Oslo, Quadrant and the Repository is dead, long live “M”?

What the community (me included) has hoped and feared at the same time and what many foresaw, happened: Microsoft discontinued it’s investment in SQL Modeling Services (aka “Oslo” Repository) as well as “Quadrant”, as Don Box states on the Model Citizen Blog.

One important aspect of that focus is that we will not bring “Oslo” repository to market.

The Winners on the data-side of things are OData and the Entity Framework including EDM.

Given the increasing adoption of both OData and EDM, we have decided to focus our investments in those technologies to make our modeling vision a reality.

But Don also states, that Micrsosoft will further invest in the modeling language codenamed “M”, which also was a former part of Oslo, but clearly didn’t fit into the “SQL” rebranding right from the beginning.

While we used “M” to build the “Oslo” repository and “Quadrant,” there has been significant interest both inside and outside of Microsoft in using “M” for other applications. We are continuing our investment in this technology and will share our plans for productization once they are concrete.

I think, all together this is good news. Both the Repository and Quadrant were very far away from what I consider useful.

Hopefully the “M” team moves over to DevDiv into the ScottGu-Area. Hopefully it then returns to collaborative language design, now that the internal goals are removed.  Hopefully, Microsoft also now listens’ to the modeling community when designing the final language. And hopefully they bring great Visual Studio Support for textual DSLs.

Hey Microsoft, what about open sourcing “M”? This would be a huge step forward, after this very huge step backwards!

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8 thoughts on “Oslo, Quadrant and the Repository is dead, long live “M”?

  1. Let’s see. I’m not confident that useful stuff happens here. In the meantime others advance in huge steps. And MS is late again.

      • I’ve also heard good things about Irony:
        http://irony.codeplex.com/

        SSMS/Repository never really went anywhere. I remember being at the PDC’09 in a session where they were showing SSMS/Repository (the one where they load metadata about builds and types into the Respository), and was thinking, yeah, that’s fine – but where are the tools? The same goes for the UML 2.n schemas – they’re in the Repository, but where are the tools? Anyone can import and export XMI. Tooling is where Microsoft would have gained ground I think.

        I’m glad that M has survived though. They should push this and compete against the DSL toolkit (including making it support graphical DSLs). I found the DSL toolkit to be difficult to use.

  2. What’s interesting is that the refocus on OData and EDM is still leaving the whole focus in the data modelling world. What happened to executable services, MDA?

    Not sure that even “M” is that cool anymore. XText in Eclipse (http://www.eclipse.org/Xtext/) is already delivering the kind of stuff that’s been in incubation with Oslo for a long time. The grammar etc in XText looks eerily similar.

    The suggestion that ScottGu takes this over is good. That would be the best thing that could happen to it. It will see the light of day very quickly and with tooling. Heck, it might even support a DSL for modeling ASP.NET MVC (v3/v4/v5) !! 🙂

  3. A bit late to the discussion, but seems Microsoft is about 20 years behind the industry here – EXPRESS (ISO 10303-11) already does everything M attempted to do plus a lot more with richer semantics. Better yet, it’s been proven and has become the standard for the leading data models used in manufacturing and construction.

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