David Chappell, who literally wrote the book on "Understanding .NET," has just put together a paper with lots of details on Microsoft's upcoming .NET Framework 3.0. .NET 3.0 provides common foundations for workflow, Web services messaging, and presentation layer.
Until earlier this summer, the bundle of technologies that will make up .NET Framework 3.0 was originally called WinFX. "The .NET Framework has always been at the core of WinFX, but the WinFX brand didn't convey this," S. Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Developer Division, is quoted as saying. Beta 2 of .NET Framework 3.0 began shipping in June, and the technology is expected to be available with Windows Vista, which is scheduled to ship by the beginning of 2007. As fellow blogger Ed Bott observes, however, that Vista ship date could be sooner, or it could be later, and Microsoft appears to be having some issues.
David Chappell details the four new technologies that will be included in Version 3.0 of the .NET Framework, built on the Framework's current 2.0 version:
Windows Workflow Foundation (WF): Windows Workflow Foundation provides a common workflow technology for Windows, giving any workflow-based application the same foundation to build on. "Software provided by Microsoft will use WF, including the Microsoft Office 2007 system and Windows SharePoint Services, as will applications created by others."
Windows Communication Foundation (WCF, originally code-named "Indigo"): "Rather than requiring developers to use a different technology with a different application programming interface for each kind of communication, WCF provides a common approach using a common API." WCF can replace an assortment of approaches Microsoft now provides for Web services messaging, such as ASP.NET Web Services, .NET Remoting, Enterprise Services, System.Messaging, and Web Services Enhancements.
Windows CardSpace (originally code-named "InfoCard"): "To help people keep track of their digital identities, CardSpace represents each identity as a distinct information card. If a Web site accepts CardSpace logins, users attempting to log in to that site will see a CardSpace selection screen. By choosing a card, users also choose a digital identity that will be used to access this site. Rather than remembering a plethora of usernames and passwords, users need only recognize the card they wish to use. Different cards can also contain different information, allowing users to control exactly what each site learns about them."
Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF, originally code-named "Avalon"): Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is designed to address the challenge of building a coherent user interface for different types of clients and technologies. "By offering a consistent technical underpinning for all of these user interface aspects, WPF makes life simpler for developers. By taking a more modern approach, including support for video, animation, two- and three-dimensional graphics, and various kinds of documents, WPF can let users work with information in new ways. And by providing a common foundation for desktop clients and browser clients, WPF makes it easier to build applications that address both."