I wanted to take a few moments to chat about a new technology that I’m very excited about. Acropolis was announced last week at TechEd and as revolutionary as Acropolis is, I’m surprised it’s not getting more air cover.
Acropolis is important in several ways, but to our ISVs I think what’s most important is that that Acropolis represents a fully supported foundation for building composite applications using WPF. Actually, the plan is to support both WinForms and WPF but WPF is what’s currently supported and it will be the default presentation layer when Acropolis ships. Composite UI Application Block (CAB) users should be excited to see the next generation of CAB becoming a core supported product. It’s always been our plan to have bits from the Patterns and Practices team incorporated into core products as they stabilize and gain in popularity. Acropolis is an affirmation of just how popular CAB has become.
As popular as CAB is, however, it’s always had a significant learning curve and that’s shied away a lot of developers. The Acropolis team has focused heavily on that learning curve and is putting a tremendous effort behind the tools and design time experience to reduce it. They’re trying hard to make sure the first line of code you write is business logic and not application plumbing. For more information about CAB and Acropolis, see Acropolis: The Future of Smart Client.
Some of you have already made investments in CAB and the Smart Client Software Factory, and you’re probably wondering what the migration path will look like. The good news is that people from the CAB team were involved in the development of Acropolis and individuals on the Patterns and Practices team are already working on making migration as easy as possible. The bad news, of course, is that it’s too early to see any fruits of that labor. For now, my call to action for you CAB / SCSF / WPF folks is to check out the Getting Started with Acropolis video. If you want to jump in and get your feet wet, you’ll need Orcas Beta 1 and the Acropolis Community Technology Preview 1. I highly recommend you check out the Notepad walkthrough first and the RssReader walkthrough second, which are both included in the CTP.
And of course, additional information and videos can be found on the Acropolis Homepage.