Improved Performance, Scalability
Meanwhile, Microsoft has improved the performance and scalability of WF, Kawasaki said. "Providing a host process for WF applications, as Dublin does, together with the easier-to-use WF 4.0, should go a long way toward making WF a more widely used technology, said David Chappell, principal at Chappell & Associates and a software development expert familiar with Microsoft's plans.Kawasaki also said "Dublin" will be the first Microsoft server product to deliver support for the company's "Oslo" modeling platform. "Dublin" does not require "Oslo" in order to operate and provide benefits of hosting .NET applications; however, administrators will be able to deploy applications from the "Oslo" repository directly to the "Dublin" application server, the company said. "Dublin" provides model-driven "Oslo" applications with a runtime environment, out of the box. "Oslo--which now refers only to the modeling technologies--can be used to define WF-based applications that run in Dublin," Chappell said. "All three of these things [WF, WCF and Dublin] can be used together, which is perhaps why Microsoft originally put them all under the 'Oslo' banner. Still, they can be used separately, and so to me, narrowing the 'Oslo' name to refer just to the modeling technologies is a good thing. It makes the independence of these technologies clearer." And Microsoft's internal teams already have begun using Dublin and the enhanced WCF and WF technologies, Kawasaki said. Among the first products that have announced plans to support Dublin is Microsoft Dynamics, Kawasaki said. Microsoft has announced that future versions of both the Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM applications will leverage both .NET 4.0 and "Dublin." In particular, the next version of Microsoft Dynamics AX is being specifically designed to take full advantage of the enhanced capability and scale delivered in Windows Server by the enhanced "Dublin" application server technologies, he said. Also, Kawasaki said that among third-party ISVs (independent software vendors), line-of-business applications such as Dataract, Eclipsys, Epicor, Red Prairie and Telerik and software infrastructure providers such as Amberpoint, SOA Software, Frends Technology and Global360 have announced plans to leverage the .NET Framework 4.0 and "Dublin" technologies.
Moreover, Kawasaki said part of Microsoft's goal with the new technology is to preserve customers' investment in skills and training in .NET technologies. The enhancements to the Windows Application Server will simplify the deployment, configuration, management and scalability of composite applications while allowing developers to use their existing skills with Visual Studio, the .NET Framework and Internet Information Services (IIS), Microsoft officials said.