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Oslo Coming To PDC

Oslo, the code-name for Microsoft's next generation modeling platform championed by chief software architect Ray Ozzie, is shaping up to have a prominent role at next month's Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles.

While tidbits of information continue to unfold, it became apparent at this week's VSLive! New York show that Oslo will be one of many key technologies Microsoft showcases and that it will center around Microsoft's BizTalk Services, as several speakers pointed out (not to be confused with Microsoft's BizTalk Server, for which the company is planning to upgrade).

Douglas Purdy, a product unit manager at Microsoft, revealed in a blog posting earlier this week that he will giving a presentation on Oslo. In his posting he broke it down into three components:

  1. A tool that helps people define and interact with models in a rich and visual manner
  2. A language that helps people create and use textual domain-specific languages and data models
  3. A relational repository that makes models available to both tools and platform components

"That is it," Purdy wrote. "That is all Oslo is. Oslo is just the modeling platform." The question is what does that mean to .NET developers? Speaking during a panel session at VS Live! Brian Randell, a senior consultant at MCW Technologies, is that it will broaden programming to a much wider audience.

"His vision is that everyone can be a programmer," said Randell. "The idea behind this is they want to make building complex systems easier, and where the big word is modeling."

Still there was a fair amount of skepticism at VSLive! about Oslo as well. "It's important to realize that this whole Oslo initiative is an umbrella term that's talking essentially about a 10 year vision," said Rockford Lhotka, principal technology evangelist at Magenic Technologies, who was on the same panel.

Microsoft's announcement yesterday that it will join the Object Management Group was also a sign that Oslo will embrace the Unified Modeling Language.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 09/10/2008 at 1:15 PM

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