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Here are the content for the Architect Council event at Microsoft's Mountain View campus on Tuesday, November 18, 2008. We would like to thank everyone who made the time to attend, and sharing your feedback. We appreciate the kind comments, as well as areas we need to improve upon. If you have any further questions and/or comments, please feel free to reach out to us (via blogs listed on this site, our email addresses, or other information contained in the slide decks).
Looking forward to another set of events next quarter!
Microsoft and Cloud Computing (PPTX):
A Lap Around the Mesh Services (PPTX):
Azure Services Platform (PPTX):
And a couple of upcoming events:
XAMLFest - Dec. 16-18 – Mountain View, CA
Architect Council - Dec. 18 - San Francisco, CA
SOA & Business Process Conference 2009 - Jan. 27-30 – Redmond, WA
MSDN Developers Conference 2009 - Feb. 19 – San Francisco, CA
MIX 2009 - Mar. 18-20 – Las Vegas, NV
Tech•Ed 2009 - May 11-15 – Los Angeles, CA
Professional Developers Conference 2009 - Nov. 17-20 – Los Angeles, CA
I had the privilege of publishing another article, "Using Events in Highly Distributed Architectures", in the Architecture Journal, issue 17, after the previous one on Strong User Authentication on the Web in issue 16.
I discussed Event-Driven Architecture (EDA) in this article, in terms of its concepts, and how it can be applied in enterprises as the next step of evolution in SOA initiatives.
The discussion took the direction of building on top of existing SOA infrastructures, so I didn't go into some key aspects for EDA, such as the importance of a robust and reliable messaging infrastructure that can ensure the reliable delivery of messages. It needs to support capabilities such as durable subscribers, message persistence and delivery tracking, idempotence, etc. Without a reliable messaging infrastructure, the collective architecture will not achieve a high level of data consistency, which is what EDA is ideally suited for.
I also did not go into much details, in the article, regarding modeling business processes as another logical layer on top of the asynchronous event distribution models. Now most practices today when modeling business processes follow very BPEL-like approaches - sequential logical workflows and orchestrations. And there are observations that many of these efforts, attempts to catalog or define enterprise business processes, often don't succeed at achieving the intended results. One possible explanation is that it is kind of "unnatural" to try to describe series of business activities as a sequentially linked list of tasks (with conditional branches, loops, etc.). Consequently, many architects end up not modeling the processes appropriately.
On the other hand, we can more easily map out business tasks as lifecycles or state transitions for each object, because that model is actually closer to how business analysts perceive business activities. The EDA perspective is that, in the context of asynchronous eventing models, these state transitions can then be defined into a state machine. Then, a layer of sequential workflows from a traditional business process definition perspective, can be added simply by drawing relationships across the state transitions of each object. It is a more abstracted view of business processes, but the underlying state machine model may bridge many of the gaps in traditional process modeling approaches, and can be mapped directly to an EDA technical implementation.
Lastly, asynchronous systems are inherently more scalable than synchronous systems. Today when people use asynchronous communication patterns to connect systems, they often integrate processes at a functional level (i.e., having logical dependencies on the outcomes of other distributed processes). As we move towards an environment where applications become much more inter-connected, both internally within an enterprise SOA environment, and with external partners via the open Internet (from a B2B perspective); and applications becoming more dependent on a growing number of externally distributed components, higher levels of functional decoupling will be needed to improve many aspects of the distributed architecture. EDA approaches seem to provide some relatively good answers from that perspective, but in practice, just like over-arching SOA initiatives, still have many challenges to overcome.
Here are some evidence that geeks can party too (well, me not really, but definitely many of my esteemed teammates)! The Underground @ PDC was an event hosted by Microsoft at the Professional Developers Conference 2008. Check out the pictures on Flickr, tweets, and animoto (or play below).
But it wasn't just a great party; we had presentations from Scott Guthrie, Don Box, Douglas Purdy, Chris Anderson, Scott Hanselman, Loke Uei Tan, etc. More information about these presentations, as well as videos, can be found on TechZulu.
Personally for me, it was a great sigh of relief after delivering one of the demo's during Bob Muglia's keynote presentation during day 1 of PDC (the RedPrairie demo using Azure Services Platform). Finally got to re-surface after months of non-stop work. I now have a real appreciation of the thought and effort that goes into these demo presentations we see.
Doing a TechZulu interview with pal Geoffrey Emery (interesting venue no?).
Enjoying a moment with our fabulous Lynn Langit (no, the cigars weren't lit).
Looking forward to PDC2009! It's going to be back in Los Angeles again, scheduled for November 17-20, 2009. Hope to see you there!
Here are the slides for my talk at the TechDays08 event in Costa Mesa on Thursday, November 13, 2008. I'd like to thank everyone who made the time to attend. Personally I really enjoyed the interactive questions and was glad to share this information with the community, even though I wasn't able to go through the content, and that my demo crashed! :) Lots of interest and questions in this area; please feel free to reach out if you have any as well.
Make sure you check out presentations from my fellow teammates:
And also my friend and esteemed colleague Mike Vincent who delivered the presentation on "The Role of an Architect".