Until recently Oslo has been one of the best kept secrets by Microsoft. There have been many rumors about Oslo being Microsoft’s future SOA strategy, distributed application server or Microsoft’s next unified SOA product portfolio. Finally, Douglas Purdy, Product Unit Manager for Oslo, announces, that he will be talking about Oslo and its technology at the PDC. In his announcement he states that “Oslo is just the modeling platform”:
To that end, we have boiled down Oslo to three very simple things:
- A tool that helps people define and interact with models in a rich and visual manner
- A language that helps people create and use textual domain-specific languages and data models
- A relational repository that makes models available to both tools and platform components
That is it. That is all Oslo is.
Although the scope of Oslo seemingly does not live up to expectations, Douglas adds that “the impact of this platform on software development and management will be transformational” and that for him “Oslo is the first step in my vision ‘to make everyone a programmer (even if they don’t know it)’” .
Don Box joins in and explains the goal of Oslo as “to make it possible to build real apps purely out of data”:
We’re building “Oslo” to simplify the process of developing, deploying, and managing software. Our goal is to reduce the gap between the intention of the developer and the actual artifacts that get deployed and executed. The approach we’re taking is to move more of the definition of an application into the world of data, where we (and you) can more easily make queries as to the developer’s original intent.
According to Don all data, which define services, applications and processes, will be available both at development and runtime . Oslo will provide several schemas for target platform components that are ‘instantiated’ by these data. Data will be stored in a relational database by default, but Oslo is not limited to the relational model. Actually Oslo’s modeling language is built against an abstract data model.
In his article on eWeek Darryl Taft interviews Don Box, Steven Lucco and Brad Lovering, Oslo’s technical lead, who explains Oslos emphasis on a data-driven approach and delves into the details of the role of the D (modeling) language in the Oslo effort. Read the details in the eWeek article.
In the dawn of Oslo there might be some uncertainties regarding the future of core components of .NET Framework. Nicholas Allen eases concerns on possibly diminishing support for WCF and WF as these will remain the foundation of Microsoft’s distributed computing platform. In his post on Oslo he says:
What Oslo doesn't change is what your services can actually do. There's nothing forcing you to start modeling your applications to make use of features in the Microsoft frameworks. Modeling is a tool that is supposed to enhance the productivity of developers and IT professionals rather than be the single way to do things.
The first bits of Oslo will be released as a community technology preview (CTP) at the PDC in October 2008.
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