What is Indigo?

This article was originally published in VSJ, which is now part of Developer Fusion.
Indigo, part of WinFS along with the Avalon presentation system, is perhaps the most difficult of the new components of the future .NET system to understand. It recently seemed to have been put on the back burner, when it was announced that WinFS won’t ship with ‘Longhorn’ (the next version of Windows), but with ‘Blackcomb’ sometime in 2011. However, this now no longer appears to be the case, and Indigo will be made available in Longhorn and as a retrofit for Windows XP and 2003. This makes the technology much more relevant.

Eric Rudder, a senior vice president at Microsoft, outlined the company’s vision of the future of software architecture at the recent VSLive! conference in the USA. Indigo could be described as a super web services technology. Any application built using it will be able to interact and exchange data with other Indigo applications. It is built on WS-* standards and uses a unified programming model. He also promised compatibility with WSE and the next release of Biztalk.

You can test Indigo in its community technology preview (CTP), which will be available on the Microsoft web site. The final version will be included as part of the .NET Framework 2.0.

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