WPF in Line of business applications ( aka "WPF DID GO to work")

In a recent family trip, my brother-in-law hooked me up w/ a magazine for the long plane ride; it was Visual Studio Magazine with a "WPF Goes To Work" article in the cover. The article begins with a "Windows Presentation Foundation has been greatly underserved by Microsoft’s emphasis on glitz and glamour; learn how to take advantage of WPF in your everyday Windows business apps" ...

Picture me sitting on a 4 hour plane ride, with that opener, I went through all the emotions ( in order):

  1. "Kathleen is right" ...  
  2. "should blame it on marketing (sorry guys), WPF was a Vista feature and Vista had a very strong consumer focus" ...
  3. ".. I am part of the problem since we could have shared our success stories, given that the internal perception is that WPF has been more successful in Line Of Business than we initially predicted ( given it shipped before the tools, etc.)
  4. "Well,  the story is not as simple.. there are choices to be made, and this new platform despite all its goodness needs to be explained" -- it is like a hybrid car, we all agree it is good, it is the future, yet it is not cost effective or practical for every one to get one..

Eventually,  I decided all of these answers are partially right...  so I scribbled my opinions on these topics 

  1. Not much I can say about Kathleen been right; but I do recommend the article. Kathleen shares her personal experiences, uses concise examples and features to illustrate her points and it it obvious she gets client application development.

  2. Evidence --  there are some great case studies that show what enterprises are doing with WPF; I kept it pure, with just URLs so you can hear it from the customers.

  3. The why and where distills a few of the reasons I heard over and over from real customers when they were asking to be early adopters for the technologies;  back then it was risky, we had no books, we had no tools, fortunately for most of them the bets paid off... 

  4. My version on "do I need WPF?" ...  which I hoped would help people with the highest level guidance on choosing a technology (in particular the Windows Forms vs. WPF dilemma).   

On all of the above, I need to disclaim a couple things:

  1. The list is not all inclusive; I do feel bad about that.. there are many more I can't talk about since we don't have PR agreements or I did not have a URL handy, but I do think the list is representative.

  2. The opinions and experiences you are reading are MINE and not all of Microsoft's; the good news is I was there for most of these; I was lucky to be involved on a lot of these projects so the insights come from my interpretations on working with Microsoft field, customers ( business and devs) and partners..  

  3. I tried to be fair and accurate on the project's results, but on the advise I did extrapolate to today { meaning I did take into account that the platform and most importantly the tools have evolved and improved, so it is less painful today with Blend2 than 2 years ago when some of these projects started} ..

Comments (4)

  1. karl1406 says:


    In July of this year, I changed the delivery platform for our new .NET product suite from ASP.NET to WPF.  It took a while to sell this but in the end, WPF was favored by everyone and customers.

    I’ll dig up the paper I wrote and blog it soon.  Josh told me to blog it months ago, guess I should have listened to him.  Long term maintenance was a major factor in the decision.  Beside, it’s more fun being the tip of the spear!

    BTW: we are adding editing support for all objects with real time image changing into Mole and will release after Christmas.

    Have a wonderful Christam and best to you,



  2. karl1406 says:


    I forgot to tell you about this article I wrote.


    It lists the reason why we chose WPF over ASP.NET as the platform for a very large project I’m working on.

    Best to you,


  3. I’ve been asked whether it is time to invest in WPF and Silverlight. What is the future of these platforms

Skip to main content