I am a Principal Program Manager in Jean Paoli’s Interoperability Technical Strategy Team. Among other things, I am also the lead for Microsoft’s participation in the Apache incubator project, Stonehenge. I am really excited about Microsoft’s participation in this effort and look forward to our continued involvement with it.
As Jean discussed in his post, Microsoft has been working on many open source projects but this is the first time that Microsoft is participating as a code contributor in an Apache project! This has been a very valuable learning experience for us here at Microsoft that will significantly inform and influence many future projects, I am sure.
In November, I wrote on port25 about ApacheCon and the Stonehenge incubator project. Lots of activities have taken place since then around Stonehenge. It was approved as an incubator project within Apache Software Foundation, and WSO2 and Microsoft have already contributed code for a web-services based sample application (called StockTrader) to this effort. Our code can be found here, along with the contributions from WSO2.
We have three committers from Microsoft on the Stonehenge incubator project. Most of the credit must go to Greg Leake, who wrote the original StockTrader application, and Drew Baird, who worked to get it ready for contribution to Stonehenge. Mike Champion is also going to play an active role in this effort, as he mentioned in his recent blog where he describes how “Stonehenge can help wire up the "last mile…"
Projects like Stonehenge are very important to enhance interoperability between different software implementations. Standards organizations do a great job and the roll out of various WS-* standards is a testimonial to the fact that they can work efficiently. But interoperability work doesn’t stop at the end of the standardization process… in fact, that is where it really starts.
It is important for customers and the industry to have multiple implementations of these standards and have the ability to choose the best ones for their scenarios and requirements. This will encourage competition and ensure the production of better quality software in response to market forces. Interoperability work within an open community generates both competition and collaboration. Customers will be able to get working code on multiple platforms and vendors will be able to catch bugs and test interoperability issues in an open manner.
Stonehenge has attracted some very prominent committers so far and I hope that the momentum will be sustained. I am looking forward to seeing code contributions from other folks and seeing the StockTrader sample application enhanced with new features. I also hope that new sample applications will be developed to cover other areas of the WS-* standards that are not best represented by the StockTrader application. I look forward to participating in this discussion with the Stonehenge community.
I also want to thank the folks at WSO2 inc. for their leadership and guidance in driving the Stonehenge project. Congratulations are due to Paul Fremantle, Sanjiva Weeravaran, Jonathan Marsh and their dev team for successfully launching and steering this project so far. We are happy to follow and work with other participants in making it successful.
I would like to hear comments and feedback on the Stonehenge project and also discuss ideas around other interoperability projects of similar nature. Looking forward to the conversation!