Microsoft Fills In the SOA Blanks

IBM isn't the only company talking up service-oriented architectures. Microsoft has a grand SOA plan of its own.

With much fanfare, IBM rolled out its service-oriented architecture strategy on Wednesday. Microsoft Corp. has yet to do the same. But that doesnt mean the Redmond, Wash., software giant is sitting on the SOA sidelines.

"Microsofts strategy for SOA has two major parts to it," said Pat Helland, platform architect with Microsofts.Net Enterprise Architecture Team (NEAT). Helland is one of Microsofts leading thinkers on enterprise architectural issues, including SOAs.


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"First, we want to help in the effort to define standards that make it easier to interoperate," Helland said. "We are clearly investing heavily in the difficult cross-industry work to drive Web services forward as interoperability standards. Second, we are building support to make .Net the premier environment for the development and deployment of service-oriented applications.

"SOAs are about connecting independent pieces with messaging," Helland continued. "We need services not silos. .Net developers—and, indeed, developers targeting other platforms—need to be designing for independent and yet interconnected pieces of apps. The industry happens to be calling those services."

So, in Microsofts worldview, what products and services are part of its grand SOA plan?

According to an article posted on its Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) site, Microsoft considers everything from middleware, to monitoring tools, to Web services protocols, to be part of the base SOA platform. Going forward, Microsoft is expecting products ranging from Whidbey (the next version of Visual Studio), to Yukon (its next-gen database), to Indigo (the communications subsystem that will be key to the Longhorn release of Windows) to be at the crux of its SOA strategy, according to Helland.


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