Microsoft details WCF and WF in next-gen .NET

David Worthington
October 1, 2008 —  (Page 1 of 2)
Microsoft has detailed some of the .NET 4.0 feature set, and how it will evolve Windows Server to host composite applications by extending the Application Server Role.

Today, the company announced its road map for Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) and an update to Windows Server 2008, code-named “Dublin.” Community Technology Previews of the new technologies will be released at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference at the end of this month.

Microsoft is concentrating on making the creation of representational state transfer-style applications easier by including templates and deeper integration with ASP.NET, said Burley Kawasaki, director of product management in the Connected Systems Division at Microsoft. Sample code will be accessible on CodePlex, Microsoft's open-source project hosting website, he added.  

Another design goal is to make integration between WCF and WF more seamless than it is today, he said. Microsoft is leveraging Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) to deepen that integration, using it as a common model stack for applications, he noted. “[Developers] will build the entire applications declaratively in XAML.”

“This is an important step toward capturing the entire application definition in a single format (XAML) that can generate different views of that definition,” wrote John R. Rymer, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, in an e-mail.

WF itself will be expanded to support a greater number of workflow models and enable more complex business rules to be built with it, said Kawasaki. It will also include a broader set of pre-built activities.

Deploying applications without putting the onus on developers to write complex infrastructure code is another objective of the .NET 4.0 wave. Dublin extends the Application Server Role with infrastructure code to handle asynchronous long-running processes that are common in workflow-centric applications, said Kawasaki. Microsoft’s objective is for its customers not to have to learn new runtimes and tools, he added.

Dublin will ship as an add-on for Windows Server 2008 and will be shipped with the Server product in later releases of Windows Server, according to Kawasaki. Future versions of Microsoft Dynamics AX and CRM applications will also be built using Dublin on the back end for improved management and scaling, he said. Microsoft partners, including AmberPoint, an early adopter, will be releasing SOA governance products that build on Dublin.

Related Search Term(s): .NET, Windows, Windows Server, Microsoft

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