The team is excitedly preparing the next milestone of the Microsoft .NET Services Community Technology Preview (CTP). Once the .NET Services CTP becomes available, we’ll post the details via this blog, including a download link.


The next release of the .NET Services CTP will be the sixth version released since the initial CTP became public last year. The rapid iterative development cycle required for cloud offerings is driving an equally interesting and rapidly iterating feedback loop with customers and partners. Keep sending us your feedback!


Incorporating community feedback is the cornerstone of each and every development milestone. Talking to current and potential CTP users, listening to the community’s needs, and responding accordingly is essential to delivering .NET Services in a way that “just works” to address your business and development needs.


An area of consistent discussion is the Microsoft .NET Workflow Service delivered via .NET Services, and how it relates to the Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) in the .NET Framework. One of the comments that we’ve consistently heard about the .NET Workflow Service is that you want the Workflow Service to be built on .NET Framework 4‘s workflow engine. This is currently not the case, since we are prior to the release date of .NET Framework 4.


As the direct result of user feedback, we will hold off further releases of the Workflow Service until after .NET Framework 4 ships. Since there will be important changes to the Workflow Service before it goes to full production, we are planning to take down the existing Workflow Service as part of service improvements in the month of July. This means any solutions that currently rely on the Workflow Service will have to be modified on or before July 1 in order to continue functioning smoothly.


We understand this decision will cause disruption, yet we’ve consistently heard from customers “it is the right move” to ultimately deliver a better product and a better experience. The sixth iteration of Microsoft’s .NET Services will still include the Microsoft .NET Access Control Service and the Microsoft .NET Service Bus. The team will continue to deliver a number of requested improvements that make .NET Services more reliable, secure, and robust. Details will follow in due course.


Please be sure to check back frequently for updates and visit our forum if you have any questions.


.NET Services Team