Service Oriented Enterprise

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Is Java an Interchange Format?  

So, Microsoft believes that BPEL is an interchange format. It occurred to me that they likely perceive Java as an interchange format as well. If one really, really, really wanted to... you could take C# code, convert it to Java, then convert it into VB.Net. Yes, yes - Java is an interchange format!! I don't know why that didn't occur to me earlier. And all this time I've thought of Java as a programming language.

I'm such a fool. Officially, an 'interchange format' is anything that can be used as a temporary place holder while being 'upgraded' to the Microsoft format (X/Langs, C#, etc.)

Top Ten Interchange Formats (Microsoft perspective):
1. Java
3. C
4. Perl
5. Python
6. Perl
7. C++
8. JavaScript
9. Haskell
10. Ruby


posted by jeff | 7:24 AM

Thursday, April 22, 2004

BPEL4XLang, BPEL4Java BPEL4*  

It has been an interesting week in the land of BPEL.

For starters, Microsoft has been in a bit of a predicament. In August of 2002, Microsoft came out saying that they were going to deprecate their proprietary process language (X/Lang) in favor of a new open process language called BPEL. Well, Microsoft missed a couple of ship dates on their BizTalk product and eventually shipped their BizTalk 2004 with X/Lang. In order to save face, they created a mechanism to import and export portions of their X/Lang scripts in BPEL format. Now, Microsoft is saying that oh... the Business Process Execution Language isn't really an execution language - get this - it's an interchange format! Brilliant.

Now, depending on who you talk to at IBM you may find that BPELJ is a good thing. Although, some of the product groups were quite surprised to see the research guys published a white paper on the topic. Interesting. Well, it is worse. In addition to WSFL, BPEL, BPELJ, and the new JSR207, it appears as though IBM is considering additional process languages related to the Rational line of products that are more closely tied to UML. Brilliant.

Well, BEA not wanting to be 'out-dumbed' by MS or IBM has decided to throw more effort at BPELJ, and whine about the lack of progress on JSR207. As one of the BEA insider told me, "BEA is a Java company, not a web services company." What this implies is that BEA is having a hard time dealing with a 'service oriented language' like BPEL in their object-oriented, java-based platform.

So, what can we expect? Here are my predictions:
1. BPEL continues to move forward and serves as the primary foundational technology for executable business process descriptions.
2. A variant of BPELJ becomes JSR207.
3. Microsoft never budges off of X/Lang as their base language
4. The OMG guys create an enhanced Activity Diagram that is 'close enough' to stubbing out BPEL.

Next question: Is this good?
Yes. It is expected that MS will do things their own way - Microsoft will create whatever technology that they need to make things easy for their customers - sure, it will largely lock them in, but most Microsoft shops already know that they're locked in - otherwise they'd be Java shops.

And it is expected that IBM/BEA will bypass the JSR process to expedite a new Java-friendly implementation that Sun will end up incorporating into J2EE. Sun will grumble, eventually adopt it and then find a way to lose money on it.

Last question: What will OpenStorm do?
[coming soon...]

posted by jeff | 8:48 PM

Monday, April 19, 2004

MS Posts Infopath to BizTalk Examples  

Scott Woodgate has posted some examples of Infopath using orchestrations. However, I busted open the orchestration file and I'm having a hard time understand this one line of code....

Hmmm... XLang/S.... BPEL export = False? What does that line do?

posted by jeff | 6:08 PM

Sunday, April 18, 2004

More on UDDI  


I just read your blog entry on this, and it's totally in harmony with my own thoughts on the matter. Until a few weeks ago I was in charge of directing the UDDI pilot->implementation programme for [a major investment bank], and we've pulled the plug on it because the whole t-Model thing is just far too complicated to be used in any meaningful way by the constituency that needs it.

We're now planning on building a service registry around an XML metadata store, and will probably go for an XQuery interface as the primary service discovery mechanism. We may keep what I've been terming a 'naive UDDI'
interface for compatibility with existing tools etc., but the long term hope is that we can throw this back over the wall to then vendors (and standards bodies) as something will need to replace UDDI in the web services unholy trinity

Chris Swan

Now Stefan states, "I have since come to the conclusion that all this taxonomy and categorization stuff is actually pretty ingenious." Stefan, I agree in a computer science kind-of-way it is ingenious. However, most people just want to quickly store, index or retrieve "Service Oriented Metadata". People don't like taxonomies or t-models.

UDDI was largely designed for external use (the UBR); the use cases that is supports are so far beyond the use cases that are required for intra-company needs that is quickly becomes too complicated.

I'd love to see someone try to explain to me why UDDI isn't a complete piece of shit. Justify it - I'm listening.

posted by jeff | 8:34 AM