Gates: five ways we’re service orienting

Bill Gates is pouring on the SOA sauce. Service-oriented applications will underpin Microsoft’s recently announced “Dynamics” product vision, which will start emerging over the next year. That’s the word from Chairman Gates in his keynote at Microsoft’s Convergence user conference in Dallas, as reported in Computer Business Review Online.

Microsoft is rallying the troops around its latest marketing theme of “People-Ready Business,” which emphasizes role-based interfaces to enterprise applications.

According to Computer Business Review, Gates said there are five forces driving Microsoft’s latest strategy in the enterprise productivity space:

1. User interfaces: Gates said there’s a need “to provide a familiar interface modeled on the specific role of the user, via new Vista-based user interfaces.” However, he notes that “the user interface has to change,” and once users get a feel for the new interfaces, “they will not want go back.”
2. SOA: Microsoft is focusing on delivering service-oriented applications. “The Dynamics applications are gradually moving towards the service-based .NET architecture, as part of Microsoft’s overall goal to deliver a unified code base embracing currently disparate applications.” Gates added that SOA is more appropriate for the business world than the consumer space.
3. Collaboration: Gates said that “SOA and collaboration developments will be important in crossing the boundary between structured applications and human-based communications, which is where business transactions go awry.” About 10 to 20 percent cross this boundary, he said.
4. Business intelligence: BI needs to be made available to everyone in the enterprise, not just “the traditional group of specialists,” Gates said.
5. Composite applications: “The ability to rapidly develop composite applications is driving design and will play an important role in spanning the boundaries between structured and unstructured data while also tying together formal processes with ad hoc workflow,” Gates said. This will be the key role for Windows Communications Framework (previously known as Indigo).

In yesterday’s keynote, Gates even provided this reality check:

“You can say the economy is going digital, but we’re just at the beginning of that… Most things are still done with a lot of paperwork.”