Dave Bouwman had the humorous idea of organizing a wake for Web ADF at this year’s ESRI International User Conference following ESRI’s announcement that Web ADF will be deprecated following ArcGIS Server 10.1 next year.

We’ll definitely be there and, like many, we’re pumped about the considerable advantages in the development experience going from Web ADF to REST.

At the same time, I don’t want to be perceived as being too flippant about the matter of Web ADF being deprecated at 10.1… there are hundreds (if not thousands) of organizations out there that have invested heavily in Web ADF based on the notion that it was to be ESRI’s core platform for the future and that it represented the best (or only) available alternative at the time they selected it.

There are natural technology deprecations, and there are more forced technology deprecations. Given there are lots of folks for whom Web ADF is actually working quite nicely now, ESRI’s announcement (while defensible and not a surprise for most) will have a real impact on many organizations and necessitate a transition they’d just as soon not make. Which sucks.

We’ve spent the last eighteen months transitioning our Geocortex Essentials product from being Web ADF-centric to being REST-centric. I’ll be drinking a beer partly celebrating a shift away from the challenges people (including us) have experienced with Web ADF, while also thinking about the work that will be involved for lots of folks out there who will need to rewrite a lot of their relatively recent custom code in which they’ve made significant investments.