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  1. #1
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    Wcf/wpf/wf/*** :)

    As a Microsoft developer with 10+ years experience, I have seen many Microsoft technologies come... and many subsequently go. As the years go by, I find it hard to keep up with the seemingly splintering array of technologies available to us as developers. It seems that Visual Studio 2005 will introduce one way of doing things, only to be replaced by a different way in Visual Basic 2008, etc. When I look at the project template choices under Workflow projects in VS2008 I see totally different choices than VS2010. So here is my quesiton...

    Given the array of .NET technologies released since .NET 3.0 (including LINQ, WCF, WF, WPF, CardSpace, EntityFramework, etc.)... which ones of these are actually being used (i.e. taken hold) and which ones are going the way of the Microsoft do-do bird so to say? I'm trying to brush up on my skills and the last thing I want to do is spend 3 months learning a technology that Microsoft was all about 3 years ago but never ever caught on in the business world.

    Also, when I think of the .NET framework 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0 (and the technologies therein) I think of a toolchest that has hammers, nails, 2x4's, etc... all the components I need to build what I want. But when I think of these later technologies (Entity Framework, WPF, WF, etc.) it seems like they are more "pre-fab" walls, etc - things that are great if they meet your needs exacty but very "custom" and therefore "dangerous". In other words, it seems like you could easily paint yourself in a corner by basing your project designs on these more advanced layers of the framework. Any thoughts from anyone?

    Thanks!!!

    P.S. I am new to this forum and just now seeing the "poll" feature. Maybe I should start a poll to see how many developers are actually using each of these technologies in their actual work environments!!

  2. #2
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    Re: Wcf/wpf/wf/*** :)

    Quote Originally Posted by wcniedba View Post
    But when I think of these later technologies (Entity Framework, WPF, WF, etc.) it seems like they are more "pre-fab" walls, etc - things that are great if they meet your needs exacty but very "custom" and therefore "dangerous".
    It sounds like you don't understand what these technologies are. I'd recommend investing some time to see if they will work for your situation.

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    Re: Wcf/wpf/wf/*** :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Arjay View Post
    It sounds like you don't understand what these technologies are. I'd recommend investing some time to see if they will work for your situation.
    I do know what these technologies are but as the OP I wonder which ones of them are actually widely used. are we so lame that we have no idea how to implement them or is MS just telling us that all of them are so cool but know one really uses any of them?

    for example WPF: OpenGL or DirectX or XNA interaction for a CAD app without dirty hacks not possible. blurry text.

    WCF: never seen this one in action or I didn't know that this is it. anyone has any examples of apps utilizing WCF besides WebServices?

    Entity Framework: at our company we're currently trying to use it in the place of subsonic

    WF: never seen this one in action. any examples?
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    Re: Wcf/wpf/wf/*** :)

    To me WPF rocks for UI development. I'd like to see the tools mature, but I do any new UI development using WPF (as opposed to WinForms).

    I've used WF technologies for one project only. It's works quite well for what it's designed for (workflow type projects).

    WCF is a great improvement over previous 2.0 web service technologies. It adds different security, hosting and protocol options over the previous ws offerings.

    But hey, the way I feel about these and any new technologies is that developers need to invest some time learning about what the technologies bring to the table. How are you going to know whether [xxx]F will work for you if you haven't sit down and played with a few samples? There are plenty of examples for these technologies in msdn, but you've got to load them up and get busy.
    Last edited by Arjay; December 15th, 2010 at 05:07 PM.

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    Re: Wcf/wpf/wf/*** :)

    WCF is certainly useful and replacing older Soap services. Newer extensions to the WCF like OData are a great addition as well. Most of the MS products are using WCF in their stack (e.g. SharePoint, BCS, Exchange).

    I dint find WF being adopted widely but it most certainly has its own applicability but never saw it in action.
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    Re: Wcf/wpf/wf/*** :)

    The famous Design Patterns book(Gamma Et. Al). Gives a list of design patterns and an example or two of when it may be best to implement them.

    It would be great if similarly, Microsoft would list all of their .NET related technologies in one place and give a few examples (not code, just a paragraph or two of text would do). Describing the scenarios when that particular technology would make development easier.

    Maybe there is a place here on CodeGuru?

    It can take quite a lot of investigation (time) to determine that the technology is not the one you want.

    Let's face it. Presently, there is just too much for one person to comprehend...
    Last edited by rliq; December 30th, 2010 at 07:01 AM.
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    Re: Wcf/wpf/wf/*** :)

    Well, some digging trough the MSDN library can't hurt - you can at the very least familiarize with the general concepts:
    WCF
    WPF
    WF

    This was kind of expected to happen with time - it's starting to look a bit like C++ with all the different available technologies in there to choose from.

    P.S. "Wcf/wpf/wf/***"? Windows Telecommunication Foundation?
    Last edited by TheGreatCthulhu; December 30th, 2010 at 08:05 AM.

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    Re: Wcf/wpf/wf/*** :)

    Quote Originally Posted by rliq View Post
    The famous Design Patterns book(Gamma Et. Al). Gives a list of design patterns and an example or two of when it may be best to implement them.

    It would be great if similarly, Microsoft would list all of their .NET related technologies in one place and give a few examples (not code, just a paragraph or two of text would do). Describing the scenarios when that particular technology would make development easier.

    Maybe there is a place here on CodeGuru?

    It can take quite a lot of investigation (time) to determine that the technology is not the one you want.

    Let's face it. Presently, there is just too much for one person to comprehend...
    rliq - You hit what I was trying to say EXACTLY on the head! There needs to be a single place that Microsoft lists when/where each of these technologies should be used! (Of course that doesn't solve whether or not people actually WILL use them - meaning you could still invest time and effort learning something that will never take hold. Remember InterDev???) And what is REALLY frustrating is the degree to which some of these technologies compete with each other. For example ADO.NET Entity Framework and LINQ to SQL are both competing technologies on some front. After digging further into these two items I learned that LINQ-to-SQL isn't really an "enterprise-level" solution. In a world where my time is increasingly valuable I learn from that statement the following -> don't bother learning LINQ to SQL. (Just as I don't bother learning the latest version of Access).

    You are indeed correct that there is too much for any one person to learn. As someone who simply doesn't have the free time to delve into code samples for every "latest, greatest" MS technology, I need someone who can vet these for me. And of course MS isn't prone to highlight the shortcomings of their latest technologies. However it would be nice if they had a single chart somewhere that would say something like "LINQ-to-SQL -> great for smaller, single-developer apps that are under $20K" and then say "ADO.NET Entity Framework -> great for highly scalable enterprise apps", etc.

    So... anyone know where such a map exists? If not, I think we should create one!

  9. #9
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    Re: Wcf/wpf/wf/*** :)

    There are no absolutes in programiing so a chart may not be all that helpful, except maybe at a very high level.

    Really someone needs to vet these things closer to the company level to find out what's right for the situation.

    Honestly, I don't see a chart replacing that effort.

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