“Oslo” technologies (“M”, “Quadrant”, “Repository”) have found their home and are now part of Microsoft SQL Server family of products.
Douglas Purdy’s post on this topic has generated many remarks from community around the name change. Many folks have expressed their concern and disappointment with this move – especially around “M” language, schema and grammar being part of the SQL Server group. The ask is to let “M” be standalone and decouple from storage technology. Doug has posted his reply to these remarks and mentioned that he will be posting another blog entry regarding impact of the name change on DSL strategy.
The code name “Oslo” project started in Connected Systems Division (CSD). Earlier this year, CSD merged with Data and Storage Platforms Division, forming a new division called Business Platform Division (BPD). Besides “Oslo”, other CSD technologies included Windows Application Server, BizTalk Server, .NET Framework (WF, WCF) and .NET cloud services. BPD, as a whole, has a focus on delivering an integrated and comprehensive application platform for customers as part of the Microsoft Server and Tools Business (STB). The BPD division has a modeling charter that is broader than data modeling, ER modeling and OR mapping – so I do hope our leadership will promote driving clarity towards investments in both data and application modeling.
What got me attracted to “Oslo” project was its original vision of providing a mainstream approach to modeling that makes it easy for all application lifecycle personas – information workers, developers, architects, business analysts and IT professionals – to collaborate throughout the application development lifecycle.
By putting model-driven innovation directly into the .NET platform, organizations will gain visibility and control over applications from end-to-end, ensuring they are building systems based on the right requirements, simplifying iterative development and re-use, and enabling them to resolve potential issues at a high level before they start committing resources.
The vision, no doubt, is compelling, however, the devil is in the execution. The modeling strategy and framework needs to be woven into the fabric of all products and technologies not only within BPD, but also STB. And that’s a significantly complex challenge! The number of internal group re-orgs, even though done for compelling strategic alignments, have also led to confusion for our customers – especially when the technology is in incubation phase. Also, not to mention the term “model-driven-X” (substitute X with Architecture, Design, Engineering) can have different connotations and level of understanding.
I am currently a member of “Repository” team. Since a large part of “Repository” is about persistance of metadata, it feels natural for “Repository” to be part of the SQL Server ship vehicle. Our team’s high-level mission is to provide shared application lifecycle metadata, that can be used by application lifecycle tools and runtimes to break the silos in IT departments. I acknowledge this is still a vague/too broad/cliche mission statement, however getting a clear product alignment will help us focus on designing (and shipping) only high priority features that will solve real customer problems. We know we have a challenge ahead of us to communicate our vision and execute on our action plan effectively. We are currently working on refining V1 scenarios and will soon begin customer engagements to get feedback on scenario prioritization.
If you happen to be at PDC09 next week, check out “Repository” talk being presented by our GPM Shoshanna Budzianowski: Microsoft Project Code Name “Repository”: Using Metadata to Drive Application Design, Development and Management.