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WinFS - moving to SQL (Katmai) and then available to everyone - honest

So there I was, reading about WinFS and the fact that it was going to be in Katmai - the next release of SQL and I was very happy with this when I read the blog and all the comments and discovered that the world and their dog was not happy with this.

I was so concerned that I pinged Quentin who wrote the blog and got the right response from him - "when inclusion of part of WinFS into Katmai is completed, the technology will be in ALL versions of SQL, including the Express versions".  Now before I go into more detail, what was WinFS always going to be?  A way to store data alongside the filesystem (no, not to replace NTFS) and access it using all those nice database functions.

How did people think the data was stored or where the database functions were going to be provided from? SQL of course, so having to load a cut down version of SQL Server onto the system was always what a WinFS install does - and will do, just you now load it via SQL Express rather than WinFS setup.  I am sure some of the technical detail is not quite right, but you get the idea.

WinFS is alive, with the functionality that it was always going to have, but the delivery vehicle is now the right way round, in the product that provides the functionality, rather than before where we had a product that needed SQL, but was not part of it.

Read the blog on WinFS to learn more.


Posted Mon, Jun 26 2006 4:40 PM by David Overton


iQubed wrote re: WinFS - moving to SQL (Katmai) and then available to everyone - honest
on Mon, Jun 26 2006 11:43 PM
Hi Dave,

Wasn't WinFS supposed to be a native filestore? Okay the storage was going to be SQL based, that's fair enough but the announcement now is something else, surely? Almost all the comments on Quentin's blog seemed to have this impression, they can't all have been mistaken? If Microsoft have decided to change this (for whatever reason), then that's their right to do so, but why not just admit that?

I know The Register isn't always accurate on some of it's reporting but nevertheless, I think it has a point! http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/06/26/winfs_axed/


David Overton wrote re: WinFS - moving to SQL (Katmai) and then available to everyone - honest
on Tue, Jun 27 2006 1:35 AM
I will write a fuller explaination tomorrow, but basically, the register is back to mis-understandings.  WinFS has always been slated on top of NTFS.  The IFS driver is available today to make a database look like a file system, but why do it - the advantages of a relational databases to stores general files just does not exist.  Storing meta data on files and relational information does.


iQubed wrote re: WinFS - moving to SQL (Katmai) and then available to everyone - honest
on Wed, Jun 28 2006 2:40 PM
Quentin's update on this issue is pretty honest, which I can respect http://blogs.msdn.com/winfs/archive/2006/06/26/648075.aspx

Making a relational data store behave like the Windows File System was never going to be easy and also to get the performance. Let's face it NTFS is pretty damn good, never lost data on a hard shutdown!

One interesting thing I saw recently on Vista was the fact that you can have a connection string using ADO.NET to the search system and your applications can search the disk! That's a cool interface!

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