Microsoft Continues Its Work On Oslo -- SOA for Windows

Microsoft has shown it can take a third-part app built with Java and move it over to .Net without changing any Java code.
Microsoft is following up its Oslo announcements last November with development efforts that are putting Windows-based, SOA-style software in the hands of a few customers.

For example, Microsoft has taken a standard Java example application, Stocktrader, built by IBM to illustrate capabilities of Java Enterprise Edition, "and moved it over to .Net," said Burley Kawasaki, director of product management for the Connected Systems Division. By running Stocktrader on the Windows platform, Microsoft is illustrating that it can be an interoperable platform for services-oriented architecture.

Microsoft was able to demonstrate the interoperability without changing any Java code. It was able to hook up Stocktrader's Java Server Pages to its own backend, Web services layer managed by Microsoft Configuration Service.

A Version 2.0 of Configuration Service is due out shortly and will be circulated as beta software among selected customers.

"It's not a product. We are trying to get feedback from customers that will go into our Oslo teams," which in turn are trying to put more reality into Microsoft's vision that it will serve as a future SOA platform. Some of the feedback might be used to design future products; some could be used to modify Biztalk Server, Windows Communications Services or Windows Server 2008 itself.

Microsoft wants it to be easier for developers to make use of Soap 1.1 or the WS-brand specifications, such as WS-Security that come out of the Web Services Interoperability working group of the Worldwide Web Consortium, a standards body.

Instead of requiring developers to build integration between Java and .Net systems, Microsoft wants to present them with drop down menus and other easy to use features in Configuration Service to set up linkages and communications between their Windows applications and the software of a non-Windows partner. No timetable has been set for the Oslo-oriented features to start appearing in Microsoft products.

Another goal, said Kawasaki, is to allow interoperable services to scale up easily to Web-sized traffic. Configuration Service 2.0 will have cluster management capabilities that allow it to add nodes to a service as traffic builds. Configuration Service 2.0 will have its own configuration database that contains essential information on the software in the cluster, allowing it to be replicated and pressed into service as needed, he said.