for "go-live" yet.. As far as shipping see yesterday's answer ;-)

PS- you can find Kathy's list of common questions here.

 

Ok, now on the days hot acropolis links! 

Microsoft delivers test build of new tool for building line-of-biz ...

by Mary Jo Foley  
At TechEd 2007, Microsoft released a first Community Technology Preview (CTP) build of "Acropolis," a set of components and tools for building line-of-business, portal-style .Net applications.
http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/

 

Acropolis, the future of Smart Client

By Glenn Block
For some time people have been asking us what our plans are for supporting WPF within SCSF / CAB. In our last release we shipped support for hosting WPF Smart parts and Workspaces within a windows SCSF / CAB application. The next question many of our customer's had is "Why didn't you ship a WPF version of SCSF?". Well this week at Tech-Ed, David Hill let the cat out of the bag, and it's name is a project code-named "Acropolis". I've put together a small FAQ below to help clarify some of the questions you might be having.
http://blogs.msdn.com/gblock/

 

Rich Enterprise Applications with Microsoft "Acropolis"
By Ryan Steward of (RIA and recent Adobe hire fame)

This morning Microsoft made a move to bring the power of Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) to the enterprise level developers with a Community Technology Preview of “Acropolis“. Acropolis is interesting for a couple of big reasons. First of all, it brings Windows Forms (WinForms) closer WPF. WinForms is a user interface API that predated WPF and there are a lot of big, business like enterprise applications that are built using WinForms. Acropolis is going to make it easy to incorporate those parts into new applications.

 

Acropolis

By Craig’s Musings 

I’ve been patiently waiting to blog about this for some time. Now that Microsoft has finally gone public with this during this week’s TechEd…

Acropolis’s vision is to revolutionize the way that organizations define, develop, configure, deploy and manage client solutions. Clearly, this is a broad vision, and it will be realized over a set of releases. Having worked with David Hill, Microsoft’s architect on this endeavor, in the past on smart client architectures, I’m confident that this vision will realized.
image

 

Acropolis

By Sam Gentile
I've known about, tracked and been briefed on Acropolis for a year now. I'm obviously interested given both my Smart Client preferences as well as our extensive use of CAB + SCBAT in our composite Enterprise type of client. Microsoft finally announced Acropolis at TechEd and released a CTP and Docs. We have been greatly concerned that CAB development has pretty much stopped (now everyone sees why) and how to possibly take the code base into WPF if we wanted to

 

 

And many other links

Acropolis to replace CAB/SCSF

6 hours ago by Krzysztof Koźmic  
When I learned about Acropolis I got the feeling that Microsoft just said: "This is the way you are supposed to do smart client applications", and that it means good bye to CAB. Glenn Block just said it clear and loud: ...
Krzysztof Koźmic's blog - http://kozmic.pl/Atom.aspx

Acropolis: Yet Another Executable XML

 by Ayende Rahien  
<CsamlFile xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/csaml" xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"> <NamespaceDeclaration Identifier="MyNamespace"> <ClassDeclaration Identifier="MyClass" Access="Public"> ...
Ayende @ Rahien - http://ayende.com/Blog/Default.aspx

My newly ordered SCSF and CAB book is outdated before it is printed...

by tadanderson  
I pre-ordered the Programming Microsoft Composite UI Application Block and Smart Client Software Factory Book. According to this blog, Smart Client Software Factory v2.0 is the Last Release - Acropolis is the Future, my book is out of ...
Real World Software Architecture - http://realworldsa.blogspot.com/

Microsoft codename “Acropolis” CTP 1 released

by amroamroamro  
The Microsoft code name “Acropolis” Community Technology Preview 1 is a set of components and tools that make it easier for developers to build and manage modular, business focused, client .NET applications. Acropolis is part of the “. ...
Amro Khasawneh Blog - http://amroamroamro.wordpress.com

Live from TechEd Day 3

by Nicholas Allen  
... people's awareness about the components that Microsoft was shipping. Our role this year has evolved from explaining who we are to more explaining how to use the product. One product that did get announced this year is Acropolis. ...
Nicholas Allen's Indigo Blog - http://blogs.msdn.com/drnick/default.aspx

My newly ordered SCSF and CAB book is outdated before it is printed...

by tadanderson  
I pre-ordered the Programming Microsoft Composite UI Application Block and Smart Client Software Factory Book. According to this blog, Smart Client Software Factory v2.0 is the Last Release - Acropolis is the Future, my book is out of ...
Real World Software Architecture - http://realworldsa.blogspot.com/

BA: A note on this above... check out Glenn's post on the  future of Smart Client.... Your investment in the books are still very, very solid... The best way to prepare for acropolis is to use CAB today!

Microsoft codename “Acropolis” CTP 1 released

by amroamroamro  
The Microsoft code name “Acropolis” Community Technology Preview 1 is a set of components and tools that make it easier for developers to build and manage modular, business focused, client .NET applications. Acropolis is part of the “. ...
Amro Khasawneh Blog - http://amroamroamro.wordpress.com

 

'Acropolis' CTP for WPF Development Released
By Bob Familiar
The Microsoft code name "Acropolis" Community Technology Preview 1 is a set of components and tools that make it easier for developers to build and manage modular, business focused, client .NET applications. Acropolis is part of the ". ...
Bob's Blog - http://blogs.msdn.com/bobfamiliar/default.aspx

CAB is dead! Long live CAB!
By Brad Wilson
... Microsoft is headed in. Glenn Block from p&p has a post about the future of the smart client p&p deliverables in light of this announcement, too. I wonder if there's someone on the net who thinks he can re-implement Acropolis in 15 ...
Brad Wilson - The .NET Guy - http://www.agileprogrammer.com/dotnetguy/

 

Acropolis Client side development... I'm not convinced... yet.
By Brennon Williams [ADMIN]
Take a look at "Acropolis" from Microsoft's WindowsClient.net site and you can't help but think that the Redmond giant is a little confused at which market place it really is in... Maybe it's not and maybe it's just me, ...
- http://expressionblend.com/blogs/default.aspx

BA: Note: I think we do have a good developer designer story, but it is one that empowers the small shops with one "dev" that is also the "designer" and the "DBA" and, btw, he mows the grass out front on the weekends as well.  With Acropolis built in set of styles and themes even the designer in a dev-head like me can come out and still look good!

 

"Acropolis" Community Technology Preview
By Scott Dorman
One of the new technologies being announced at Tech·Ed is "Acropolis". If you have previously used the Microsoft Composite UI Application B lock (CAB) or the Smart Client Software Factory (SCSF), the announcement of the Acropolis should ...
Scott Dorman - http://geekswithblogs.net/sdorman/Default.aspx

 

And also in the language of your choose... btw, I can't read these, I sure hope they say nice things ;-)

Акрополис - строительство в разгаре.

by Alexey Raga  
Acropolis - это фреймворк от Майкрософт для разработки клиентских приложений на платформе .NET c использованием WPF. Два дня назад стала доступна версия CTP1, о которой я немного и расскажу. Для установки и работы понадобится Microsoft ...
Live vs. Programming - http://alexey.raga.name/

Microsoft Acropolis CTP 1 ( de griego poco ... )

by elbruno  
En realidad Acropolis es un conjunto de componentes y herramientas que facilitan el proceso de desarrollo de UI Applications. Parece que es el sucesor del SCSF, o que va en ese camino, por ahora es uno de los proyectos de WindowsClient. ...
An Avanade Blogging Community - http://blog.avanadeadvisor.com/blogs/default.aspx?GroupID=2

Liens du jour

by Ollie  
Microsoft vient d’annoncer la sortie d’une première version de son environnement d’exécution WPF et WinForms : Acropolis, autrement appelé Windows Client. Moi je n’y comprends plus rien alors demandez à l’ami Fred… ...
le blog à Ollie - http://b-spirit.com/blogollie