Today at PDC09, Scott Guthrie Announced the beta of WCF RIA Services. As you may know RIA Services is a set of end-to-end experiences that makes it as easy to build Silverlight based n-tier applications as it is to build traditional 2 tier apps. I am very excited about this release as it represents a lot of great feedback we have heard from many of you.
Many of you will notice the slight change in the branding around RIA Services. RIA Services is now part of the WCF family (as is ADO.NET Data Services, which is now WCF Data Services). This branding change is a direct result of some significant work we are releasing in this beta and it hopefully makes it very clear that we have one technology base for doing services on the .NET platform and that is WCF.
Our driving principle with using WCF has been “All the power and none of the complexity”. That is we wanted to enable all the power that WCF brings (for example, the binary end-point, data contract serialization, all the extensibility points, fully management support with the AppFabric we announced yesterday). But none of the complexity. Just look at the web.config file… there is no tedious config to get right.. there is no fragile contract interface and implementation class to keep in sync, none of the deployment headache around configuration. This is still the RIA Services model where you can expect a deep simplicity across development, deployment and maintenance. We accomplish this by creating a custom service host at runtime based on how you define your DomainService.
I am also very excited to get OData support into RIA Services. OData is the protocol from “Astoria” that is already widely used in products like Sharepoint and PowerPivot. Look for more details on that in future.
Check out Henrik Frystyk Nielsen’s talk Developing REST Applications with the .NET Framework which will cover how WCF Data Services and WCF RIA Services work together.
1. Please install Visual Studio 2010 and Silverlight 4 (this includes RIA Services)
2. Build something cool and tell us about it!
3. Send in your feedback.. we want to hear what rocked, and what needs more polish
(2/15/10) Note: This does not work on VS2010 RC -- Look for an update in the next month or so.