Windows Presentation Foundation [WPF]
WPF, formerly code named Avalon, is the graphical sub system
feature of the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 [WinFx].
WPF provides a consistent programming model for building next
generation user experiences with User Interface [UI], Media and Documents and
provides a clear separation between the User Interface and the business logic
[Code Behind] by relating itself to the Extensible Application Markup Language
[XAML] to store all the UI related information, whereas, the business logic
will be placed within the corresponding .xaml.cs file.
WPF enables developers and designers to create visually
stunning user interfaces.
WPF addresses the communication gap between the Multimedia
Designer and Developer by enabling the Designers to create their design in the
form of XAML by using XAML Designers, such as Microsoft Expressions and
Developers, to directly use that XAML file and then define the business logic
WPF enables the Developers to create 2D or 3D graphics
through declarative programming.
WPF applications can be deployed on the desktop or hosted in
Check out my future article "Hands on WPF" for many
more features and in depth discussion on WPF.
Windows Communication Foundation [WCF]
WCF is one of the four major components introduced as part
of .NET Framework 3.0 [WinFx]. WCF is formerly known as "Indigo."
Development of "Indigo" began in
early 2001, even before the completion of the first version of the .NET
Framework. At the time, it was thought that Indigo would be
released alongside "Longhorn," then the codename
for a version of Windows that would ship in 2003 or 2004. Indigo made its first
public appearance at the 2003 Professional
Developers Conference as one of the "pillars of Longhorn." As Longhorn's release was delayed, Indigo's
release was delayed as well.
On January 18, 2006,
Microsoft released a preview of the WinFX runtime components and a run-time
license for Windows Communication Framework. The components made available included
the WinFX Runtime Components, WinFX SDK, and Visual Studio Extensions for
Workflow, and Visual Studio "Orcas" CTP Development tools for WinFX.
Server applications based on this technology could be used in production
development environments with the acquisition of a free license.
Final sign-off on Windows Communication
Foundation came on November 3, 2006,
almost six years after its inception and the release came a few days later.
WCF unifies Web Services, .NET Remoting, COM+ Enterprise
Services and Message Queues into a single "Service Oriented
WCF = ASMX [with WSE] + .NET Remoting + COM+ Enterprise
Services + MSMQ
WCF is designed in accordance with Service oriented architecture
principles to support Distributed computing where services are
consumed by consumers. Clients can consume multiple services
and services can be consumed by multiple clients. Services typically have a WSDL interface which any WCF client can use
to consume the service, irrespective of which platform the service is hosted
on. WCF implements many advanced WS* web services standards such as WS-Addressing,
WS-ReliableMessaging and WS-Security.
While Microsoft is a board member of WS-I it is not clear how many WS-I profiles they are committing
to support fully.
Check out my future article "Building First WCF
Service…" for a hands-on demonstration of WCF.
Windows Workflow Foundation [WF]
Workflow is a set of activities that coordinates people
and/or software to perform a result oriented business process.
Windows Workflow Foundation is useful for defining,
executing, and managing workflows. Windows Workflow Foundation API provides
Programming model, engine, and tools for building workflow enabled
Extensible Object Modeling Language [XOML] based on XAML is
used for declaring the structure of workflow, business logic for the workflow
activities can be defined within the .Net aware programming languages (such as
C# .NET, …) within the .xoml.cs file.
Check out my future article "Building First Workflow
Enabled Windows Application" for a hands-on demonstration of WF.
Windows Card Space [WCS]
WCS, formerly called InfoCard, is a framework developed by
Microsoft which securely stores digital identities of a person and provides a
unified interface for choosing the identity for a particular transaction, such
as logging in to a website.
WCS is a central part of Microsoft's effort to create an
Identity Metasystem or a unified, secure and interoperable identity layer for
WCS allows users to create self-issued identities
for themselves, which can contain one or more of around 15 fields of
telephone-book quality identity information. Other transactions may require a
managed identity issued by a trusted identity provider, such as a bank,
employer or a governmental agency.
WCS is built on top of Web Services Protocol Stack, an open
set of XML-based protocols, including WS-Security, WS-Trust, WS-Metadata
Exchange and WS-SecurityPolicy. This means that any technology or platform
which supports WS-* protocols can integrate with CardSpace.