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by Peter Galli on February 04, 2009 07:13pm
Members of OASIS, the international open standards consortium, have approved nine Web services specifications as OASIS Standards.
The WS Reliable Exchange (WS-RX), WS Transactions (WS-TX), and WS Secure Exchange (WS-SX) standards support reliable message exchange, coordinate the outcome of distributed application actions, and enable trusted relationships.
The three WS-RX standards - WS ReliableMessaging 1.2, WS ReliableMessaging Policy 1.2, and WS MakeConnection 1.1 - allow messages to be transferred reliably despite failures in software components, systems, or networks. They enable a broad range of features, including ordered delivery, duplicate elimination, and guaranteed receipt.
The three WS-TX standards - WS-Coordination 1.2, WS-AtomicTransaction 1.2, and WSBusinessActivity1.2 - describe an extensible framework for coordinating transactions across a mixed vendor environment, while the three WS-SX standards - WS-Trust 1.4, WS-SecureConversation 1.4, and WS-SecurityPolicy 1.3 - provide methods for issuing security tokens, establishing trust relationships, and allowing key material to be exchanged more efficiently.
All nine standards were developed under the Royalty-Free on RAND mode of the OASIS Intellectual Property Rights Policy, and participation in the WS-RX, WS-TX, and WS-SX Technical Committees remain open to all interested parties. You can read more in this OASIS release.
OASIS members include, among others, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, and Novell. Paul Cotton, the Partner Group Manager in Microsoft's Connected Systems Division, says that the standardization of these versions of the WS-SX, WS-RX and WS-TX specifications is a major step that finalizes the core Web services standards.
"The Web services standards offer mature support for critical customer enterprise scenarios, whether the protocols are used alone or in combination, thereby scaling from simple to complex scenarios," Cotton says.
In its drive for interoperability between different implementations on various platforms, Microsoft'sInteroperability Technical Strategy Team is already participating as a code contributor to an Apache project: the Stonehenge incubator project, which has been approved as an incubator project within Apache Software Foundation.
The WSO2 and Microsoft have already contributed code for a web-services based sample application, known as StockTrader, to this effort.
StockTrader is also just the starting point for the broader goals of Stonehenge, which aims to develop a set of sample applications to demonstrate seamless interoperability across multiple underlying platform technologies by using currently defined W3C and OASIS standard protocols.
by Peter Galli on February 11, 2009 01:42pm
Moonlight 1.0 is now available.
Moonlight is an open source project that gives Linux users access to Microsoft Silverlight content, and is available for all major Linux distributions, including openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Fedora, Red Hat, and Ubuntu. This milestone release is part of the technical collaboration between Novell and Microsoft.
Microsoft has worked with the Moonlight team and Novell to enable interoperability between Windows and Linux platforms and extend the high-quality interactive Web and video experience for the benefit of the Linux community, said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of Microsoft's .NET Developer Division.
Microsoft has provided Novell with access to its test suites for Silverlight, and provides Linux end users of Moonlight with free access to the Microsoft Media Pack, a set of licensed media codecs for video and audio that bring optimized and licensed decoders to every Linux user using Moonlight. Windows Media Video (.wmv), Windows Media Audio (.wma) and MP3 files are supported through the Microsoft Media Pack.
A pre-release of Moonlight was made available on January 19, 2009 to allow Linux users to stream Barack Obama's Inauguration, and more than 20,000 Linux users downloaded Moonlight to watch that Silverlight broadcast.
"Microsoft Silverlight offers the most comprehensive and powerful solution for the creation and delivery of rich internet applications and media experiences, and is used by hundreds of thousands of developers worldwide," Guthrie said.
For his part Miguel de Icaza, the founder of the Mono project founder and vice president of Developer Platforms at Novell, said Moonlight brings the benefits of Silverlight's popular multimedia content to Linux viewers. "This first release delivers on the goal of breaking down barriers to multimedia content and creating parity in the user's viewing experience regardless of whether the user is on Windows or Linux."
by Peter Galli on February 16, 2009 10:30am
Microsoft and Red Hat announced this morning that they have recently signed agreements to test and validate their server operating systems running on one another's hypervisors.
This is deeply significant as it means that customers will be able to confidently deploy Windows Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), virtualized on Microsoft and Red Hat hypervisors, knowing that the solutions will be supported by both companies.
In short, Red Hat has joined Microsoft's Server Virtualization Validation Program, and Microsoft is now a Red Hat partner for virtualization interoperability and support.
Microsoft will also be listed in the Red Hat Hardware Certification List once the Red Hat certification process has been completed later this year.
Microsoft will also publish Linux Integration Components for RHEL when the testing and validation is complete and, according to Mike Neil's blog on this news, Red Hat is expected to provide Windows Hardware Quality Labs drivers for a variety of Windows Server versions.
"This means that those customers with valid support agreements will be able to run these validated configurations and receive joint technical support for running Windows Server on Red Hat Enterprise virtualization, and for running Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V or Hyper-V Server 2008," Neil says.
So, while Microsoft and Red Hat will continue to compete, customers have asked us to work together on technical support for server virtualization. These agreements respond to that request by giving them a new level of integration between Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Windows Server for their heterogeneous IT environments.
Customers with valid support agreements will now be able to call either Microsoft or Red Hat to have their issues resolved. If the first vendor contacted cannot resolve the issue, they will refer the problem to the other vendor for resolution; assuming the customer also has a valid support agreement with that vendor.
In the event that the second vendor cannot resolve the problem alone, Microsoft and Red Hat will work together to come to a resolution for the mutual customer.
What's more, once RHEL is validated as a guest on Windows Server 2008, Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 - which will include cross platform monitoring - will support RHEL server versions 4 and 5 in the second quarter of this year so that customers can manage the applications and operating systems in the guest VM.
This will allow customers to monitor end-to-end data center applications that are distributed across both Windows Server and RHEL, whether these servers are physical or virtual, thereby improving the visibility organizations have of these distributed applications, and reducing their operational costs by providing a single tool to manage these across operating systems.
Also, to be clear given that questions are going to be asked about how this compares to the existing relationship between Microsoft and Novell, this agreement with Red Hat is specific to joint technical support for our mutual customers using server virtualization. So, in that regard, think of it as one dimensional, whereas Microsoft's partnership with Novell is multi-dimensional.
For more on all this, you can read Mike Neil's blog, the press release here, and watch the public webcast.
by Brian Gorbett on February 19, 2009 01:12pm
Hi, this is Brian Gorbett and I am an Architect in Microsoft's Developer & Platform Evangelism group. This week I had the privilege to speak on a panel at the Saper Law Open Source Symposium in Chicago.
At first, one might be tempted to call this a major contradiction and wonder how Microsoft can be credible at an event like this. But, the fact is, if you are reading this on Port 25, then you already have an idea of just how relevant this discussion is.
I was joined on the panel by Harper Reed, the CTO at Skinnycorp/Threadless Inc.; Sumit Nijhawan, the Group Leader of Product Development at Infogix; Scott VanDenPlas, an Engineer at SkinnyCorp/Threadless. The panel was moderated by Phil Gomes, the Senior Vice President with Edelman Digital.
It was a diverse panel of talent and perspectives to be sure. The audience was a great mix of business owners, startups, partners, academic professors, and computer scientists, and one of the most interesting people I met was another panel guest who is a Computer Scientist building software for giant lasers at the National Laboratory... very cool).
The talk started with introductions, and I felt obligated to explain why Microsoft had a seat at this table since, in discussions before we started, it was clear that many attendees were not aware of all the contributions Microsoft makes to the Open Source community.
There were many people genuinely interested in what we are doing in this space and I had many conversations prior to the talk about the many online resources available to them, such as Port25, Microsoft on Open Source, the Microsoft Shared Source Initiative, Interoperability, etc... basically everything that Port25 is great at educating about.
The panel discussion was very dynamic and very interactive. In particular, Harper Reed and I always have great conversations. While we are on very different ends of the software spectrum (if you watch the video, Skinnycorp/Threadless is almost 100 percent built on Open Source software - the web stack is 100 percent,) Harper and I agree on the most fundamental topic in technology decisions: solve the business problem with whatever technology works.
During the panel discussion you will hear Harper, Scott (a distinguished engineer at SkinnyCorp/Threadless), and myself say this a few times. You will also hear Harper talk about how they are interoperating with Azure in a project they are working on. Again, using the right technology for the business problem at hand. I admire Harper and his team for the work they do and the tremendous community that they serve.
I am delighted that I got the opportunity to have great conversations with incredibly smart people about a topic many people don't associate Microsoft with. I hope that I will have the opportunity to have more of these discussions, and learn as much as I did at this event, from other people at different venues.
If you want to listen to the full panel discussion, the video is posted on my blog (there is a bit of audio interference at the beginning but, don't worry, it doesn't last).
by Peter Galli on February 25, 2009 06:53pm
Open Source at Microsoft has gotten a lot of press attention recently.
Influential blogger Matt Asay reported today that Bob Muglia, president of Microsoft's Server and Tools business, was at the Stanford Accel Symposium, where he said that "at some point, almost all our product(s) will have open source in (them) ... If MySQL (or) Linux do a better job for you, of course you should use those products."
Asay also acknowledges that more and more of Microsoft's products already do include open-source software (including MSN Messenger and Visual Studio), "but it's still refreshing to hear Microsoft acknowledge what most enterprise software companies - including proprietary software companies with much to lose from open source - already know: open source is mainstream," he says.
Gavin Clarke of The Register reported this week that Microsoft has invited the open-source community to build plug-ins for Visual Studio 2010, and has improved database support to help build partner backing for its planned integrated development environment (IDE).
Visual Studio general manager Jason Zander told Clarke that he'd like to see open-source developers contribute their best ideas to Microsoft's next IDE. Also, while Visual Studio 2010 is still in the early planning phase, it is already scheduled to support a number of open-source projects and tools, mostly from Microsoft or people recruited from the community.
Zander also called JQuery a "good example of open-source contributed code" for Visual Studio 2010. "We will look for opportunities for things like that," Clarke reports.
And in a recent interview with ZDNet UK reporter Colin Barker, Microsoft CRM division general manager Brad Wilson noted how difficult it is to sit in Palo Alto and design a system that will work with every business in the world.
"So the key now is flexibility. How easy is it to add the stuff we need? I think the old model of 10 years ago, where you built a system that had a big slab of stuff that you had to adopt, has gone. At the same time, we will still bring out our accelerators with pre-packaged software, and more and more of them. But we release them as open source. The idea is that we just put this stuff out there and let people use it. And, if our partners use it, all the better," he said.
by Peter Galli on February 27, 2009 12:57pm
Microsoft is once again a Platinum Level sponsor of the annual Open Source Business Conference, which is being held at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.
As part of this sponsorship, Robert Youngjohns, the president for Microsoft North America, will also be delivering a keynote address to attendees on Wednesday, March 25 from 09h00 to 09h30.
As the leader for Microsoft's sales, services and marketing efforts in the United States and Canada, Robert is passionate about connecting with customers and partners on various topics, including our Open Source initiatives. A Silicon Valley native, Robert brings more than 30 years experience in sales, marketing and strategic business development.
Prior to joining Microsoft, he served as president and chief executive officer of Callidus Software, Inc., a publicly traded company and leading provider of sales management software based in San Jose, CA. Before that, Robert spent 10 years at Sun Microsystems, where he was last executive vice president of Global Sales, responsible for Sun's worldwide sales organization. He also spent 18 years in various roles at IBM.
In addition, we will also be holding the third annual Open Source ISV Forum, on Monday March 23. This event is also an opportunity for open source ISVs - both large and small - to discover more about how Microsoft is working with their communities.
As this is a Microsoft BizSpark event, several of the seminars will focus on open source startups, and there will be the opportunity to meet a number of BizSpark Network Partners, including venture capitalists, angel investors and incubators. The event is also part of Microsoft NXT, a program that helps open source ISVs extend their products to the Windows environment.
by Peter Galli on February 10, 2009 07:38am
There's a new Open Network in town, known as Snakebite, which is the brainchild of Trent Nelson, a committer to Python.
Snakebite is a network of some 37 servers of different shapes and sizes, spread over three sites and specifically geared towards the needs of open source projects like Python.
In short, and according to its Website, Snakebite is a network to provide open source developers unrestricted access to as many of the different platforms, operating systems, architectures, compilers, devices, databases, tools and applications that they need to optimally develop their software.
"Why do we develop open source software on closed networks? Why do open source developers only have access to a fraction of platforms that their software will eventually run on? And why the *@&# are the Windows buildbots always red?! Snakebite was created out of a desire to try and address problems like these faced by open source projects," the Website says.
Some months back, Nelson realized that while buildbots were fine when everything was running smoothly, nothing compared to actually having access to a system when a developer is trying to debug something.
"So, I thought to myself, why not buy a couple of clunky old boxes off eBay and donate them to the Python Software Foundation, such that all developers had access to them ... Ten months, seven trips to Michigan State University, six blown fuses and about $60,000 later, I'm proud to introduce you all to Snakebite: The Open Network!," he said.
This means that every CPython, Jython, IronPython and PyPy committer will have access to every development server on the network, Nelson says, adding that he has already extended the offer to prominent Python projects like Django and Twisted.
The end-goal is to ultimately invite other open source projects like Apache, Subversion, MySQL and Postgres, among others, but given that this network is Nelson's "gift to All Things Python, first and foremost," Python projects will always get preferential treatment.
Nelson also has big aspirations for Snakebite going forward, which you can read all about in this email he sent to the Snakebite list.
Nelson was also blown away by the level of support he received for the initiative: "Microsoft jumped on board and provided unlimited MSDN licenses in less time than it took me to write them an e-mail asking for stuff. Having the support of Microsoft from very early on has been a huge boost, and the MSDN licenses have already been invaluable ," he said.
An email to HP asking them for a Tru64 license and 2GB of RAM for the Itanium box he bought off eBay, also resulted in the company shipping two quad Itanium 2 RX-5670s, full of 73GB 15k disks and 78GB of RAM between the two servers; 32GB in one and 46GB in the other.
Sun, Google and Canonical have also expressed interest in the project, but Nelson has stopped asking for hardware as they have run out of space to host it all.
But, in a recent post to the Python Committers mailing list, Nelson notes that it will probably be a few weeks before users can start logging in and doing stuff.
"The HPCC/CSE server room at MSU is about to have walls knocked in and ramps built in order to accommodate a giant PDU that has been sitting outside it for about six months; the Snakebite rack is going to get shuffled around a bit so I figure there's not much point going live before that's taken care of," he said.