Microsoft details long-range Indigo plans

Long-range plans for Microsoft's Indigo Web services technology include enabling its use on handheld devices, a company official said at the Microsoft TechEd conference here on Monday afternoon.

This move would enable transacted Indigo services such as chats to run on devices, said Ari Bixhorn, lead product manager of the Microsoft platform strategy group.

Initially planned for inclusion in the Longhorn version of Windows, Indigo holds the promise of making it easier to develop and deploy secure transactional Web services. Indigo also will be available for Windows Server and Windows XP.

"We expect to see Indigo scaling down to devices in future versions," Bixhorn said during a presentation at the conference.

Indigo's architecture features a service model and a messaging layer. Bixhorn showed several consumer-oriented demos for Indigo, including one in which a TV wired to Microsoft's Media Center software provided weather alerts while Bixhorn watched golf, in case he wanted to play a game himself.

An audience member at Bixhorn's presentation was impressed. "There's a lot of buzz around what SOA is. Indigo solves all these problems [such as discovery and scalability] very simplistically," said Tom Denny, an IT official at an IT services company. Denny requested that the name of his employer not be published.

Microsoft plans also call for offering an Indigo adapter for Microsoft BizTalk Server in 2006. This will enable Indigo Web services to be incorporated into BizTalk process orchestrations, Bixhorn said. Beyond 2006, BizTalk Server will be built natively on an Indigo foundation.

Indigo support for SQL Server calls for basing the database's service broker on Indigo, thus enabling Web services interoperability. This is planned for a release of SQL Server subsequent to the "Yukon" version of the product due later this year.

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