Mood Indigo: A boost to programmer productivity?
Indigo, the Web services subsystem that will be built into Longhorn, the next
release of Windows, offers developers several advantages; but the key one is
productivity, contends Steven VanRoekel, director of Web services at
By providing a simple, abstracted declarative language for tasks such as
adding security to Web services messaging, VanRoekel envisions that developers
can save tens of thousands of lines of code during a project. He uses an example
where the confidentiality of a Web services message has to be maintained, which
includes the digital signatures of senders and the receivers' identity
VanRoekel said a developer using even the latest technology from Microsoft,
including its Web Services Enhancements (WSE) toolkit for .NET, cannot have an
easy time creating a confidential Web services application today.
''If you got Visual Studio .NET in February 2002 to write that application --
we've done these tests -- it can take roughly 60,000 lines of code,'' he said.
''Using our WSE add-on tool, it takes roughly 12,000-13,000 lines of code to
ensure security and reliability. With Indigo, it's one line of code. You
basically just declare in your code 'make this confidential,' and we do all the
heavy lifting behind the scenes through abstraction to secure it with the right
Indigo will provide for customization, so if a developer working on a
government application, for instance, needs to provide for two digital
signatures instead of the standard one, the declarative language can be
modified, VanRoekel pledged.
Indigo allows wide latitude for selecting a programming language, he noted.
At the recent Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, where
an early version of Indigo was previewed, sample applications were shown using
not only Visual Basic and C# but even COBOL, said VanRoekel.
Indigo is basically following the same development and release schedule as
Longhorn, the Microsoft director said, with beta currently scheduled for summer
2004. He suggested that developers seeking to follow Indigo's progress visit http://msdn.microsoft.com/webservices/.
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Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.