Microsoft whittles away at Oslo; now plans to fold it into SQL Server

Microsoft whittles away at Oslo; now plans to fold it into SQL Server

Summary: On November 10, Microsoft announced the latest Oslo shift: Oslo's three main remaining components are going to be be renamed "SQL Server Modeling" and be folded into some future release of Microsoft's database.

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There are few initiatives at Microsoft that have undergone as many twists and turns as Oslo, Microsoft's modeling platform/strategy.

On November 10, Microsoft announced the latest Oslo shift: Oslo's three main remaining components are going to be be renamed "SQL Server Modeling" and be folded into some future release of Microsoft's database.

In 2007, Microsoft first discussed publicly its plans for “Oslo” -- an amorphous multiproduct effort that encompased future releases of .Net, Visual Studio, BizTalk and SQL Server. By the fall of 2008, Microsoft had decoupled .Net, VIsual Studio, BizTalk and SQL Server from Oslo. When officials said Oslo, they meant Microsoft's evolving modeling strategy and technologies, specifically the M language, the Quadrant tool and the metadata repository. This past summer, as part of one of Microsoft's countless reorgs, the Oslo team was combined with Microsoft's Data Programmability team (which manages Astoria, Entity Data Model (EDM), Entity Framework (EF), XML, ADO.Net and tools/designers).

Going into the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2009 next week, Microsoft is planning to make available a new Community Technology Preview (CTP) test build of Oslo, which will be its first since May 2009. This new CTP will be known as the SQL Server Modeling CTP.

According to a November 10 blog posting by Product Unit Manager Doug Purdy, this new CTP "will begin to demonstrate how developers will use these (Oslo) technologies in concert with things like T-SQL, ADO.NET, ASP.NET and other parts of the .NET Framework to build database applications."

"All of these components are now part of SQL Server and will ship with a future release of that product," Purdy blogged this week. (Purdy doesn't specify a ship date target, but I'm doubtful it will be in time for the next version of SQL Server, SQL Server 2008 R2, which is due out in the first half of 2010.)

As of next week, Microsoft also plans to integrate the Oslo” Developer Center and the Data Developer Center into a new site, http://msdn.microsoft.com/data.

On Twitter, the overwhelming sentiment about the latest change in Oslo's direction are largely negative. Here are a few reactions:

Scott Banwart: With this announcement, I no longer see the point of Oslo.

Tomas Restrepo: Cynical thought of the day: Oslo == Longhorn. OK, could've been worse (i.e. Cairo).

James Hart: Any expectations anybody had for what Oslo might turn out to be came from their own imagination. Disappointment was inevitable.

Ryan Rinaldi: The Oslo story just got more confusing.

Steve Bohlen: good lord; Oslo follows in the footsteps of WinFS; big (if nebulous) idea degenerates into dull implementation w dubious value

Sean Munger: Friends dumbstruck at flying saucers descending over Oslo. (Oops. Maybe a different Oslo)

Any developers out there see a silver lining in the latest Oslo moves? Or is it time for the aliens to rush in and take over?

Topics: Data Centers, Data Management, Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Servers, Software

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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6 comments
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  • Let's wait for PDC09 first

    Ok, it's a fact that the Oslo umbrella has little left of the glory it once had. On the other hand, the original plan would never have yielded a stable, full-featured product (or a set of products) in v1. If the new direction results in shipping something actually useful at the first stage, it's not all bad.

    Not that I'd be yearning for yet another data access technology, but realistically, none of them make a decent effort at providing an easy way to manage multi-application databases. If the first release of Oslo is a solution to this problem, that's a loss for the DSL visionaries, but at least it's useful for somebody. Meanwhile, I'm sure we can tolerate Antlr et al. for a few years more.

    Let's continue the speculation once PDC09 keynote is over. It's not too long a wait.
    Jouni Heikniemi
  • RE: Microsoft whittles away at Oslo; now plans to fold it into SQL Server

    Moving Oslo to SQL Server will mean that will extend the product and change it into a modeling tool and repository. SQL Server will offer functionality as BI Suite, Modeling Suite (having Quadrant onboard), Integration suite (SSIS, Integration Server), and essentially a database. Will for instance the interpreter for models be a part of SQL too in the future? How will SQL fit in Enterprise of tomorrow, have a lot of functionality onboard consisting of components in enterprise architecture having different responsibilities? Will SQL Server become a big investment for organizations, resulting in large dependency of vendor and its partners; SQL Server will have so much to offer and will create a huge dependency on OS, .NET framework, and so on! The move of bringing Oslo into SQL Server is in one way brilliant, because as soon as SQL Server in fully embedded into an enterprise is would be unwise to migrate to a different platform in the end.
    Steef-Jan
    • Spot on speculation

      Spot on ... Since Dublin will be free ( part of low cost Windows Server) , tying it to SQL is probably done protect the investment and ensure they get a return.
      It also means they dont have to put it in Team edition ( there was no chance of it being in VS Prof) which is very pricey for some firms.
      bklooste
  • RE: Microsoft whittles away at Oslo; now plans to fold it into SQL Server

    I had very high hopes for M, especially as a tool for easily building powerful domain specific languages (DSLs). Sadly, I doubt this will now be possible. Why do we need yet another way of connecting to our databases?

    However I'll wait until the PDC before becoming completely disapointed.
    RobertMcCarter
  • No Credibility

    You get what you deserve.
    curph
  • Oslo 5 years ahead of the market

    Oslo works but MS have SO many new products no one but a few academics have time to look at it. like love M /Oslo.

    Im mainly interested in the application server (?Dublin?)which was spun off which has a lot of powerfull new features.
    bklooste