If you develop applications for an enterprise, you are surely aware of the benefits offered by a service bus. The most important of them, it is probably the ability of reducing the number of interfaces a system has to exposed.
Without Service Bus, a system has to deal with an direct interface dependency for each system it delivers (Point-to-Point). Service Buses offer the possibility of implementing a message-oriented, publish&subscribe-based communication, enabling the systems to be loosely coupled.
With the "OSLO" Internet Service Bus, Microsoft aims to bring the advantages of an EBS outside of the enterprise firewalls.
Behind this idea there are at least 2 drivers:
- the necessity of connecting systems in the cloud more robustly than with the currently available mash up technologies - enabling as well information orchestration
- the necessity of lowering the entry barrier to access a "bus infrastructure"
Regarding this last point, the availability of an ESB within an enterprise doesn't automatically mean that each system within the same enterprise can make use of it. Reality is that using these infrastructures is normally very expensive. Therefore, often only "critical" systems are attached to an ESB. So, why not to offer a (cheap?) alternative solutions to these other systems?
With the Community Technology Preview (CTP) of BizTalk Services, you can see an early implementation of the Internet Service Bus (http://labs.biztalk.net/). These services are offered for experimentation to the development community to provide feedback and help planning and determining future releases.
This is an additional step into the direction of the S+S vision Microsoft is embracing. With the BizTalk Services, Microsoft is taking parts of its ESB technologies (including Active Directory, BizTalk, Windows Communication Foundation and Windows Workflow Foundation) and hosting them to provide turnkey bus services. This would be a great steps towards another milestone of the commoditization of IT.
FYI, it is also planned to make these services host-able by "everybody" in its own data-center.
Middle-terms, we might be able to see application architectures like this one...
To complete this first part on OSLO, please allow me to redirect you to
- an excellent video that explains plenty of details about the ISB
- a great article on the ISB
- the Connected Systems blog
Have fun & Stay tuned!