The Smart Client Software Factory (SCSF) is a technology toolkit from the Microsoft Patterns & Practices (P&P) group that focuses on building complex, composite smart client applications. SCSF builds on the Microsoft Enterprise Library 2.0 and Composite UI Application Block, using a software factory model to generate the application framework through a set of wizards.
Using SCSF results in more rapid and standardized application development, allowing developers to generate core application frameworks and focus on building the business logic behind the application rather than the plumbing code. SCSF is also extensible through P&P's Guidance Automation Toolkit (GAT).
Major benefits of using software factories:
- Reduce risk – baseline app is created for you
- Accelerated start – agile
- Quality – reusable assets
- Productivity – automation and patterns
- Adoption – extensible toolkit
The May07 release of SCSF is now available (and is the final SCSF release), which includes support for generating VB.NET code! You can see a summary of new features and an installation guide on the CodePlex project page linked to the left. The CAB hands-on-labs are available in both VB and C# versions.
As we near the end of 2007, more information is leaking out of the Patterns & Practices (and Acropolis) teams as to the direction their projects are taking. The Acropolis team appears to be ending their current effort, as their project is being integrated into future NET Framework releases. The Smart Client team now begins work on a new project called the WPF Composite Client that provides a bridge to the future Acropolis work. See the links to the left for current info.
Ward Bell of IdeaBlade has posted an entry that gives some really excellent insight into what is going on with these projects, along with some advice about what you should do today. This goes on the 'required reading' list - go do it now.