Technical Interoperability Scenarios – Read Me First RRS feed

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  • Technical Interoperability Scenarios – Read Me

    Freedom of choice. Ease of integration. The confidence that, regardless of which best-of-breed software is chosen, it just works with existing heterogeneous infrastructures.  Customers are demanding it, and vendors are working hard to deliver it.

    No single company – customer, vendor or integrator -- can address these interoperability challenges on its own. Open communication, ongoing dialogue, and collaboration are critical to address challenges customers are experiencing and to identify ways in which those challenges can be addressed.


    Two long-standing initiatives that work in this model - the Interoperability Executive Customer (IEC) Council and the Interoperability Vendor Alliance (IVA) – and the recently launched Document Interop Initiative and their learnings – can contribute to this forum’s discussion on technical interoperability scenarios. Documented below is a sampling of the scenarios these groups are addressing. 

    Technical Interoperability Scenarios

    Developer tools and runtime:

    Customers need the ability to use different development tools in a distributed environment, robust and high-performance interoperability between .NET and Java/Mainframe applications, distributed data access using standard protocols, consistent implementations of standard cryptology algorithms, etc.

    Many customers are using multiple development tools due to acquisitions and mergers, and offshore and distributed development environments. They want to be able to develop software applications using a mix and match of various tools and programming languages, and to manage the whole process using common repositories and business processes. This brings in interoperability requirements on tools like Microsoft Visual Studio Team System and Team Foundation Server.

    Demand for protocol level interoperability between .NET and Java/Mainframe apps is very high. Customers want evidence of interoperability between the web services stack from various vendors. There is also some demand for binary interoperability between the .NET and Java/Mainframe stacks. Accessing various relational, hierarchical, and object-oriented databases using standards protocols from different development tools and programming languages is also a key interoperability scenario.

    Microsoft is working with many partners to address several of these scenarios. More details are available at:

    ·         Visual Studio 2008 Extensibility

    ·     XML Web Services Interoperability Resources

    ·     Enterprise Interoperability: .NET and J2EE

    ·         Windows Live Dev


    We welcome the discussion on these topics on this forum:

    ·         Visual Studio and TFS interoperability scenarios

    ·         .NET framework – Java/Mainframe interoperability scenarios and issues

    ·         Interoperability issues with WS-* stack of specifications and standards

    ·         Windows Live Services


    Office productivity, collaboration, and document interop:

    Customers want their information workers to be able to use a variety of tools to manipulate back-end data in a collaborative and intuitive way to help make business decisions and to easily process business documents etc. They also want to exchange documents across systems and platforms, and manipulate them using well-documented APIs and protocols. They need to feed back-end data (from databases and Line-of-Business applications like SAP, Siebel, etc.) into Office documents.


    Many customers are using more than one content and document management servers collaboratively in their organizations. They want to integrate Search, UI, metadata, content management, personalization, and taxonomy across multiple portals.

    Other interoperability scenarios include e-mail and calendar interoperability, instant messaging, chatting, online meetings, and information rights protection.

    For vendors looking to meet these customer requirements, the ability to unlock data from documents and to ensure documents flow seamlessly across applications with no loss of fidelity is a key challenge.  Vendors needs include:  access to documentation, developer friendly authoring tools that provides real-time WYSIWYG rendering, and tools for authoring and development when working with documents that include data based on custom defined schemas, a set of proven conformance test suites, and an accepted and “trusted” library of quality test documents.

    More details on Microsoft’s interoperability work in this area are available at:

    -          Resources for Interoperability with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

    -     OpenXML Developer

    -          Microsoft Office Communications Server Open Interoperability Program


    We welcome the discussion on these key interoperability topics:

    -     Document interoperability scenarios and issues

    -     Interoperability scenarios and issues around Enterprise Portal, Search and Content Management

    -     E-mail and Online Meeting scenarios around interoperability


    Systems Management:

    Major scenarios under this topic area are IT operations management, deployment and patching of software, virtualization environments, etc. IT operations want to optimize management of heterogeneous enterprise environments while providing top-notch service to users based on their SLAs. They want to:

    1.       Use monitoring products from various vendors and make them work together to provide a reliable, integrated management experience in their data centers

    2.       Use virtualization for consolidating servers and improving utilization of data centers:

    a.       Use a single management console to manage virtual machines from various vendors

    b.      Host virtual machines from different OS’s on the same host

    3.       Automate software deployment, patching and asset inventory across their environments to lower TCO (total cost of ownership)


    More details on Microsoft’s interoperability work in this are available at the System Center Overview.


    We welcome discussions on the following topics:

    o   Interoperability scenarios around virtual machine management

    o   Interoperability scenarios around operations and configuration/deployment management


    Security and Identity Management:

    Major interoperability scenarios include identity federation for providing secure access to internal resources to partners and customers, single sign-on techniques, user-centric approaches for identity management through third-party providers and relying parties, ActiveDirectory-LDAP integration, etc.


    There are multiple scenarios for identity federation where customers and partners need access to specific resources inside a company’s firewall in a secure and controlled manner. There is a need to support many different security tokens in these solutions as customers and partners typically use diverse systems.   Other scenarios include synchronization of items and passwords etc. across multiple directories like ActiveDirectory and LDAP.  Another scenario occurs when applications need to be able to continue working when one of the directories is inaccessible by switching over transparently to get required info from another fail-over directory.  Customers also want to streamline the process of user provisioning and want to be able to delegate that work to selected partners in some scenarios.

    More details on Microsoft’s interoperability work in this area are available at:

    -          Federated Identity Management Interoperability

    -          Identity Selector Interoperability Profile V1.0


    We welcome discussions around the following topics:

    -          Identity and access management

    -          Directory services interoperability and synchronization

          -     Cryptography algorithms and PKI infrastructure

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008 6:42 PM