Coming over to .NET 3.5 from doing ColdFusion for more than two years has been very interesting. This is what I have learned so far:
There are three major pillars and the latest .NET framework that pulls everything together in the whole Microsoft solution stack. There is the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Workflow Foundation (WF), and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). In a very simplified summary, here is what each roll does.
WPF redefines the usual User Interface development cycle for Windows desktop applications (this is all the cool “look and feel” of applications). A small subset of WPF is Silverlight 2 which is focused for lighter web use. WF “unifies” the workflow model for business (by simplifying the process of identifying and creating workflows on the backend of things). Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) “unifies” the distributed programming model for the Windows platform (basically how applications talk to each other). Finally there is the .NET 3.5 framework which brings the three pillars together.
I think I am going to have Silverlight tendencies very soon. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!