Information Bridge Framework
My first thought when I cam across IBF, (who could miss it!), was that it was another Microsoft thick client solution. I am still not sure but it looks like it might be a bit more creative than that for the following reasons:
- I have always been a big advocate of standardizing the infrastructure capability layer and integrating it with the line of business layer. That way an enterprise has its infrastructure in common, regardless of which process or division of the company you work in. IBF looks like it addresses that need pretty well
- I have also felt that the ad-hoc processes and information and collaborative processes are under emphasized in businesses that have a lot of formal mega processes that they like to optimize. I talked about this in another blog entry. IBF allows you to integrate ad-hoc and formal business processes.
- It seems that a lot of thought has gone into making the maintenance of the IBF client environment as ‘thin’ as possible. It still requires a client component to get started though. I need to look into this more to be sure but it looks hopeful.
- Its all about consuming web services, caching them at the client, and rendering them in a standard way. This seems to be to be a major part of what WinFS, and the Longhorn Shell are all about so its good to see some early thinking in this area. I have talked about this a little here and here
- Although its being hyped Microsoft seem to be doing a good job of positioning it appropriately
- In a way its a bit like gmail, parsing email content for example and providing link to web services that might be appropriate, (in gmails case adverts but its easy to see the similarity), so it will be interesting to see how server side equivalents of the IBF idea take off now that Microsoft have given people the idea.