Live from PDC day 3

“Dublin” it just works

“Dublin” is an application server that sits on top of IIS/WAS and offers the management and monitoring tools for WCF and WF. It will ship as free add-on for Windows Server 2008 and included in future server OS releases.
Dublin will also deliver:

-          message correlation and forwarding

-          message routing

-          compensation api for long running transactions

Dublin will also use models applications in “Oslo” platform and will also work with BizTalk.
The new management tools are integrated in the IIS console making it easy to fully manage a WCF or WCF/WF based service. You can do tracing, monitoring and even deployment through export/import of your services.
Finally you get the base for managing your services and workflows without require you to build your own plumbing and tools.


Windows Azure

What do you get when you provision a WebRole or WorkRole? Basically you get a strip down Windows Server 2008 virtual image that will run on top of a Windows Server 2008 HyperV.
When you package your app for the first time it will provision a virtual WS2008 and all the settings and configuration to run your ASP.NET code in medium trust.
When you set on the config file that you want multiple instances it will simply make a copy of the virtual image and start it on another server.
Today you get an image with a dedicated CPU and 2 GB ram and a storage quota storage. The staging to production deployment works in first starting the staging image on a server and when all is set to go it will change the NLB to point to the staging instance thus simple swapping the role of the servers enabling a zero downtime deployment. Roll back is a simple matter of changing back the NLB redirection.

I’m quite exited to explore this easy way to host scalable and reliable solution in such as easy way. Only time will tell how successful our Cloud offering will be but so far for a CTP status I’m quite impressed.


.NET Services

What is part of .NET Services:

Access Control
The Microsoft .NET Access Control Service provides an easy way to control web applications and services while integrating with standards-based identity providers, including enterprise directories and web identity systems such as Windows Live ID. Authorization decisions can be pulled out of the application and into a set of declarative rules that can transform incoming security claims into claims that applications understand.

 Service Bus
The Microsoft .NET Service Bus makes it easy to connect applications together over the Internet. Services that register on the Bus can easily be discovered and accessed, across any network topology. The Service Bus provides the familiar Enterprise Service Bus application pattern, while helping to solve some of the hard issues that arise when implementing this pattern across network, security, and organizational boundaries, at Internet-scale.

 Workflow Service
The Microsoft .NET Workflow Service is a high-scale host for running workflows in the cloud. It provides a set of activities optimized for sending, receiving, and manipulating HTTP and Service Bus messages; a set of hosted tools to deploy, manage and track the execution of workflow instances; and a set of management API’s. Workflows can be constructed using the familiar Visual Studio 2008 Workflow Designer.

I went to see a session on Access Control and this things looks quite promising an very powerful. I will definitely check out this first .NET Service as soon as possible.


WPF & Silverlight

I want to explain a bit the strategy here. Silverlight is a subset of WPF and there is a need to make them as compatible as they can be.
Eventually in the future they will become 100% compatible but is for sure a long way to get there.
The first steps to ensure that you can share stuff between the two starts with creating the new controls for both platform.
Let’s take an example the DataGrid, it is made by the same team from the same specs and in fact the one that ships for WPF has the same programming model as the SL one. This is pretty neat so all the investment in learning this powerful control is valid for both platform. You can copy and paste a DataTempletes or the code in the LoadingRow event, etc…
What about the Chart control then?
WPF and SL runs on different schedules so things will ship first in one or in the other platform but rest assured that the goal is to have all the feature of SL in WPF. So the Chart control will also be made for WPF and we can guess that it will probably have some more WPF feature like 3D.


SQL Services

SQL Services is just in Beta now and there are already talks on what will come. So what my come in the next release of our Cloud DB?

Data Mining in the Cloud
The SQL Server Data Mining team is working to extend the power and ease of use of SQL Server Data Mining to the Cloud. Our goal is provide services that allow you to build rich, predictive applications without worrying about server infrastructure, and showcase these services with cool applications that give you a glimpse of what’s possible

Leverage the power of SQL Data Services to enable enterprise edge scenarios using the technologies in this incubation! Share data with relational stores like Access, SQL Express, SQL CE, SQL Server, enable B2B data sharing, and push workgroup databases to field workers and mobile users

Reporting against SQL Data Services
Leverage SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) 2008 to build and deploy rich reports against data hosted in SQL Data Services (SDS). SSRS data source extensibility framework is used to provide an incubation custom data extension for SDS. Developers can download the custom extension and configure it against their on-premise SSRS 2008 installation. This will allow them to connect to SDS authorities and containers via HTTP SOAP to extract data sets, build rich reports using standard tools like Report Designer / Report Builder and deploy the reports to Report Manager

“Astoria” Offline
Version 1 of ADO.NET Data Services Framework (a.k.a. Project "Astoria") introduced a way of creating and consuming flexible, data-centric REST services. Now we are working on creating an end-to-end story for taking data services offline using synchronization. Integrating data services with the Microsoft Sync Framework will enable developers to create offline-capable applications that have a local replica of their data, synchronize that replica with an online data service when a network connection becomes available, and use replicas with the ADO.NET Entity Framework for regular data access.

Accessing SDS using ADO.NET Data Services
This incubation project focuses on aligning SDS and ADO.NET Data Services. With this alignment SDS will support AtomPub and JSON formats. It will also provide support for established set of conventions for constructing URLs to point to resources. We are also extending ADO.NET Data Services to provide access to the flexible data stored in SDS.

Remembered those are a few incubation work that are not sure to make in to next version of SDS.

Greetings from LA

Ronnie Saurenmann

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