D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

PDC 08 – Monday Morning Keynote

Monday, October 27, 2008 1:06 PM

So I was late to the keynote this morning. No biggie…it doesn’t look like I missed too much in the first half hour. The message from what I did see is pretty clear though: Microsoft is jumping into cloud computing in a big way. So what is cloud computing anyway? From what I can tell so far, its basically the next evolution in internet based services. It’s an infrastructure that allows for anywhere-computing, and for securely connecting internal and cloud based computers to perform tasks.


To go along with this focus is a new development platform called Azure. You can think of Azure as “the operating system for the cloud” (how the presenter phrased it anyway). It’s going to provide the tools and resources to make cloud computing a reality. I know that’s really vague, but I’m sure the full story will materialize over the week.

From a development point of view, .NET Services is the component to help developers create applications for this new platform, and will include a services bus, access control, and workflow services.

Another interesting offering is SQL Services…which I took as databases being hosted in the cloud (which isn’t a stretch really, since there’s already hosted Exchange and Sharepoint offerings…the big difference being I guess that SQL hosting right now is usually associated with web hosting accounts, and not line of business databases). I’m curious to hear more about how this SQL Services idea materializes as well.

I stayed for a bit of the part where they were talking about Microsoft Online Services (the branding for hosted Exchange, Sharepoint, etc.). Azure will allow for customizations of these offerings, which is great as this will open up a new vertical for hosted solution resellers to create vertical specific add-ons to boost their competitive advantage (seriously…that sentence just came from my head, not from marketing material). I have a friend who’s a reseller, and I can see how this will really help to boost his offerings (www.ZoomOffice.com).

From an EDI, SOA, messaging, BizTalk, etc. view, I think cloud computing has huge implications. BizTalk is still set as the ESB, but the way you interact with it and connect your systems will be…hopefully the transition doesn’t negate the investments made in service technologies already…but my rant on technical debt will wait for another day…I have to play Rock Band 2 with Scott Hanselman.





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