July 09, 2007

What is Acropolis?

Microsoft have given enough publicty for Silverlight, but did they miss out one of their own product during the RIA campain against Adobe's Flex and Apollo or Sun's JavaFX? I am talking about "Acropolis", A code named project which microsoft has been working on for long.It's a toolkit for creating modular, business-focused Windows client applications. Its build on .NET framework and includes a run-time framework,tools and out-of-the-box functionality. The basic idea is to alow build reusable,connectable components and assemble them to work as an application.

"Acropolis" applications consist of a shell and one or more discrete pieces of business logic that interact with each other. These pieces of business logic, called parts, are the building blocks of an "Acropolis" application. A part that logically contains other parts is called a form. So, "Acropolis" part contains only the business logic and no user interface code, but a part do have a interface accociated with it.These are called a part view or just view. To build a "Acropolis" application, we will need a xaml file, and c# or VB file. The xaml file will contain the connection point and service dependency declarations for the part. And, Visual C# or Visual Basic file contains the business logic of the part.

The "Acropolis" runtime and shell provide a framework and an application host to create smart client applications. The runtime manages the lifetimes and intercommunication of all parts and services in an "Acropolis" application. On the other hand, shell is shell is a parent or host application that integrates "Acropolis" parts, forms, and services together with its own functionality. It defines the overall appearance and behavior of an "Acropolis" application.

So with "Acropolis" Microsoft is really planning to change how business applications are developed. But the questions are,
  • Is "Acropolis" capable of making business application programs easier to build and manage?
  • Will it provide web-desktop intergration?
  • Will these applications run on portable devices [sure will require .NET framework!]?
  • Will these applications interact with other entriprise products build by other than Microsoft?
But for now, Microsoft seems to keep "Acropolis" under cover.

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