Archive for the ‘AppFabric’ Category
I have been invited to present a session on Exploring AppFabric (Server & Cloud) at Avanade, London on the 28th October (next week). This is part of the regular Soltech After Hours meetings. This session will be a hands on look into the components of both Server AppFabric as well as Azure AppFabric. We will also look at how these offerings fit into Microsoft’s overall platform strategy and how they align with other products such as BizTalk Server and what the roadmap for all of them looks like.
My AppFabric presentation at TechDays Online 2010 went off very well. Thanks to all those who took the time out to attend my session as well as the other sessions. There were more than a 350 attendees through the day and even with 3 tracks going on simultaneously, I managed to get over a 100 in my talk alone which is really encouraging . If you attended my webcast (or have watched it since) and have any questions or require clarifications, feel free to ping me on this blog.
Hot on the heels of my previous talk on AppFabric at SBUG, I will be reprising the talk, but with more of a Workflow Services slant at VBUG in Bracknell on Feb 15th 2010.
A big thanks to all who attended the SBUG talk and cool to see the large Avanade contingent comprising many familiar faces . It was an interesting conversation on BizTalk and AppFabric. I will be posting more content on those topics here soon. I’ve sent the slides to Mike Stephenson and they should be available on the SBUG site soon.
I hope to be able to do more of a hands on demo of Workflow Services at the VBUG event (but that depends on Windows Virtual PC behaving properly). Still, it should be a good evening. Again, lots of known folk at VBUG and hope to see a good crowd.
So, whats cooking for MockingBird in 2010 ? I have a veritable laundry list of features for the next release(s) but here’s the broad themes we are working towards.
(1) WCF : The first is the port to WCF which is long overdue and Bram has been hard at work in getting this off the ground so I expect to have something to announce soon. We will be implementing a message interceptor / router with a generic contract and from there leverage the simulation framework that is currently available with (hopefully) minimal changes. The challenge will be in the area of bindings since most teams customize bindings heavily so the service will need to support custom bindings.
(2) REST, XML/Http etc: Here we are looking at moving beyond just SOAP based services to plain XML/Http services and even REST based services. Cormac had come across some non SOAP services recently for which he had to manually code a mock, so we will be looking to incorporate such functionality here. REST is an area that I haven’t paid much attention too so i see a crash course in REST around the corner. If you have experience with REST and are keen to see support for this in MockingBird and can contribute in some way, do drop me a line.
(3) Generic ‘Action’ processing: For processing requests and building responses, there needs to be a more generic approach. Currently there is support for running an XPATH query on the request and returning a response based on the result of the XPath expression., But this is only one solution. What if we wanted to do a custom evaluation of the request where XPath is not enough? Further for the response, what if we wanted something more dynamic than just pointing to a specific response file? for example, Cormac suggested we dynamically execute an XSLT against the request. So, for this we need to look at the system executing a supplied “IAction” (IRequestAction, IResponseAction) and behaving accordingly. Unity and MEF should help here.
(4) Dynamic Mocking With BizUnit: This would be an API (+ a BizUnit step) which reduces the amount of upfront configuration needed. I envisage being able to say “For this endpoint, at the next request, return “X” response (and extend it to say, “do that for the next 10 calls or forever etc). We should then be able to “assert” that the system did indeed send the response. This would require surfacing the configuration file management code so that a config file could be written on the fly by the API/ Test step.
(5) .NET 4, AppFabric and Workflow Service: This is probably a longer term (MockingBird v3) where I am considering implementing the handler as a dynamic workflow service and using XAML. Now with this approach all the header parsing, IAction components etc would all become custom workflow activities and it would be possible to dynamically compose specialized handlers on the fly. The message interceptor component would move to the official WCF Router.
So these are the big ticket items. For all of them I would appreciate your feedback as to what would give you the most value. We would also welcome more participation and contribution of ideas/code. Looking forwad to your feedback.
I’m delighted to be delivering my first presentation for the UK SOA/BPM User Group next week on the topic of Windows Server AppFabric (formerly code-named “Dublin”). The link to register is here and the page will be updated with the abstract shortly.
The tight integration between WCF and WF 4.0 and the hosting support in AppFabric is looking very promising now and will definitely provide a good platform for solutions which dont require BizTalk and, where BizTalk is already available, can work well alongside and integrate with it. We’ll look at some scenarios where there may be overlap and how to approach the solution in such cases. Sure there will be some good discussions !
I know Yossi will be there . Looking forward to catching up with some of the other UK / London gang as well.