Happy New Year! As we begin 2007 I thought I'd take the time to address a recurring question I hear on occassion as I meet with developers and architects throughout my community. The question is, what does Microsoft offer regarding out-of-the-box frameworks to help companies standardize some of the plumbing needed to build applications so that development teams can remain focused on building solutions that address the business needs of the organization? Not to dive into the particulars here or debate whether or not the customer was truly asking for a framework or did they really mean a facorty or application block, I elected to focus on providing high-level guidance on what our patterns and practices team provides on MSDN to empower our .NET development community with guidance to build highly scaleable, robust, perfomant and secure applications for their environment. The following should help you better understand our efforts in this area.
The best place to get your arms around our approach to enterprise application development is at our patterns & practices on MSDN site. Microsoft patterns & practices are Microsoft's recommendations for how to design, develop, deploy, and operate architecturally sound applications for the Microsoft application platform. Microsoft patterns & practices contain deep technical guidance and tested source code based on real-world experience. The technical guidance is created, reviewed, and approved by Microsoft architects, product teams, consultants, product support engineers, and by Microsoft partners and customers. The result is a thoroughly engineered and tested set of recommendations that you can follow with confidence when building your applications.
We offer a free download called the Enterprise Library 2.0. Enterprise Library is a library of application blocks designed to assist developers with common enterprise development challenges. Application blocks are a type of guidance, provided as source code that can be used "as is," extended, or modified by developers to use on enterprise development projects. This release of Enterprise Library provides similar functionality to the previous releases for the .NET Framework 1.1; however, Enterprise Library has been redesigned to use the new capabilities of the .NET Framework 2.0. Recently, we released our first Community Technology Preview release of Enterprise Library 3.0 to our new CodePlex site.
Input from the architecture and developer community is important in the development of our application blocks and software factories. Please refer to these sites for additional guidance from Microsoft and the community on a number of other fronts.
For additional information on our factory offerings, application blocks, guides and reference implementations, see our patterns and practices documentation at MSDN http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms998572.aspx.
Lastly, we just released our latest version of the Web Service Software Factory (WCF Release). As mentioned above the Web Service Software Factory (also known as the Service Factory) is an integrated collection of tools, patterns, source code and prescriptive guidance that helps our customers quickly and consistently construct Web services that adhere to well known architecture and design patterns. The Service Factory provides guidance that addresses many of the challenges associated with building WCF and ASP.NET Web services and the components of a distributed application. These challenges include:
For more information on the Services Factory check out these resources
I hope you find this information useful.