As we already discussed in a previous blog post, one of the problem spaces related to data services we’d like to take on is synchronization-capable services, enabling offline scenarios. We’re still in the early stages of the project, where direction can be adjusted and good feedback can be very influential.
Giving good feedback without actually having something to look at it’s tricky, so we want to ship bits. Earlier at the PDC talk that showed this technology end-to-end for the first time we announced that we’ll be shipping a very early release of the bits that extend our entity platform, including the Entity Framework and ADO.NET Data Services, with synchronization capabilities through integration with the Microsoft Sync Framework and a nice toolset that makes development of offline-capable applications reasonably straightforward.
Here is a brief video with Waseem and myself discussing the release. Waseem was probably the most involved developer so far in this effort and has been dealing with a lot of the challenges that we hit as we put all the pieces together and build new ones on top.
Just like the first release of “Astoria” almost two years ago, the goal if this alpha release is to paint the picture of what we want to build, what scenarios we consider interesting and how we want to approach the tooling around it. It’s definitely not a goal to ship something that’s usable in production or even something that can be used to start writing real applications now. Things will change substantially as we hear feedback from all of you.
You can expect the release to ship before the end of this year, and to include both runtime and tool components for the whole thing. If you care about synchronization and offline applications, giving this release a try and sending us your thoughts, comments and suggestions would help build the right technology in this space.
This post is part of the transparent design exercise in the Astoria Team. To understand how it works and how your feedback will be used please look at this post.