Tagged: IT-Infrastructure

Windows Workflow Foundation

Windows Workflow Foundation sounds like it’s going to be important.  One of the first things of note is that there will be a client and a server version.  Here is the summary from the MSDN web site on the subject: Windows Workflow Foundation is the programming model, engine and tools...

Monad – Exchange 12 Example

Monad is the next generation of the Windows Shell,  I was expecting it to ship in Windows Vista but there seems some doubt about that now.  However it is expected to ship as part of Exchange 12.  The Exchange team have taken Monad the engine and more importantly the “concept...

Terminal Server proxy – wow

This has existed in Small Business Server for a while, and I considered deploying SBS in my home lab for this reason alone,  but this is a grown up implementation.  It will take a bit more reading to see how it compares to Citrix and Tarentella’s alternative solutions.  For more...

I am about to get very interested in Lotus Notes, Domino and Workplace …

and IBM’s vision for its equivalent Office System using OpenOffice.org as the client.  I am also interested in tracking integration between Microsoft Office and Domino/Workplace.  Stu is my guru in this area.  I am off to Redmond next week for 3 days on the Office System v12 and meeting some of the Product Managers on Friday so it will be interesting to compare.

This is probably the most important Vista news so far!

WinOE or “workflow for windows”, is probably the must important capability for business announced so far for the longhorn wave:

The Windows orchestration (WinOE) code, built from the ground up by Microsoft’s BizTalk team, is a set of high level XML schemas, .NET classes, application programming interfaces (APIs) and workflow components that will allow Visual Studio 2005 developers create business processes and human-to-human workflow processes.

Microsoft will also have an add-on service available for the Longhorn client and server version of Windows in 2006 and 2007 and will make its fleet of applications including Office 12 and the next Sharepoint Portal Server “WinOE-aware,” several sources said.

The End of Corporate Computing – Rubbish!

WaterIn this article Nicholas Carr describes the “End of Corporate Computing” and justifies as follows:

Three technological advances are enabling this change: virtualization, grid computing and Web services. Virtualization erases the differences between proprietary computing platforms, enabling applications designed to run on one operating system to be deployed elsewhere. Grid computing allows large numbers of hardware components, such as servers or disk drives, to effectively act as a single device, pooling their capacity and allocating it automatically to different jobs. Web services standardize the interfaces between applications, turning them into modules that can be assembled and disassembled easily.

I don’t see it this way at all for the following reasons:

  • Corporate computing is about people, employees, customers, suppliers etc and their interactions.  None of these people think of computing as Virtualised Servers, Storage, Grids etc.  These are the utilities that corporate computing runs upon, not the essence of Corporate Computing.  This analogy is like saying the end of corporate heating and lighting, just because electricity is supplied by a utility.
  • Slightly closer to the truth is the part concerning Web Services, but again he looses me when he says “modules that can be assembled and disassembled easily”,  surely this …

More on Metro

MetroIn this post I described my wish list for Metro, more information has since emerged and its looking like a pretty promising technology.  The first is Metro Fact Sheet from Microsoft, some key snippets follow, first on its objectives:

“Metro,” that offers a unified framework to address the growing use of electronic document-based workflows, and inclusion of advanced graphics and extended color information in everyday documents and Web applications. “Metro” offers an open document format that uses Extensible Markup Language (XML), a public standard for exchanging data between disparate systems, and other current, industry standards to create a modern, cross-platform document and imaging technologies. “Metro” simplifies creation, sharing, printing, viewing and archiving of digital documents, while also improving image fidelity and print performance.


Then more information on the components:

·        A complete specification for a fixed-layout document format based on XML that offers “electronic paper” for use by any application on any platform

·        A “viewer” to view, manage and print files

·        A print-to-file converter for creating the files from any Microsoft® Windows-based application

·        A set of application programming interfaces (APIs) to incorporate “Metro” technologies and documents with traditional applications, the Web …

Microsoft doing it right …

These two great video (one and two) interviews with Scott Guthrie on IIS7 and ASP.NET show off Microsoft at its best, you might even go so far as saying a new Microsoft.  The IIS Team and the Indigo team seem to have learned some key lessons about standards compliance and compatibility (not always the same thing).  Of course it’s a key requirement of their market segment, and they don’t dominate it,  but its still nice to see the focus in these areas.  Two other things stand out for me in the interviews:

  • The continued focus on making IIS a great platform upon which people can build additional infrastructure richness and of course great applications. This is achieved by modularising the platform and documenting the APIs of the standard modules and allowing new modules to be easily created.
  • The second is that with IIS a raft of the most common open source applications are going to be provided, and integrated,  from forums to blogs, another really great move.

I just wish they had given him advanced notice of one of the key questions, how do you differentiate yourself against apache (which is didn’t really now how to answer) and asked …

Service-oriented Architecture: A Field Guide to Integrating XML and Web Services

Not a particularly challenging book on this subject.  It starts with the basics and never really gets to the guts of developing SOA applications.  However it does a good job of explaining the basics of the standards and key concepts, although it does over use very simple diagrams.  I know a picture tells a thousand words, but in this case some of the pictures could be explained in 10 words without too much difficulty. 

That said I found it very useful and particularly liked the concept maps, that showed how all of the various standards/services related to each other.

If you want a more ambitious book then Enterprise Service Bus by David Chappel, looks promising: