A Round-up of Microsoft SOA Resources

      Microsoft believes that software empowers individuals to accomplish difficult tasks. Our approach towards educating our partners and customers on SOA reflects this belief. For this reason the bulk of our resources are designed to be actionable instead of passive, instructor-led courses. These offerings are available in a broad variety of formats, many of which are listed below. Most of the educational offerings included in this list are freely available. The list below is by no means complete and is likely to change in the near future.

Courses, Communities, Etc.

· Partner Architect Summit – A series of multi-day “train the trainer” workshops held across the US in 2006. The workshops were designed to educate partners on the SOA capabilities of the Microsoft platform. The workshop included presentations, sample code and hands-on-labs focusing on BizTalk 2006, SQLServer 2005, Visual Team Studio 2005 and Software Factories. The resources used by this workshop will be made freely available over the web later this year.

· ARCastweekly podcast with IT leaders from around the world, focusing on architectural issues (many of which are related to SOA). 143 episodes are available with more being added on a weekly basis.

· Channel 9 online communityChannel 9 features interviews with Microsoft developers (internal and external) about products and experiences, provides a forum to discuss videos and other topics, and a wiki. Channels 9 is used by many Microsoft product teams as a way to aggregate feedback and respond to issues from users.

· Architect JournalFree online and paper journal featuring articles from industry-leading thought leaders around the world. Many articles focus on SOA.

Conferences

  • First annual BPM and SOA conference held in Redmond in October 2006
  • Strategic Architect Forum (SAF)
  • Microsoft TechEd is an annual conference focused on current and near-term platform capabilities. Many of the presentations from TechEd 2006 are freely available at http://virtualteched.com/default.aspx.
  • Microsoft Professional Developer’s Conference (PDC)  is a conference for software developers. PDC is more forward-looking than TechEd, covering new and upcoming technologies.
  • External (non-MSFT) conferences, industry-specific conferences

Books (Small sample of what’s available):

 SOA Portals

Frameworks

Frameworks include sample bits, guidance and additional documentation.

Business and Operations

  • Motion, Motion Lite - Motion uses business architecture to expose the business model of an organization, and then applies that information either to resolving a specific problem, or to informing decisions related to project prioritization and selection. Motion includes a patent-pending business architecture model, a template-rich methodology, and a variety of tools for capturing the business architecture and business model information in a highly stable, objective, and metric-rich format. That business architecture information can be linked to process, organization, and IT architecture information. By design, everything about Motion is technology-agnostic and mostly acronym-free. Motion methodology projects are typically eight weeks in length, and involve modeling your business architecture and choosing a project with the maximum value. Motion Lite is a two-day short course, to introduce the concepts of business architecture as used by Motion, and to get you started on project prioritization using this technique. During the first day, you will build a high-level capability map of your business, leveraging one of over a dozen industry-specific templates in the Motion library. During the second day, you will look at the business value, maturity, and interconnectedness of your capabilities—among other specific attributes—and use that information to see how the Motion technique changes the way you think about project prioritization and selection. More on Motion Lite here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnbda/html/MotionLite.asp
  • Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) - operational guidance that helps organizations to achieve mission-critical system reliability, availability, supportability, and manageability with Microsoft products and technologies. MOF is based on ITIL (UK government’s Office of Government Commerce (OGC)). MOF is a superset of the ITIL standards and includes white papers, operations guides, assessment tools, best practices, case studies, templates, support tools, courseware, and services. The guidance addresses the people, process, technology, and management issues pertaining to complex, distributed, and heterogeneous technology environments. MOF evolved from MSF, building on ITIL’s best practices for organizational structure and process ownership, and modeling the critical success factors used by partners, customers, and Microsoft’s internal Operations and Technology Group (OTG).
  • Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) - a set of software engineering processes, principles, and proven practices intended to enable developers to achieve success in the software development life cycle (SDLC). MSF provides an adaptable guidance, based upon experiences and best practices from inside and outside of Microsoft, to increase the chance of successful delivery of an information technology solution to the customer by working fast, decreasing the number of people on the project team, averting risk, while enabling high quality results.
  • Windows Server System Reference Architecture (WSSRA) - a detailed reference architecture, tested and proven in labs, that yields valuable implementation guidance for meeting the requirements of an enterprise. Customers can use this guidance to build highly available, secure, scalable, manageable, and reliable enterprise infrastructure. By following the recommendations in the WSSRA documentation, an organization can quickly and efficiently plan, build, and operate an infrastructure to support its long-term business needs. WSSRA includes architectural blueprints and detailed implementation guides for a broad range of scenarios.