Where is WinFS now? Quentin Clark explains.

In 2004 I interviewed Quentin Clark, who led the WinFS effort, for an InfoWorld cover story on Longhorn. We had dinner recently, and Quentin made a surprising remark. He said that although WinFS never shipped, many of the underlying technologies already have. I wanted to hear more.

So, on this week’s Perspectives show, Quentin expounds at length on the question: Where is WinFS now? Topics include schemas, the entity data model, filestream and hierarchical namespace support in SQL Server, and synchronization.

In general I’m trying to aim Perspectives at a wider audience. But although you have to be fairly technical to enjoy reading or listening to this interview, I coudn’t resist. It’s a fascinating story, and not one the technology press is ever likely to tell. From that perspective, when the WinFS project was shut down, the whole thing evaporated. But as we know, technologies often wind up being used in ways not originally intended. WinFS is a prime example.

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One thought on “Where is WinFS now? Quentin Clark explains.

  1. So the short version is, LINQ is ActiveRecord for .net, and WinFS wasn’t about SQL in the filesystem, it was (and is) about the filesystem in SQL. And they ditched all the schemas (hooray!)

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