It took some time …

… but it seems that the marketeers at Microsoft are finally getting interoperability: Dino Chiesa blogs about how SCA is an endorsement for WCF. That in itself might be a questionable statement, but he makes a very good point about what makes interoperability a reality:

“The WS-* work the industry has pursued since 1999 shows that we
(vendors, customers, developers, pretty much everybody0 recognized that
protocols were the sine-qua-non for interop. PROTOCOLS people, not
programming models. Protocols, Protocols, Protocols, Protocols,
Protocols, Protocols!

And let 1000 flowers bloom! Given a standard protocol, the world can
support a myriad of programming models, and they can look like anything
they want. As long as each implementation produces the same on-the-wire
protocol, they can all intercommunicate. Glory be!”

One is tempted to say: “Finally!” or “Words of wisdom!” or even “Took ’em while, but they finally got there.” Yes, Dino: I could not agree more. To enable full interoperability between particular software components running on different machines (and perhaps even operating system – and I mean to go beyond Windows 98, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, CE, and mobile) you need full protocol disclosure. And just to clarify: this would mean syntax and semantics of all network communications between two systems that are meant to be interoperable.

So, if we are talking about OS level interoperability like “samba” or “PC NetLink” (yes, I’ve been that long at Sun) and “NT-SAM” or “Active Directory”, this would also apply, correct? Can we expect a gesture towards the samba community in the near future?

Hoping for a positive answer on this one …

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