Microsoft Embraces Modeling for Higher Efficiency

Microsoft has a press release on their joining the OMG Unified Modeling Language (UML) and Business Process Modeling Notification (BPMN) efforts.

Microsoft Focuses on Bringing Modeling Mainstream, Improves IT Delivery of Business Strategies

Senior Vice President Bob Muglia shares perspective on future of model-driven development and announces Microsoft’s participation in OMG.

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 10, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. today outlined its approach for taking modeling into mainstream industry use and announced its membership in the standards body Object Management Group™ (OMG™). Modeling is a core focus of Microsoft’s Dynamic IT strategy, the company’s long-term approach to provide customers with technology, services and best practices to enable IT and development organizations to be more strategic to the business.

Modeling often has been heralded as a means to break down technology and role silos in application development to assist IT departments in delivering more effective business strategies. However, although the promise of modeling has existed for decades, it has failed to have a mainstream impact on the way organizations develop and manage their core applications. Microsoft believes that models must evolve to be more than static diagrams defining a software system; they are a core part of daily business discussions, from organizational charts to cash flow diagrams. Implementing models as part of the design, deployment and management process would give organizations a deeper way to define and communicate across all participants and aspects involved in the application life cycle.

Modeling is a great method to develop Green Data Centers, optimizing components in an abstracted representation, making it easier to simulate interactions of components. There are a handful of companies doing this now.  One example is Skanska in data center construction. Here is a press release on Skanska’s use of Business Information Modeling.

Tekla and Vela Systems Create First Combination of Field and BIM Software for Construction Supply Chain Management

1 April 2008

Uniting 4D Building Information Modeling with RFID-Enabled Field Solution
Yields $1 Million Cost Savings at New Meadowlands Stadium 

Vela Systems, a developer of mobile field software  for the AECO (architecture, engineering, contractor and owner) industry, and Tekla Corporation, a leading building information modeling (BIM) solutions provider for the building and construction industry, today announced a joint software solution that brings dramatic new management capabilities to construction projects. The solution marries Vela’s patent-pending field administration software with Tekla’s construction management solutions. When enabled with field software and radio frequency identification (RFID), stakeholders in a construction project can manage critical-path building components and visualize the supply chain through a real-time, 4D simulation in which the fourth dimension is time. The joint Field BIM solution enables the AECO industry to feed into BIM the constantly changing status of the supply chain in the field.

Back to Microsoft, here is an explanation of why they are embracing models.

To make model-driven development a reality, Microsoft is focused on providing a model-driven platform and visual modeling tools that make it easy for all “mainstream” users, including information workers, developers, database architects, software architects, business analysts and IT professionals, to collaborate throughout the application development life cycle. By putting model-driven innovation directly into the Microsoft .NET platform, organizations will gain visibility and control over applications from end to end, ensuring that they are building systems based on the right requirements, simplifying iterative development and re-use, and resolving potential issues at a high level before they start committing resources.

“We’re building modeling in as a core part of the platform,” said Bob Muglia, senior vice president, Server and Tools Business at Microsoft. “This enables IT pros to specify their business needs and build applications that work directly from those specifications. It also brings together the different stages of the IT life cycle — connecting business analysts, who specify requirements, with system architects, who design the solution, with developers, who build the applications, and with operations experts, who deploy and maintain the applications. Ultimately, this means IT pros can innovate and respond faster to the needs of their business.”

Here is a video with Bob Muglia.


The good news is Microsoft is embracing an open standard modeling method.

OMG has been an international, open-membership, not-for-profit computer industry consortium since 1989. OMG’s modeling standards include the Unified Modeling Language™ (UML®) and Business Process Management Notation (BPMN™). In addition to joining the organization, Microsoft will take an active role in numerous OMG working groups to help contribute to the open industry dialogue and assist with evolution of the standards to meet mainstream customer needs. For example, Microsoft is already working with the finance working group on information models for insurance business functions related to the property and casualty industry, and will eventually look to expand those models so that they can be applied to P&C, life and reinsurance. Another early focus will be on developing specifications for converting messages across the various payments messaging standards.

“Microsoft has always been one of the driving forces in the development industry, helping to make innovation possible but also simplifying many of the most challenging aspects of the application development process,” said Dr. Richard Mark Soley, CEO at OMG. “In less than 10 years, OMG’s UML, a cornerstone of the Model Driven Architecture initiative, has been adopted by the majority of development organizations, making OMG the seminal modeling organization and supporting a broad array of vertical market standards efforts in healthcare, finance, manufacturing, government and other areas. Microsoft’s broad expertise and impact will make its membership in OMG beneficial to everyone involved.”

Imagine in the future there are models for the whole data center including the software running on the hardware.  You’ll be able to monitor the efficiency of the system, and resolve waste with automation.

BTW, one of the changes I made recently to the M3 of GreenM3 is I have added Modeling and removed Metering.  My old tag line was Monitoring, Metering, and Managing. Metering is reaching critical mass in the industry and I moved on to look at Modeling as a method to go Green.  My new tag line is Monitoring, Modeling, and Managing.