Recent statements on WinFS, “Project Green”

Here are a couple pointers to the latest info we've made public on some ongoing development projects.  I don't have any more insight to add, just wanted to make sure the links were out there in the world.


Comments from Product Manager Tom Rizzo in Microsoft Watch (and the requisite rampant speculation on Slashdot)


"Project Green" update from Convergence:

"Project Green," the code name for next-generation Microsoft Business Solutions' development efforts, will be delivered over the course of two waves. The first wave will occur between 2005 and 2007, and will include the release of a shared user interface based around 50 common configurable roles that people have within a company, all seamlessly integrated with Microsoft Office. Microsoft's business applications also will interoperate with service-oriented applications and include a common configurable reporting environment based on SQL Server (TM) Reporting Services and a common security-enhanced intranet and extranet environment based on Microsoft Office SharePoint® Portal Server to enable new levels of collaboration within and across companies.

The second release wave, which will begin shipping in 2008, will build on the first wave's innovation and apply a model-driven approach to business processes. Innovations released during the second wave will draw on the power of WinFX (TM) and Visual Studio® .NET.

Comments (4)

  1. theCoach says:

    "For a file system to work it has to work in a lot of places," Cherry said. "FAT (File Allocation Table) still lives because it works on so many devices. So if Microsoft wants WinFS to take off and be useful and adopted, then it has to be widely available—work everywhere I want to work with my files (my information)."

    I was under the impression that WinFS was not a file system – that it was a metadata system regarding all types of storage, and that it was built on top of the existing NTFS file system. Am I wrong about this?

    The concept seems simple enough to me (although the scope and execution is huge — bigger in my estimation than the move to GUI), but it does not seem like many people think of it the same way I do.

  2. William Luu says:

    theCoach: Perhaps because many assumed "WinFS" stands for Windows File System? (That’s my guess)

    From memory, WinFS will be a type of data store for the metadata. Rather than a replacement for the actual NTFS, it will be running on top of NTFS.

    And you’d be able to create new data stores to files to give a new way of grouping, sorting, filtering different files via the metadata.

    I’m sure we’ll hear more about the various WinFX pillars come PDC.

  3. WinFS will be an actual data store, everything that can be stored in database tables, will be stored there. The only thing that does onto NTFS are the actual data and log files, and well, bigass BLOBs (filestreams). WinFS items, like the deadbeaten Contact, don’t use filestreams and would be stored completely in WinFS. Same seemed to apply for emails (sans attachment), which were stored completely in WinFS as of LH build 4074.

    Yes, WinFS runs on top of NTFS, but it’s not a glorified indexing service.

  4. Jeremy says:

    The WinFS/NTFS discussion is tricky. has some of the info we shared at the last PDC. I’m certain that parts of it are now out of date, but we haven’t published anything more recent.

    In the 2003 incarnation, if I recall correctly, WinFS wasn’t a file system in the sense that you could right click a drive, choose Format, and pick WinFS instead of NTFS. But it was a file system in the sense that there was a part of the disk that WinFS owned, and if you weren’t using WinFS’s file redirector as the access mechanism to those sectors/bits, it would be hard to make any sense of the data stored there.

    I’m sure there will be much updated documentation when the team is ready to start publicly showing off WinFS again.

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