Tag Archives: WinFS

WinFS morphs

Today Quentin Clark announced an important change of direction statement regarding WinFS. Judging from initial comments to Quentin’s post, Microsoft should continue to educate its development community on the implications and opportunities created by this decision.

Update 6/25/2006: Just last September, CRN recorded the following statement from Bill Gates concerning WinFS: “WinFS is the idea of taking the file system and the database and the directory and the mail store and bringing those together. In this wave we still have a directory store, we have an Exchange mail store, we have a database store, we have a file server, so that dream of unifying those things, you know, people can see the technology we’re building for that. It’s really the next round of SQL on the server where you could get that deep unification.” The emphasis on the last remark is mine (reference Quentin’s references to “Katmai”).

Update 6/30/2006: While I was away at a family reunion, Quentin provided an update to his first post. Judging by comments left on both WinFS Team Blog posts as well as elsewhere online, it’s clear that the desire for a relational file system is still very much alive.

ADO.NET is the WinFS API

As member of the WinFS Partner Advisory Council (PAC), I recently had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with WinFS GPM Sanjay Anand during the Integrated Data PAC Summit earlier this month. Sanjay and his team are passionate about integrated storage and WinFS as a platform for next-generation application development.

Earlier today, Sanjay penned his first post on the WinFS Team Blog, reminding us that WSS was claimed first by Exchange, not by SharePoint. :-) More to the point, he explains why WinFS is poised to succeed where previous efforts by Microsoft toward an integrated storage platform have not. And to be clear, this is a big task worthy of an A-list team.

Being able to leverage a single framework for WinFS data and data from stores outside WinFS (e.g. EMC | Documentum repositories via Documentum’s managed data provider) is a big win for application developers and therefore, it’s a big win for end users, too. Richer applications mean richer experiences, etc. By asserting that ADO.NET “vNext” will be that single API, next-level experiences on Windows become that much closer to reality.

Of course, in order to realize WinFS as a compelling storage platform for application development, it must provide holistic and prescriptive guidance around security, business logic, sync, etc. Applications will only free their data when it’s clear that doing so results in no less control, no less enforcement of critical policies and in fact results in refocusing innovation on the value-add domain, enabling end users to become empowered by more actionable data.

Thankfully, Microsoft doesn’t seek “yes men (or women)” for its PACs, and WinFS is no exception. Know that when Sanjay and others on the WinFS team talk about “hard questions” that the WinFS PAC is doing its best to raise, articulate and debate such points of view so that the end result can realize the dream we all seek when it comes to interacting with everyday data in multiple contexts: consistent, intuitive and trustworthy experiences.

There will be much more to say once the next beta is released. Until then, I leave you with a word: composition. :-)