Microsoft Pushes Interoperability at ApacheCon

Sam Ramji, Microsoft's open-source point man, promotes the company's efforts in the areas of interoperability and open-source software at the Apache Software Foundation's ApacheCon conference. In a keynote at the event, Ramji discusses various Microsoft interoperability efforts involving partnerships with WSO2, HBase, AMQP and the company's "Oslo" modeling technology.

In a keynote at the ApacheCon conference of open-source developers and users, Sam Ramji, senior director of platform strategy at Microsoft, outlined a series of new moves the software giant has made regarding interoperability as it continues to make nice with the open-source community.

At the Apache Software Foundation's conference in New Orleans on Nov. 7, Ramji spoke of Microsoft's "greater participation and growth with open-source communities, and our strategy of 'architecting for participation,'" Ramji said in a blog post following his keynote.

Microsoft's strategy focuses on four themes: community, contribution, partnerships and choice, Ramji said. "Microsoft believes that the next 10 years of software will be a time of growth and change where both open-source and Microsoft communities will grow together," he added.

Among the many moves Microsoft has made, Ramji noted that the company recently joined the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) Working Group as a participant, with the goal of contributing to the development of the specification and to enable greater customer choice in the marketplace.

And, "at the request of community members, we have now committed to participate in the Apache Qpid project, a widely adopted open-source implementation of the AMQP specification that addresses the customer need for choice and improved messaging interoperability," Ramji said.

"Our customers are telling us that they would like to see the Apache Qpid project extended to interoperate with Windows, so the next few months of participation will be focused on understanding the community's effort to build Windows-based AMQP software. Participation will give us the opportunity to learn from other project participants, so that we can be in a position to consider making a valuable contribution. But it is important to note that the Apache Qpid project is just one of many AMQP specification implementations, and we are open to supporting additional projects."

Alexis Richardson, co-founder of CohesiveFT, told eWEEK: "Microsoft joining means validation of the 'mission' of AMQP to open up, massively grow and fundamentally simplify the AMQP market. What is needed is something that combines the open standard plug-and-go cheap-to-use nature of TCP with the richer features of smarter messaging protocols. There is no standard way to connect systems together. Currently, customers have to choose between expensive lock-in via the IBM monopoly or similar and hand-made systems. Web services are too complicated and general purpose. AMQP business messaging is the way out of this mess. So AMQP is an open Internet protocol for solving this pain, like TCP. Now the biggest software vendor has bought in."

Ramji also said Microsoft has been working with open-source SOA (service-oriented architecture) infrastructure software provider WSO2 to demonstrate interoperability using Microsoft's StockTrader reference application. "Today, the WSO2 announced they would build an open-source version of the sample application under 'Project Stonehenge,' which is a new Apache incubation project," he said.

Moreover, WSO2 will use the project to set up sample applications that demonstrate seamless interoperability across multiple underlying platform technologies, using currently defined W3C and OASIS standard protocols, Ramji said.