June 26, 2006 6:39 AM PDT

WinFS heads for Microsoft database

Microsoft has decided to initially use technology from its WinFS project in the SQL Server database, rather than Windows.

Quentin Clark, who runs the WinFS program management team, disclosed the company's plans in a blog posting on Friday. He said that the next version of SQL Server, code-named Katmai, will incorporate features from WinFS to store unstructured data and automate administration.

In 2003, Microsoft described WinFS as one of the "pillars" of Windows Vista, which is due early next year. The company then decided to pull that feature out of Vista, then known as Longhorn, while continuing to develop it.

The original goal of WinFS--a concept talked about at Microsoft for many years--was to provide a unified file system for all Windows applications. Instead of having a special file format for each application, such as Outlook mail, WinFS would serve all applications.

Microsoft has not precluded using WinFS in Windows but the decision to put portions of it in SQL Server means that WinFS will not be delivered as a separate component, Clark said.

"These changes do mean that we are not pursuing a separate delivery of WinFS, including the previously planned Beta 2 release. With most of our effort now working towards productizing mature aspects of the WinFS project into SQL (Server) and ADO.NET, we do not need to deliver a separate WinFS offering," Clark wrote in his blog.

In an interview earlier this month, the vice president of Microsoft's server and tools business, Bob Muglia, said that a second beta of WinFS was slated for the fall. Muglia added that WinFS could be used in Windows as well in Microsoft's Office products.

Comments posted to Clark's blog voiced disappointment with the latest twist in WinFS strategy.

"The bottom line is that WinFS was promoted as a Windows component that would enhance the file system and provide a new platform for data storage for Windows apps. And this is now dead. No amount of spin is going to cover that up," wrote one commenter.

Katmai, the successor to SQL Server 2005, is expected to be released in two or three years, Microsoft executives have said.

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WinFS, Microsoft SQL Server, file system, blog, Microsoft Corp.

8 comments

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Interesting
What do we call a Roman building without pillars? A failure.

What do we call Vista without its pillars? Windows XP.
Posted by CNerd2025 (98 comments )
Reply Link Flag
WFS is a complex file system
WFS is a complex file system. In my opinion it is a holy grail of file systems. Microsoft might have realised that there are too many loose ends in WFS and they may not be all easy to tie.

Microsoft probably realises that it is quite a few years (probably 3+ yrs) for it to come to fruition or even longer.

Microsoft knows that they cannot monetize it easily. However, one way to monetize is to put into a system (Sql server) that has structured data that can benifit from WFS file system.

This is what is probably going to happen
1) Migrate SQL server storage into a WFS compatible format.
2) Migrate Exchange data into WFS compatible format.
3) Migrate office application into WFS compatible format. etc.

So when WFS comes alive, these applications can use the file sytem without a lot of hassle and users or applications, may benifit because of the (potential) benifits of the file system.
Posted by Tanjore (322 comments )
Link Flag
lol
The pressure is bioling over, then need to
release a product to generate $$$ :- )
Posted by rmiecznik (224 comments )
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lol
The pressure is bioling over, they need to
release a product to generate $$$ :- )
Posted by rmiecznik (224 comments )
Reply Link Flag
That Doesn't Make Sense
The next SQL Server isn't going to be released for a few more years. How does incorporating WinFS into it help generate revenue from sales? The sale is going to happen for years.
Posted by mstrclark (62 comments )
Link Flag
lol, 2
No, what I meant was, remove that feature, because they can't handle like it is now, so
that Vista is released, that's what I meant.

Ya SQL is years away, I am talking about Vista.
Posted by rmiecznik (224 comments )
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hot paying attention then
You aren't paying attention because it's long been known that WFS wasn't going to be a part of Vista.

Vista follows the typical MS Windows release pattern, announce the all-in-wonderful initial planned release and then as the project stretches into years-overdue trim out the elements that despite the additional time are still not gonna be able to make the cut. However what's in and what's out has been pretty solid for a while now which is also pretty much to the release pattern.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
to hot too pay attention, my mind is melting, sun...
All I know that Windows Operating system is a waste! and I am not going to even mention any crashing, viruses, bugs, security holes, none of that. They are a waste because each version raises the hardware stakes so much, that it makes a lot of computer hardware absolute. While that absolute hardware is still more then enough when using other OSes, yes like Linux.

Windows need to come with defferent levels of performance, so that the base key system can still run fairly smooth. If a system dones't have 1 GIG of ram and a 3GIG processor, and a fancy Graphics card, then perhaphs a lite version of the graphics GUI should be running, while everything under could be new. This often hardware turning over, creates a lot of land fill and trash. Most other computer live a far much longer life span then PCs do. If you take Sun workstation, I know people who still use Ultra 1 and 2 and are happy witha 200Mhz processor, yes 64-bit, running 10 years ago.

Still plenty of G4 that people are attached to and no one wants to get rid off. I understand the need for inovation and all that, but MS contributes to a lot of landfill mass piling up.

Very inneficient hardware, it's a Paradox.
Posted by rmiecznik (224 comments )
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