Windows Vista® provides users with the tools to turn the raw data on their systems into useful information. These tools include optimizations in the storage, retrieval, and organization of native data and file types, as well as technologies for developers to extend this functionality.
Navigation and Organization Tools
Users are no longer restricted to ordering their information by its placement in folders on disk. Instead, users can apply concurrent and dynamically updating modes of organization:
Search Folders empower users to organize files, independent of their location on disk, by specific sets of criteria, formulated as search queries.
Information can be further organized by grouping files together into logical stacks.
Navigation and filter controls allow quick sorting and organization of files on local computers, over Microsoft SharePoint portals, other Windows Vista computers, and indexed network shares.
Live Icons and Rich Preview empower users to quickly determine the usefulness of data files.
All these features can be extended to new data and file types by developers.
There has been some restructuring to the default organization of Windows files (collectively referred to as the Windows namespace).
Advanced Data Search Technology
Improved search and indexing is integrated:
Search most any content on the computer, including email, documents, and media.
The user and developer have easy access to full-text and metadata property searches.
Search is flexible (providing both simple and complex search queries) and comprehensive (supporting most common data and metadata types).
Customization of the metadata of existing file and data types is supported for both developers and users.
A well-defined extensibility model allows the easy extension of the default search tool to handle new file and data types.
Data Sharing and Publication
Windows Vista supports the creation, publication, and maintenance of shared, communal information by providing tools for data discoverability:
Support for the XML Paper Specification (XPS) as a way of defining and using complicated collections of documents. Users and applications can:
Easily share documents across platforms, without the need for the authoring application.
Create, annotate, and view fixed-layout paginated documents.
Digitally sign and apply rights management to documents.
Add annotations to documents, including XPS documents, using the managed System.Windows.Annotations namespace.
Subscription-based data sharing through RSS (Really Simple Subscription) is fully supported and integrated. The Windows Vista RSS Platform provides developers with a quick and easy way for creating RSS-enabled applications. Internet Explorer (IE) provides integrated support for RSS viewing and feed management.
Coordinating multiple hardware devices is simplified by the new and enhanced synchronization management technology.
Tools for controlling and regulating data access for both local and remote users.
Advanced data caching technology.
Managing and Accessing Data
Windows Vista and .NET Framework 3.0 provide a range of tools for the development of applications which provide users with faster and more reliable access to data services:
Support for transactions has been added to the operating system kernel and NTFS file system. These changes result in improvements in transaction efficiency and reliability.
Data and query caching to improve data access performance while maintaining information coherency.
Windows Workflow Foundation is the programming model, engine, and tools to assist developers to quickly build workflow-driven applications. It consists of the System.Workflow .NET Framework 3.0 namespace, an in-process workflow engine, and designers for Visual Studio 2005.