WinFX and the Visual Studio 2005 Final (RTM) Release

WinFX and the Visual Studio 2005 Final (RTM) Release

  • Comments 10

Today is the end of a long road for the Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 teams - many congratulations to them on shipping! The book I co-wrote five years ago concerning development for SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services may now be officially considered obsolete!

For those of us who focus on WinFX development, this means that there's going to be one less moving part to worry about. Ever since I came over to Redmond, I've been fighting a constant battle to try and keep the right versions of all the various system components (.NET Framework, WinFX Runtime Components, Visual Studio 2005, WinFX SDK, Visual Studio Extensions for WinFX) installed and correct, as I know have many of you.

Being "on the inside" is both a blessing and a curse in this regard: on the one hand, there are even more builds to choose from (since most teams produce at least one build each day, plus you can build your own avalon.msi from source); on the other hand, you do at least have the benefit of manifold distribution lists, intranet sites and the names and room numbers of colleagues that you can ping to get issues resolved. But having a stable version of the .NET Framework and developer tools means that the level of churn will drop significantly. Given, too, that the number of breaking changes in the WinFX API is starting to drop precipitously, I live in hope that the worst is over.

Of course, there's one remaining challenge, which is that the currently public release of the WinFX Runtime Components (the September CTP that was handed out at the PDC) is based on .NET Framework 2.0 Beta 2. Those who have been quick off the starting line may have already discovered that this CTP release is incompatible with the RTM (final) release of the .NET Framework (thanks to Ahmed Qurashi for the link and the question that prompted this blog entry). The Windows Presentation Foundation ("Avalon"), Windows Communications Foundation ("Indigo") and Windows Workflow Foundation teams moved across to the final release in the month or so following on from the PDC release; as of a few weeks ago, we're now in a position where there are internal builds of the WinFX Runtime Components that are built against the final .NET Framework 2.0 release.

We have a new CTP release of the WinFX Runtime Components due very shortly (within the next couple of weeks), so there's not long to wait for a release that is compatible with the final .NET Framework 2.0. Unfortunately it's just not possible to have everything release simultaneously, due to the fact that there are at least five different product teams that work on this alone. The closer I get to the engine room, the more I realize that this is not a straightforward problem, particularly given our desire to be more transparent and increase the number of CTP-style releases.

Anyway, that's a brief explanation of the problem - hope it clarifies where we are a little.

  • Will Vista Beta 2 be compatible with the Visual Studio 2005 Final RTM build?
  • You missed the fact that WWF is available for the RTM version. See it here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=E27AA8DC-A029-4836-AC59-6B4805DF42FA&displaylang=en
  • Thanks for the quick reply, Tim, I knew you would *get* it!

    The fact is you've spoiled us. After using Avalon Viewport3D Controls, who wants to go back to rendering Direct3D scenes in a WinForm?

    There are now so many interlinked parts to 3D development, not just Visual Studio, but also Zam3D for 3D modeling, Acrylic for textures and 2D, DirectX XACT for audio, etc. So for this new sort of dev paradigm to work, everything has to work as a whole.

    Definitely, worth the wait, though, ;)
  • Tom, Windows Vista has now integrated the final RTM bits, so every CTP and beta release from now on will have the .NET Framework 2.0 RTM bits included.

    Dennis, thanks for the pointer to the Windows Workflow Foundation link. For others' benefit, Windows Workflow Foundation is an exception because it is used by Office 12 and has two ship vehicles for now (standalone and integrated with the rest of the WinFX Runtime Components).
  • Just wondering that will WinFX final release version be available when Vista release? Or we might get them earlier when WinFX ready to ship. I remembered Microsoft said there will be an edition of WinFX for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Is this statement still true?

    Thanks!
  • Lih, the WinFX Runtime Components will be available simultaneously for Windows Vista, Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows Server 2003.
  • Thanks Tim! For Windows Server 2003, will it include R2? Or R2 only?
  • I know it is not entirely helpful to ask this. But I am in a true state of anxiety. If I were just playing one waiting game, say waiting for the WinFX update for VS RTM, I could probably crawl out of bed each day and stare at the WinFX page, refreshing it every 5 minutes until the new runtime and SDK were released. But then to be waiting for the xbox release also, at this same time.... It's just more than I can handle.

    This is a cry for help! Any news on status of the update? Anything, even a positive little nugget of data??? :-|
  • Rob, how about "it's out"! :)

    Check out the following:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/tims/archive/2005/11/18/494526.aspx
  • Starting with Windows Workflow Foundation Beta 1.2 already available, and seems that WinFx beta is clos

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