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  • Models enable SOA which enables agility
  • Messaging Platform Spreads SOA out over the Internet
  • User Enablement
  • The Tools
  • Future Business Models and Opportunities
The SOA and BPM Conference at Microsoft was a great time, got to meet old buddies, made some new ones and learned quite a bit about the possible future of business and the software that drives it.   It wasnt all fun and games though, I was recovering from pneumonia and had to pull an all-nighter to get a Demo up on Microsoft's ESB for some potential business.  But anyway......
At the SOA and BPM Conference Microsoft unveiled the evolution of its software + services vision.
Code named "Oslo" it is and will be an effort to integrate its tools, platforms and server products to enable
businesses to model and build SOA architectures over something called the "Internet Service Bus".  (not to be confused with ESB "Enterprise Service Bus" (which is more inside the firewall) )
Models enable SOA which enable agility
Oslo promises to provide an end to end view of the business, from its business model and capabilities to its software
architecture. This view can be used to measure and assign business value to the people, processes, and data
flows inside an organization and allow the organization to make better decisions and execute faster if for
example the business needs to offload/outsource certain functionality to a SAAS provider.
But Oslo is not about Saas. It’s about automating and operationalising the agility promised by SOA.
"Imagine being the chief executive
of a large retail bank. Your
major competitor has started offering
a new set of investment solutions to
consumers. Instead of taking months
to counter-offer you can retaliate in
just days. How? Your product team
quickly assembles revised service
components—such as new product
pricing, a revised loyalty program, or
an aggregated reporting service—to
create new finance products. Your
delivery team then rapidly assembles,
customizes and verifies the services,
and you present the new competitive
offers to the public."  - Accenture
How can you do this? 
Because the software infrastructure that supports your business model is not based on some gobbledygook that only the guy with the pocket protector and horn rimmed glasses understands. The software that supports your business model is based on models and these models are aligned with business capabilities that bring value to the organization and these models are also aligned with standards based, interoperable and reusable webservices that represent your software infrastructure.
Because your organization has the tools to automate the workflow of creating new capability models, aligning those with new process models and composing existing or new I.T. software assets either inside and/or outside the firewall to support the business process quickly.
Because business performance and software performance can be measured and easily mapped to one another to support re-engineering and improvement of the business.
Messaging Platform Spreads SOA out over the Internet
Apart from the modeling aspects of Oslo is the enhanced communication infrastructure to support the composability of internal and external interoperable services. The "Internet Service Bus" is a way to connect organizations software assets by just having a connection to the internet. It circumvents messy NAT traversal and provides federated security strategies among other things. You can take a test drive of this technology through the BizTalk Labs preview of the BizTalk Connectivity Services.
User Enablement
Finally, not aligned with Oslo but relevant nonetheless are technologies like Microsoft Popfly. The tool that lets nonprogrammers create mashups: compound Web applications that build on feeds from other sites. It allows user to create web pages, program snippets, and mashups using the Microsoft Silverlight runtime and
the set of online tools. Technologies such as this will allow users themselves to create value for business.
The Tools 
There were many great and exciting presentations of this vision from a technical perspective around current enablers of SOA
Biztalk 2006r2, .NET 3.5, WF, etc... and some of the future tools that will comprise Oslo.
BizTalk Server “6”, BizTalk Services “1”, Visual Studio “10”, System Center “5” and .NET Framework “4.0”.
And the Cloud: Microsoft’s Internet Service Bus concept.  
In addition and I think most importantly was the business vision.
Future Business Models and Opportunities
Jose Marroquin of Accenture discussed how SOA will affect corporate buying decisions by contrasting an organizations commodity business processes, like email to those closer to its core competency like CRM systems, to those business processes that are critical differentiators of the business.
He said as organizations progress towards SOA enabling everything along this spectrum, they will face pressures to offload this to service providers that can achieve economies of scale. The core processes would stay in house but be composable with external vendor offerings. You can get to his presentation here:
I can see providers emerging that host a suite of SOA enabled business systems on the cloud or "Internet Service Bus" that address common business functions and provide value added composition of services eventually evolving to specializing in particular vertical industries.
Posted on Friday, November 7, 2008 11:00 AM SOA , Oslo | Back to top

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