Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Microsoft Oslo and our App

For some reason, Microsoft seems to think that I am an "influencer" in Wall Street, and that plying me with large steaks and bottles of wine will make me happy (they are certainly correct in the second assumption).

Last night, I had a very nice dinner with Robert Wahbe and Steven Martin of Microsoft. They are large in the Connected Systems Division, which is the group that is overseeing the development of the mysterious Microsoft Oslo product/framework. We had a happy group that included the famous DonXML, Ambrose from Infragistics, Bill Zack, and a charming lady from Waggoner Edstrom whose job it was to make sure that Robert and Steven did not disclose too many of Microsoft's secrets (although I ended up telling them a few little ditties about Microsoft that they were not aware of!).

I have been sworn to secrecy, so I am going to regurgitate what little known facts about Oslo has been leaked out through various blogs. Oslo contains three things:

1) A new language that enables you to create your own Domain-Specific Languages (DSL).

2) A visual modeling tool.

3) A repository for models that you build.

What would we do with Oslo in our CEP system?

We would like our traders to be able to eventually build their own queries/models, and "inject" them into our CEP system. We do not want the traders coding in Coral8's CCL or any other streaming SQL language for that matter. And, we want the traders to play in our "sandbox" without hurting themselves or the other users of the system.

If we could create a high-level DSL that, through the use of some sort of "adapter", was translated into Streaming SQL, then we could give that to the traders. A visual modeling tool would allow them to easily construct models (remember how enthusiastic I was about Yahoo Pipes a few months ago?).

Let's see what Microsoft comes up with, and how soon it will be until Oslo is ready to use on a trading floor.

©2008 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved.
All opinions here are personal, and have no relation to my employer.


James Webster said...

They didn't share some info on whether Velocity might see some action soon? That project has been very quiet post the CTP. Still, at the PDC perhaps there will be some news.

marc said...

We did talk about Velocity. You are correct in stating that there has been very little news out of the Velocity group for the past few months, even on their team blogs. I know that they are presenting at the PDC in Los Angeles next week, but still, they seem to be unusually quiet ... Maybe they are coding up some of the feedback they they received during their Wall Street trip last summer.

Hans said...

Heh, I looked at doing this. :) I tried using some Eclipse framework components. Never came close to production though.

I hope Oslo is easier to get started than the Eclipse DSL components. It took me several weekends just to get the many components working together. ugh.

I also wonder how well Oslo will guide us to making a useful DSL. Or more importantly, a DSL that can start with a few small features and expand over time without becoming hard to use.

I found that I kept adding bits (or planning to add bits) to solve specific scenarios. Rather than a real language, it seemed to quickly become a way to declare a particular scenario and pass in a few parameters. Like "detect such-and-so condition on orders sent by -sender-id-". That's useful, but it doesn't need a DSL - it could be done just as well with a basic web interface that generates the SSQL from templates.

Anil Nori said...

Marc, you are right. We are heads down getting ready for PDC. We plan to get our CTP2 out at PDC. You will start seeing us blog again :-)