Microsoft's Oslo connections begin to bud

Configuration Services, designed to help meet SOA workloads

Microsoft took another step in unveiling its "Oslo" SOA strategy, with a sample application intended to not only demonstrate the vendor's interoperability as a SOA platform, and also show how it can automatically scale to meet the increased and unpredictable workloads SOA will bring to data centers.

Jeffery Schwartz, writing in Application Development Trends, described how Microsoft took its .NET StockTrader application, announced last summer, linked it up to a Web services layer managed by Microsoft Configuration Service 2.0 to interoperate with IBM's WebSphere Trade 6.1 sample capacity planner for distributed applications.

Configuration Service -- built into .NET and is based on managed C# code -- is "a general purpose set of tiered libraries that provide the ability to dynamically scale out services across clustered servers for both load balancing to provide additional capacity and also failover at the application and service operation level." Thus, services and composite applications will be able to automatically scale to meet spikes in traffic or service demand -- a key challenge in many SOA sites.

Microsoft says StockTrader/Configuration Service is only a demonstration project, and not a formal part of Oslo, which is still a work in progress. Through such projects, the company hopes to learn where to direct its burgeoning enterprise SOA efforts. Microsoft plans to offer Oslo through BizTalk Server V6, System Center V5, Visual Studio V10, BizTalk Services V1, and the .NET 4.0 Framework.

By the way, there seems to be a lot of Norwegian connections for Microsoft's latest enterprise thrusts. Is it a coincidence that Microsoft recently acquired Fast Search & Transfer, the Norway-based enterprise search technology, at the same time it has been unveiling its "Oslo" SOA strategy? There isn't a direct connection yet, but one can see a convergence on the horizon with Microsoft pursuing a strategy of opening up enterprise information assets to Web services.