Microsoft Talk About Modeling

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2007-11-12 Print this article Print

Triggers Deja Vu"> "As an early part of our Web services and SOA work, we started thinking about modeling the interface," Wahbe said. "The work on Oslo is work that is not necessarily new. We started this back when IBM and Microsoft started working together" on Web services and the Web services standards stack. Ferguson was in the thick of that, albeit for IBM. Ferguson said he doubts that the industry will ever get to completely executable business models, "but I think you can come close—maybe 80 percent."
He said whats been blocking the widespread adoption of modeling is "modeling is currently hard. And I think the languages that we have to express behavior are complex. When you combine those two things together you can only apply them to big strategic problems…"
So its a situation where, if the current state of technology only allows you to solve one kind of problem, you infer that that kind of a problem is the only one the technology can solve, Ferguson said. However, "If you had some really good collaborative modeling tools you could use to produce the first couple of versions of an application, I think it would break this logjam," Ferguson said. "It would almost do for applications, what report tools and SQL did for data, which is it didnt replace the need for DBAs [database analysts] or for transaction programmers, but it enabled a large number of people to do a fair number of applications." Read more here about why Microsoft is giving developers access to the "Orcas" IDE code. S. "Soma" Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsofts Developer Division, said a variety of products need to be developed to truly enable model-driven development. "VS 10, the next version of Visual Studio, is absolutely a part of that…," he said. Somasegar said there will be modeling tools that ship in Visual Studio that developers can use that work against the repository. And there will be multiple repositories, he said. "For example, I fully expect Team Foundation Server to ship a repository technology," Somasegar said. "TFS is already a repository for source code and other things. What it isnt a repository for today is models. So to the extent that I have a repository technology that understands the ability to store and manipulate model, that technology will ship in Team Foundation Server at some time." So although its taken some time for Microsoft to get to the point where the company has set this vision for modeling, the tools group, at least, seems pretty set on what it has to do as part of the broad strategy. The rest of the pieces will continue to fall into place with new versions of the various products. "There is a strong belief that we have to move to a model-driven platform where models are absolutely first-class," Wahbe said. "Its the only way to scale to the kind of cloud services we hope to deliver." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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