Welcome!

Mobile IoT Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Jason Bloomberg, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Industrial IoT, Microservices Expo

Microsoft Cloud: Article

Bill Gates & Microsoft Herald "A New Generation of Software and Web Services"

Gates E-Mail Focuses On "Building Software That Is Interoperable By Design"

Bill Gates - a.k.a. William H. Gates III, Chairman and Chief Software Architect, Microsoft Corporation - writes: "Every day, businesses face an ongoing challenge of making a wide variety of software from many different vendors work together. It's crucial to success in streamlining business processes, getting closer to customers and partners, or making mergers and acquisitions successful.

This email, which you are receiving as a subscriber to executive emails from Microsoft, outlines the company's work to make its products interoperate well in a diverse IT environment.

Whether you are connecting with partners' systems, accessing data from a mainframe, connecting applications written in different programming languages or trying to log on across multiple systems, bringing heterogeneous technologies together while reducing costs is today a challenge that touches every part of the organization.

Over the years, our industry has tried many approaches to come to grips with the heterogeneity of software. But the solution that has proven consistently effective - and the one that yields the greatest success for developers today - is a strong commitment to interoperability. That means letting different kinds of applications and systems do what they do best, while agreeing on a common "contract" for how disparate systems can communicate to exchange data with one another.

Interoperability is more pragmatic than other approaches, such as attempting to make all systems compatible at the code level, focusing solely on adding new layers of middleware that try to make all systems look and act the same, or seeking to make different systems interchangeable. With a common understanding of basic protocols, different software can interact smoothly with little or no specific knowledge of each other. The Internet is perhaps the most obvious example of this kind of interoperability, where any piece of software can connect and exchange data as long as it adheres to the key protocols.

Simply put, interoperability is a proven approach for dealing with the diversity and heterogeneity of the marketplace. Today I want to focus on two major thrusts of Microsoft's product interoperability strategy: First, we continue to support customers' needs for software that works well with what they have today. Second, we are working with the industry to define a new generation of software and Web services based on eXtensible Markup Language (XML), which enables software to efficiently share information and opens the door to a greater degree of "interoperability by design" across many different kinds of software. Our goal is to harness all the power inherent in modern (and not so modern) business software, and enable them to work together so that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. We want to further eliminate friction among heterogeneous architectures and applications without compromising their distinctive underlying capabilities.

This may seem like an obvious approach, but the desire for interoperability is sometimes mixed up with other issues. For example, interoperability is sometimes viewed merely as adherence to a published specification of some kind, either from one or more vendors or a standards organization. But simply publishing a specification may not be enough, because it overlooks much of the hard work it takes to successfully develop interoperable products - namely, ensuring that the "contract" defined by a specification is successfully implemented in software and tested in a production environment.

Sometimes interoperability is also confused with open source software. Interoperability is about how different software systems work together. Open source is a methodology for licensing and/or developing software ? that may or may not be interoperable. Additionally, the open source development approach encourages the creation of many permutations of the same type of software application, which could add implementation and testing overhead to interoperability efforts.

Working With What You Have

Wholesale replacement of existing technologies is a tough sell for most organizations. They simply have too much invested in a variety of systems from any number of vendors. So, making new software work alongside existing systems is an ongoing customer need. Because of this, Microsoft has consistently invested in helping customers integrate our platform and applications with a broad array of popular (and even not so popular) hardware, software and networks.

As a result of these efforts, Microsoft offers a comprehensive portfolio of interoperability software capabilities, from the operating system to individual applications. Our software works with a vast array of technologies in the marketplace, whether they shipped last week or decades ago. Microsoft software can talk to mainframes and minicomputers from IBM and other manufacturers; other operating systems such as the Mac OS and various UNIXes including Linux; NetWare or AppleTalk networks and native Internet protocols; dozens of programming languages, ranging from COBOL and RPG, through C++ and Java, to the latest experimental languages; hundreds of databases including Oracle, Sybase and DB2; popular business applications like SAP or Siebel; vertical industry standards like SWIFT or HL7; email systems; and infrastructure products providing message queues, directory, management and security.

Many of Microsoft's products, such as Windows, Office, SQL Server, Exchange and Visual Studio, have significant functionality dedicated to interoperating with non-Microsoft products. Some of Microsoft's server products are focused squarely on interoperability, such as Host Integration Server for mainframe connectivity, BizTalk Server for heterogeneous integration across multiple applications, or Identity Integration Server, which helps simplify user authentication and management across diverse systems. These resulted from many years of working to understand customer needs and their existing environments.

While our investments in interoperability are mostly focused on the design of our software, we are also involved in work that contributes to interoperability across the industry. Microsoft participates in many formal and informal industry standards organizations to help define the specifications that are a prerequisite for interoperability. We publish APIs, protocols and software development kits, and license our underlying intellectual property associated with this technology, to help others deliver interoperable software. And we collaborate and share technology with a wide array of industry participants, some of them direct competitors, to deliver interoperability solutions that work well with our products.

In fact, in a recent survey by Jupiter Research, 72% of IT managers rated Microsoft technologies as the most interoperable within their existing environments. Similarly, for enhancing interoperability in the financial industry via Web services, Microsoft .NET was recently named by Waters magazine as the best business development environment. This successful approach to interoperability stems in large part from Microsoft's heritage as a personal computer company: we have always put a lot of emphasis on well-defined mechanisms for how different products from different companies interact, because of the incredible diversity of PC hardware and software. Without a commitment to interoperability, the industry, including Microsoft, would have been stopped in its tracks.

Using XML to Achieve "Interoperability by Design"

While Microsoft software supports an incredibly diverse array of interoperability mechanisms today, most of these are essentially unique efforts, each developed, tested and maintained individually to interoperate with a specific piece of hardware or software. The need to create individual solutions for each interoperability issue results in ever-increasing complexity. Customers and vendors - even companies of Microsoft's size - face resource limitations as they struggle to keep up with the documentation, testing and minute technical details required by this approach.

To address this issue, Microsoft has been working with the industry to advance a new generation of software that is interoperable by design, reducing the need for custom development and cumbersome testing and certification. These efforts are centered on using XML, which makes information self-describing - and thus more easily understood by different systems. For example, when two systems exchange a purchase order, the attributes of that purchase order are described in XML, so any receiving system can use that description to translate and use the enclosed information. This approach is also the foundation for XML-based Web services, which provide an Internet-based set of protocols for distributed computing. This new model for how software talks to other software has been embraced across the industry. It is the cornerstone of Microsoft .NET and the latest generation of our Visual Studio tools for software developers.

This approach is also evident in the use of XML as the data interoperability framework for Office 2003 and the Office System set of products. Office documents, spreadsheets and forms can be saved in an XML file format that is freely available for anyone to license and use. Office also supports customer-defined XML schema beyond the existing Office document types. This means two things: first, by supporting data in XML, customers can easily unlock information in existing systems and act upon it in familiar Office applications. Second, information created within Office can be easily used by other business applications.

The XML-based architecture for Web services, known as WS-* ("WS-Star"), is being developed in close collaboration with dozens of other companies in the industry including IBM, Sun, Oracle and BEA. This standard set of protocols significantly reduces the cost and complexity of connecting disparate systems, and it enables interoperability not just within the four walls of an organization, but also across the globe. In mid-2003, Forrester Research said that up to a "ten-fold improvement in integration costs will come from service-oriented architectures that use standard software plumbing." Forrester believes those improvements are realistic today. However, the definition of well-designed protocol architecture is just part of the challenge. As part of this collaborative effort, Microsoft and other companies have invested significant resources to ensure that Web services implementations from different companies really are interoperable. This has involved industry workshops, extensive testing, revision of specifications in the face of experience, and even setting up an industry body known as WS-I to help ensure interoperability.

Microsoft's interoperability investments to date have yielded significant benefits to customers and the industry. And we are well aware that we can do even more to help customers and partners achieve greater interoperability to meet their business needs. The foundation we are building with XML is already yielding significant reductions in the time, skill and cost required to integrate systems.

We also see a tremendous opportunity for developers and IT professionals to help usher in a new generation of software that is interoperable by design. We have launched a new Web site (http://www.microsoft.com/interop) that provides more details on the interoperability capabilities of our software. Please take a few moments to visit; you'll find technical information, Webcasts and events intended to help you get the most from your Microsoft products in a heterogeneous software environment.

Bill Gates"

[Received by SYS-CON's i-Technology News Desk from Bill Gates 2.3.05 as an Executive E-Mail]

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (18) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
StevieWonder 02/04/05 08:08:19 AM EST

Way to go Contradiction! Read my post on Maureen O'Garas "Microsoft, the Interoperator, As I Live and Breathe!".

Contradiction 02/04/05 07:09:21 AM EST

Everyone complains MS doesn't do interop. Then MS *does* pledge to do interop. Everyone STILL complains. Funny old world.

buklmarket05 02/04/05 06:07:08 AM EST

## quezztion commented on 4 February 2005:
How about Bill Gates just buys out Sun? ##

I'd let my shares go for $10.00 although I'm sure others would want more but $10 seems fair to me and Microsoft can afford anything they want.

quezztion 02/04/05 06:05:59 AM EST

How about Bill Gates just buys out Sun?

klasdas 02/04/05 06:03:26 AM EST

Take a look at this paper:

http://www.dwheeler.com/oss_fs_why.html

hakuin_us 02/04/05 06:00:24 AM EST

Since linux runs on practically everything and is reliable and secure, a linux monoculture would be a vast improvement.

Billy 02/04/05 05:50:29 AM EST

Always fun to receive an e-mail from God. All power to Gates, if he can be bothered to write to everyone, that's no bad thing. Communication is always good.

Daniel Wallace 02/04/05 05:50:25 AM EST

>The fact that this is so transparent leaves me wondering
>why we are still using the word "monoculture" when we all
>know that "monoculture" is simply code language for
>"MS-Culture."

I believe you misspelled "monoculture" it' m-o-n-o-p-o-l-y.

fatcitystate 02/04/05 03:32:36 AM EST

I have a very simple question for those who either propagate or agree with the concept that monoculture is dangerous. If an organization was running all Linux on their desktops and servers, would you tell them that they have a big monoculture problem and they should immediately convert half of their desktops and servers to Windows XP and Windows 2003 in the name of cyber diversity?

I would put money on the table that 9 out of 10 monoculture opponents would not. Its no secret that the Washington-based anti-Microsoft lobby group CCIA is really more concerned about a Microsoft culture than a monoculture. The fact that this is so transparent leaves me wondering why we are still using the word "monoculture" when we all know that "monoculture" is simply code language for "MS-Culture." Why not call it what it is and say "we're concerned about the MS-Culture" instead of "we're concerned about Monoculture?"

Uh oh 02/04/05 03:30:07 AM EST

Look like the monoculture world is on its way.

delenda_est_microsoft 02/04/05 03:23:37 AM EST

Big Brother Gates speaks

intentoserjusto 02/04/05 03:22:54 AM EST

kindler, gentler, more interoperable? or another buzz word spree? you make the call...

peecee user 02/04/05 03:18:09 AM EST

Bill Gates is the bozo that said the Internet would never amount to anything then rewrote his road ahead book to add the Internet when he realized he was dead wrong.

Listening to Gates for future directions is a sure way to be wrong. Don't confuse vision with market position. The former takes skill. The later is something to be lost to people with the former.

Why is google almost a verb in the english language? Because Bill Gates missed the boat yet again.

symbolic 02/04/05 03:16:49 AM EST

I can easily see Microsoft lapsing into the same kind of "saturated market mentality" that afflicts other industries. Instead of focusing on innovation and providing real value, they'll focus on ways to use the same medium to extract more cash- increased licensing fees, unbundling of certain components, software-as-a-service, annual subscriptions, and countless other possibilities that will require payment over and above the base cost.

jc42 02/04/05 03:16:12 AM EST

Remember the discussions a while back about MS patenting some of their XML encoding schemes?

pHatidic 02/04/05 03:15:23 AM EST

What is to prevent everyone from switching to openoffice if everything interoperates perfectly? Also, what does this mean for OASIS?

Gates email 02/04/05 03:14:38 AM EST

From the letter:

|||In mid-2003, Forrester Research said that up to a "ten-fold improvement in integration costs will come from service-oriented architectures that use standard software plumbing." Forrester believes those improvements are realistic today.|||

How in the world does Forrester figure these things?? Who even *cares* what Forrester "thinks"?

gnovos 02/04/05 03:13:53 AM EST

I worked at a company a few years ago that was a newly minted "Microsoft Partner". Microsoft came in one day and we all had a big meeting. The rep told us, point blank, that they were developing the same software as us, but were a little behind. The deal was this: We'll liscense them all our software at a n unfathomably great rate, they'll promote our company for two years to thier other partners, and then they'll release thier own version of the software at that point, having built in all the improvements that they can from examining our software, and undercut us.

If we don't agree to the terms, they'll release thier software now and compete with us directly withotu the two-year gap.

So basically, that was life as a Microsoft Partner.

@ThingsExpo Stories
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Analytic. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at Dell EMC, introduced a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organization...
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software in the hope of capturing value in IoT. Although IoT is relatively new in the market, it has already gone through many promotional terms such as IoE, IoX, SDX, Edge/Fog, Mist Compute, etc. Ultimately, irrespective of the name, it is about deriving value from independent software assets participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution.
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
Judith Hurwitz is president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, a Needham, Mass., research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology, including big data, cognitive computing and governance. She is co-author of the book Cognitive Computing and Big Data Analytics, published in 2015. Her Cloud Expo session, "What Is the Business Imperative for Cognitive Computing?" is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, at 8:40 a.m. In it, she puts cognitive computing into perspective with its value to the busin...
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...