I just spent three days getting inundated with the details of Indigo as it stands today (in its pre-beta state). For those that don’t know, Indigo is the combined next generation of .NET Remoting, Enterprise Services, Web services (asmx and WSE) and MSMQ all rolled into one big ball.
I also had some conversations about Avalon, though not nearly in so much detail. For those that don’t know, Avalon is the next generation display technology that uses full 3D rendering and should allow us to (finally) escape the clutches of GDI. Avalon is the display technology related to XAML. XAML is an XML markup language to describe Avalon interfaces.
My interest in these technologies spans quite a range of concerns, but top on my list is how they might impact my Business Objects books and the related CSLA .NET framework.
It turns out that the news is pretty good. Seriously good actually. In fact, it looks like people using CSLA .NET today are going to be very happy over the next few years.
Within the context of CSLA .NET, Indigo is essentially a drop-in replacement for Remoting. I will have to change the DataPortal to use Indigo, but that change should have no impact on an application’s UI, business logic or data access code. In other words (cross your fingers), a business application based on CSLA .NET should move to Indigo with essentially no code changes.
[Disclaimer: Indigo isn’t even in beta, so anything and everything could change. My statements here are based on what I’ve seen and heard, and thus may change over time as well.]
One of my primary goals for CSLA .NET 2.0 is to alter the DataPortal to make it easier to adapt it to various transports. In the short term this means Remoting, asmx, WSE and Enterprise Services (DCOM). But it also means I’ll be able to add Indigo support with relative ease once Indigo actually exists.
Avalon is a different story. Avalon is a new UI technology, which means that moving to Avalon means tossing out your existing UI and building a new one. But if you are using Windows Forms today, with CSLA .NET business objects for your logic and databinding to connect the two together your life will be better than most. It appears that Avalon will also support databinding against objects just like (hopefully better than) Windows Forms.
Since a well-written CSLA-based Windows Forms application doesn’t have any business logic (not even validation) in the UI itself, switching to Avalon should merely be a rip-and-replace of the UI, with little to no impact on the underlying business or data access layers. I keep telling people that the “UI is expendable”, and here’s the proof
I just thought I’d share these observations. Indigo and Avalon (together under the label of WinFX) won’t show up for quite a long time, so none of this is of immediate interest. Still it is nice to know that when it does show up sometime in the future that CSLA .NET will have helped people to move their applications more easily to the new technologies.