TechEd 2008 Recap

Just back from Orlando, here are some takeaways from this year's TechEd 2008 for IT-pros:
  • Interoperability with SOAP based web services is progressing: I was part of a panel on interoperability, moderated by Chris Haddad. It was a fairly diverse panel, with speakers from Microsoft, WSO2, Tibco, and Sun. While there was general agreement on the usefulness of the more basic WS-\* specifications like WS-Security, opinions differed on where the future lies and how it can be achieved. In my opinion, the relatively high fidelity of interoperability within the WS-SX family of specifications is a direct result of the proper standardization process at OASIS that these specs were subjected to, comparable to that of ebXML or SAML 2.0. Thus, it is my expectation that the WS-RX and WS-TX protocol families will eventually yield similarly good interoperability.
  • For the "Demo that almost made it (TM)", we made some serious progress: After talking to Greg Leake of Microsoft and Jonathan Marsh of WSO2, I am quite optimistinc that we can get easily inject a Metro based STS and/or OpenSSO with WS-Trust and CardSpace support into the StockTrader sample application to allow authentication through a SAML token. At the same time, I think that this demo application in particular lends itself quite nicely to showcase the strength of the Liberty framework for web services: you have a web application that needs to interact with the Business Services and the Order Processing Service. Identity has to be preserved across these different tiers, yet privacy protection would be highly desirable.
  • It was very interesting to see that Microsoft is continuing on the path of interoperability in the systems management area. Three years after we demonstrated MOM 2005 managing and monitoring a Sun v40z with Solaris, Microsofts System Center beta features an open source Solaris management adapter. An interesting question is where this code will be hosted ...

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