Internet Service Bus

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While TechEd is right in my back­yard this year, being self-employed means no sug­ar-dad­dy to foot the bill for me to go. Instead, I've been doing the poor-man's TechEd, where I nag my friends who could afford to go for dai­ly updates and I watch the web ses­sions online. One piece that caught my fan­cy was the Inter­net Ser­vice Bus (basi­cal­ly ESB meets the intercloud).

Mesh is a cool tech pre­view to show off some of the cloud capa­bil­i­ties, but it real­ly only scratch­es the sur­face of what you can do. ISB gives you a good glimpse into what's to come fur­ther down the road. On the sur­face it doesn't seem much more than a cen­tral­ized .net ser­vices adver­tis­ing bro­ker, allow­ing you to point your remoting/web ser­vices to Microsoft's cloud to fig­ure out how to con­nect to your services.

It seems to allow a bit more though. While a lot of it is over my head at this point, one obvi­ous ben­e­fit is the seam­less ser­vice bro­ker­ing. Behind my firewall/NAT'd router, I'd typ­i­cal­ly have to adver­tise my reg­u­lar­ly-chang­ing dynam­ic IP and open up one or more ports to for­ward to my local box. With the Ser­vice­Bro­ker stuff in the Biztalk SDK, when your ser­vice starts up, you sim­ply have it reg­is­ter with ISB with your pre-cre­at­ed application/user account (this can be a username/password, a win­dows live account, a card­space card, etc). Then users are able to access your ser­vice via a biztalk URL with­out you hav­ing to make any router/firewall changes. I have a Sim­ple­Share exam­ple ser­vice run­ning on my local box, which can be accessed as an RSS feed by any­one (with a free biztalk account) exter­nal­ly at:
http://connect.biztalk.net/services/mik­ey­coop­er/Sim­ple­Share­Ser­vice/files/
The ser­vice allows any­one to down­load any files I throw into a test direc­to­ry on my com­put­er as long as the ser­vice is running.

I haven't fig­ured out how to get to Iden­ti­ty infor­ma­tion yet to see WHO is request­ing data from my ser­vice (the IncomingMessageHeaders.From is always null, for some rea­son) and there's not much doc­u­men­ta­tion yet. The sam­ple appli­ca­tions don't real­ly give a great sense of what kind of cool stuff you can real­ly achieve with such min­i­mal effort, but its pret­ty impres­sive to dig around in once it all clicks.

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