In recent weeks all of the buzz in the world of BizTalk has been about Oslo, the project which encompasses updates to many products, but specifically to BizTalk Server. As you can imagine there is a great deal Microsoft is not talking about in regards to Oslo, but today I'm lucky enough to be the first person to announce that the details of one sub-project of Oslo, code named Fjord.
Fjord is the code name for the Microsoft Surface integration pieces to the Modeling commitments of Oslo. As you know, Oslo has two key components, Services and Modeling. Microsoft Surface, the revolutionary multi-touch display and device integration platform demonstrated by Bill Gates at CES several years ago. Obviously the enterprise of the future will need a robust manipulation environment for the complex models that Oslo will host, and the Oslo team is looking to Surface for those answers. As you can see above in this as yet unreleased publicity shot, BizTalk Mapper is the first piece of Oslo to be integrated with Surface, because unlike many other pieces the code base for the Mapper is already complete.
I can't disclose any of my sources, here are some of the things I've heard will be included in this update:
- BizTalk Mapper will now require a multi-touch interface and as such will require a Microsoft Surface table.
- Mapping from one field to another will be accomplished by "touch and hold" on each field, then the link will be automatically created.
- Scripting Functoids will now be editable in a full screen editor with intellisense.
- Multiple fields can be touched per side of the schema, and when a destination is touched an analysis engine will suggest possible functoid combinations. For instance, touch "FirstName" and "LastName" from the source, then touch "Name" on the left and the Mapper will suggest the use of a Concatenation functoid.
Further details are sketchy, and as I'm under an NDA with Microsoft there is little more I can say at this time, but needless to say I think we can expect a lot more from Project Fjord in the future. I'll post more details in the future as I can.