Oslo transforms into the underlying application model of the cloud

Summary:Microsoft only used the codename Oslo once in the PDC keynotes today, talking about SQL Server Modelling Services with the throwaway reference that "you may have heard this called the Oslo repository ". Is that Oslo disappearing into SQL Server the way WinFS did?

Microsoft only used the codename Oslo once in the PDC keynotes today, talking about SQL Server Modelling Services with the throwaway reference that "you may have heard this called the Oslo repository ". Is that Oslo disappearing into SQL Server the way WinFS did? No.

Beyond the details of when Microsoft starts running Azure as a production system (January 4th, because it's a Monday) and the promise of an open data catalogue so you can mash up multiple data services plus a useful checklist of what cloud services need to have to be useful cloud services, the whole message of the morning was about the underlying model of cloud application development. The very first thing Bob Muglia said in his keynote was that "the industry understanding of the cloud has really evolved… the cloud is about more than just infrastructure, it's also about an application model'

That's not model as in just another word to put in the sentence; that's model as in M, the underlying modelling language of Oslo and model as in not just describing what an application should do in a pretty Visio diagram that's instantly out of date but defining how it should do it in live metadata that goes from the architect to the programmer to the IT guy doing deployment and maintenance - and back to the programmer when you want to optimise the app. "One of the key attributes that sits behind the cloud, and that we'll see become pervasive into the next decade, is really this idea of connecting everything together in a model," said Muglia. " If you want to have a set of services, a set of resources that work together to provide common services, you need to have a definition of the model of the application. And it will be needed all the way through our product line, this idea of being model-driven, from the point where requirements are generated, and developers and architects define an application, through the stages of testing, into operations and production, and through the evolution of the application." That's not Oslo going away; that's Oslo becoming the backbone of all your development.

There's a new workflow designer in Visual Studio 2010 with flow charting options; you can expose that as a service through the new AppFabric and have that manage the workflow. That's a model. Models are going into Active Directory with System.Identity (more on that soon). In SQL Server 2008 R2 you're going to be able to define databases with a model of the different tables and components that make it up. When you move an existing Windows application up to Azure, you can do that by adding an application model - which is what you're doing in Azure when you configure the environment using roles. You’re already using models, says Microsoft's Doug Purdy. "If you're used to app config, you know what a model is. If you're used to XAML, you know what a model is. It's just a higher-level description of a part of an application or the whole of an application that we can do interesting things with." When you push an app onto Azure, it's getting pulled apart, put into SQL Server in the modelling services Formerly Known as the repository, pushed up through the REST APIs using PowerShell - and run. That's all a model. Oh, and you can look at it in System enter - using the same model.

Oslo isn't going away, though you might never hear the word Oslo again. It's gone from a grand vision to just what's happening in every part of the platform. Models are at the heart of Azure and at the heart of the way you'll move apps from running just on your own server to running across your server, a hosted server and the cloud without losing track of what's where and what it was all supposed to be doing.

-Mary

Topics: Windows

About

Born on the Channel Island of Jersey, Simon moved to the UK to attend the University of Bath where he studied electrical and electronic engineering. Since then a varied career has included being part of the team building the world's first solid state 30KW HF radio transmitter, writing electromagnetic modelling software for railguns, and t... Full Bio

About

Mary Branscombe is a freelance tech journalist. Mary has been a technology writer for nearly two decades, covering everything from early versions of Windows and Office to the first smartphones, the arrival of the web and most things inbetween.

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