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Hands on leader, developer, architect specializing in the design and delivery of distributed systems in lean, agile environments with an emphasis in continuous improvement across people, process and technology. Speaker and published author with 18 years' experience leading the delivery of large and/or complex, high-impact distributed solutions in Retail, Intelligent Transportation, and Gaming & Hospitality.

I'm currently a Principal Engineer at Amazon, within the North America Consumer organization leading our global listings strategy that enable bulk and non-bulk listing experiences for our WW Selling Partners via apps, devices and APIs.

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The Modeling Vision Continues

Recently the Connected Systems Division at Microsoft, who is responsible for technologies including Windows Application Server, BizTalk Server, and .NET Framework technologies including Windows Communication Foundation and Windows Workflow Foundation,.NET cloud services, and the "Oslo" modeling platform was reorganized into the Data and Storage Platforms Division as the Business Platform Division (BPD) which is part of the Server and Tools Group responsible for products like Windows Server, Visual Studio and SQL Server.

This move was not a big surprise, because if you look at products like BizTalk, Dublin and Oslo, Windows Server and SQL Server are intrinsically related, delivering on the need for a comprehensive plug-and-play platform for connecting disparate systems. For example, BizTalk, Dublin and Oslo run on the Windows Server platform, and each depend on SQL Server to varying extents.

SQL Server has proven itself as a RDBMS platform and Dog-fooding SQL Server is good for business. I’ve also talked about the robustness of Windows Server, and the fact that it not only runs the .NET stack faster than Java, put runs Java faster than AIX. Needless to say, the server platform that was beat up throughout the 90's as not worthy of the enterprise has certainly come of age.

Anyone who knows me, has come to PCSUG meetings or reads this blog has probably heard me talk about the progression from imperative programming into declarative software development and how critical model-driven development will become in the not so distant future. As a believer, I strive to incorporate technologies like WCF, which is declarative, and Entity Framework which is both declarative and model-driven into my solutions. Entity Framework raises the level of abstraction beyond the logical/data layer in the database, to the conceptual layer, which is the true “stuff” of software, the model. With a model, we can have solution-oriented conversations about the problem domain without talking about tables, views, classes,  bits or bytes. In addition, developer’s benefit from significant productivity gains by avoiding boiler-plate ADO.NET code which is largely commoditized into the Entity Framework.

Yesterday, Doug Purdy announced that the Olso team is joining the Data Programmability Team which is responsible for technologies like… wait for it… Entity Framework. Despite mixed messaging from Microsoft, Oslo represents the culmination of the declarative and model-driven vision within the Microsoft CSD.  As of today, Oslo will deliver languages like “M” which will at a minimum allow developers to further reduce the impedance mismatch between RDMS and application development by raising the abstraction of how developers and architects develop data models that are decompiled into TSQL. I demonstrated this in June in Phoenix at Desert Code Camp, and while it is cool, it is only the beginning. “M” will allow developers to create domain specific languages that will bring the conceptual layer closer to the design and problem solving stage. Applications built on foundational frameworks such as WCF and WF will take advantage of their declarative model to easily be serialized into the Oslo Repository for centralized management. These applications are surfaced via Quadrant, which provides a model with which to interact with the applications both individually and at the solution and enterprise scope.

As Doug teases in his post, look for some key insights at PDC 09 this year as to the future of the modeling vision which appears to be very bright indeed.

Print | posted on Tuesday, August 18, 2009 1:43 PM | Filed Under [ WCF .NET 3.5 BTS WF 4.0 NETFX 4.0 Oslo ]

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