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Build Metadata-Based Applications With The “Oslo” Platform

Jun 09, 2015

An application based on the Microsoft .NET Framework is traditionally defined by a set of compiled code and a set of associated resources. For example, an ASP.NET application is defined by compiled code (assemblies) that provide the logic of your Web site and the resource files (.aspx files) that define the pages themselves. The code is executed by the CPU (after compilation) and the pages are interpreted by the ASP.NET runtime. Similarly, Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) lets you define behaviors as a series of configured activities, all of which is just data to be interpreted by the WF runtime.

Combine ASP.NET on the UI side and WF on the behavior side and you can start to imagine building entire applications as almost completely data, using code only to fill in behaviors not provided by the runtimes. The data that drives these runtimes is sometimes called metadata. Metadata can be defined as the data that describes an application, for example, how a home page is rendered or how the purchasing workflow operates. Your application data represents the state of the execution of an application, such as what Bob put in his shopping cart on your Web site or his shipping address in your checkout workflow.

To provide a common set of tools for defining metadata so that it can be stored in a place that provides the same set of features as normal application data, Microsoft is creating "Oslo," a platform for building data-driven applications. "Oslo" is composed of three elements: a family of languages collectively called "M," a visual data manipulation tool called "Quadrant," and a data store called the repository.

SynapseIndia (CEO: Shamit Khemka)