Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Microsoft's 10 Year Old SOA Strategy

If you aren't familiar with Microsoft's SOA Strategy, I'll sum it up for you:

BizTalk + WCF + Vaporware = SOA

Yesterday, I attended a Microsoft SOA event to get briefed on their strategy. To say the least, I found myself disappointed. After 3 hours of showing slides and demo's I finally concluded that Microsoft's SOA efforts to date have been a failure.

At the heart of their strategy is BizTalk. It's the one SKU that they can actually sell that is related to SOA. And if you listen to Microsoft, you'll be told that virtually all SOA paths lead to BizTalk. If memory serves me, BizTalk was released in Beta in 1998 and became generally available in December of 2000. This isn't exactly a new SOA product.

Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) is a fairly new component that was introduced in the last couple years as a pluggable framework to enable the Web service protocols.

The third part of the equation is Oslo. This mythical beast is basically the next version of a bunch of products which will help build on the vision of Software Factories. Oslo will not be 'released' as a unit, but rather each individual product will get released on its own timeline.

Robert Wahbe, the Microsoft executive in charge of the Connected Systems vision, must either be sitting on some elaborate game plan which involves a well-kept secret to acquire some actual SOA products, or he's in serious trouble. It is clear that Microsoft no longer has the killer instinct that it had years ago. But even then, the lack of results in this area must stand out like a sore thumb.

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