Though the term "factories" to some connotes automation of tasks and potential displacement of human programmers, the creators of Microsofts software factories initiative, Short and Greenfield, said that is just the opposite of how they see the landscape shaping up. "We think just the contrary," Greenfield said. "We think this will free developers up to be able to do the more innovative tasks.""This does not limit the developer; it actually helps the developer to be able to do more creative work," Rashid said. "We can build demonstrably bigger systems than we could before. We can put 15,000 people on a software project, and we can build bigger systems more reliably than before," he said. To read eWEEKs recent interview with Rick Rashid, click here. Greenfield said the software industry will begin to build supply chains of people who build the software factories and people who use them. Essentially, to get more value from an application, "you have to target a narrower footprint," Greenfield said, thus the domain-specific nature of the strategy. John Rymer, an analyst with Forrester Research Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said Microsoft is "putting in place the prerequisites for domain-specific languages." "This is an opportunity of interest to Microsoft partners, but is still too far out for most IT development shops," he said. "The first DSL tools will tell us a lot about the efficacy and efficiency of this concept. I dont expect much out of the first generation of these tools. But it is important for the industry to get started up this learning curve. For now, most shops should be reading and learning, in part through experimentation with the early tools. DSL is a massive change, something that will take five years to enter the mainstream." Next page: App security still a priority.
Short said the team intentionally chose the term "factories" so as to have something of a controversial stance to emphasize how much of a sea change the technology represents.