Back in February, I blogged about our plans to update GAT/GAX and the Smart Client, Web Client, and Web Service Software Factories (hereafter referred to as the “goods”) to Visual Studio 2010 within 30 days of its release. Now that beta 2 is available, you probably aren’t surprised to hear I’ve been getting an increasing number of e-mails lately asking how things are going. I thought it would be easier to just point everyone to the same answer…

The project is on track and going well. Right now we’re in the process of determining the complexity of the changes we’ll have to make and things are looking good… better than we expected. The patterns & practices team is working closely with some of our long-time partners Clarius Consulting, Southworks, and DigitFactory so we’re pretty sure this migration will be smooth and fun. Since everything else is dependent on GAX, getting it to a stable state on VS2010 is the first order of business. We hope to have early drops by the end of the calendar year so we can all start bringing forward the multitude of goods. I’m not yet sure where we’re going to post these drops of GAX, but stay tuned here and I’ll let you know when we figure it out. The early drops of the factories will be on their respective CodePlex sites.

The plan for this to be a direct port (no new features) still holds true, but we are going to attempt one substantial improvement. VSIX is a new feature in VS2010 that allows developers to deploy/install VS extensions right from within VS. Check out the Visual Studio Gallery and the Extension Manager. This is a significantly more simplistic and supported approach to deploying extensions. Coincidentally, the part of GAX responsible for most of its complexity, and has caused us (and many of you) the most headaches, is deployment. So we hope to remove a lot of code, reduce some complexity and still be able to post all of the goods to the VS Gallery. The main constraint we’re working against is time and budget. I’ll let you know (probably in the notes below) as soon as we’ve made a decision. I’d also be interested in your thoughts.

Another benefit to using VSIX is we think it will make the side-by-side scenario with VS2008 and the current version of GAX much easier to enable. Speaking of side-by-side ...

It’s important you understand that we have no plans to support existing software factories/guidance packages “as is” on the new version of GAX and VS2010. We expect the goods will have to be modified and recompiled to be brought forward. With that said, one of our highest priority goals is to minimize the amount of changes that will have to be made. We’ll drop early docs on the migration process too. The existing version of the goods will remain in its current state on MSDN, untouched, even after the release of VS2010. As long as the new version of the goods can run side-by-side with their current versions, we don’t expect any problems for customers. Please let me know if this isn’t true.

Don, p&p team member