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Microsoft Delays Windows Server AppFabric End-of-Life

In a reversal, Microsoft has decided to add another seven years to the support lifecycle of its Windows Server AppFabric 1.1 product.

AppFabric 1.1 now has a "mainstream" product support lifecycle that will end on April 11, 2017. Its "extended" support lifecycle will end on April 12, 2022.

Microsoft previously said in April that it planned to deprecate AppFabric 1.1, with product support ending on April 2, 2016, giving customers a year's notice. However, in a blog post late last week, Microsoft indicated that its customers have said that they didn't have enough time to move off AppFabric 1.1. The company has extended the product's lifecycle in response to those concerns.

Microsoft's enterprise software products typically have two five-year product lifecycle support phases, mainstream and extended. The company continues to deliver security updates until the end of the extended phase. After that extended phase ends, though, the software is considered to be unsupported and will go unpatched, leading to potential security issues for organizations.

Windows Server AppFabric 1.1 is used by organizations to add cache support to improve the performance of Web applications, particularly those based on ASP.NET technology. Even though Microsoft has now extended product support for AppFabric 1.1 for seven years, it's still advising its customers to use alternative technologies to AppFabric 1.1 for any new Web applications.

Microsoft recommends using Redis on Windows or its Azure Redis Cache service as caching alternatives to Windows Server AppFabric 1.1. Alternatively, organizations can build their own manual hosting solutions on top of Internet Information Services, Microsoft's blog suggested.

SharePoint Server 2013 users aren't tied to the Windows Server AppFabric 1.1 product lifecycle because it uses the SharePoint Server 2010 workflow engine instead of AppFabric, according to Rob Sanfilippo, an analyst with independent consultancy Directions on Microsoft. Instead, Microsoft indicated that its SharePoint Server customers have product support for caching under the SharePoint Server lifecycle.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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