Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Microsoft BizTalk Rules Server 2010

Ok, I'm back on the same 'Rules Server' rant I've been on for the past ten years or so.

I would very much like to see Microsoft to develop an MS Rules Server 2010 and an accompanying Enterprise Rules / Policy Manager - it could certainly be branded under 'BizTalk' as far as I'm concerned. However, this server should be [structurally] independent of, but used by BizTalk / SharePoint / WF / WCF and other Microsoft products as well as by .NET developers directly in code (yes, I know we can do that today after a fashion). Ideally it would utilize Oslo's DSL and Repository capabilities as well. This could either be a head-on competitor with ILOG and OSS rules software or simply be an open framework everyone could plug their implementation into (open like Oslo). Either way would be o.k. with me.

In some respects it's like rules / policy management are software's final frontier and gets little traction despite the obvious enterprise imperative in industry after industry. Insurance and Healthcare alone would make it worth doing. But every other year when I've revisited the issue with friends I know at Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM I've always heard the same refrain: "TURF, TURF, TURF" is the reason none of them can work through the space to a product. With the advent of Oslo and a major refactoring of BizTalk, it seems like there is an opportunity now for Microsoft to move beyond whatever obstacles have been in the way of the development of such a product.

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