The Vision: Significantly simplify the effort required to design, build, deploy and manage
distributed applications within and across organizations.
The challenge for applications today is crossing boundaries. Boundaries between technologies. Boundaries
between you, your suppliers and your customers. Boundaries with hosted third-party services. The boundaries of
your business are dynamic. Your software needs to keep pace.
Let’s take a simple example. Weeks ago, you organized a large meeting in Chicago. What happens when the
meeting gets moved to Atlanta? The dominoes begin to fall. Airlines and hotel reservations need to be changed,
participants need to be notified, caterers need to be rebooked, entertainment organized, the list goes on and on.
And it all needs to happen now. When schedules are tight, other meetings are probably affected as well. You
would think solving this problem in software would be relatively straightforward.
Today, this is certainly achievable, but it takes a Herculean development effort and a patchwork of technologies. At
Microsoft Corp. we want to provide the platform and tools to make this simple for organizations of any size, and
dramatically increase the productivity and agility of both business and IT. In short, we want developers to be able
to build these kinds of applications with one-tenth the code that is required today. And we want to establish a rich
context in which those developers can interact with business analysts and IT professionals easily.
To take this from concept to reality, the Microsoft strategy has two elements:
First, continue to build on our service-oriented architecture (SOA) platform spanning client, server and cloud.
Microsoft continues to be a thought leader in Web services and SOA technologies and has delivered industry-
leading technologies such as the Microsoft Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and Microsoft BizTalk
Server. Moving forward we will continue to invest in the SOA platform, expanding our investment on the client
with technologies such as Microsoft Silverlight and in the cloud with technologies such as BizTalk Services.
A world-class SOA platform is necessary to build applications within and across organizations — but it is not
sufficient by itself. Building applications can be made much simpler. The second element of our strategy is to
make modeling a mainstream part of application development. Models are used across a wide range of
domains to allow more people to participate in application design and to allow developers to write
applications at a much higher level. For example, business analysts might model requirements, processes and
policy; architects might model schemas, services contracts and high-level designs; developers might create
executable models for workflow and rules; IT professionals might model deployment maps and application
Each is model is critical, but they are all trapped in silos. Each silo has its own tools, its own modeling
languages, its own way to store and share models, and its own way to run these models. These silos cause a
number of problems. First, the silos create communication barriers across the different roles of the life cycle.
Second, multiple tools and multiple ways to describe models create significant complexity. Third, having
models live in isolation means that no one has a single view of the application end to end.
As long as these silos exist, modeling will remain at the periphery of application development. We are building
a general-purpose modeling language, tools and repository to bridge all the models within an application,
moving models to the center of application development. Models will no longer just describe the application,
they will be the application.
“Oslo” is the code name for a set of technical investments that aim to significantly simplify designing, building,
managing and scaling service-oriented and composite applications that can span from the enterprise to the
Internet. The first version of “Oslo” will be delivered through the next versions of our application platform
products such as those code-named Microsoft Visual Studio “10,” Microsoft System Center “5,” BizTalk Server “6,”
BizTalk Services “1” and Microsoft .NET Framework “4.”
Microsoft Corp. | “Oslo” Backgrounder 1
What Is “Oslo”? What Are the Product and Technology Components That Will Be Delivered?
“Oslo” is the latest in a series of long-term investments in SOA and business process management (BPM)
technologies that enable the development of distributed applications. At the Microsoft SOA & Business Process
Conference, we will disclose the targeted investment areas and the associated priorities. These product
investments are part of a multirelease investment that will help advance the Dynamic IT initiative — specifically in
the areas that are services-enabled and model-driven.
There are five primary areas of investment targeted by “Oslo” development efforts:
• Framework. The .NET Framework “4” release will make further investments in model-driven development as
part of our WCF and Workflow Foundation (WF) technologies. This will be the logical successor to the .NET
Framework 3.5 release happening later this calendar year.
• Server. This release will continue to evolve our BizTalk family of products as the distributed platform for highly
scalable SOA and BPM solutions. BizTalk Server “6” will build deeply on top of both WCF and WF as its core
foundation, and deliver the capability to develop, manage and deploy composite applications.
• Services. Extending the early BizTalk Services incubation (currently available at http://labs.biztalk.net), the
BizTalk Services “1” release will deliver a commercial release of hosted services that enable cross-
organizational composite application scenarios. This includes expanded capabilities around hosted messaging,
identity and workflow capabilities.
• Tools. These investments will advance the application life-cycle management capabilities of Visual Studio
Team System and provide support for an expanded range of roles. Furthermore, Visual Studio “10” will
provide deep support for model-driven design and deployment of composite applications.
• Repository. There will also be investments aligning the metadata repositories across the Server & Tools
Business products. System Center “5,” Visual Studio “10” and BizTalk Server “6” will utilize a common
repository technology for managing, versioning and deploying models.
How Will the Technologies From “Oslo” Be Packaged, Branded or Sold?
It is still too early to talk about any specific packaging, branding or licensing details. However, “Oslo” products and
technologies will surface across multiple Microsoft product lines. BizTalk Server, Visual Studio, System Center and
the Microsoft Office system will likely continue to be separate product lines, just as they are today, with their own
SKUs and release schedules. However, as “Oslo” products and technologies become available, we expect them to
be used in these product lines to add new capabilities across the platform. Customers with Software Assurance
rights will be able to take advantage of these capabilities under their existing contracts.
When Will We See a CTP or Beta of “Oslo” Technologies?
Because “Oslo” technologies will ship across multiple products, there will in fact be multiple community
technology previews (CTPs) and betas that deliver various aspects of our R&D investments. We plan to have at
least one major CTP of “Oslo” technologies in 2008. We currently have a number of customers and partners
contributing to the direction and development of “Oslo” internally, and are committed to driving and prioritizing
our development efforts based on customer and partner feedback; they will help inform us as to the exact timing
of our broader CTP and beta efforts.
What Types of Problems Will Customers Be Able to Solve Using “Oslo”?
Traditionally, composite application development has been highly complex and costly — and thus only available to
the very largest of enterprise customers. We see “Oslo” as having benefits for companies of all sizes — the large
enterprise, departments or business units, and even medium-sized businesses. We believe that “Oslo” will make
this type of composite application available to a much broader, mainstream set of customers than is feasible or
Microsoft Corp. | “Oslo” Backgrounder 2
What Are the Major Customer Benefits Delivered by “Oslo”?
• Integrates with what you already have. “Oslo” lets you build on the existing and familiar investments you’re
already made in skills and technology on top of the Microsoft SOA platform, while simultaneously opening up
a rich new set of capabilities. “Oslo” enhances and aligns BizTalk Server and the .NET Framework and provides
significant enhancements across a range of SOA infrastructure services such as federated identity, messaging
and long running activities. “Oslo” also enables simplified service enablement and composition of your existing
legacy or packaged applications through rich interoperability support delivered through adapters, Web
services and Web 2.0 protocols.
• Provides a unified platform for software plus services. “Oslo” further extends the benefits of services into the
cloud, by delivering an enterprise-class, unified platform for building both SOA and software as a service (SaaS)
applications. This enables our enterprise customers to more easily build composite applications that federate
across organizational boundaries, take advantage of new cloud-based services, and provide the flexibility to
deploy applications in house, third-party hosted or Microsoft-hosted environments.
• Connects the end-to-end application life cycle. The technical investments that make up “Oslo,” in conjunction
with Visual Studio Team System, help further connect business and IT stakeholders across the full application
life cycle, by giving new ways to easily develop, deploy, manage and scale applications using integrated tools
and application models. This enables managing end-to-end composite applications as a whole system rather
than individual pieces. “Oslo” products and technologies will integrate with and enhance Microsoft life-cycle
tooling in Visual Studio Team System, System Center and BizTalk Server.
• Advances the software development process. “Oslo” helps provide even greater levels of agility and
productivity to both business and IT by taking deep advantage of visual modeling tools; models, in turn, raise
the level of abstraction across the system. “Oslo” will greatly simplify the development of composite
applications that can be more easily changed, because the underlying model is the application (without
handoffs between people or systems involved in the software development life cycle).
What Is the Migration Road Map of Current Apps to “Oslo”?
It’s an important guiding principle to our planning efforts that we preserve our customers’ existing investments in
both their BizTalk Server and .NET Framework infrastructure. At the same time, we will be simultaneously investing
in significant new areas such as using Windows Workflow Foundation and Windows Communication Foundation
deeply and natively within the core server platform. To that end, we will continue to provide backward
compatibility for the existing BizTalk Orchestration engine and support side-by-side execution of both older
XLANG-based and newer WF-based processes. We will likewise continue to provide support for existing
applications built on top of .NET Framework 3.0 and 3.5.
What Should Customers and Partners Do Today to Prepare?
We’ve just delivered an incredibly exciting set of technologies as a result of launching BizTalk Server 2006 R2 and
the soon-to-be-launched .NET Framework 3.5. In addition, we have early CTPs available for both Visual Studio
Team System (code-named “Rosario”) and BizTalk Services. These products provide a rich set of capabilities
spanning both on-premise and in the cloud to build rich, distributed applications. Furthermore, in the next six
months we’re delivering the largest wave of innovation history at Microsoft by shipping Windows Server 2008,
Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008. This expansive set of application platform technologies is the base
foundation for where we plan to go in the future with some of our “Oslo” innovations. We think the best way to
prepare for the future is to begin using and deploying these technologies today.
How Do I Get More Information on the “Oslo” Efforts? Is There a Microsoft Technology Adoption Program I Can
Sign Up For?
For now, the best way to get more information is to visit our Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/soa. We’ll be
periodically providing updates over the coming weeks and months as we get further into the development life
cycle. This will also be how you can stay informed about CTPs and TAP programs that will be planned for CY2008.
Microsoft Corp. | “Oslo” Backgrounder 3