eWeek.com provides an insight into the Oslo and how the initiative relates to cloud computing. You can read the article at Oslo: Road to Microsoft's Cloud. But I'll summarize key points of interest to ISVs here.

Oslo is built around service oriented architecture (SOA) and adds core modeling technology. The products involved in Oslo are BizTalk Server 5, BizTalk Services 1, Visual Studio 10, Microsoft System Center 5, and .NET Framework 4.

The future of development is with software modeling, particularly as more and more services become available though cloud-based computing model. eWeek interviewed Steven Martin, senior product manager in Connected System Division (CSD).

Martin explains that modeling goes way beyond workflow scenarios. Modeling lets you integrate services in the cloud easier than by writing code. With virtualizaed computing modeling helps set up how applications can scale. And policy infomration for services is easier under modeling than writing code. "When you move from service orientation to virtualization, modeling goes from a nice-to-have to a must-have," he said.

The future of application development involves modeling and services and will feature analysis and design tools, next-generation declarative languages, process-aware engines and platforms, and self-aware system management.

The first key investment for Oslo is a repository that is a foundation for a unified approach to managing metadata. Visual Studio and System Center to align product visions and roadmaps that build on a shared repository built on SQL Server. Next, new analysis and design tools will deliver a rich model visualization for creating, editing, and browsing models across all fo the roles in the lifecycle.

A declarative programming language follows where developers have an approchable, textual format for authoring models. The language provides deep integration with repository so you can import and explort models between tools and domain-specific modeling notations.

The models will be executable. The behavior of the models can be changed by updating the models in the repository. Models not longer just describe an application, they are the application. Instead of sending a model to a printer, you send it to a server. To accomplish this, Oslo has a concept of a Process Server where a process engine federates processes across distributed applications and monitors the health of the composite applications.

To learn more about the Oslo's direction, see Directions on Microsoft review of Oslo.

Cloud Services are the building blocks for Oslo and the future modeling technologies. For more information about what is happening now with the tools and cloud services that have already been introduced for early adopters, see Visual Studio Team System Code Named "Rosario"SQL Server Data Services, Code-name Zermatt, Windows Live Mesh, and BizTalk Services.

To take part in announcements and participate in all that is happening, join in PDC2008 Professional Developers Conference October 27-28, 2008. You can get the updated list of sessions at PDC 2008 | Agenda | Sessions.