Believe it or not, we actually try to avoid confusing our customers.  Scott's blog entry is great reading on the 'roadmap.'

.NET Web Product Roadmap (ASP.NET, Silverlight, IIS7) - ScottGu's Blog

Today I got a mail from an attendee at one my recent MSDN presentations (where I introduced Astoria to the crowd).  Because there are probably more of you out there with similar questions, I'll post his mail (name removed) and my answer here.  First the mail, then my answer:
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From: xxx
Sent: Monday, December 10, 2007 5:38 PM
To: Lynn Langit
Subject: What is the Roadmap for Data Access?

Dear Lynn,

I attended your Fall MSDN event and saw the “Astoria” Session, which is based on ADO.NET Entity Framework.

After perusing the Event DVD, I see a whitepaper on “Jasper,” which is also based on ADO.NET Entity Framework.

What’s the differences between “Astoria” and “Jasper”?  What is the time-frame for the release of these 2 Projects?  It appears that CTP’s from both are available.

Furthermore, since both are based on ADO.NET Entity Framework, when will this be Generally Available?

I saw today that Microsoft has released the ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions Preview which includes:

  • ASP.NET MVC
  • ASP.NET Dynamic Data
  • Silverlight controls for ASP.NET
  • ADO.NET Data Services (Astoria, right?)
  • Entity Framework runtime (ADO.NET Entity Framework?)
  • And new ASP.NET AJAX features

I’m suppose to tell the boss what’s hot & what’s not and what kind of skills to look for in new hires.  How can I do that when I don’t even know the 1 – 2 year roadmap for developing Data Access apps.

Please give me some help.

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Here's my answer

For the Roadmap, ScottGu’s blog is a good start http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2007/11/29/net-web-product-roadmap-asp-net-silverlight-iis7.aspx

The actual 3.5 download is here (the site contains a bit more information) http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=A9C6BC06-B894-4B11-8300-35BD2F8FC908&displaylang=en

The Astoria team blog provides further clarification http://blogs.msdn.com/astoriateam/archive/2007/12/07/ado-net-data-services-project-astoria.aspx

The developer tools for the entity framework (beta) are available here http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=D8AE4404-8E05-41FC-94C8-C73D9E238F82&displaylang=en

The documentation is here http://quickstarts.asp.net/3-5-extensions/

Other clarifications

1) Astoria is renamed to ADO.NET Data Services

2) It appears from the team blog, that the Entity Framework is one of two ways to implement Astoria Data Services, the other is to implement IQueryable

3) I do not have a specific timeline for final release of the ADO.NET Entity Framework at this time

In terms of ‘what to tell the boss’ that will depend on what aspects of the ADO.NET Data Services that are most compelling for your particular business scenarios. My opinion is that the most interesting areas of this release are the Data Services and Dynamic Data. I am sure that there are those out there who would disagree with me and would place more value on the MVC apps, but, you asked me, so you get my opinion are part of your answer :)