"Orcas" Express + "Astoria" + BizTalk Labs!! Oh Yes!

OK, so it's Saturday morning, Yil and I have walked the dogs, I've had my first coffee, and I'm ready to do some Satdee mornin' hacking!

Now, I've had a few things on this week, so I've had to put off reviewing my "cloud" technologies to see where they are at... and boyo, was I in for a bit of a buzz!

But before I get into that, something's been on my mind for a while. Now, I turn 30 in a few days time, and for those near or around that vintage, you probably will agree with my next few thoughts. Following my graduation, I entered a tech industry that was in the grips of a revolution; the interactive web site! It was crazy, the dot com daze, the rivers o' money, and all the while I'm just as green as a pepper, not seeing the opportunities to do something amazing. Fast forward 10 years, and while there have been some spikes in the cardiograph of technology, there hasn't been anything worth grabbing your mamma about... until now.

Seriously, a renaissance is upon us. The opportunity that cloud based infrastructures will give online players is unprecedented. And I'm not talking about basic services like storage, data layers, and web services. When you look at the pace that cloud based infrastructures are evolving (way quicker than inside the firewall), we already have an Internet Service Bus, and it won't be long until Live CRM hits the street. And the tools are evolving too, with "Orcas" already available in Beta, and already with "Astoria" support, the whole developer platform is syncing. Add to all this, the fact that it's not just a few small startups providing these services, but THE biggest players in the industry (Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Yahoo) providing the grunt, customers are warming to the idea of fully web based solutions. And all at a no cost bootstrap! It's the pay as you grow model enabled by economies of scale.

So, back to my review. What am I playing with today? Well:


1 x Visual Studio Code Name 'Orcas' Express Edition (C# + Web)

1 x Microsoft Codename "Astoria" - May 2007 Community Technology Preview (Download)

1 x BizTalk Labs Identity and Connectivity Services (Download SDK)


My plan is to start by building an AJAX interface to the AdventureWorks Data Service from "Astoria" Online.

Then, I'm going to create a second solution, which will be my pseudo-gateway system, where I'll publish some simple order entry services.

Once I get that working, my next goal is to explore the BizTalk labs SDK, to see if I can't get my AdventureWorks application, submitting order info to my Order Gateway application, using the BizTalk Labs ISB!

I'm going to use my own web server env for now, but am also going to keep an eye out for a good hoster, once I'm sure what the dependencies are (Astoria seems to need .NET 3.5 Fx, but I'm not sure if that's just for the dev experience, or for both dev and runtime).

Will post all my code up when done :)