Presentation: An Introduction to M
During PDC 2008, David Langworthy, Architect at Microsoft, and Don Box, Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft, held a presentation about Oslo, focusing especially on the modeling language M, explaining what is and what is not, and also demonstrating using M to create a data model.
According to Don, Oslo is constituted by the following components:
- M Language - a modeling language
- Quadrant - a modeling tool
- Repository - a model storage
Don explains they chose a modeling language because they wanted to offer a design tool which allows working with models textually. M allows one to create a model by typing like creating a program in other languages.
According to Don, M is:
- “M” is a language for defining domain models and textual domain-specific languages (DSLs)
- M domain models define schema and query over structured data
Values, Constraints, and Views
Natural projection to SQL
- M DSLs define projections from Unicode text to structured data
Grammar-driven text editor integration
"M is about capturing, schematizing and transforming data", says Don. M offers only a representation of data, has no data related behavior, so there is no polymorphism. Typing is done by structural typing, the way represented data is structured.
M is not an OOP language. M is not a data access technology. While all the data can be transported to/from a database, M is not an OLTP solution, and it is not a T-SQL replacement.
In a live demonstration, David creates a data model, stores the data to a database and retrieves it later from there. He shows some features of the language like constraints, identity, value types, functions, and others.
The Oslo SDK can be downloaded from MSDN.
Brandon Holt, Preston Briggs, Luis Ceze, Mark Oskin May 21, 2015