Have You Heard of Oslo?


Oslo, developed by Microsoft, is the development code name for a set of modeling technologies created by Microsoft to provide significant productivity gains across the lifecycle of .NET applications. First announced in October, 2007, it was initially envisioned as a multi-platform modeling tool.  However, with it’s November 2009 CPT (Community Technology Previews) release, Oslo was redesigned to work with only Microsoft’s SQL Server and rebranded as SQL Server Modeling. Through the use of SQL Server Modeling, developers, architects and IT professionals will be able to more effectively work together in the SQL Server/.NET Framework application development environment.

According to the .NET Framework Developer Center on MSDN, SQL Server Modeling “provides a SQL Server 2008 database with preinstalled models, a series of data language features to enable rapid and customized data-based application design and development, and a visual data analysis and display environment.”

SQL Server Modeling includes:

  • SQL Server Modeling Services – a database designed for models, built on SQL Server 2008, that is highly optimized to store data schemas and instances with system-provided best practices for scalability, availability, security, versioning, change tracking, and localization.
  • Quadrant – Microsoft’s code name for a user-friendly, graphical tool for browsing any SQL Server database without writing a line of code. “Quadrant” allows the ability to browse related tables by dragging and dropping icons that represent the related data. Data can be filtered in Quadrant by writing “M” queries (without the knowledge of Transact-SQL).  Additionally, the data viewer can be customized to display data in a user-friendly graphical window, rather than viewing the physical database implementation.
  • M – A human friendly language for building domain models and working with data.  M enables the user to model (or describe) data structures, data instances, and data environment (such as storage, security, and versioning) in an interoperable way. It also offers simple yet powerful services to create new languages or transformations that are even more specific to the critical needs of a domain. This allows .NET Framework runtimes and applications to execute more of the described intent of the developer or architect while removing much of the coding and recoding necessary to enable it.

Together, the SQL Server Modeling components support modeling techniques to make building data-driven, SQL Server-based, .NET Framework applications easier and more productive for a larger number of people, even in enterprise- or Internet-scale environments. In addition, the same tools make building metadata repositories easier for enterprises of all sizes.  (Source: MSDN).

For more information on the various components of SQL Server Modeling, check out the following links:

MSDN Quadrant Overview

Data Development Center – M

Data Development Center – Quadrant

MSDN Model Driven Applications