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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Microsoft Labs - Volta (Cloud Computing)

Well I got some interesting news about Microsoft Live Labs Volta. Volta is a project that offers the ability, for use with VS2008, of allowing a developer to make use of development for the 'democratizing of the Cloud'.

Yeah I know, buzz word right? Well this is something real, and something that can be used now. The idea can be better understood with the following statement from this link: Volta Docs

"In essence Volta is a recompiler. Volta works on MSIL rather than on a textual source language. Volta rewrites MSIL into any number of target languages, including, today JavaScript and MSIL itself. Rewriting, as a general technology, lets us delay permanent decisions about architecture, execution platform and browser until after our code is basically working. Furthermore, it frees us from having to express all these irreversible decisions in your source code. The result is a programming model that enables us to easily reshape a working application, and finally realizes the promise of one application running anywhere.

Volta effects recompilation through 3 general capabilities: refactoring, retargeting, and remodulating. Refactoring converts single-tier code into distributed, concurrent code as directed by user-supplied annotations. Retargeting converts MSIL code into code for other virtual machines. Remodulating tailors a single piece of code for multiple browsers."

So with Volta we see the 3 abilities, of refactoring, retargeting, and remodulating. This means a single code base, that can be, at execution time, wrapped, packaged, displayed, and used based on the incoming client, vs. targeting given clients.

Keep in mind this is new, and a hard concept for a tradional developer to wrap their minds around. Still if you think about this way:

- A single code base that performs some business logic
- Volta developed, for offering up said code
- Said code is called from IE, and Volta does it's thing and IE uses it.
- Said same code is called from Firefox, and Volta does it's thing and Firefox use's it with no issues.
- Said same code is called from a MAC OS, and Volta does it's thing and Mac OS ise's it with no issues.

The developer did not target these, but instead the computin cloud consumed what the developer developed, and the Volta packaging, handled the refactoring, retagrgeting, and remodulation at the time of 'need' for running the code base, that enabled the 3 very different calling bases, could make use of the same code base.

With this the Developer does not know, or need to care, who and what will be calling. All the developer knows is his C# code does something and anything can call it.

Again this has great possibilites for future development. Right now you can download Volta and use it with VS2008. Man it's exicting, and what does this mean for DAX? The possibility of a Dynamics AX process being executed from a Mac, Linux, Unix, etc. Box... it's opens the door for possibilities for offering your ERP module, to the cloud, and allowing that cloud to cosume and make use of your DAX extended process, via Volta!

Check back soon!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic article Brandon- I was browsing around for a similar kind of article and found this. You are the best!!!

12:09 PM  

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