REDMOND, Washington, October 30 /PRNewswire/ --

- Company announces multiyear investment in 'Oslo,' launches new SOA resources for IT professionals.

Attendees gathered at the fifth annual Microsoft SOA & Business Process Conference today, where the company shared its vision and road map to simplify the effort required to design, build, deploy and manage composite applications within and across organisations. Microsoft Corp announced "Oslo," the code name for the set of technical investments that help customers realise this vision.

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This multiyear, multiproduct effort utilises the company's top engineering talent to build on the model-driven and service-enabled principles of Microsoft Dynamic IT (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/jun07/06-04TechED07PR.mspx) and extend the benefits of service-oriented architecture (SOA) beyond the firewall. The "Oslo" technology innovations further Microsoft software-plus-services efforts by providing extensions to the application platform to help developers bridge between on-premise and off-premise projects. As part of a technical road map, Microsoft made available new tools and guidance to help organisations take advantage of "real-world SOA" today, including new SOA resources from Microsoft and a host of industry partners.

"Many customers are challenged to realise the promise of SOA given today's complexities," said Jeff Raikes, president of Microsoft Business Division. "The combination of our current software-plus-services approach and the new wave of 'Oslo' technologies will enable IT to deliver high-impact business solutions."

Today, applications cannot easily span the boundaries between technologies, between business and IT, and between an organisation, its suppliers and its customers. Microsoft's continued investments in SOA and business-process management (BPM) technologies will help customers better connect across these boundaries using a service-oriented and model-driven approach. As part of "Oslo," Microsoft will work to deliver a unified platform integrating services and modelling, moving from a world where models describe the application to a world where models are the application.

"It's time to help developers and IT professionals extend the capabilities of SOA to address the new 'blended' world of software plus services and cross-boundary collaboration," said Robert Wahbe, corporate vice president of the Connected Systems Division at Microsoft. "'Oslo' will enable a new class of applications that are connected and streamlined - from design through deployment - reducing complexity, aligning the enterprise and Internet, and simplifying interoperability and management."

At the conference today, Microsoft also demonstrated an upcoming community technology preview of Microsoft BizTalk Services ( http://labs.biztalk.net/default.aspx), featuring additional support for interoperability, Web 2.0 services, identity standards and work flow in the cloud.

Building on the technology available today, the "Oslo" advancements will be delivered through Microsoft server and tools products in five key areas:

-- Server. Microsoft BizTalk Server "6" will continue to provide a core foundation for distributed and highly scalable SOA and BPM solutions, and deliver the capability to develop, manage and deploy composite applications. -- Services. BizTalk Services "1" will offer a commercially supported release of web-based services enabling hosted composite applications that cross organisational boundaries. This release will include advanced messaging, identity and work flow capabilities. -- Framework. The Microsoft .NET Framework "4" release will further enable model-driven development with Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and Windows Workflow Foundation (WF). -- Tools. New technology planned for Visual Studio "10" will make significant strides in end-to-end application life-cycle management through new tools for model-driven design of distributed applications. -- Repository. There will also be investments in aligning the metadata repositories across the Server and Tools product sets. Microsoft System Center "5," Visual Studio "10" and BizTalk Server "6" will utilise a repository technology for managing, versioning and deploying models.

Customers are realising the benefits of Microsoft's real-world approach to SOA and vision by employing today's technology, including BizTalk Server and BizTalk Services, along with the upcoming .NET Framework and Visual Studio. On 27 Feb 2008, Microsoft will continue the wave of innovation by also launching Windows Server 2008, .NET Framework 3.5, and Microsoft SQL Server 2008.

Reinforcing their commitment to SOA, Microsoft, Accenture and Avanade recently announced the Accenture and Avanade Solutions Showcase, located on Microsoft's corporate campus. This Solutions Showcase highlights the power of SOA while offering customers customised solutions in areas such as the next-generation workplace, infrastructure optimisation and business intelligence. The first solution to be developed in conjunction with the new Solutions Showcase, a human resources (HR) solution that helps organisations quickly and efficiently bring on board new employees, was demonstrated during Robert Wahbe's keynote address at the Microsoft SOA & BPM Conference.

"The Solutions Showcase illustrates the benefits of bringing together the technology skills and industry expertise of Accenture, Avanade and Microsoft in a single location," said Paul Daugherty, chief architect for Accenture. "Our customers are always looking to extract more value from their application development investments and can benefit from this joint innovation as they develop mission critical-solutions on the Microsoft platform."

Customers and partners can visit the new Microsoft SOA and Business Process Solution Center at http://www.microsoft.com/soa for additional information and resources, including patterns and practices based on the most successful customer implementations.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

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