Microsoft Clarifies Position on SOA, Jumps into Enterprise 2.0

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It never fails: The day after I write about something on this blog, I find a really good item that would have fit perfectly with yesterday's topic.

So, of course, since I wrote about Microsoft's emerging SOA strategy yesterday, today I stumbled across this InfoQ interview with Dino Chiesa, Director of Marketing for .Net in the Connected System Division at Microsoft.

This interview goes a long way toward explaining Microsoft's SOA strategy, and even offers examples of how specific companies have used Microsoft's standards and .Net to implement services. A few items, in particular, stood out to me:

  • Though some contend Microsoft has been dragging its feet on SOA, Microsoft - of course - differs. Chiesa traces Microsoft's SOA efforts back 1999, with ASMX and WSE.
  • Chiesa says that .Net 3.5, which will be released in November, will include Windows Communication Foundation and support WS-AtomicTransaction and WS-ReliableMessaging.
  • Microsoft also plans to release the WCF Line of Business Adapter SDK, which Chiesa notes will integrate the WCF communication model with enterprise systems. SAP and Siebel are mentioned specifically.
  • Microsoft will promote the use of REST as a supplement or alternative to Web services and SOAP.
  • Chiesa notes that the IDC survey - which, by the way, was commissioned by Microsoft - shows .Net is the most popular infrastructure for SOA among enterprises. "The key to our success it to help our customers get concrete things done with a pragmatic approach," Chiesa says, adding that most of Microsoft's customers aren't interested in expensive, top-down SOA initiatives, but want to implement SOA in steps.

While we're on the topic of Microsoft, CIO Insight just published a short feature on how a bank is using Microsoft's Sharepoint Server to build its own Facebook-esque social network.


Wachovia, with its 110,000 employees, is the fourth-largest bank in the United States. The company said its new Web 2.0 knowledge-management platform integrates Web 2.0 services with the company's existing business applications. And it's all possible because Microsoft makes integration easy, according to Pete Fields, Wachovia's director of eBusiness for employees.


Fields' exact quote is:

Microsoft has a relatively rich technology offering, with natural integration across different product sets. Desktop and productivity tools are still so Microsoft-centric that it made sense.

He calls the social networking tool a "proof-of-business-value environment." I certainly hope someone follows up with the company in six months to see how it's working.


Even if you're a Web 2.0 (or Enterprise 2.0) skeptic, check out the article. If I were a betting woman, I'd wager Microsoft's involvement in the project will prompt many IT workers and business managers to ponder how Web 2.0 technologies can be used in the enterprise.