On October 30th we announced Oslo. This is a very positive statement of commitment and direction for companies that have identified SOA and BPM as a critical element of their future.

Oslo is not one product, it is a set of products across a number of releases.  You can think of it as a “quest” to make distributed applications easier to design, develop, deploy, manage, maintain and monitor through a vision of bringing together model driven approaches with service orientation.

Technologies like WF and WCF will be enhanced in a future release of .NET Framework (beyond 3.5) and we hope/expect to see some early drops in CY08 – however we are not yet sharing specifics. The major vehicle for Oslo will be the next release of Biztalk known currently as Biztalk v6 - likely in 2009. This release will run on top of the new versions of WCF and WF.  In addition products such as Visual Studio and System Center will also be enhanced to support the vision of Oslo. If we get this right, we will significantly reduce the engineering cost of building a SOA.

My US colleagues expand on it a little more - and have copied the summary here for simplicity:

There are five primary areas of investment targeted by “Oslo” development efforts:

  • Framework: The .NET Framework “4” release will make further investments in model-driven development as part of our Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and Workflow Foundation (WF) technologies. This will be the logical successor to the .NET Framework 3.5 release happening later this calendar year.
  • Server: This release will continue to evolve our BizTalk family of products as the distributed platform for highly scalable SOA and BPM solutions. BizTalk Server “6” will build deeply on top of both WCF and WF as its core foundation, and deliver the capability to develop, manage and deploy composite applications.
  • Services: Extending the early BizTalk Services incubation (currently available at labs.biztalk.net), the BizTalk Services “1” release will deliver a commercial release of hosted services that enable cross-organizational composite application scenarios. This includes expanded capabilities around hosted messaging, identity and workflow capabilities.
  • Tools: These investments will advance the application lifecycle management capabilities of Visual Studio Team System and provide support for an expanded range of roles. Furthermore, Visual Studio “10” will provide deep support for model-driven design and deployment of composite applications.
  • Repository: There will also be investments aligning the metadata repositories across the Server and Tools product sets. System Center “5”, Visual Studio “10” and BizTalk Server “6” will utilize a common repository technology for managing, versioning, and deploying models.