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Microsoft joins OMG, readies Oslo modeling effort to address services proliferation

As it gets ready to release a preview of its Oslo modeling framework, Microsoft joins the Object Management Group to advance modeling standards and concepts.

As it gets ready to release a preview of its Oslo modeling framework, Microsoft joins the Object Management Group to advance modeling standards and concepts.

In advance of the preview release of its Oslo modeling framework next month, Microsoft announced that it is joining Object Management Group (OMG) to help advance modeling, which is the "core focus of Microsoft's Dynamic IT strategy."

The OMG is an industry group that promotes such standards as CORBA, MDA and UML.

At the core of Microsoft's Dynamic IT strategy is Oslo, which will be put into the hands of developers for the first time in a preview released at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in late October, said Bob Muglia, senior vice president, server and tools business.

The popularity of service-oriented architecture is one of the key drivers of the modeling approach to application development that Microsoft is pursuing, Muglia said in a video interview released by Microsoft.

"With SOA we've seen a lot of services be built within an organization," he said. "They are just exploding inside many companies. As companies begin to consume services from outside their world, they have a lot of issues connecting across to those services."

Services proliferation and the trend toward virtualization are creating complexity issues for IT, which needs a way to get a handle on how services and data are being consumed, in Muglia's view.

"Modeling is a way to bring those things together in a cohesive way across the organization." he said.

"One of the key things is the creation of this modeling platform [Oslo]," said Muglia. "Having a modeling platform that operates at the core of business processes and defines exactly what's going on as the processes run."

For more information
Microsoft's SOA vision: 'The model is the application'

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He predicted modeling will have "a large impact across the lifecycle of applications, touching the different people who work throughout the business process." He envisions Oslo being used by the business analyst defining requirements, the developer building the application, and even the IT operations administrator responsible for keeping the apps running.

Although Microsoft formerly offered UML via a Rational Rose insert in Visual Studio, Microsoft's recent modeling efforts have been around domain-specific language (DSL) models, with UML getting far less attention. Microsoft joining OMG at the point may signal future directions.

"One of the things I really look forward to is when modeling impacts users in their day-to-day job," Muglia said, "Modeling will provide a much clearer understanding of what's happening in the business, allowing people to respond to what's actually happening in the real world to work with that data and have the data in a form they can really use."

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