SOA Talk

Oct 6 2008   3:12PM GMT

Microsoft’s muddled modeling: Getting the ducks in line



Posted by: Jack Vaughan
Tags:
Microsoft
Modeling
SOA

Microsoft basically has a sturdy place in the enterprise, but its role just now is very fluid. Of course, its Windows servers have been in the enterprise a long time, and its tools are very prevalent. But its success with desktop-based developer tools is only slowly converting to success with server-based developer tools, and this is due in some part to a a muddled modeling strategy.

A few years ago the company launched Visual Studio Team System (VSTS), which represented its first foray into team development. If it was not a lead-off home run, that was all right. Microsoft is often expected to ‘get it right’ in Version 2 of company products. Recent enhancements to the Team Foundation Server at the core of VSTS show that kind of improvement. But modeling in the Microsoft world still lies outside of the mainstream.

As far as SOA was concerned at Microsoft: it depended on who you asked. Some people were for it, some were agin’ it. On UML (Unified Modeling Language) tools and SOA both, Microsoft was listening to its customers, but it was getting mixed signals. A lot of its modeling efforts appeared to be aimed at rank and file Windows sys admins. Its emerging Oslo SOA initiative appears to embrace some unified modeling concepts.

What the company must now ensure that it does not continue to send out mixed signals. But, as it prepares for its big developer conference, PDC, it is has some parts ready for display – in the form of alphas and betas and Community Technology Previews (CTPs) – and other parts still on the drawing board.

SearchSOA.com’s Rich Seeley takes a look at the modeling issues in Microsoft modeling strategy: Work in progress”. Among individuals with whom he spoke was David Chappell, principal of Chappell & Associates. “They just haven’t gotten there yet,” said Chappell, when asked about the current status of integrating Oslo with VSTS 2010 and Team Architect.

None of this should obscure such interesting initiatives as the Dublin server for composite applications. Seeley covered this recent development in “Microsoft previews new Dublin composite app platform for SOA”.

The rumor mill had it years ago that Microsoft was in talks to purchase Rational Software, which, up to that point in 2002, has pretty much written the book on UML Modeling. We think Microsoft was looking at Rational because it was getting feedback from enterprise customers intent on seeing more dependable outcomes in its software projects When Microsoft first developed VSTS, it deliberately brushed aside UML for some reason. It has been interesting to see the shifts this year in Microsoft’s thinking on modeling but there’s little questions that its duck are not all in line.

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