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J. Nicholas Hoover
June 7, 2007
2 Min Read
Microsoft wants to let programmers write less code and create more components like menu items that can be reused in a variety of different applications. As a major step in that direction, the company this week announced Project Acropolis, a framework for developing rich .Net-based client applications.
Acropolis consists of tools that aim to simplify the development of client .Net applications, and the initial release specifically targets business apps. Acropolis will allow developers to break apps down into reusable modules, like individual menu items, and roll them into any of a few different applications, such as a document manager or an app for managing expenses. Hopefully, that means developers will spend less time on each individual app they create. Much of this is done without code, since Acropolis includes application templates and themes that create an Acropolis app's look and feel.
Acropolis may end up being a catalyst toward the development of more graphically rich business apps because it takes advantage of .Net Framework 3.0 and therefore Windows Presentation Foundation, the user interface technology found in Windows Vista.
Acropolis will eventually supersede Microsoft's Composite UI Application Block or CAB, "building blocks" of code to help easily create enterprise apps on the .Net Framework 2.0, and Smart Client Software Factory, a Visual Studio plug-in to guide developers in creating smart clients. Unlike those offerings, Acropolis will eventually be fully supported by Microsoft.
Microsoft isn't formally talking release dates, but according to a blog posting by Microsoft architect David Hill, who is working on the project, Acropolis is due out some time next year.
Eventually, Microsoft intends to fold the Acropolis framework into the next version of the full .Net framework and the successor to Visual Studio 2008. For now, though, it will be an add-on that targets .Net Framework 3.5, which was recently released to beta.
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