WinFS Schematization

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-10-28 Print this article Print

The "schematization" in WinFS would allow users to store a Word document in XML on the disk in a standardized format, making it far easier for developers to build applications that can then take the information about the documents metadata and correlate it with other bits of metadata to make search applications and browsing of data on the disk far easier, Montgomery said. Petersen said Microsoft would also provide some standard schemas in the system for people, places, time, media and documents so that there was a good base for developers to build on. All of these would be extensible, so a developer could add any additional properties to the schemas that they wanted or needed for their application.
"It will also be possible to plug in custom schemas, so this is something we are going to leverage throughout the user interface, but it is also something ISVs can extend in a way that is exposable to other ISVs," Petersen said.
With WinFS, Microsoft was moving to a new, core database engine. Yukon, the upcoming next version of SQL Server, and WinFS, would both build on top of this new core engine, the first stage of which would be provided in Yukon and then delivered in a more substantial way in Longhorn, he said. Making the operating system as secure as possible was first and foremost at Microsoft, which was talking about the secure execution environment. This was essentially a sandbox of applications, giving developers the ability to author an application, place it on a Website and then do the appropriate security checks. "So, you have all the rich interactivity of a client-based application and a lot of the performance and offline capabilities. But you [also] get the security and simplicity of a Web-based application. You just have to click on it and they know its safe to run," Petersen said. Asked why Microsoft had given developers access to the alpha code at such an early stage, Petersen responded that whenever big new additions were introduced to the platform, Microsoft wanted early feedback from developers at a time when it still had an opportunity to make changes based on that feedback. "We wanted to give them a feel for the new APIs and the new programming model and we wanted to get the message out that they need to move to managed code today in their applications as that is the first step they need to make for WinFX. "They should also start to write Web services as these are things they can do today with their applications and not have to wait for Longhorn. But they are the foundation of a lot of what were doing in the Longhorn timeframe," Petersen concluded.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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