System Definition Model SDK

Thanks to Pedro Silva, I now know about the DSL Tools forum on MSDN. There are also forums for VSTESA, MSF and VSTS Workshop. Plus, you can subscribe to RSS feeds of all these forums.

Speaking of the VSTS Workshops, the 3rd workshop (after DSL Tools and MSF Agile) just launched for the System Definition Model SDK. System Definition Model – or SDM – is the underlying model that powers the VSTESA modeling tools formerly known as WhiteHorse. VSTESA models 2 of SDM 4 levels – the Application Designer, the Logical Datacenter Designer as well as the Deployment Designer which essentially models the transformation between the two. These models map directly two the Application and Application Host layers of the SDM. Currently, we don’t have modeling tools for the Network/OS and Hardware layers of SDM.

Barry Gervin recently complained that the Logical Datacenter Designer sucked because you can’t model a web and database server deployed to the same physical machine. But in the context of SDM’s layers, you model the deployment of multiple application hosts to a single OS instance one layer lower than we currently have modeling tools for. Alex Torone, PM for VSTESA (and presenter for ARC310 – the drilldown on the Logical Datacenter Designer) penned an extensive comment in response to Barry’s complaints where he explains why SDM is factored the way it is and confirms that they are working on modelers for the other DSM layers “in future releases”.

Anyway, back to the SDM SDK. What’s cool about this is that while we ship some models “in the box” – primarily for our own stuff (SQL, IIS, WS03, etc) – there’s no reason you couldn’t model any system with SDM (Oracle, BEA, Linux, Z/OS, etc). The SDM SDK download is tools, samples and docs for building your own models and extending the modeling tools in VSTESA. (Note, the actual SDM SDK is a part of the VS05 SDK – i.e. what used to be called the VSIP SDK).

I wonder how long it is before the community models some of Microsoft’s major competitors in SDM?