As an MVP I’ve been involved in series of web conferences and SDR (Software design reviews) related to “Dublin”. As Darren mentioned here, the news came bit earlier than expected. It is more exciting time for people involved in Connected system development (Windows Communication[WCF] and Windows Workflow[WF]). I believe release of Dublin will take us to the next step, much closer to building enterprise scale applications using WCF/WF. Even though WCF got a rich hosting model, due to the lack of proper application server to host, enterprises always tend to use IIS as their hosting server. It’s fine, there is nothing wrong with it, but at end of the day IIS is designed for a different purpose to serve web pages, not services. With the introduction of Dublin, things will change drastically. People coming from BizTalk background will see more similarities in Dublin, we (biztalkers) been enjoying the power and richness of the hosting platform provided by BizTalk for years now.
At my current client, recently I had been involved with series of discussion with our “Enterprise Architecture” group to discuss the usage of our “Business Services” by our web UI channel. Our “Business Services” are set of composite services sitting on top of application services, build using BizTalk Orchestrations. Our current production setup is tuned for high throughput(volume), with Web Channel coming into the picture, we need to tune the same services for low-latency. To some extend we need to bend BizTalk to address some of the low latency scenarios (example: using inline send from orchestration while calling application services to avoid MessageBox hops). As part of the discussion, its been brought on board to evaluate “IBM WebSphere Message Broker 6.1” to address the low latency scenario.
I been tasked with evaluating the IBM WMB product. In WMB there is no concept of persistence, everything happens in-memory. In certain cases you can use WebSphere MQ as persistence store. It got a rich hosting platform (concept of broker, execution group, Configuration Manager – Similar to Host/Host Instances in BizTalk). You can design message flow (equivalent to Orchestration) with nodes (equivalent to Adapters). You can consume web services and expose message flows as web services. etc, etc. Most of the WMB concepts will have similarities with Windows WorkFlow (WF), but work flow was lagging a a rich hosting environment. Customers need to write their own, which in most cases will be too expensive to bring it to enterprise scale. With the announcement of “Dublin” that’s going to change.
NOTE: WMB is full featured broker (middleware) product, WF and WMB are similar but not like for like.
Exciting times ahead!!