For years and years Microsoft would never have any truck with the Object Management Group's Unified Modeling Language (UML) so it came as a bit of a surprise the other day at Microsoft’s TechEd Developer conference when Bill Gates – in what he described as probably his last speech as a full-time Microsoft employee – up and disclosed that Microsoft was going to support UML in Visual Studio 10.
See, it was supposed to be a great big secret until later this summer that Microsoft had gone and done a 180 degree turn and adopted the widgetry.
When asked why Bill jumped the gun, Norman Guadagno, director of Visual Studio Team System (VSTS), simply said, “Because it’s important,” an explanation that should make OMG all misty-eyed.
Guadagno said Microsoft is responding to customer demand and promises that Microsoft’s implementation will be straightforward, with none of the, um, creativity that Microsoft is famous for around standards.
UML should appear in the Community Preview of VSTS, code named Rosario, that should be out, oh, Septemberish. It’ll get into Visual Studio 10, when VSTS become part of the IDE, and hence into Microsoft’s Oslo collection of SOA tools.
Guadagno said UML will give developers, say, a broad 1,000-foot “logical” view and then they can sorta drill down using Microsoft’s classic special-purpose Domain-Specific Languages (DSLs) and Software Factories.
UML, of course, means portability as well as interoperability and Guadagno claims Microsoft supports both concepts.