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Today, we posted on the .NET RIA Services forum an updated roadmap for the timing and thoughts around the product offering. 

What is .NET RIA Services?

Microsoft .NET RIA Services simplifies the traditional n-tier application pattern by bringing together the ASP.NET and Silverlight platforms. The RIA Services provides a pattern to write application logic that runs on the mid-tier and controls access to data for queries, changes and custom operations. It also provides end-to-end support for common tasks such as data validation, authentication and roles by integrating with Silverlight components on the client and ASP.NET on the mid-tier.

Here is the current thoughts around the offering…

July 2009: Updated CTP

We will have an updated build of RIA Services in CTP form.  This is still considered a preview.  The current thinking is that we’ll remove any production (go-live) restrictions, but it will be a ‘use at your own risk’ product, not the typical official “go live” support license.  This is based on feedback our users are asking for.  We want to continue to evolve the product based on feedback, but also heard loudly that people want to use it now.

This build will have the goal of getting most significant breaking changes out there and remedied.  We’ll also update better shared code, extensibility and code-gen features.  This will also bring a first pass at better integration with ADO.NET Data Services.

PDC 2009: Beta

The obvious continued bug fixes based on what we know as well as customer feedback submitted via the .NET RIA Services forum.  The list of feature enhancements at this build stage is still being determined but some things being considered include better presentation model support and deeper hierarchy support.

This stage will also aim to bring support for VS2010 and .NET 4 and move to ADO.NET Data Services as the underlying protocol.  This builds on the path being taken for the July 2009 CTP.

First part of 2010: RTW

At this stage we’d polish up the product/tooling and prepare for the version 1 release.  Localization, stress, additional security analysis, perf…all these things happen between the beta and RTW.  We’ll also keep in line with current product changes if they occur (i.e., Visual Studio/Silverlight).

These are the current plans.  At each stage we will be keeping up with the associated Silverlight builds as they are available.

Seeking feedback

Right now, the RTW is targeted for VS2010 and .NET 4 as the primary tool/framework story.  We would love feedback on this (essentially, how important is .NET 3.5 SP1/VS2008 support).  We’re also asking that based on your work with .NET RIA Services that you provide feedback of key scenarios that are essential for you in a v1 release.  What do you think of alignment with ADO.NET Data Services?  What about ASP.NET MVC, etc?

Please use the .NET RIA Services forum to give your feedback.  The team there is very active and listening.  It is the best place to communicate with the RIA Services team.

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