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Announcing Open RIA Services

by Jonathan Allen on Jul 10, 2013 |

Jeff Handley’s multi-year project to release WCF RIA Services under an open source license is nearing completion. Once the legal review is finished, it will be donated to the Outercurve Foundation’s ASP.NET Open Source Gallery under the Apache 2 license.

Once released as an open source project, the technology will be known as Open RIA Services. Project lead Colin Blair has already laid out a roadmap for the next three versions.

Open RIA Services 4.3

4.3 will be the initial open source release of Open RIA Services. Here we will fix bugs, add M2M support, change a bunch of internal code to public, and other things which do not break backwards compatibility. The 4.x branch of Open RIA Services will be maintained at least as long as Silverlight itself is supported.

Open RIA Services 5.0

The version 5 branch of Open RIA Services will be where cross-platform work will happen. Supporting the same API across all platforms is more important than maintaining the current Silverlight API as-is. Accordingly, there may be breaking changes within the Silverlight client and/or server parts of Open RIA Services to create a consistent API. If you want to contribute breaking changes to Open RIA Services then the 5 branch is where you will want to be.

Open RIA Services 6.0

The 6 branch is targeted to be released along with whatever Visual Studio release includes the full Roslyn compiler. The focus of the 6 branch will be on integrating Roslyn into Open RIA Services where it makes sense. For example, Roslyn will enable client side POCO object to be used as entities instead of the current code generated entities which inherit from Entity.

Also planned for Open RIA Services is support for Entity Framework 6. As we previously reported, its migration to open source will result in breaking changed for EF 6.

WCF RIA Services and Visual Studio

According to Jeff, Visual Studio 2013 will be dropping some design time features. Specifically,

  • The “Business Application Project” template
  • The “Domain Service Class” template/wizard
  • Toolbox items for the Silverlight designer surface
  • Data Sources Window integration for the Silverlight designer surface

New RIA Service-based projects and classes can still be created manually in Visual Studio 2013. Alternately you can create the project using the templates in Visual Studio 2010/2012 and then reopen the solution in VS 2013.

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