jueves, octubre 16, 2008

Mas noticias de Oslo

Más información sobre el proyecto Oslo confirman la revalorización de los conceptos de modelado, abstracción, automatización, revalorización que también alcanza a las factorías de software, al proponer nuevas herramientas capaces de articular mejor el conjunto. Noticias basadas en declaraciones de Robert Wahbe, Corporate Vice President, de la división Connected Systems (reproducido el 10 de octubre por The Register y Application Development Trends, entre otros.
En primer lugar, los nuevos anuncios:
The company is today [10 de octubre] due to announce M, for building textual domain-specific languages (DSLs) and software models with XAML. Microsoft will also announce Quadrant, for building and viewing models visually, and a repository for storing and combining models using a SQL Server database.

(...) Wahbe said [Quadrant] will be a generic editor that lets you view a model as a list of nodes, a tree, graph, or boxes of lines laid our for a workflow and combine views to visualize the model.

(...) Underpinning this will be the repository, where you will be able to combine models. Wahbe said models could be combined because they'd be translated into their basic elements - tables. The repository will support models from third parties and those built using UML in addition to those constructed in M and Quadrant.
Gavin Clarke, para The Register, destaca el impulso que Oslo implica para las Software Factories de Microsoft. Los subrayados en verde, como siempre, son míos:

Oslo is Microsoft's big new push to give developers tools and techniques in modeling and code re-use to improve the design, build, and testing of software. The SOA tie-in comes through the ability to combine models with things such as Microsoft's Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) for process and workflow.

It's a fresh take on an existing model and code re-use concept. Some years back, Microsoft was pushing the idea of Software Factories that featured in the then-new Visual Studio Team System (VSTS).

Software Factories used DSLs and XML for you to build re-usable models that punched out code for specific uses - or domains such as, say, HR in banking.

The factories idea came as it attempted to "democratize" application lifecycle management (ALM) with VSTS by making tools for modeling and testing easier to use. Also, Microsoft was adopting the idea of working with highly tuned DSLs rather than the more generic industry standard Unified Modeling Language (UML), which was seen by some as bloated with version 2.0.

While an admirable strategy, Software Factories have not taken off as Microsoft had probably hoped, and modeling remains a pursuit not of coders but mostly of architects and designers.

Robert Wahbe, corporate vice president of Microsoft's connected systems division, told The Reg that Oslo would give Software Factories a "huge boost" as it would make models easier to build both textually and visually. Wahbe said M will provide unique services not available in other languages - in declarative keywords and syntax and how the DSL is translated and stored in the repository.

Kathleen Richards, en Application Development Trends, dice sobre Oslo:
Oslo is designed to unify Microsoft's modeling technologies. It is likely to be the successor to the company's modeling tools such as the Web Services Software Factory: Modeling Edition, which offers guidance and code generation in Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2008.

First announced in October 2007, Oslo will enable .NET developers to more easily create domain-specific languages -- custom mini-languages, often industry- or component-related, that can be used to solve similar problems in a common domain. Microsoft's existing DSL toolkit, which focuses on graphical DSL, first appeared as an extension to Visual Studio 2005 and was baked into the Visual Studio 2008 SDK.

Oslo extends the existing DSL Toolkit; adds support for UML, BPMN and BPEL via a visual designer; and stores the artifacts and conceptual diagrams in a common SQL Server database. The goal is to enhance traditional imperative programming techniques with higher-level models to improve flexibility in terms of extensibility and changing the behavior of the app, as well as to increase transparency and productivity.

Kathleen agrega un aspecto probable en cuanto al objetivo de Quadrant: su utilización como herramienta de modelado para analistas de negocio:

Data-driven app developer Roger Jennings, a contributing editor to Redmond Developer News' sister publication Visual Studio Magazine and OakLeaf Systems blogger, said that with Oslo, Microsoft is moving to a repository for componentized software. The company's intention is to make the visual designer Quadrant usable by business analysts -- to modify workflows, for example -- but whether that will work is unclear. "My feeling about Oslo is that what they are trying to do is get business analysts involved in the design process, but not necessarily doing the design," Jennings said.

According to Wahbe, the first version of Oslo is definitely targeted at the development community. For business analysts and end users, he said, "What we expect is that those models will be surfaced naturally within their existing toolsets." For example, SharePoint has document approval that "under the covers" is using a model and workflow but that is not directly exposed to the user.

However, he added, "The tool that we've built is very easy to use and we imagine over time analysts and IT using that tool."

Todavía sigue pareciendo un bosquejo. Sigue produciendo(me) la impresión de ser un modo de llegar al diseño dirigido por modelos a partir de herramientas de tercera generación que se desea preservar.

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