WinFS lives on (in SQL Server 2008), .NET My Services not so much

Years ago, I toured Europe and talked to about 10.000 people about the wonders of WINFS that was going to be released with Longhorn. As we know, WInFS got axed and it felt like I wasted around 750.000 man-minutes (it was a 75 minute talk).

Today I was in a meeting to review the content for Tech Ed Developers and it really made me smile when we were discussing the data track and reviewed these sessions:

  • DAT306 Optimizing Online, Enabling Offline with SQL Server Compact Edition and Sync Services for ADO.NET [Ranked 252]  
    Steve Lasker Tired of having to create a sproc, view, web method and proxy for every “question” you’d like to ask the database? By caching reference data, such as the product catalog locally, you can dramatically reduce the workload on your server, and reduce the complexity of your application. One challenge is how do you synchronize that data? We’ll discuss the power of having a compact, yet capable embedded database within your application. We’ll demo how you can offload workloads from the server, free the developer to empower their users, and still keep that product catalog in synch with the server. We’ll demo a shifted pattern to data access and demo the new Sync Services for ADO.NET coming in .NET Framework 3.5 with SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5. Take advantage of the client, make your applications faster, cache data locally and make your users happy customers.
  • DAT200 Entity Framework Introduction [Ranked 289]  
    Carl Perry
  • A session on the FileStream data type in SQL Server 2008

These sessions are the living proof that many of the ideas that made the WINFS live on and are (as announced) being implemented in SQL Server. So not all goodness was lost.

Yes, I admit, the WinFS still sounds like a great idea to me just like the .NET My Services API still looks way more consistent than any set of API's I've been seeing lately from many different web platforms. Would Mark Lucovsky agree? If so, he can still order the book .NET My Services Specification at Amazon and give it to some developers at Google. I'm not giving my copy away. It's a classic!


For a good paper on the new features in SQL Server 2008, you can check out his whitepaper:

BTW, if you're going to Tech Ed, you can join this Tech Ed Developers Facebook group: See you there?