Microsoft has found a home for its "Oslo" modeling technology ?ö?ç?? in the SQL Server database family.
Microsoft has found a home for its "Oslo"
-in the SQL Server database family.
The project code-named Oslo is
Microsoft's ambitious data modeling initiative that consists of three parts: a
modeling language known as "M," a modeling tool known as
"Quadrant" and a repository. These components will now become part of
the SQL Server family and will be available in a new Community Technology
Preview (CTP) that will become available at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference,
runs Nov. 17-19 in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, on Nov. 10 at the VS
in Las Vegas,
Microsoft announced the transition from Oslo
to SQL Server Modeling, which will replace the Oslo
In a blog post, Douglas
Purdy, a Microsoft software architect
working on the technology, said:
"The components of the SQL Server Modeling CTP are:
"We will announce the official names for these components as we land
them, but the key thing is that all of these components are now part of SQL
Server and will ship with a future release of that product."
'M' is a highly productive, developer friendly, textual language for
defining schemas, queries, values, functions and DSLs [domain-specific
languages] for SQL Server databases
'Quadrant' is a customizable tool for interacting with large datasets
stored in SQL Server databases
'Repository' is a SQL Server role for the secure sharing of models between
applications and systems.
In an interview with eWEEK, Purdy said, "We want to eliminate the
database as a friction point for developers; we want to get developers to love
the database. We want to do for the database what the industry has done for
user interface frameworks and the middle tier. You've seen the .NET
tools and Java tools. We want to deliver tools of that same level of technology
and apply them to the database."
Microsoft initially announced Oslo
at its Service Oriented Architecture and Business Processing Conference in
2007. "We were trying to find ways to make application development for
composite applications easier," Purdy said.
The "M" modeling language produces T-SQL. "The good thing
about this is that T-SQL can be difficult and we think 'M' brings a more modern
language to the database," Purdy said. Oslo
was built from the ground up to be a tool for interacting with data, he added.
Burley Kawasaki, director of
developer platform product management at Microsoft, said the company is moving
away from its PDC 2008 vision and into PDC
2009, which will be more about delivering on that vision. "We're going to
be talking about how we will deliver this stuff in actual bits. It will be part
of the SQL Server information platform-to help developers get data out of SQL
Server and to store models in SQL Server."
Purdy said Microsoft technologies such as SharePoint, System
Center, Active Directory and Visual
Studio will be able to leverage the Oslo
"You can write down models with 'M' and embed them in your Visual
Studio environment," Purdy said. "I can write a model in 'M,' get a
database from that and get .NET classes that
allow me to program against that data using the Entity Framework. The way we
want people to start programming on the platform is through the Oslo
Kawasaki explained that Microsoft
had to first make sure it "pre-wired" the Oslo
technology for application into a Microsoft platform technology for it to be
real. "It's like if we had done the CLR [Common Language Runtime] and
delivered it on its own. ... It had to have a place to go."
Nick Gall, an analyst with Gartner, said, "I think of it as finding a
home for Oslo. It's been a project
that has to land with some shipping product. Having it land with SQL Server is
a logical step for it."
Microsoft has merged the team that was working on Oslo
with the company's data programmability team, Purdy said.
Landing in SQL Server is a logical step for the Oslo
technology, but it is a bit of a distance from the vision Microsoft initially
set forth for the technology. Microsoft initially spoke of Oslo
as a super-duper modeling technology that could automatically generate programs
from models and spit them out.
"It's a smaller step than the grand plan for data modeling they
initially talked about," Gall said. "That's not going to be a near-term
part of the product offering. With a grand vision you have to take one step at
a time. Like the OMG's [Object Management
Group] grand modeling design never really came to fruition, this is not going
to be a push-button modeling platform. But what this looks like to me is a
Gall explained that a "shredder" is a tool to take X M L documents
and make the consumable in a relational database. "It's a way of mapping
the treelike structure of X M L to the rows and columns of SQL," he said.
Moreover, Gall said Microsoft has taken all of the Unified Modeling Language
(UML) and written transformation rules in the "M" grammar. "So
now they can map any UML document into a SQL Server database. And you can do
all sorts of analytics on that," he said.
For his part, Gall said that in addition to Microsoft technologies such as
SharePoint and others leveraging the Oslo,
or SQL Server Modeling, technology, he sees opportunities for using the Oslo
technology with the Microsoft ADO.NET
Data Services technology, which was known by the code name "Astoria."
"I've always been a huge fan of Astoria,
which is the RESTful [Representational State Transfer] front end to the
relational capability," Gall said. "Now with Oslo you can take
virtually any kind of data model and then expose it RESTfully-without having to
do a lot of laborious 'RESTifying' of the process."
Meanwhile, in his blog post, Purdy said:
"Another thing we learned was that most of the customers that we wanted
to leverage the modeling platform were already using SQL Server as their
'repository.' Take an application like SharePoint. It is already model-driven.
It already stores its application definition in a database. Dynamics is the
same way. Windows Azure is the same way. System
Center is the same way. What we
didn't have was a common language, tools or models that spanned all of these
applications, although they were all leveraging the same database runtime. The
simplest path to get all of these customers sharing a common modeling platform
"Lastly, we learned that the folks on the SQL Server team were hearing
the need for additional mechanisms to make the database more approachable to
developers. Developers did not want use three different languages to build
their database applications (T-SQL, a .NET
language and an X M L mapping file). Developers wanted new tools that let
them deal with the truly massive amount of data they need to handle on a daily
basis. Developers wanted to radically simplify their interactions with
the database, with a straightforward way of writing down data and getting an
application as quickly as possible."