PDC 2009 Day 1: Microsoft Application Server Technologies: Present and Future

In this PDC session, Anil Nori, Distinguished Engineer in Microsoft’s server application group, presented an overview of the upcoming server technologies coming from Microsoft.

2010 Wave

Initially, Anil spoke of the application serer technologies which are due to be released during 2010.

.NET 4.0 – WCF & WF

.NET 4.0 contains many WCF productivity enhancements, dramatic improvements in WF and deeper integration between WCF and WF. These improvements and modifications are shipped with Visual-Studio 2010, and are mostly known by now since the Visual-Studio 2010 beta 1 phase.

AppFabric

AppFabric is basically set of services which allows you to write scaled-out distributed applications, which provides you with:

  • High Availability
  • Scale Out Mechanisms
  • Multi Tenant
  • Management Interface

With AppFabric, one can manage services and workflows, monitor their execution, deploy an in-memory application cache utilizing Microsoft’s “Velocity” and deploy applications to either a server or a cloud service (Once Windows Azure AppFabric is released).

The AppFabric beta’s abilities were demonstrated and appear very interesting to those (such as me) who ever attempted to host, deploy and manage WF services. Below are some shots of the demonstration (unfortunately I was sitting at the side of the hall so the pictures are a little diagonal).

PDC_05.jpg PDC_06.jpg PDC_07.jpg

BizTalk Server 2009 R2

BizTalk serer 2009 R2 was announced in this session for 2010 release. Main issues addressed in this release are:

  • Platform alignment – utilize BizTalk Server 2009 R2 together with Windows Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual-Studio 2010.
  • Productivity Gains – various additions such as a single dashboard to apply and manage performance parameters and PowerShell access to management tools.
  • Focus on B2B scenarios.

Futures

Anil mentioned several future additions Microsoft is working on and these can be found in the last slide of the session, however, the most important future release in my opinion is the CTP of Windows Azure AppFabric during 2010. This release would enable full symmetry between server and service (cloud) applications as both AppFabric application server (for Windows Server 2008 and for Windows Azure) would offer an almost identical development experience.

The Bottom Line

In this session, Anil overviewed a large variety of application server technologies developed by Microsoft. Future sessions are going to cover these technologies in a more in-depth manner, and I plan to attend and cover most of them in my blog.

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