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WinFS Officially Dropped

by Rafael Ferreira, Floyd Marinescu on Jun 26, 2006 |
On the WinFS team blog on Friday, Quentin Clark blogged that WinFS, the new relational filestore would no longer be shipped as a separate product, instead, parts of it will make it into other projects:

 - "...in the next version of ADO.NET for Orcas...the Entities features we are now building in ADO.NET started as things we were building for the WinFS API."
 - "We are choosing now to take the unstructured data support and auto-admin work and deliver it in the next release of MS SQL Server, codenamed Katmai."

The announcement is being perceived as positive spin on the obviously negative fact that WinFS is dead.  One commenter on Quentin's blog said it quite bluntly:
Ok, so you were able to salvage some of the years' worth of work put into WinFS and apply it to other platforms.  But in this posting you are severely twisting what WinFS was.  WinFS was *not* a platform for developers building on SQL Server, it was a part of Windows.  Heck, it was even billed as an entire "pillar" of the (at-the-time) Longhorn OS.
WinFS was infact billed as one of the three pillars of Vista, along with Avalon and Indigo.   On the impact of this news on .NET development, Alex James writes:
Sure we will have ADO.NET Entities and SQL server will have more features, but at the end of the day there will be no relational file system:

    * We won't be able to run SQL like queries against the file system.
    * We won't be able to bridge other data into the file system.
    * We won't be able to bridge structured databases and unstructured files/emails.
    * We won't have a framework for promoting meta-data from proprietary file formats.
    * We won't have a file system with cool replication technology.

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