More on Oslo

In the latest BriefingsDirect SOA Insights Edition, Dana Gardner, Jim Kobielus, Neil Macehiter, and Joe McKendrick discussed, among other things, Microsoft’s recent announcements. The conversation started very similar to some of my own comments on the subject with this sense of deja vu. Neil Macehiter made a great point, however, that shows that this isn’t simply a rehash of model-driven architecture. He stated:

…they are actually encompassing management into this modeling framework, and they’re planning to support some standards around things like the service modeling language (SML), which will allow the transition from development through to operations. So, this is actually about the model driven life cycle.

This reminded me of my trip to Redmond in 2005 for the Microsoft Technology Summit. At the summit, we were shown an internal tool, I think from the Patterns & Practices group, that presented a deployment model of a solution. I recall a number of us going, “we want that.” If Microsoft has taken steps to integrate these models into the development and run-time management tooling, this is an excellent step, and certainly something beyond the typical model-driven development of the BPM suites. At a minimum, these capabilities should be enough for people to at least track the ongoing progress of the Oslo effort.

The second thing that came up, which again was consistent with some recent blogs of mine (see Registries, Repositories, and Bears, oh my! and Is Metadata the center of the SOA technology universe?), was the discussion around the metadata repository at the heart of Microsoft’s strategy. Dana pointed out that “there really aren’t any standards for unifying modeling or repository for various models” with some comments from Neil that this is very ambitious. First, I’d have to say that Microsoft trumped IBM on this one. Remember when IBM announced WebSphere Registry Repository and stated that they’d be coming out with their own standards for communication with it? They were slammed by many analysts. Microsoft, rather than trying to operate in the narrow space of the SOA registry/repository, are talking about the importance of metadata in general. The breadth of models and associated metadata when talking about full IT product lifecycle (development and management), is far broader than what is typically discussed in the SOA space. AS a result, there are no standards that cover this completely, so the lack of standards-based integration is a non-issue, and Neil nails it by saying Microsoft is trying to get out in front of the metadata federation problem and drive others to comply with what they do.

Give the entire podcast a listen here, or read the transcript here.

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