If you are working with the CAB (Composite UI Application Block) or the SCSF (Smart Client Software Factory), you should check out Acropolis. If you are not using CAB or SCSF but you need to develop Windows applications, you should take a look at Acropolis too!
Acropolis has just been announced by Brad Abrams and others. It's supposed to be the integration of ideas and concepts from CAB and SCSF into Visual Studio.
Acropolis is an initial “experiment” at up leveling the .NET Framework application model to enable more modular application that enables developers to focus on their business logic while reaping the benefits of Xaml and WPF and of course carrying forward all of your existing Windows Forms assets.
Acropolis builds on the rich capabilities of Microsoft Windows and the .NET Framework, including Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), by providing tools and pre-built components that help developers quickly assemble applications from loosely-coupled parts and services. With Acropolis you will be able to:
- Quickly create WPF enabled user experiences for your client applications.
- Build client applications from reusable, connectable, modules that allow you to easily create complex, business-focused applications in less time.
- Integrate and host your modules in applications such as Microsoft Office, or quickly build stand-alone client interfaces.
- Change the look and feel of your application quickly using built-in themes, or custom designs using XAML.
- Add features such as workflow navigation and user-specific views with minimal coding.
- Manage, update, and deploy your application modules quickly and easily.
Acropolis requires Visual Studio 2008 (Orcas) Beta 1. The first preview can be downloaded here. Acropolis also has a home page, where you'll be able to find an introduction video.
If you are at Tech Ed in Orlando, you can also learn more about Acropolis. You can find the sessions by searching for the Acropolis keyword in the session catalog.
At first sight, Acropolis looks very different from the CAB and SCSF. I'll be experimenting with it very soon because this is most likely the way to go for some of my clients.