I tuned to Mix07 yesterday to listen to the keynote from Ray Ozzie. Ray draws the picture for the software and service model. One important statement in the keynote made feel really good, Ray said “Even software as a service vendors have found a need to expand their offering to include offline edition”
This is a fact. There is growing interest in building offline applications especially with the new breed of web 2.0 applications. It is much faster to edit your documents on the desktop, yet it is more convenience to store them on the web and be able to access them anywhere. Web based everything is a weak vision and won’t materialize given that SaaS vendors are building offline experiences.
If you buy into this new world of software plus service then you must look at synchronization as the enabling technology. The Synchronization Services of ADO.NET is one step in this direction. Using web service or WCF you could easily expose your data to your web clients.
Building rich applications on the client that takes advantage of the processing power, storage, and graphics on the desktop for better user experience and reduce the load on the web server for better scalability is a great model that is gaining momentum everyday. For this vision to materialize, synchronization technologies have to become mainstream and part of every developer toolbox. With that, I think you know why I feel good … [tip: my team is responsible for sync technologies across Microsoft!] ….