Introducing the Smart Client Software Factory

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To create client business applications using current Microsoft technologies, see patterns & practices' Prism.

The Smart Client Software Factory is a collection of assets that enables architects and developers to quickly incorporate many of the proven practices and patterns for building composite smart client applications. These practices and patterns have been identified during the development of many smart client applications and their components.

By using the software factory, architects and developers can focus their efforts on business opportunities and create smart client applications that effectively address the needs of their organizations.

The Smart Client Software Factory provides an integrated set of guidance that assists architects and developers in creating composite smart client applications. These applications have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • They have a rich user interface that takes full advantage of the Microsoft Windows desktop.
  • They connect to multiple back-end systems to exchange data with them.
  • They present information from multiple and diverse sources through an integrated user interface, so that the data looks like it came from one back-end system.
  • They take advantage of local storage and processing resources to enable operation during periods of no network connectivity or intermittent network connectivity.
  • They are easily deployed and configured.


Architects and developers identify and discover the proven practices and patterns through application development. This is an expensive process, especially when these practices and patterns are discovered later in the application life cycle and applying them causes refactoring. Alternatively, development teams can investigate and attempt to identify proven practices and patterns before starting the application development project. This also can be a time consuming and difficult activity because patterns and practices often come from different sources and have to be compared, selected, and integrated before use.

By using the Smart Client Software Factory, architects and developers can quickly incorporate many of the proven patterns and practices of composite smart client development. The software factory provides a set of proven and integrated practices that are exposed through patterns, how-to topics, QuickStarts, a reference implementation, a Guidance Automation Toolkit package for the Microsoft Visual® Studio 2010 development system, and architecture documentation. The software factory guides projects through the development of smart client applications based on the architecture of the Composite User Interface Application Block. By using the software factory, architects and developers can focus more of their efforts on implementing business requirements.

New In This Release

The 2010 release of the Smart Client Software Factory includes support for Visual Studio 2010, the Guidance Automation Extensions 2010, and the Guidance Automation Toolkit 2010.

This version of the Smart Client Software Factory does not support Visual Studio 2008. The Smart Client Software Factory – April 2008 release supports Visual Studio 2008. To migrate existing smart client solutions created with the Smart Client Software Factory – April 2008 release to use the guidance package provided in SCSF2010, see Migrating SCSF 2008 Solutions to SCSF2010.

Intended Audience

This guidance is intended for software architects and software developers. To use this guidance to develop applications, you should have an understanding of the following technologies:

  • Microsoft Visual C#® development system or Microsoft Visual Basic® development system
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
  • Windows Forms

System Requirements

This guidance was designed to run on the Windows® 7, Windows 2008, Windows Vista, Windows XP Professional, or Windows Server® 2003 operating system.

The following software must be installed on your development system before you can use Smart client Software Factory 2010:

In addition, the Smart Client Software Factory 2010 Source Code requires the following:


The Smart Client Software Factory, like other patterns & practices deliverables, is associated with a community site. On this community site, you can post questions, provide feedback, or connect with other users for sharing ideas. Community members can also help Microsoft plan and test future offerings and download additional content such as extensions and training material.