Microsoft shifts gears (again) with its Oslo modeling platform

Summary:It's been awfully quiet on the Microsoft service-oriented architecture (SOA) front for the past nine months or so. But on August 17, Product Unit Manager Doug Purdy broke the silence to provide an update on Microsoft's "Oslo" modeling platform and strategy.

It's been awfully quiet on the Microsoft service-oriented architecture (SOA) front for the past nine months or so. But on August 17, Product Unit Manager Doug Purdy broke the silence to provide an update on Microsoft's "Oslo" modeling platform and strategy.

The Data Programmability team (which manages Astoria, Entity Data Model (EDM), Entity Framework (EF), XML, ADO.Net and tools/designers) is merging with the Oslo team, Purdy blogged. (The Oslo team has been working on the M language , which was formerly known as "D"; the Quadrant tool; and the modeling repository.)

Purdy blogged:

"What does this mean for you (.NET developers)?  You are going hear more about how 'M'/EF/EDM align.  How our VS tools related to 'Quadrant.'  How this notion of 'model-drive software' evolves with the existing .NET FX (Framework) investments. ... More to be reveled at PDC (in November in Los Angeles)."

Purdy acknowledged Microsoft officials used the "Oslo" term too broadly when the company first shared its high-level Oslo vision back in 2007. At one point, Microsoft was referring to everything from the next release of its Workflow Framework (WF) and Windows Communication Framework (WCF) 4.0, to its "Dublin" application server, the next release of BizTalk Server, and a future release of SQL Server as all being components of Oslo.

In more recent months, however, the team began shifting its positioning to only use "Oslo" to refer to the modeling pieces of the platform. WF 4.0, WCF 4.0, Dublin and other ".Net 4.0 wave" deliverables, expected to be released in the spring of 2010, are no longer positioned as pieces of Oslo.

So what is Oslo today? Purdy offered this definition back in April:

"The term 'Oslo' today refers to a modeling stack — which is just technology jargon for a data stack. We have a language ('M') for writing down other languages, instance data, schemas, expressions and functions. We have a repository (which is just a SQL Server database with a “catalog” in it) for storing data. We have a tool ('Quadrant') for getting N views (graphical and textual over that data). We have a set of base 'models' that people can use and extend to help people write down and access data. We are then taking that stack and working with teams all over Microsoft to move the application lifecycle (design, build, manage) to top of this stack."

Purdy still isn't mentioning any ship targets for M, Quadrant or the repository, but maybe now that the team behind those modeling elements is merging with a team shipping discrete tools, Microsoft's new modeling platform will start trickling out sooner rather than later....

Topics: CXO, Enterprise Software, Microsoft

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Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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