Archive

Archive for the ‘WinFS’ Category

WinFS Forever- 2010

WinFS is not dead….Quentin Clark.

Prologue

WinFS died on fateful day on June 26, 2006, a few people attended the funeral.Everyone was looking for a savior but somewhere along the way WinFS slipped into the dark and lost its voice and breathed its last.There were protesters outside with banners,they were all complaining about the delays and cutting of features.Asking each other why nothing was shipping and would they keep their promises.The sky was dark and rain began to drip down from the dark clouds.

WinFS (Windows Future Storage) was an advanced storage subsystem for the Microsoft Windows operating system, designed for persistence and management of structured, semi-structured as well as unstructured data.

When Windows 7 saw the light of day Windows 7 after the great Vista debacle it carried some of bitter memories of WinFS with it.This journal entry tries to bring into light what features Windows 7 currently has that helps in organizing unstructured data along with it a shadowy tale of WinFS and what the future holds.

None of the systems come close to the requirement to get “the phone numbers of all persons who live in Acapulco and each have more than 100 appearances in my photo collection and with whom I have had e-mail within last month”,cause all this was unstructured data.

Though this can be done at the database level (Provided all the data was logged in the database).But imagine doing this manually on Windows 7? Well you have to go to you Microsoft Outlook and  search by “State” field and then go to your  “My photos” and well with the Windows Live Photo Gallery if you had tagged the people you could get the information,and for “whom you had emailed within the last month” you make have to do a Outlook sort or an add in like ClearContext or xobni.Then you had to come to your conclusions

Some of the core visual concept and integrated logic that featured in the WinFS Demo were supposed to be things developed by a developer implementing WinFS, WinFS was just a back bone infrastructure.No one really did any real development with the Beta 1 and well nobody went anywhere except WinFS got shelved.


Unify,Organize,Explore,Innovate.

Alternative to WinFS was other ways to manage data like through tagging,meta data(XML Databases,Example DB2 pureXML) ,xmp, via programming using ORM mapping(Example: DataObjects.Net 4.2 , ADO.NET Entity Framework (Upcoming ORM from Microsoft Itself ),Developer Express XPO (eXpress Persistent Objects),Document-oriented database (Example: CouchDB)

Some of the “visions” that lived on in Windows 7 are mentioned below:


Windows Preview Pane

 

The ability to preview any file with content from the Windows Explorer is a powerful feature.It can in many ways reduce the time in organizing unstructured data by the user.

The new preview pane supports a much wider range of formats than the Windows XP and Windows Vista preview pane did, including the ability to preview HTML, text files, XML files, images, videos, music, and Word Pad files without any additional software installed.

If you have Microsoft Office installed, you get previews for all of the Office document formats and if Adobe Acrobat Reader is installed, you can preview PDF files.,Winzip (Latest Version) now allows you to view ZIP file previews through the preview pane,Adobe (Latest Version) lets you preview PDF files.

You can add more file type previews to the Windows Preview Pane.To enable the preview pane, you can use the explorer toolbar button, the Organize menu, or by pressing Alt+P.

For Users:

  1. You can add more file type previews to the Windows Preview Pane.
  2. Shark007 Win7codecs (Download) (v2.4.8) : Enables a fully functional preview pane supporting FF/RW and subtitles for all newly enabled filetypes like FLV, MKV, FLAC audio, and even MOV files since the Operating System doesnt enable MOV previews on its own either.

For Developers:

  1. Recipe Preview Handler Sample

 


The Windows 7 Search

The integration of windows search into Windows 7 is one of the best features allowing you to access any kind of unstructured data stored on your file system.

 


With Federated Search one can search for items in remote locations from within explorer by using connectors. It is based on Open Search and RSS. You use connectors for the remote locations.

For example if you have the connectors you can use Twitter or Flickr within explorer.

Third Party: Agent Ransack,Google Desktop Search/Reader,Moreover and various others.

For Developers:

  1. Microsoft Windows Search 3.x SDK
  2. Integration of your data sources with Windows 7 Federated Search
  3. Querying the Index Programmatically
  4. Windows 7: Create .Net Flickr Federated Search Connector
  5. Windows 7 Federated Search Provider Implementer’s Guide.

Windows 7 Libraries

In Windows 7, Libraries tries to address the problem of users’ content stored all over the PC by allowing users to have full control over their “Documents Library” folder structure. Meaning that in Windows 7, users can define which folders to include in the Documents Library. This is true for any Library. Therefore, we can say that Libraries are user-defined collections of content. By including folders in Libraries, the user is telling Windows where his important data is located. The system will index folders, to enable fast searching and stacking based on file properties.


Third Party: Tabbles,TaggedFrog ,liquidfolders.net

For Developers:

  1. Windows 7 Libraries C# Quick Reference
  2. Understanding Windows 7 Libraries

Windows Live Photo Gallery

Imagine organizing your photos…how you think about them
Relating them to your contacts…

and pivoting them to new views…


With the new Window Live PhotoGallery you can actually tag people and relate them to your live contacts.The gallery has support for XMP.With extensive tagging and sorting support you can manage your unstructured and non sorted images  in some manner.

Third Parties: ACDSee,Google Picassa , Extensis Portfolio Server and others.

For Developers:

1.Windows Live Photo Gallery SDKs


Windows Contacts

WinFS demo showed ways you could move and manage contact,well this is as close it came to on Windows 7,without additional third party development.

The Contacts folder also functions as the address book for Windows Mail. When you create an e‑mail message in Windows Mail, you select the recipient from your Contacts folder. Even if you don’t use Windows Mail as your e‑mail program, you can still use Windows Contacts to store information about people and organizations.

Import and Export contact to and from Windows Contact.You can import address book or contact information from several formats used by other programs, convert them for use in this version of Windows, and store them in your Contacts folder.

Because contacts are stored in the Contacts folder simply as individual.contact files, they’re just another data type in the operating system that can be indexed and searched by Windows Search. Individual contacts can be quickly accessed from the Start menu search text box.

Third Party: Google Mail/Calender and others.

For Developers:

  1. Windows Contact Schema Overview
  2. Managing your contacts
  3. Programming Windows Contacts
  4. Contacts.Net

Windows 7 File Tags


File properties display information about your files, such as the name of the author and the date that the file was last modified. Although there are many properties associated with your files, tags are often the most useful, because you can add tags to your files that contain words or phrases that make the files easier to find.

You can organize and find files quickly when you search and filter using file properties. For example, you can quickly narrow the view of files in the Documents folder to just those files written by a particular author or those that contain certain tags. But first, you need to add these properties to your files.

NOTE: You cannot add or modify the file properties of some types of files. For example, you can add or modify the properties of Microsoft Office documents and Searches, but you can’t add or modify the properties of TXT or RTF files.

For Developers/Users:

  1. Managing Files and Folders in Windows 7
  2. Add tags or other properties to a file

Third Party: TaggedFrog ,Tabbles, liquidfolders.net and others.

Epilogue

Four year after WinFS left us and life has gone on without it, the protesters have all gone,Window 7 lives on with scars from the Vista Debacle.The cause and vision are being carried on somewhere….

What happen to the WPF Team….

  • Quentin Clark: General Manager, Database Systems Group, Microsoft SQL Server
  • Shan SinhaFounder, CEO of DocVerse; Google.
  • Shishir Mehrotra: Director of Product Management, Video Monetization at Google.
  • Vijay Bangaru: Product Manager at Google.
  • Sanjay Anand: Product Unit Manager at Microsoft Corp. (SQL Server at Microsoft Corp., Hyderabad, India).
  • Mark Scurrell: Lead Program Manager at Microsoft.
  • Neil Padgett: Software Development Engineer at Microsoft (Software Development Engineer on the Windows Fabric and Clustering Team) (Previously Technical Program Manager on Microsoft WinFS. Owned the WinFS Sync API.).
  • Kati Iceva (Dimitrova): Software Developer at Microsoft  (ADO.NET Entity Framework and LINQ to Entities Users & Developers).
  • Steve De Mar: Microsoft.
  • Ramesh Nagarajan: Microsoft?.
  • Tony Voellm: Windows Fundamentals Reliability, Security and Privacy Test Manager at Microsoft.
  • Luiz Miranda: Microsoft
  • Sanjay Nagamangalam:(PM in the WinFS API team) is a Principal Program Manager in the SQL Server division at the Microsoft India Development Center, Hyderabad (Lead PM, ADO.NET Entity Designer).
  • Vivek Jhaveri: is the development lead for MMC at Microsoft.
  • Peter Spiro: Microsoft (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/techfellow/Spiro/default.mspx)

Disclamier: This section information may not be accurate as it is researched through google and WinFS blog

The WinFS beta was buried in cemetery near the  MSDN archive and around the web,it used to works on Windows XP.Does not run on Windows 7.

What was WinFS…..

“WinFS–this is unified storage. Some of you here have heard me talk about unified storage for more than a decade. The idea of taking the XML flexibility, database technology, getting it into the file system: that’s been a Holy Grail for me for quite some time. And here it is. Thank goodness we have got the powerful systems to be able to do this thing. Thank goodness we have the evolution around XML and user interface capabilities, so that this can all come together.” –Bill Gates on  WinFS in a 2003 speech (PDC)

What Bill Gates forgot was that we are yet to find this Holy Grail….

THE END.

Advertisements