This morning at the SOA&BP Conference, we talked about Oslo for the first time. For me, this is a big day, as it marks the point where the rest of the world knows what a lot of people have been and will continue to be working on. Robert Wahbe, the VP of Connected Systems, mentioned in the keynote that Oslo can be best viewed as a series of investments that span a number of release cycles.
What does this mean for me, a WF developer (note, these are my interpretations).
- A vehicle for further investments in WF and WCF. There will be a ton of enhancements in order to enable new scenarios, take the idea of modeling processes in an executable workflow to the next level, and drive performance and functional stuff.
- Moving WF to the next level, by making it a first class citizen in this modeling world, by making rules and other artifacts get elevated into a way to modeled, managed, deployed and monitored.
- Getting a chance to look at what people are doing with v1, and what lessons we can learn from it. In Orcas, the stuff that we did was purely additive. This longer release gives us a chance to enhance and improve and address things that we couldn't do in the Orcas timeframe. There's some really exciting work going on here that I'm looking forward to talking about more in the future.
- Finally, it gives us a better way to tell the WF hosting story, in that we will have a host and way to manage and deploy and execute WF and WCF in an host we will deliver, rather than requiring a "build on your own" approach (which still remains an option for folks who have specific hosting requirements).
Our marketing folks always get nervous when we start talking about "revolutionary" technology (although, maybe it would get us some more Apple 1984 like commercials 🙂 ). I've always seen workflow as a very transformational technology. I see the things that are coming in Oslo as a very natural, evolutionary step, in the process of what I believe has been, and will continue to be a revolutionary way of making us be more productive developers.
Finally, given some of the past history people have had with version numbers, I would not get caught up in the version numbers mentioned in press release. As one of the marketing guys told me, "The quotes mean something," which, translated means "The numbers are just placeholders indicating a major release beyond where we are currently at."