by Kamaljit Bath on November 10, 2008 03:24pm

This is Kamaljit Bath, and I am in the Big Easy to experience my first Apache Conference! I am a Principal Program Manager in the Interoperability Technical Strategy Team at Microsoft. We have been doing a lot of great interoperability work and have done quite a few Open Source projects to build bridging solutions etc., but this is the first time I am attending ApacheCon. This is a learning experience for me.

Microsoft is certainly interested in expanding interoperability between Open Source solutions and Microsoft technologies, and is working with individuals and communities for that purpose. I think this is great because it will enable choice of solutions and create strong partnerships to promote growth for everyone in the industry.

ApacheCon has been quite an experience for me so far. I have seen the energy and high quality decision making. It is amazing how people from many different backgrounds can come together and accomplish so much in so little time.

I have also met some very interesting people and some that I have wanted to meet for a long time. Meeting motivated and driven people is what I like the most about conferences. I have learnt a lot from this experience and I will take back great memories from this trip.

In his keynote today Sam Ramji, the Senior Director for Platform Strategy at Microsoft, gave an update on the many interoperability and Open Source projects that Microsoft is engaged in. I am sure that some of this was news to many of the attendees, but hopefully it gave them an idea of the breadth of work that Microsoft is doing in this area.

Sam covered a lot of things, including our participation in Apache QPID project; the release of the 'Oslo-M' language under the Open Source Promise; participation in the Apache HBase project; and support for the new Stonehenge proposal by WSO2.

Sam also covered many other open source projects that Microsoft has used to build bridging technologies, while my manager, Jean Paoli, has covered these in detail in his blog.

Sam is a well known figure in these avenues and needs no introduction - he has been representing Microsoft at many of these conferences.

But it is also important to have a more grass-root level developer and architecture presence from Microsoft, and we are now moving in that direction. Hopefully, we will see an increased Microsoft presence at such events.

Microsoft is also supportive of the new Apache incubation proposal - Stonehenge - that was proposed by WSO2. It will focus on building a set of sample applications based on approved W3C and OASIS standard protocols with goal of proving interoperability between different implementations on various platforms.

I think these sample applications will provide developers a great starting place for their tasks by providing best practice guidelines and reference implementations on various platforms. They will also help find potential interoperability problems and hopefully develop into a great community to discuss the architecture of multi-tier SOA apps. We look forward to working with WS02 on the scope of this project, and having discussions with the community.

These are exciting times for the software industry and we are seeing the co-existence of commercial and open source software and coming together of various forces to create solutions for the new heterogeneous IT environment.

Onwards, with great faith and hope!