Now Visual Studio 2008 is released (I know, I'm blogger #100.000 to mention this) it is interesting to look at the future of one of the important building blocks on the Microsoft platform for building Software Factories: the DSL Tools.
Some of the mentioned concepts are already available in the implementation of the Web Service Software Factory: Modeling Edition, really interesting to have a look at the code.
The next version of Visual Studio will be Rosario. Clemens Rijnders describes some of the new Rosario features with respect to DSLs in his blog post Rosario Team Architect CTP10 Preview. One promising concept is the Designer Bus, which should simplify working with multiple DSLs in the same domain that reference each other. Some support for this functionality in currently available as the DSL integration service power toy.
PowerShell has powerful exception handling, but it is badly documented and takes while to understand what the heck they actually want to do to wire up the exception handling.
I'm normally not such a link poster, this is more of a "post-to-self" item that might be useful for others as well.
It is final! After almost nine months of hard work the version 3 of the Patterns&Practices Service Factory is released on CodePlex.
And the strange thing is that Don Smith, the Technical Product Planner of the Service Factory didn't had the time to blog about it and announce it officially. But I know why: he is a busy man! After TechEd 2007 in Barcelona last week (interview video), he was so kind to take the time to repeat the 3-days Service Factory Customization Workshop in the Netherlands with the Secret Dutch Software Factory Society.
Olaf and Don did give this fantastic workshop at the domains of InfoSupport in Veenendaal, the Netherlands (thanks for the hospitality Marcel!). Way to far away from home (okay 80km in the Netherlands is trouble in the morning and afternoon), so a good reason to take a hotel and continue in the evenings where you often have the best conversations about beer, woman, and... oh ya, software factories.
Don and Olaf are great guys who know their stuff, and they even both did Bikram yoga, my addiction in life;-)
I personally wasn't really that interested in the web services part of the Web Service software factory, but in the customization part. And that is what we did. We customized the factory without "cracking the factory" (change the source code) through the great extensibility points that are available, and customized it while "cracking the factory" and changing the code. And the good thing is: this scenario is supported, documented and it is actually expected behavior to be done by companies who will be using the Service Factory;-). And the brilliant thing is: they even provided the code to build a complete MSI installer for your modified Service Factory!
The factory is provided with complete (recompileable) source code, and contains a lot of really interesting factory plumbing that I will elaborate on in a later post.
One thing is sure: we are definitely going to integrate the Web Service Software Factory into the Macaw Solutions Factory, our own software factory. It will fit like a glove (after some customization of course;-)). Brilliant work P&P!
Another great thing of three days together with 25 people busy with software factories is the amount of collective knowledge and the wealth of information we did share with each other. My compliments to Don and Olaf for providing a lot of room for this information sharing.
We gave presentations to each other about the things we are doing with software factories:
- Gerben van Loon of Avanade talked about the Avenade's SOA Factory which supports the same domain as the Web Service SoftwareFactory. It is model driven (DSL), already built ages before the Service Factory: modeling edition, and has proved itself in over 20 projects. Many of its ideas actually influenced the P&P Service Factory modeling edition
- Vincent Hoogendoorn en I talked about the Macaw Solutions Factory
- Marcel de Vries of InfoSupport talked about their software factory Endeavour
- Clemens Reijnen of Sogeti talked about his work on integrating the Service Factory with the Distributed System Designer of the Visual Studio Team System for Software Architects SKU
- Gerardo de Geest of Avanade talked about research he has done on Building a framework to support Domain Specific Language evolution using Microsoft DSL Tools (presentation, article). Based on this work Avenade hopes to be able to migrate models from the Avenade factory to the P&P Service Factory
For more information see the MSDN landing page Web Service Software Factory: Modeling Edition. Check it out!