One of the neat features that Windows Forms developers get with the .NET Framework 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008 are the Client Application Services. As both Brad and Daniel have posted about these services piggyback off the ASP.NET 2.0 services for authentication, authorisation and personalisation. In the past in order to reuse these services in a client application you would have had to do all the hard yards yourself to not only communicate with the necessary webservices but also to cache information locally to support going offline.
To get started using the Client Application Services ignore all the MSDN documentation except the Walkthrough. I tried to make sense of the documentation and it wasn’t until I found the walkthrough that it all make sense. Of course now I’ve been through it I can understand the Services tab of the project properties (see below).
In the past if you wanted to track application settings centrally you had to create your own settings provider that would communicate back via a webservice. With the Client Application Services not only is the process done for you, there is even designer support for retrieving central settings via the “Load Web Settings” button on the Settings tab.