The patterns & practices team is pleased to announce that the first public drop of the Web Service Software Factory is now available from our new community site at http://practices.gotdotnet.com/projects/svcfactory. We're looking forward to having you as a member of the community, and your feedback and questions will help us make this deliverable more relevant to your needs.
But first things first, what is the Web Service Software Factory? Here's what Don has stated so eloquently on the community site:
The Service Factory is a cohesive collection of various forms of guidance that have been built with the primary goal of helping you build high quality connected solutions in a more consistent way with less effort. In addition to the forms of guidance you may have already seen from the patterns & practices team, there is a new form of guidance in here, called a guidance package, that allows guidance to be automated from inside Visual Studio 2005 through the use of a wizard-based dialog than can be modified (by an architect perhaps) to fit the needs of a specific solution.
Keep in mind that we're still pretty early in the development process, and we'll do plenty of work to improve the architecture, features and user experience before the final release. Currently the features are very "top heavy" in that we've got lots of guidance around the web service interface, but the plan is to go much deeper into the service boundary and provide more guidance around topics such as persistence and service agents, and we'll also start to integrate other p&p guidance including Enterprise Library into the solution. So for now, we'd love to hear your feedback but we know it's not ready and we don't suggest that you use it for real projects.
Those of you who follow our work closely may have heard us refer to an upcoming project called the "Service Baseline Architecture Toolkit" or "Service BAT". The Service Factory is one and the same project, but it's been renamed as a Software Factory. Expect to hear a similar story about the Smart Client BAT soon. So what's up with this Software Factory name? We'll discuss this in much more detail shortly, but for now I'll just say that after many, many hours of discussion we've come to realize that what we've been building as BATs is very much in line with the Software Factories vision and it makes sense to label them accordingly. That doesn't mean that our first generation of factories will include everything outlined in the vision, but we plan on getting there eventually. Plus, to me at least, Software Factory sounds way cooler than BAT!