Well, it came as no surprise that interoperability was a big part of the discussion at MIX09… at the keynote, in the breakouts, on the blogs, on Twitter, etc. Of course interoperability is a key consideration any time that you talk about cloud computing. Let’s be clear: Interoperability between the services platforms, the identity providers, the mashable services, the social networks and so on is now an integral part of the landscape.
MIX is a very special annual conference where Microsoft attempts to bridge the worlds of technology, design, entrepreneurship and business. Zooming into technology, we could draw much more interrelated circles, but my point is not to give a holistic view. Instead, I’ve highlighted a few sessions for you that are going deep into interoperability scenarios.
I’ll start with Vijay Rajagopalan’s session “Build Applications on the Microsoft Platform Using Eclipse, Java, Ruby and PHP!” where he presented:
Speaking about Azure, from the moment we kicked off our cloud computing effort, openness and interoperability stood at the forefront, we spelled it out clearly with Azure (see http://www.microsoft.com/azure screenshot below), and we mean it as this post illustrates.
The next session I’d recommend is Shaun Hirschman & Michael Joffe’s “Running PHP on Microsoft Servers and Services: Windows + PHP, explore the possible”
As Michael states in the opening, everybody is aware that PHP runs on Windows, but you don’t necessarily know all the legwork the Microsoft has been doing to enhance PHP on Windows, as well as all the interoperability touch points between PHP and Microsoft’s technologies. So in this session you’ll get the big picture. In particular don’t miss these demos:
Finally, I invite you to check out John Shewchuk’s session A Lap around Microsoft .NET Services, where he is doing “something a little wacky” as he said!
John demonstrates interoperability scenarios with .NET Services (which is part of the overall Azure Services platform) combined with different languages and platforms. John’s demos show how to leverage the Access Control Service & the Service Bus, with an application built using Python+JQuery running on the GoogleApp engine and using Yahoo as the OpenId provider. These are great scenarios involving notifications and federated identity across firewalls boundaries and heterogeneous systems.
Further down the talk, I also really liked the Facebook (PHP)/CinemaMIX (ASP.NET) application allowing users to invite friends to share (view/edit) your Netflix video queue. That’s cloud interoperability in action
This is only a short selection of the sessions tackling Interoperability. There are many other interesting sessions to discover, so get lost at http://videos.visitmix.com/MIX09 and have fun!
Jean-Christophe Cimetiere - Sr. Technical Evangelist
One more step for the Eclipse Tools for Silverlight (Eclipse4SL) project: the Customer Technology Preview (CTP) of Eclipse4SL with support for Macintosh is being delivered at MIX09, Microsoft’s conference for Web developers, designers, business and digital marketing professionals. With this plug-in, Mac developers using Eclipse can develop Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) using the Silverlight platform.
If you’re new to Eclipse4SL, here’s a quick recap: “The Eclipse tools for Silverlight project, aka eclipse4SL, is an Eclipse plug-in that enables developers to use the Eclipse IDE to create applications that run on the Microsoft Silverlight runtime platform. Announced in October of last year, the project is led by Soyatec, an IT solutions provider based in France & China, and also an Eclipse Foundation member (Yves Yang, Soyatec President). Microsoft provides funding and architectural guidance (in particular my colleagues Vijay Rajagopalan and Stève Sfartz)” (read the full introduction at Eclipse and Silverlight, another interoperability journey has begun)
The CTP not only enables support for the development experience on a Mac but it also includes many new features also available for the Windows version. To get the plug-in go to http://www.eclipse4sl.org/download/.
The demo is also posted on Youtube and MSN Video.
If you are attending MIX09, I encourage you to go to Vijay Rajagopalan’s session “Build Applications on the Microsoft Platform Using Eclipse, Java, Ruby and PHP!” (Friday, March 20, 10:45 AM-12:00 PM).
Vijay will give an overview of how Microsoft has delivered multiple technologies that focus on interoperability with non-Microsoft and open source technologies.
And of course he will also show the Eclipse Tools for Silverlight along with other interoperability scenarios, like combinations of Java, Ruby and PHP with the Azure Services Platform and the use of claims-based identity in support of heterogeneous identity systems.
Going back to the Eclipse4SL plug-in, let me share a few screenshots showing the new features:
Finally, while the Eclipse4SL plug-in brings Silverlight development capability to Eclipse, it also preserves the project structure to retain compatibility with other Microsoft tools (Visual Studio and Expression Blend) enabling collaboration between Eclipse developers (Java, PHP, etc…), .NET developers, and designers:
Finally, if you have feedback, join the conversation at http://www.eclipse4sl.org/community/
Jean-Christophe Cimetiere - Sr. Technical Evangelist
Silverlight is a cross-platform browser plug-in that enables rich media experiences and .NET-based Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) within the browser. While Microsoft creates developer and designers tools, interoperability scenarios using other tools makes sense simply because in many situations there are development teams working in heterogeneous environments. Searching for ways to assist these teams is how Eclipse tools for Silverlight came to life!
The Eclipse tools for Silverlight project, aka eclipse4SL, is an eclipse plug-in that enables Eclipse developers to use the Eclipse IDE to create applications that run on the Microsoft Silverlight runtime platform. Announced in October of last year, the project is led by Soyatec, an IT solutions provider based in France & China, and also an Eclipse Foundation member (Yves Yang, Soyatec President). Microsoft provides funding and architectural guidance (in particular my colleagues Vijay Rajagopalan and Stève Sfartz).
Since the release of a new beta version in December, additional technical content for Java developers has been published on the project site, giving guidance on key interoperability scenario sought by developers: facilitate interoperability between Silverlight clients and REST and SOAP (JAX-WS/CXF) Java web services.
Even though the V1 of the project is not yet complete, Soyatec has done a great job of building the early pieces of this bridge between Eclipse and Silverlight. The interoperability scenarios this project enables are very interesting, as it provides more choices to Java/Eclipse developers and opens up new opportunities for Silverlight adoption.
So if you haven’t had a chance to see the Eclipse tools for Silverlight in action, take a look at this demo. It gives an overview of the developer experience of creating a basic Silverlight application in Eclipse, shows how collaborating with a designer could work, and finally you’ll see a sample Silverlight application talking to a Java web service, from the www.Youtube.com/interopbydesign channel:
If you want to try it for yourself it’s very easy, just follow the step-by-step installation guide on http://www.eclipse4sl.org/download/. The eclipse4SL plug-in can be installed directly from the internet with the Eclipse software update wizard (see screenshot below):
Then you can explore the Hello, world and DataGrid tutorials that my colleague Stève Sfartz has prepared for you. Also you might want to check this tutorial that has just been posted on Devx: Getting Started with Silverlight for Eclipse.
I don’t write a lot of code these days, but from a developer point of view I think it is cool to deliver interoperability at this level, and to extend the Silverlight development experience to Eclipse developers. For a nascent project, the eclipse4SL has been well received by the community and is currently in the top 10 “Top Rated” on www.eclipseplugincentral.com (a portal that helps developers find Eclipse plug-ins):
(Screenshot taken on 02/03/2009)
Of course, if you have feedback, feel free to join the conversation.
Hi, my name is Jas Sandhu and I am an evangelist on the Microsoft Interoperability Strategy Team. I manage our overall Document Interoperability Initiative community outreach, working with Doug Mahugh and many others in the Office team.
On Friday we published Office 2007 SP2 implementation notes for the ECMA-376 1st Edition (aka Open XML).
I invite you to read Doug's post to get more details.
This new drop follows the publication of the ODF 1.1 implementation notes in December. The implementation notes site is http://www.documentinteropinitiative.org/.
This is also an opportunity for me to shed some light on the goals of the Document Interoperability Initiative, which -from the website - are:
We will use this blog to report what's going on regarding these goals and to report more broadly on document format interoperability.
Progress is being made on working together as a community and we are keen to foster such collaborative work. Implementer notes are incredibly useful, but to understand interoperability issues, sometimes it requires stepping back and discussing different approaches with others who save similar goals.
This is what we're doing with the DII workshops that we've been running around the world since last year. The most recent DII workshop took place in Brussels. Some of the organizations that participated include Fraunhofer, Dialogika, SourceSense, Wygwam, RealDolmen, Fedict, IRIS, Getronics, Ovum and Microsoft. You can find more here on the DII website and also on the blog of the some of the participants: Martin Balliauw, Julien Chable. Here's the Network World story about the event. We also produced a 5 minute recap that will give you a good overview of what happened:
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!
I am the General Manager of Interoperability Strategy at Microsoft, and I have been working across the company on many interoperability initiatives. It makes me happy to see so many interoperability projects coming out of Microsoft and, personally, having many of them based on XML makes me doubly happy. So I thought it was the right time to open this blog with the purpose of sharing with you activities that relate to interoperability at Microsoft and to start generating ongoing discussions. Here we will write about interoperability scenarios, the technologies enabling them, and important issues concerning the industry at large.
We recognize that we need to work more at engaging with the community in an open way on interoperability. This means being certain to listen to the community and to have open discussions with you in this blog about interoperability scenarios and technologies.
Interoperability has been a long-time focus area at Microsoft. Being a platform company, Microsoft has engaged in interoperability at many levels: product features, participation in standardization bodies, publishing technologies under open licenses, and working closely with customers, governments and partners to understand the heterogeneous IT landscape and to discuss practical interoperability solutions. These activities were formalized under the Interoperability Principles earlier this year.
My team has built several technical bridges and solutions for various products to enable interoperability with other platforms and applications. These are being run as open source projects and released under a broad BSD license, or other licenses such as MS-PL or Apache, so that our customers and partners can use them in many open and broad reaching scenarios. We have been working with many other teams at Microsoft and with both our customers and the community to develop these projects. We also run interoperability labs and plug-fests to test how Microsoft and Non-Microsoft products interoperate.
Many members of Microsoft, as well as members of my team, such as Vijay Rajagopalan, Sumit Chawla, Kamaljit Bath, Claudio Caldato, and Jean-Christophe Cimetiere will be posting on this blog, I would like to hear your comments and feedback and also welcome open engagement on what Microsoft should be doing for interoperability. I would also like to take this chance to thank the many third party companies and community members who have collaborated with us in our efforts to improve and expand the interoperability of Microsoft technologies, platforms and applications.
Jean Paoli General Manager of Interoperability Strategy