Yossi Dahan [BizTalk]

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New ‘Oslo’ CTP released, and so there’s a new version of BTSDF

Somewhat quietly Microsoft released another CTP of ‘Oslo’, which you can find on the Oslo dev centre; it is great to see the team release early and frequent drops of ‘Oslo’, especially given the impact ‘Oslo’ is likely to have on how we build software.

Having the chance to play with the bits so early, and provide feedback, which they seem to be very keen on receiving, is pretty awesome!

I’ve only had a brief play with it and I guess that, to me, the greatest news are that – all the potential benefits aside – my existing code (BTSDF) still worked as is; of course this is only temporary, as the team have made significant changes (read: improvements) to the API, but they have kept backwards compatibility TEMPORARILY as they work to align all their existing code to the new model as the rest of us worry about ours.

So, next I needed to spend some time looking at the new release in detail and align my code with it, so I reap some of the benefits from the improvements made, but that’s a much better position to be in than – “it’s all broken now and I need to figure out how to fix it”m kudos guys!

Paul Arundel was kind enough to give me a gentle nudge to start taking a look at these changes, and it certainly took me longer than I would have wanted to get around to these things thanks to other commitments (a repeating theme here, recently), but – slowly but surely – I went through my code and am happy to say I’ve now published the necessary changes to codeplex.

I was going to write a post on the changes required when moving to the new code, but Paul had done so already, and so there’s little point in me saying pretty much the same things (Paul is only focused on the aspects that are relevant to his project, but as we both focus on pretty much the same area my words would have been pretty much identical).

There only one point I think is worth mentioning from my end – it’s probably only me – but being able to walk to graph in an easier and more convenient way, and being able to easily access nodes by label (or by checking their brand) motivated me to work more on the grammar itself, or – to be more specific – on the projection of the grammar –  where previously i would just jump through whatever hoops were needed to parse whatever projection I got.
This is a very good thing I think (although it is the grammar itself that really matters, as this is what users will see); the other half of this, though, is that it is still not quite possible to get the projection just right – I can’t get a projection that would work well with any M model for my domain, for instance, but I suspect the smart guys in Redmond are hard at work sorting this out for us…

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