For the second time in a couple of years I find myself having to navigate between old and new technologies.
I want to develop what amounts to a basic Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) using WCF (4) that will enable the organisation I work for to consume and generate web services, run distributed applications (data access and business process), connect various backend SQL Servers and run various web and windows based user interfaces. This is in the longer term.
In the short term (a couple months at the most) I need to deliver on Line of Business UIs that are data intensive and quite heavy duty in terms of data volume and complexity. For this I want to use ADO.NET (not the new WCF version) and Winforms (actually, Infragistics winform components) because I am familiar with these and I don't have time to familiarise myself with more up to date options (such as WPF, Silverlink, WCF data services, etc.), although I am intending to do this in the medium term.
My questions, which are really quite high level, are:
A) Will I be able to set up the necessary data access and business layers and UIs based on (old) ADO.NET using WCF 4 to manage communications.
B) Windows based applications seem to be loosing favour with microsoft very rapidly, but from my experience they seem to provide a better user experience for down to earth data entry, data display (grids, etc.) and process management than any web based screen I have seen (better speed performance, less jumping around and loosing position on screen, better refreshing, less on-screen clutter, etc.). - can I ever hope to achieve Windows quality with a more up to date WEb based application (or WPF controls)?
Thank you for your asdvice and opinions in advance.