We have made two significant announcements in the last few weeks as part of our "cunning plan" to deliver on our Software + Services vision. I need to digest these more fully but they are worthy of sharing even before I fully understand them :-)

Combined, these two announcements will give us an HTTP accessible database, workflow engine and identity system and more....

2007 just keeps getting more interesting!

Biztalk Services

"Microsoft’s “BizTalk Services” is an Internet Service Bus (ISB) which combines a set of platform services including identity, message relay, and eventing, into a cohesive whole, to address these needs.  While an ISB has some of the characteristics you might see in a traditional Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), the scope is very different. Today’s ESB provides connectivity that is designed for use inside the corporate firewall. The next generation of applications must span networks, securely integrating services located inside the firewall, with services hosted at partner networks, or even on the public internet. Beyond connectivity, developers need integrated workflow, identity and access management and the ability to easily move data between these end points, regardless of the location of the firewall. "

http://servicebus.biztalk.net/

Project Astoria - Database in the cloud

"The goal of Microsoft Codename Astoria is to enable applications to expose data as a data service that can be consumed by web clients within a corporate network and across the internet. The data service is reachable over HTTP, and URIs are used to identify the various pieces of information available through the service. Interactions with the data service happens in terms of HTTP verbs such as GET, POST, PUT and DELETE, and the data exchanged in those interactions is represented in simple formats such as XML and JSON."

http://astoria.mslivelabs.com/