January, 2009

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Apache incubator project, Stonehenge: showcasing Web Services interoperability


    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!

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Document Interoperability Initiative, document-format implementation notes, and more…


    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/.

    DII Web site - 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:

    DII Goals

    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 BalliauwJulien 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:


  • Interoperability @ Microsoft



    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

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