Composite Application Guidance is Live

Before I go any further, we shipped! :-)


What’s in the box

Here’s an overview of what you’ll find


At the core is the Stock Trader Reference Implementation.


This app is a composite application built in WPF. In it you’ll find design patterns, concepts and techniques you can add to your arsenal.

Supporting the RI, you’ll find a library which aids in implementing the patterns. The library is light, really light and that’s deliberate. We harvested it out of the RI rather than building it first and throwing an app on top. We built it to work with your existing infrastructure rather than you having to build from scratch on top of it. We built it to work 100% with WPF rather than retrofitting WinForm concepts into a WPF world.

Around the RI, you’ll find comprehensive documentation (see the diagram above) in which you’ll see the major design concepts and patterns are for building composites such as the RI. You can use this knowledge to build your own implementations if you decide that ours is not right for you. You’ll also learn how we’ve decided to implement those patterns and concepts and why. You’ll see how to use the pieces separately, or put them together in a coherent fashion to form the baseline architecture you see below.


Finally you’ll find a set of quickstarts and how-tos to help you get ramped up on the concepts.

A little history

If you’d have asked me 12 months ago, I would have said this day would have never come. Around that time we had just announced that we had no further plans to do anything in the CAB space. Instead our goal was to lead everyone toward a mythical creature called Acropolis. With Acropolis on the way it didn’t make sense for us to continue. Then by some strange twist of fate, Acropolis was folded into future versions of the framework. This opened the door for us to address building Composite applications for WPF. Once we had the green light to go ahead, we had a tough decision to make, take CAB forward to WPF or start over. We chose to start over. 8 months later, we’ve incorporated tons of community feedback, built a new set of guidance specifically for building Composite applications in WPF. As it goes out the door, we’re very happy we stuck to our guns on that decision.

The Team

We couldn’t have done it alone. In addition to a fantastic, and extremely focused team including Brian Noyes from IDesign, Adam Calderon from Interknowlogy, Southworks and Infosys we had a large set of advisors. Across Microsoft, we had help from several product teams including WPF (Henry Hahn,Ivo Manlov,John Gossman,Mike Hillberg,Rob Relyea), UIFX (Brad Abrams and David Hill), DPE (Jaime Rodriguez, Karsten Junszewski, Jared Bienz, Mark Feinholz), and App Dev Consulting’s Josh Twist. Combine this with an amazing committed group of partners (Infragistics), industry experts and advisors including David Platt,Jeremy Miller, Ohad Israeli,Oren Eini, Rob Eisenberg, Szymon Kobalczyk,Udi Dahan, and Ward Bell. This is just a sampling, the full list is below

Bil Simser, Brad Abrams (Microsoft Corporation), Chad Myers, David S Platt (Rolling Thunder Computing, Inc.), Derek Greer, Ian Ellison-Taylor (Microsoft Corporation), Ivo Manolov (Microsoft Corporation), Jamie Rodriguez (Microsoft Corporation), Jeremy D. Miller (Dovetail Software), Josh Twist (Microsoft Corporation), Matt Smith (AltiMotion Corporation), Mark Tucker (JDA Software Group, Inc.), Michael D. Brown (Software Engineering Professionals, Inc.), Michael Kenyon (IHS, Inc.), Michael Sparks (RDA Corp), Ohad Israeli (Hewlett-Packard), Oren Eini (aka Ayende Rahien), Peter Lindes (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), Rob Eisenberg (Blue Spire Consulting, Inc.), Shanku Niyogi (Microsoft Corporation), Scott Bellware, Szymon Kobalczyk (InterKnowlogy), Udi Dahan (The Software Simplist), Varghese John (UBS), Ward Bell (IdeaBlade)

Final thoughts

For me, this has been an incredible journey. I’ve had the pleasure of working with the most talented individuals inside and outside of Microsoft than I have to date. It just doesn’t get any better than this! Thank you to everyone who has made this possible!

As Soma likes to say Namaste!

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  • Glenn Block

    @Pavel, this is the first release. We said that we would ship before the end of 2008 however we expected to ship sooner.

  • Pavel R.

    Glenn, i bit confused is that official release? Did you earlier the plans? I remeber the statement was end of 2008. What is next? Do you have any plans for the Prism?

  • maccari claudio

    very good news cause we started with Prism some months ago and now that deployment is near we can secure our customer that Composite Application Guidance is ready for production environment