A (Microsoft) Code Name a Day: Jasper

The Microsoft Code Name a Day series marches on. Today's entry: Jasper, a k a "dynamic ADO.Net."

I'm resuming my Microsoft Code Name a Day series that I started in December 2006. The goal: To provide the back story, each day in August, on one of Microsoft's myriad code names. Some of these code names might be familiar to Microsoft watchers; others (hopefully) will be brand-new.

Microsoft code namesoffer some great clues about the Redmondians’ development priorities, not to mention a better understanding of which future Microsoft products fit together, from a strategy standpoint. And not every product group is moving to boring, numbered codenames (like Windows 7 and Office 14).

Without further ado, let the codename games begin.

Microsoft code name of the day: Jasper

Microsoft code name of the day: Jasper

Best guess on what it is: Dynamic ADO.Net, a first Community Technology Preview build of which Microsoft delivered in May 2007

Meaning/context of the code name: After asking yesterday for the origins of the "Astoria" codename, I think I stumbled upon it. The SQL Server team has long favored "national parks" (and especially Canadian national parks) when selecting their codenames. It turns out Jasper is a Canadian national park. And the Astoria Hotel is one of Jasper's best-known hangouts. Given the synergies between Microsoft's Astoria and Jasper projects, maybe it's no coincidence that the two codenames would emanate from the same geographic location.

Back story: Here's Microsoft's description of Jasper, from its download page: "Jasper leverages the power of dynamic languages and the concept of convention over configuration to provide a programming surface for data that enables rapid development of data-bound applications. While most other rapid data access frameworks are only capable of working against simple databases, Jasper can scale to almost any database, regardless of size or complexity. This is possible because Jasper takes advantage of the ADO.NET Entity Framework’s significant investments in mapping and conceptual data modeling."

Additional info: Jasper is a set of extensions to Microsoft's ADO.Net Entity Framework. The ADO.Net Entity Framework allows developers to model data in a database. Microsoft had hoped to deliver the entity framework as part of Visual Studio Orcas. Microsoft recently announced that the entity framework wouldn't make the cut and won't be available until the "first half of 2008," as part of an update to Orcas. (The framework also is expected to be part of SQL Server 2008, which is due to RTM in the second quarter of next year.)

Got a Microsoft code name you’ve been wondering about? Send it my way and I’ll do my best to track down some leads on what it might be.

And if you want to keep track of the full month's worth of Microsoft code names I end up posting, bookmark this "Microsoft Codenames" page. You can also check out this video-whiteboard I did recently on Microsoft codenames.


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