Years ago, I toured Europe and talked to about 10.000 people about the wonders of WINFS that was going to be released with Longhorn. As we know, WInFS got axed and it felt like I wasted around 750.000 man-minutes (it was a 75 minute talk).
Today I was in a meeting to review the content for Tech Ed Developers and it really made me smile when we were discussing the data track and reviewed these sessions:
Tired of having to create a sproc, view, web method and proxy for every “question” you’d like to ask the database? By caching reference data, such as the product catalog locally, you can dramatically reduce the workload on your server, and reduce the complexity of your application. One challenge is how do you synchronize that data? We’ll discuss the power of having a compact, yet capable embedded database within your application. We’ll demo how you can offload workloads from the server, free the developer to empower their users, and still keep that product catalog in synch with the server. We’ll demo a shifted pattern to data access and demo the new Sync Services for ADO.NET coming in .NET Framework 3.5 with SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5. Take advantage of the client, make your applications faster, cache data locally and make your users happy customers.
Most .NET database applications out there use ADO.NET to access and manipulate data, and most of them have a data-access layer built on top of ADO.NET to abstract out many of the details related to data-access that can get in the way of business logic. In this session we’ll introduce the ADO.NET Entity Framework, a high-level data library that pushes up the level of abstraction application developers need to work at when dealing with data in databases. We’ll discuss how the system supports conceptual modeling, the use of the object services layer to do object-relational mapping, and how great integration with LINQ (Language Integrated Query) brings new levels of productivity to the data-access development space.
These sessions are the living proof that many of the ideas that made the WINFS live on and are (as announced) being implemented in SQL Server. So not all goodness was lost.
Yes, I admit, the WinFS still sounds like a great idea to me just like the .NET My Services API still looks way more consistent than any set of API's I've been seeing lately from many different web platforms. Would Mark Lucovsky agree? If so, he can still order the book .NET My Services Specification at Amazon and give it to some developers at Google. I'm not giving my copy away. It's a classic!
For a good paper on the new features in SQL Server 2008, you can check out his whitepaper: http://www.microsoft.com/sql/techinfo/whitepapers/sql2008Overview.mspx
BTW, if you're going to Tech Ed, you can join this Tech Ed Developers Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2713709966 See you there?
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