Microsoft has promised to make available the first preview of a web services communications technology, code-named Indigo, this month that will help partners build connected systems for its next-generation, services-oriented architecture (SOA).
The technology is an extension to a forthcoming .Net Framework 2.0 in Visual Studio 2005. It would run on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 and be integrated into the Longhorn version of Windows, Microsoft said.
It pulled together communications technologies and web services standards into a single API and framework that was expected to help developers connect web services.
Microsoft has a mixed bag of Microsoft tools and technologies partners use to connect web services, including ASP.Net, .Net Enterprise Services, .Net Remoting, Web Service Extensions and ASMX. Indigo would be an additional layer coexisting with those tools.
Indigo would eventually sit transparently in Microsoft's Visual Studio platform and Windows operating system.
"[Indigo] makes it dramatically easier for an average Microsoft solution provider to build enterprise distributed software," said Tim Huckaby, chief executive of InterKnowlogy, a US-based Microsoft partner. "Indigo solves a very tricky problem right now, which is choosing and implementing the right communications stack."
A beta test version would appear later this year and final code in 2006, one Microsoft executive said.
Ari Bixhorn, director of web services strategies at Microsoft, said the Indigo programming model and .Net class libraries would let developers and partners make more sophisticated business-oriented web services that were secure, reliable and production-ready.
Ken Spencer, chief technical officer at US partner 32X, said web services technology needed more security, reliability and transactions.
"Indigo is only one aspect of the SOA, but you need to connect web services together," he said.
Indigo was expected to quicken development. For example, Indigo may let a .Net web service more easily pump inventory data from one Microsoft application into a Java-based inventory application at another customer location.
"It will become the central messaging technology for Microsoft products and applications," said Andrew Brust, chief of new technology at Citigate Hudson, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner in New York. "The only [negative] I see is it's still a way off."
Issue: 315 | May 2013
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