Microsoft really focuses on Europe with it's technology :) since a lot of codenames are named after European cities. "Dublin" is the next city in line and it reveals technology for hosting and managing workflows and services.

The basis for "Dublin" technology is the fact that services deployment and maintenance can be really hard sometimes. So we need a useful functionality that can make life easier especially with WCF and WF services (WCF stands for Windows Communication Foundation, part of .NET 3.5 and above, similarly WF is Workflow Foundation).

With "Dublin" Microsoft will extend Windows Server with some additions to .NET Framework & IIS/WAS so that it will provide a significant enhancement of the Microsoft application server. WF and WCF will just work simply and quickly and make our life a lot easier when using and deploying services.

A small brain dump of interesting things heard @PDC on the "Dublin" session:

  • It will enable monitoring of services, which includes Runtime Database, persistence schema and (most important) monitoring utilities;
  • Extensible Powershell command-lets will be available for other to extend, basic functionality enables direct management of services via cmd-line scripts;
  • Model Deployment from Quadrant (M stuff, part of Oslo technology stack) will be supported;
  • Export and import of applications in the IIS management console (very useful);
  • Durable services will be persisted automatically (durable, stateful workflows are really easy to build, based on the demo seen);
  • Functionality to disable protocols of published WCF services (for troubleshooting you sometimes need to stop traffic to your services in real scenarios);
  • Tracking of services out of the box (statistical tracking, basic workflow tracking, verbose workflow tracking, verbose WCF service tracking are the pre-built options);
  • Easy restoration of suspended service instances (if you have an error, you do need to resume where the error happened - if properly defined instances of services go to suspend mode);
  • Oslo support means you can model services and workflow in the Oslo tool dubbed Quadrant and then directly deploy services from modeling tools;
  • ...

The basic takeaway of the session was "It just works!" and it looks really promising.

The other takeaway is that Dublin is fully extensible and can be used in different ISV solutions like Amberpoint (they provide software for management and governance of SOA applications).

See more info at Microsoft PDC website.