Geeks With Blogs

My Visual Identity
This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called Personal Favorites. Make your own badge here.

maina donaldson a pragmatist's blog

Microsoft will be presenting some very interesting stuff at the PDC this year. One of the much-anticipated Oslo-related messages came last week, ahead of the conference, with the public announcement of "Dublin", an Application Server and host for WF / WCF applications.  And get this: There will be CTP BITS available for .NET Framework 4.0 and Dublin at the PDC!

Essentially, Dublin offers significant feature additions to the WAS (Windows Process Activation Services - remember?) that ship with Server 2008 and Vista, and will include functionality that previously was only available in Microsoft's messaging platform, BizTalk Server. Undoubtedly this is great news for anyone who has been developing standalone non-HTTP WCF services and hosted WF workflows. Dublin will be a Windows 2008 Server Role and will support:

  • Message-based correlation
  • Message forwarding service
  • Content-based message routing (CBR)
  • Long-running transactions with compensation
  • Scale-out of stateful workflow applications
  • Persisting and rehydrating workflow state for high scalability
  • Enhanced management and monitoring functions
  • Tracking of workflow events
  • Low-latency messaging
  • Plus, it will support the “Oslo” modeling platform

With this feature set, Windows Server with Dublin and .NET 4.0 support a variety of Business Process and Messaging scenarios, such as highly asynchronous transaction processing, scalable messaging deployments, automation of long-running workflows, durable, as well as low-latency non-durable messaging, and coordination of processes across heterogeneous environments.

Anyone interested in the future direction of BizTalk and Oslo technologies will recognize a rather clear forking into Application Server services (Dublin) and Integration Services (BizTalk).  Let's have a look at what BizTalk offers today in addition to messaging and hosting services listed above:

  • Accelerators such as HIPAA, HL7, SWIFT, EDI
  • Host connectivity (HIS)
  • Trading Partner Management
  • RFID support
  • BAM
  • Mapping
  • XLANG orchestration host
  • Services Registry (to ship with BizTalk Server 2009)
  • ESB services provided by the ESB Guidance

What about adapters?  Well, the new wave of Line-of-Business adapters is built on the WCF Adapter Framework and allows us the flexibility to use adapters anywhere, not exclusively in BizTalk. The BizTalk LOB Adapter Pack (currently packaged with BizTalk, but also available as a separate SKU) lets you connect to 3rd party business systems today from any custom-developed .NET application, SQL Server–based BI solution, or Office Business Application (OBA).  This likely means that they will work in Dublin / .NET 4.0 WCF, and is the reason I did not include it in the list of deltas.

Many have probably also heard Microsoft talk about the plan to eventually replace the XLANG orchestration engine with WF. With the announcement of Dublin, I believe a more accurate way to say this would be that Future BizTalk will sit on top of Dublin to provide integration services and accelerators, as well as offer backward compatibility with XLANG processes.  Similar to the way that MOSS sits atop of WSS.

BAM, in my opinion, is the interesting question and feature that has not found a clear "home" yet.  While Dublin offers tracking services, I have not seen a plan for the comprehensive (, well-designed and extremely useful) infrastructure that BizTalk BAM offers today for building reports, data structures and cubes, and process instrumentation. 

How did we get from Oslo to Dublin? 

To put all this into context -- Oslo is an initiative that spans multiple products and technologies. More and more we hear about the "Oslo Modeling Platform" and the "Oslo Repository" -- those are the key areas of development in this initiative.  And “Dublin” provides a runtime environment into which model-driven "Oslo" applications can be deployed.

Posted on Monday, October 6, 2008 5:33 PM BizTalk and SOA | Back to top

Comments on this post: Microsoft announces "Dublin"

# re: Microsoft announces "Dublin"
Requesting Gravatar...
Maina, will you be at PDC? If so, let's grab a beer!! It will be good to meet some new Magenic folks. Is anyone else from the CA office going to be there?
Left by Chris Williams on Oct 06, 2008 10:45 PM

# re: Microsoft announces "Dublin"
Requesting Gravatar...
Ich weiß zwar nicht wie Du von Dublin nach Oslo kommst, aber wenn Du mal einen Stop in good ol Germany (namentlich München) machst, dann lass Dích doch mal wieder anschauen ;-)
cu Lui
Left by Lui on Feb 20, 2009 7:00 AM

Your comment:
 (will show your gravatar)

Copyright © Maina Donaldson | Powered by: