WinFS (for Windows Future Storage ) is the name of a cancelled extension then redéveloppée of the Filing system NTFS, or more exactly a new procedure of access to the files whose subjacent support NTFS would have remained in place, in the slides of Windows.
History and goal
During the appearance of the hard drive with PC/XT, it had quickly appeared that starting from the hundred files one effectively any more could not for the performances to manage all the names in a single space, and DOS had been provided with a hierarchical management system of repertories neighbor of UNIX.
- One had thus to seek achievable only in the known repertories declared as while containing ( PATH , concept also coming from UNIX).
- an application simply sought its own files in a repertory which it created for this purpose (for example ALDUS ), etc
When one started to reach the 40.000 files, another problem arose: how to manage the files effectively in terms of ergonomics : the users lost themselves indeed in the expansion of the repertories and sub-directories (already well-known problem in UNIX), like in multiples synonymies (many files SETUP.EXE or README.TXT , for example): a file could not be migrated without losing part of its identity .
IBM had dealt with this question as of the Seventies with its Technologie FS, designed to replace the former architecture. This one had not been implemented, but had had as a repercussion about 1979 the Système 38, then AS/400: its solution consisted in not having more for the user of hierarchy of repertories , but a relational Database of the files. Precisely the IBM patents, which covered for 20 years its property of the process, were about to fall into the public domain.
The goal of WinFS is to adopt the same solution, and to return in its turn the use of the files more intuitive and simpler for the user.
For the moment, the majority of the filing systems are organized in the form of tree structure. WinFS, with the assistance of Metadatum S, would make it possible the user to not carry out the search for a file according to its name ou/et of its place in the tree structure, but according to its contents. From there, if one seeks a document speaking about the planet Mars, it will just be enough to type in an interface of research (similar to Google for example) what one knows (name, contained text, type of the file, metadata), and the management system of files will make the remainder. The names will be again apparently in a single space, the user not being disturbed with the detail of the hierarchical organization which will not appear to him any more. Although more expensive in resources machine - what poses besides little problem with RAM of 1Go and discs of 200 Go - this approach will show a more effective work for the user.
The version Bêta 1 of WinFS was distributed to the members of the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN), the August 29th 2005.
A beta release 2 was scheduled for June 2006, but Microsoft cancelled WinFS the June 25th, with the general surprise. Quentin Clark, developer as a chief, written on his blog that the code will be used in the next version of SQL Server and of ADO.NET.
Like service of filesMicrosoft presents WinFS like an innovation of its share. It of it is nothing. The principle of associating metadata with the files had already been used by the Système 38, OS/400, OS/2 (in which Microsoft had taken part besides), and BFS, the filing system of BeOS. The operating system Pick also included/understood out of standard a relational database integrated into the system.
Like service with the userApple on its side, developed a technology Spotlight, available since the version Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Spotlight indexes the contents of the hard drive to provide the result of a research instantaneously, but that relates to only the user interface ( desktop search ), and not the accesses system or appllicatifs. Under Linux, one can quote like equivalents Beagle, Gnome Storage or GLScube. And of course Google Desktop exists since months under Windows XP " classique". There for a long time exist services of indexing under Windows NT which fulfill the same function as Spotlight and Google Desktop. They were made more accessible thanks to Windows Desktop Search.
AvailabilityThe availability of WinFS with the exit of Windows Vista was pushed back several times before being cancelled in June 2006.
It is announced that WinFS for Windows Vista should be available during 2008 with Windows Fiji, an update of Windows Vista.
- relational Database
- Technology FS, like example of another abandoned ambitious computing project.
- Blog of the team WinFS
- Advertisement of cancellation of WinFS
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