WCF RIA Services is Dead, Long Live WCF RIA Services

7/3/2013 Make that WCF RIA Services is Dead, Long Live Open RIA Services

Today, Microsoft officially and publically revealed that development of Upshot.JS and DataController, the spiritual if not actual WCF RIA Services V2, will not continue at Microsoft.

With WCF RIA Services V1 joined at the hip with Silverlight, that means that WCF RIA Services is in whatever category you consider Silverlight itself being in. Personally, I am still writing new Silverlight applications and using WCF RIA Services. I think that will continue for a few more years before my client get ready to start moving off of Windows 7 as their primary platform. At that point I will probably start porting our Silverlight applications to WinRT.

So, what does this news mean to us?

  1. Microsoft still supports WCF RIA Services.
  2. I still support WCF RIA Services.
  3. I still expect WCF RIA Services to get EF5 support, that falls under Microsoft's responsibility to support the product they have already released.
  4. Don't expect Microsoft to release any additional functionality for WCF RIA Services.

What about the future:

  1. I am pushing to get WCF RIA Services V1 open sourced. If that happens I will be porting it over to WinRT and making large scale improvements to the Silverlight client.
  2. If you need something now to port to WinRT, or you need something that has a bit more umph behind it as far as support goes, I would recommend looking at IdeaBlad DevForce. It is similar to WCF RIA Services in many ways but it supports almost every platform including WinRT.
  3. As far as Upshot goes, if WCF RIA Services is open sourced then I will be looking at alternatives to improve HTML5 support for WCF RIA Services. For example, IdeaBlade has an open source alternative to Upshot.js named BreezeJS. I haven't had a chance to check it out yet but it may be a candidate for later adoption.
  4. I am also strongly considering replacing the DomainService with the DataController but I will probably change the name to DomainController.

Is there anything the community can do?

Yes, put pressure on Microsoft to get WCF RIA Services open sourced. My hands are tied until that happens.

6 Month Update

It has been a little over 6 months since this blog entry went up, so I decided to update it for anyone new happening upon it. Newer blog entries contain the development plans for an Open RIA Services. The current status is that Microsoft doesn't need any convincing, we are just waiting on the lawyers.

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