Today I stumbled across an interesting whitepaper by Infragistics. It is called “The Windows Presentation Foundation Roadmap: 2015 and Beyond”. You can get it here: http://www.infragistics.com/resources/whitepapers
The contents are:
- A Brief History of Windows Presentation Foundation
- .NET, Open Source and WPF
- The WPF Roadmap
- The Infragistics Roadmap
- Commiting to WPF with Confidence
Microsoft’s Apparent Distancing from WPF
The whitepaper states that Microsoft remarkably neglected WPF in the 2011 to 2014 years. There have been no updates, blog posts and in general no activity around WPF which left many developers believe that WPF must be dead and will be replaced by new stuff, possibly Universal Apps. People started to classify WPF as legacy. However, on November 12, 2014, Microsoft broke the silence with a blog post that stated they have never stopped working on the platform. Since that time, there is more activity on blogs and channel9. The folks at Infragistics read this as a clear commitment to WPF as a framework for enterprise desktop applications.
I totally agree. WPF IS NOT DEAD! There are thousands of enterprise customers around the world that use WPF as their main technology. My conclusion was that during the Windows 8 / Metro / Windows Store App hype, there was just nobody around at Microsoft to work on and especially speak about WPF. I wrote about this in my blog post from March 2015: http://www.12qw.ch/2015/03/wpf-is-back-and-becoming-even-more-powerful/
.NET, Open Source and WPF
The article quotes Jay Schmelzer, MS Director of Program Management stating that unless the desktop ever completely disappears, there will always be a need for apps which function on the hardware. While MS want to encourage Universal App development, the kind of enterprise desktop tools that enterprise developers build often simply do not need to be made available on mobile devices. WPF, therefore has a long future ahead of it.
The WPF Roadmap
The roadmap published by the WPF team after these years of silence promises interesting improvements:
- Bug Fixes
- Performance for Startup, Scrolling, Virtualization
- DirectX Interoperability
- Modern Hardware Support
- Tooling (check out my posts: http://www.12qw.ch/2015/04/profiling-wpf-applications-in-visual-studio-2015-with-the-timeline-tool/)
Committing to WPF with Confidence
Interesting quotes from the whitepaper:
“The world has not moved from the desktop just yet”
“WPF will continue to be an essential development tool for years to come”
Infragistics promises to continue to provide developers with WPF related tools for a variety of WPF applications such as Office inspired solutions, financial dashboards and indicators, to data intensive ERP and engineering systems.
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In conclusion, if you are unsure whether you should build your enterprise desktop applications on WPF, just don’t be!
WPF is here and will be here for a long time!