According to a recent press release, Microsoft is plotting a huge vision for a modern SOA platform.

Microsoft unveils an ambitious roadmap for its SOA vision, to bridge “software+services”, and to take composite applications mainstream. The company announces multi-year investment in “Oslo” and launches new SOA resources for IT professionals.

It is the first time Microsoft has outlined how it plans to integrate its emerging SOA platform and its software-plus-services initiatives.

Building on the technology available today, the “Oslo” advancements will be delivered through Microsoft server and tools products in five key areas:

  • Server - Microsoft BizTalk Server “6” will continue to provide a core foundation for distributed and highly scalable SOA and BPM solutions, and deliver the capability to develop, manage and deploy composite applications.
  • Services. - BizTalk Services “1” will offer a commercially supported release of Web-based services enabling hosted composite applications that cross organizational boundaries. This release will include advanced messaging, identity and workflow capabilities.
  • Framework - The Microsoft .NET Framework “4” release will further enable model-driven development with Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and Windows Workflow Foundation (WF).
  • Tools - New technology planned for Visual Studio “10” will make significant strides in end-to-end application life-cycle management through new tools for model-driven design of distributed applications.
  • Repository - There will also be investments in aligning the metadata repositories across the Server and Tools product sets. Microsoft System Center “5,” Visual Studio “10” and BizTalk Server “6” will utilize a repository technology for managing, versioning and deploying models.

But one important missing thing from the “Oslo” pitch is a release date for the planned products, which are clearly being scheduled for delivery once the current clutch of planned new server and tools software are out the door next February.

One report (PDF) has Oslo at sometime in 2009. That means Microsoft's server and tools will slip even further behind important rivals IBM, Oracle, SAP and even tiny BEA Systems in middleware.

Mashable has published a list of tools and resources for building web sites and web applications aggregated from previous posts on their site.

"We’re all living on the web, and we all seem to be starting our own websites, so it’s time we all learned the languages that make it run. We’ve gathered over 250 resources to help you get going."

Check it out, it's pretty amazing what they've done.

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Microsoft's Scott Guthrie announced yesterday on his blog that he and his team will make a long awaited shift in .NET development, a move that was expected for years by many developers. With the .NET 3.5 and VS 2008 release later this year, Microsoft will be offering source code (with source file comments included) for the .NET Framework libraries. The source code will be released under the Microsoft Reference License (MS-RL).

"We'll begin by offering the source code (with source file comments included) for the .NET Base Class Libraries (System, System.IO, System.Collections, System.Configuration, System.Threading, System.Net, System.Security, System.Runtime, System.Text, etc), ASP.NET (System.Web), Windows Forms (System.Windows.Forms), ADO.NET (System.Data), XML (System.Xml), and WPF (System.Windows). We'll then be adding more libraries in the months ahead (including WCF, Workflow, and LINQ)."

The .NET Framework source libraries will be available for download as a standalone install (allowing you to use any text editor to browse it locally). VS 2008 will also provide integrated debugging support within the IDE, enabling you to press F11 ("Step Into") and drill into the .NET Framework source implementation with the debugger.

The post offers some preview screen-shots and detailed info.

It's not a first for Microsoft to disclose source code for some of its libraries, they have done it before with MFC, and this "new" concept looks a lot like that. Maybe there are other reasons for doing that at this moment, with Sun openning the source code for Java.

This move has stirred reactions from Mono development community, Miguel de Icaza him self publishing a long post on his web log making some speculations about why Microsoft choosed to open the source code.

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