Microsoft plots ambitious SOA roadmap

By John Fontana, Network World |  SOA, Microsoft

Microsoft Tuesday laid out an ambitious SOA roadmap around a set technologies code-named Oslo that will be blended into its middleware, development, and management tools and some of its emerging enterprise online services.

The company unveiled the service-oriented architecture roadmap at its annual Microsoft SOA and Business Process Conference in Redmond, Wash. While it was long on future product integrations around Oslo, it was void of dates for general availability.

The goal with Oslo is to merge models designed around applications, business processes and IT deployments into a single entity and infuse Oslo technologies into network infrastructure to ease rollouts of SOA-based applications and online services.
Oslo technologies also will be incorporated into future versions of BizTalk Server, Visual Studio, the Office System clients and servers and the family of System Center management tools to provide a platform for deploying SOA-based applications.

Microsoft also is working on a repository technology for Oslo meta-data that will be built into its infrastructure servers and tools.

The work also will incorporate key .Net Framework technologies, the Windows Communication Foundation, which is used to support service-oriented applications, and the Windows Workflow Foundation. Oslo will also incorporate online technologies such as the Silverlight client and BizTalk Services.

It is the first time Microsoft has outlined how it plans to integrate its emerging SOA platform and its software-plus-services initiatives.

Oslo is not a single product, but a set of technologies that will include a new modeling tool that integrates models regardless of the language they are written in. Current Microsoft modeling tools, such as the Whitehorse components of Visual Studio, will evolve under this new Oslo tool, according to Microsoft.

"This is a very ambitious project, and we are gating our success on taking modeling mainstream," says Steven Martin, director of product management in Microsoft's connected systems division. "We want to make it available for the masses. We think there are huge productivity gains to be made with model-driven design."

Oslo won't make a wave of upcoming products slated for 2008, but will likely roll out over the next two or three years. Microsoft plans to have some Oslo technologies incorporated into various beta products in 2008.

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