by Sam Ramji on November 06, 2008 02:49am

I delivered the keynote at ApacheCon in New Orleans today, where I talked about some of the new milestones we have chalked up on the journey inside Microsoft towards greater participation and growth with open source communities, and our strategy of "architecting for participation."

This strategy focuses on four significant themes: community; contribution; partnerships; and choice. Microsoft believes that the next ten years of software will be a time of growth and change where both open source and Microsoft communities will grow together.

We also believe that in an increasingly interconnected world, where more people have a greater opportunity to use more technology to do more things than ever before. We support those choices and are expanding interoperability between open source technologies and Microsoft technologies.

So, on the interoperability front, we have been working with the WS02 since our TechEd 2007 Conference, to demonstrate interoperability using our StockTrader reference application. Today, the WS02 announced they would build an open source version of the sample application under "Project Stonehenge," which hs been proposed as a new Apache incubation project.

WS02 will use the project to set up sample applications that demonstrate seamless interoperability across multiple underlying platform technologies, using currently defined W3C and OASIS standard protocols.

My team has been working closely with that of Jean Paoli, the General Manager of Interoperability Strategy at Microsoft, whose team is driving much of this interoperability work. You can read more about all this in Jean's blog post.

Microsoft has also decided to move the development of protocol parsers for Microsoft Network Monitor  - a free protocol analyzer and network sniffer - to an open source model, on CodePlex, which will host the development of parsers for public protocols and for protocols described in our Open Protocol Specifications for Windows.

An updated parser package has been released and a source tree created on Codeplex.  We want Netmon  to be the best-of-breed tool for network monitoring at Microsoft, not just for Windows. 

Microsoft also recently joined the AMQP Working Group as a participant, with the goal of contributing towards the development of the specification and to enable greater customer choice in the marketplace.

At the request of community members, we have now  committed to participate in the Apache Qpid project, a widely adopted open source implementation of the AMQP specification that addresses the customer need for choice and improved messaging interoperability.

Our customers are telling us that they would like to see the Apache Qpid project extended to interoperate with Windows, so the next few months of participation will be focused on understanding the community's effort to build Windows based AMQP software.

Participation will give us the opportunity to learn from other project participants, so that we can be in a position to consider making a valuable contribution. But it is important to note that the Apache Qpid project is just one of many AMQP specification implementations, and we are open to supporting additional projects.

You can read an interesting technical research paper from Ohio State University analyzing the performance of the Qpid implementation of AMQP here.

Microsoft also announced, at PDC 2008, our commitment to include "Oslo" - an upcoming set of technologies for modeling - in the Open Specification Promise. This will ensure that the "Oslo" declarative modeling language, codenamed "M", is interoperable with prominent industry standards such as WS* specifications, XML formats, industry protocols, and security standards.

Two of the core focuses for Oslo are integration and interoperability. As such, it will integrate with next-gen Microsoft technologies, including System Center, Visual Studio and BizTalk Sever. We also plan to work with partners and the industry, so as to make Oslo interoperable with important standards and industry protocols.

One of the key ways we think customers will achieve customization for their platforms is through the use of textual and visual DSLs, which can be written uniquely by the developer for vertical industries and specific domains, or they can use pre-existing DSLs in these same scenarios.

The hope is that we will establish a broad and open ecosystem around "M" that will enable customers to bring the power of model-driven applications and systems to their heterogeneous environments. 

Finally, on the Live Search front, the Powerset team recently resumed its participation with HBase, which is elated to infrastructural storage technology enabling large scale data processing. 

The HBase project receives significant lift from the active community that supports the project, and Powerset's continued participation on HBase could allow us to accelerate the integration of Powerset's technology into Live Search, resulting in improvements to the end-user experience.

So, stay posted. There's a lot more to come!