All PDC Roads Lead to WinFS

SQL Server expert Randy Holloway offers up some hints on where Microsoft's going with its next-generation file system.

The Windows File System (WinFS) is key to two of Microsofts biggest next-gen products in the pipeline: Longhorn and Yukon.

While Microsoft released Yukon Beta 1 to testers in July, there have been few analyses of the WinFS-specific portion of it by folks who have actually played with Yukon. So we decided to call on Yukon expert Randy Holloway to get the inside, pre-PDC scoop on WinFS. Holloway is the coauthor — with Andrej Kyselica of an upcoming book "Developing Solutions with Yukon: Beyond Transact-SQL" (Addison Wesley) — on the ins and outs of Yukon. He also is a prolific blogger who writes about Yukon and the Common Language Runtime.

Read Our Previous Yukon Q&A with Holloway

Check Out Holloways Blog

We grabbed a few minutes of Holloways time this week to get a pre-PDC update.

Microsoft Watch: Youve had some time to play with the first beta of "Yukon" for a couple of months now. What are your first impressions of the product?

Holloway: I think that the Yukon team has done a great job. The amount of progress that has been made with the product this year alone is tremendous. At the PDC next week, people will finally get to judge for themselves.

Similar to most early product releases, the core functionality is pretty strong. Sure, there are some issues with the software that need to be worked out, but that is to be expected. There is a lot of work left to be done around the management tools for the product. The SQL Server team has set some very ambitious goals for the functionality of the new SQL Workbench tool. That tool is designed to replace the tools that people are accustomed to using currently, tools such as Enterprise Manager and Query Analyzer. Im sure that theyll be refining the SQL Workbench features up through the next beta release as well.

To continue reading this interview, go to Microsoft Watch.