I, along with other Microsoft colleagues, participated in the ApacheCon 2009 in Oakland, CA this week. This week also marks the 10th Anniversary of the Apache Software Foundation – so congratulations to the ASF and overall Apache community, which has steadily grown and sustained over the past decade!
Microsoft is now actively participating in several Apache projects and becoming part of the core community. ASF President, Justin Erenkrantz, talked about Microsoft’s contributions recently, as well. Peter Galli has also blogged on other activities that we were engaged in at the ApacheCon this year.
I have personally been involved in the Apache Stonehenge incubator project along with my colleague, Kent Brown, and it is good to see all the progress that we have made in the last 1 year. The original goal of Stonehenge was to provide a public forum to test the interoperability of WS-* protocols on different vendor stacks and to build sample applications that could provide best practices and coding guidelines for better interoperability. We are on a good path to achieving many of these goals, with the main sample application, Stock Trader, now having been implemented on .NET (by Microsoft), PHP (by WSO2), WSAS JAVA stack (by WSO2), Metro (by SUN Microsystems), Spring Web Services (by SpringSource).
The Stock Trader application has also been extended to use the WS-Security and WS-Trust protocols now for claims-based authentication scenarios. This allows the end-users’ access to be authenticated through an independent Security Token Service (STS) that is trusted by the bank and to pass that token to the broker to process the transaction.
Moving forward, the Stonehenge dev community wants to focus on building multiple micro-samples each focused on specific set of WS-* protocols. I think this is a great idea because it will allow vendors, developers and customers to quickly test and learn specific protocols of interest to them instead of going thru one big application that covers most of them. It also allows individual developers to work on different samples and turn them around faster. One other idea that is being talked about is having a dashboard available which can show the results of interop tests across different stacks in an easy to understand and consume way. This will be of great interest to our customers who can see the interop testing results across different versions of implementations of WS-* standards by different vendors. Kent Brown, along with Prabath Siriwardena of WSO2, did a technical session on Stonehenge and talked about future plans. There seems to be good consensus building around these future plans for Stonehenge.
In addition to the meetings to discuss the progress of Stonehenge with other contributors to the project, I had the privilege of meeting with the ASF executives and talk about other projects that Microsoft can work on. I look forward to doing more interop work and engagements with the Apache community over the next year. We also showed off several other interop-related projects that Microsoft has been engaged in recently: