Bill Gates made a valedictory appearance at this year’s TechEd and along with a Steve Ballmer robot had some some development related announcements:
Not on the formal program was a certain amount of uncertainty over the arrival of SQL Server 2008:
He said Microsoft’s SharePoint Server would become the first Microsoft product to use enterprise search from its Fast Search and Transfer acquisition. The delayed SQL Server will be next. "Think of it as SQL Server, but it’s really Fast," he said.
For all the talk of data services, there was still no date on the next edition of SQL Server. Demonstrating SQL Server 2008, Dave Campbell, from Microsoft’s data storage platform division said SQL Server 2008 would be available in the "next month or two."
The delivery of the Hyper-V beta wasn’t the only work Microsoft developers wrapped up last week just in time for the holidays:
Actually multiple service packs, this is a fit and finish release for both client and server Office 2007 software that provides “stability, performance and security enhancements.” Downloads are available now and coming soon to automatic update. There’s also a whitepaper that describes the changes. Also available was SP1 for kissing cousin Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.
We’re making available today the RC release of Windows Vista SP1, found here on MSDN and here on TechNet, with an FAQ here. I invite you to download, install and use the SP1 RC and let us know about your experience by providing your feedback here.
Public downloads are now also available. It may throw a crimp into the “now business can take Vista seriously” stories, but Microsoft is highlighting the obvious in warning that SP1 most likely won’t solve Vista software compatibility problems.
Windows XP SP3 RC1
Microsoft snuck this one out and I still haven’t found a direct Microsoft download link, but the folks at BetaNews have made it available. What Microsoft is providing is a new overview of what’s in SP3 and not unexpectedly, it’s mostly a roll-up of individual fixes, but there are some minor new features and feature enhancements.
Microsoft’s SharePoint Server business intranet collaboration offering gets the chance to demonstrate some Web 2.0 social graces with partnerships announced today with wiki vendor Atlassian Software Systems and NewsGator Technologies. Not to worry about “carrying ons” though, SharePoint is still all business.
At the Gartner Business Process Management Summit, Microsoft Corp. today announced the formation of the Microsoft Business Process Alliance (BPA), which extends the benefits of business process management (BPM) to an array of companies and offers enhanced functionality to existing Microsoft customers. The Business Process Alliance is a group of 10 industry-leading software vendors focused on making BPM solutions more broadly accessible and helping companies take advantage of BPM tools based on the Microsoft® platform. Through this alliance, a broad range of customers will benefit from a powerful set of end-to-end tools for automating and optimizing business processes. The initial members of the BPA are AmberPoint, Ascentn, IDS Scheer, Fair Isaac, Global360, InRule, Metastorm, PNMsoft, RuleBurst and SourceCode Technology Holdings Inc. Microsoft also announced enhancements to its Windows® Workflow Foundation technology in the .NET Framework 3.0, adding support for the upcoming BPEL 2.0 standard and further providing capabilities and tools for developers and independent software vendors building BPEL-enabled workflow applications.
Microsoft also announced a road map for the adoption of the BPEL 2.0 standard in Windows Workflow Foundation to help drive industry interoperability and drive greater mainstream adoption of BPEL-enabled workflow applications. Microsoft will enable further integration between Windows Workflow Foundation and its BizTalk® Server product as part of the BizTalk Server 2006 R2 release, which will be generally available in the third quarter of 2007.
The roadmap for BPEL incoporation in Workflow comes from Microsoft’s Paul Andrew:
In March 2007 Microsoft plans to release a CTP of a set of BPEL activities for Windows Workflow Foundation (WF). This will be called BPEL for Windows Workflow Foundation March CTP and the CTP release will implement the BPEL 1.1 specification. The final release of BPEL for Windows Workflow Foundation will implement the OASIS BPEL 2.0 standard and is planned for release in Q4 of calendar year 2007.
The download will be separate from the .NET Framework and it will be required for developing BPEL based workflows in Visual Studio. The same download will provide runtime operations for executing BPEL based workflows.
The next major version of BizTalk Server will be built on Windows Workflow Foundation. This was announced back when Windows Workflow Foundation was first disclosed in September 2005. BizTalk Server will be able to take advantage of these BPEL activities at that time to also allow for BPEL 2.0 support. At that time both Windows Workflow Foundation and BizTalk Server will support BPEL 2.0.
Since this isn’t completely obvious, here’s the net:
What I haven’t mentioned is the role of Windows SharePoint Services and Office SharePoint Server 2007 which are both based on Workflow. For information on that I recommend David Chappell’s document,”Microsoft and BPM: A Technology Overview,” which is available on the Microsoft BPM web site.