A set of features in Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0, improves Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and Windows Workflow Foundation (WF), collectively known as connected systems. Windows Server extensions for connected systems, code-named "Dublin”, provide an improved hosting and management experience for WCF and WF applications.
The integration of WF and WCF in the .NET Framework 4.0 will make it simpler to develop distributed service-oriented apps. You will be able to build stateful workflow services using a completely declarative model that offers more flexibility and business agility.
The new hosting and management extensions introduced by "Dublin" complement these framework advances. The combination of advances in the framework itself and in the operational tools that support the framework means that the application server capability in Windows Server will make a significant leap forward.
“Dublin” will initially be made available for download and use by Windows Server customers; later, “Dublin” will be included in future releases of Windows Server. “Dublin” will be fully supported; customers with current support contracts, such as those available through Microsoft Software Assurance rights, will be able to take advantage of “Dublin” support under their existing contracts. “Dublin” will first become available after the release of the .NET Framework 4.0 and Visual Studio 2010. Thereafter, “Dublin” will have incremental releases roughly in line with the .NET Framework.
“Dublin” will continue to provide backward compatibility for existing Windows Workflow Foundation and Windows Communication Foundation applications.
Windows Communications Foundation Improvements
Representational state transfer (REST) enhancements
- Simplified building of RESTful services
- Templates to accelerate building Singleton & Collection Services, Atom Feed and Publishing Protocol Services, and HTTP Plain XML Services
- Protocols: WS-Discovery, WS-I BP 1.2
- Duplex durable messaging
- Content- and context-driven, one-way support
Declarative workflow services
- Seamless integration between Windows Workflow Foundation and Windows Communication Foundation and unified Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) model
- Ability to build an entire application in XAML, from presentation to data to services to workflow
You can check out Windows Communication Foundation REST Starter Kit CTP for the set of features, Visual Studio templates, samples and guidance that enables users to create REST-style services using WCF. The CTP provides new features that enable or simplify various aspects of using the HTTP capabilities in Windows Communication Foundation, such as caching, security, error handling, help page support, conditional PUT, push-style streaming, type-based dispatch and semistructured XML support. Visual Studio templates simplify creating REST-style services such as an Atom Feed Service, a REST-RPC hybrid service, Singleton and Collection Services and an Atom Publishing Protocol Service. We also provide a rich set of samples that illustrate how to use each new feature and template.
Windows Workflow Foundation Improvements
Significant improvements in performance and scalability
- Performance gains in all aspects of Windows Workflow Foundation at design time and runtime
- At least a tenfold improvement in performance
- Improvements in serialization performance and size needs
New workflow flow-control models and prebuilt activities
- New flowchart control model
- Expanded built-in activities: Windows PowerShell, database, messaging, etc.
Enhancements in workflow modeling
- Persistence control, transaction flow, compensation support, data binding and variable/argument scoping
Updated visual designer
- Easier to use by end users
- Easier to rehost by independent software vendors (ISVs)
- Ability to debug XAML
Windows Server “Dublin” technologies
Provides standard host for Windows Workflow Foundation and Windows Communication Foundation applications
Prebuilt developer services
- Message-based correlation
- Content-based message forwarding service
- Visual Studio templates
Greater scalability and easier manageability
- Enables scale-out of stateful workflow applications
- Enhanced management and monitoring functions
- Tracking store for workflow events
Supports a set of Microsoft’s forthcoming modeling technologies currently code-named “Oslo”
"Oslo" is the codename for Microsoft's forthcoming modeling platform. Modeling is used across a wide range of domains and allows more people to participate in application design and allows developers to write applications at a much higher level of abstraction. "Oslo" consists of:
- A tool that helps people define and interact with models in a rich and visual manner
- A language that helps people create and use textual domain-specific languages and data models
- A relational repository that makes models available to both tools and platform components
“Dublin” will be the first Microsoft server product to deliver support for the “Oslo” modeling platform. “Dublin” does not require “Oslo” to operate and provide benefits of hosting .NET applications; however, administrators will be able to deploy applications from the “Oslo” repository directly to the “Dublin” application server. “Dublin” provides model-driven “Oslo” applications with a powerful runtime environment out of the box.
Support by Microsoft Dynamics
Among the first product groups to announce plans to support “Dublin” is Microsoft Dynamics, with future versions of both the Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM applications leveraging the .NET Framework 4.0 and “Dublin.” In particular, the next version of Microsoft Dynamics AX is being specifically designed to take full advantage of the enhanced capability and scale delivered in Windows Server by the enhanced “Dublin” application server technologies.
For more information, see WCF And WF Services In The .NET Framework 4.0 And “Dublin” in MSDN Magazine and Upcoming Changes to .NET Framework 4: Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) on MSDN.
You can also watch a Channel 9 video, endpoint.tv - Dublin Architecture, where Ron Jacobs asks, “What will it do for me? How will it work?” He talks group program manager Ford McKinstry and architect Igor Sedukhin.