Our long focused efforts were rewarded, when we could finally launch “The Ball” and “Service Operating System” to general developer availability. I was really happy to be able to do it in the annual Microsoft main developer event, TechDays, that was held in Finlandia Hall this year on 5th and 6th of March.
While we’ve built the actual platform for more than a year (starting from concept level prototypes in early 2012), bringing and polishing the “Hello World” start from scratch demo made me really realize how far we’ve reached. We have raced “against” much bigger players on the digital lab field (even in Finland), trying to persuade them to join us to build this completely open (WTFPL licensed) platform with us. Given my background for working on early stage O/R Mapper (Nolics.net) on .NET, working with Visual Studio extensions/add-ins to really reach down to as-good-as-possible (given the resources) end-developer experience, I’m quite proud how streamlined the “get-develop-deploy” cycle for “The Ball” already is.
The presentation given now was rated as 400+ (expert architects), because the competent architect(s) still get the best out of its current shape – and are the ones who can take the current release and develop it further to suit their particular needs and purposes. However the demos are at the level of getting to run “Hello World”. And more than that, those demos showcase a way to start very standard HTML/jQuery UI development on top of the distributed back-end.
The development of “The Ball” has been completely open from the beginning (some areas of the codebase could use heavy cleaning even still), but the amount of “ADM Powered” code is so small, that it justifies even complete rewrite for the parts that don’t suffice for the purpose. Bottom line is, that now we finally could reach down to the level that any developer can get, build, and run the platform.
So without any longer stories, here’s what we presented and launched:
- GitHub Repository for the complete platform and HelloWorld example.
- The presentation slides The Ball / SOS on Azure sessions separated: TheBall @ TechDays Part 1 (PDF) and TheBall @ TechDays Part 2 (PDF).
- New videos added under “The Ball – The Information Ecosystem” in Demo Videos section. (I will add architectural deep dive videos later on)
For additional reading, in case the ADM and The Ball context is not familiar I’m linking the following:
- The Ball videos of Aalto / OIP platform, from August 2012 the abstract definition is completely valid now
- The workshop agenda paper “Workshop on ADM and The Ball” describing ADM and “The Ball” paradigm. Initially used in the workshop that we held together with Free University of Bozen-Bolzano on October.
- Whitepaper about information valuation “towards citizens as digital innovators“
- For ADM best sources (including links to technology hands-on-demos) in addition to demo videos, I’d suggest our MS TechDays 2012 Material.
The development tooling requirements are as following for the Azure platform:
- Visual Studio 2012 (should also work with VS 2010 SP1)
- GitExtensions (for submodules) – the VS2012 Git support doesn’t suffice
- Azure SDK 1.8 and Amazon Web Service SDK (for email services)
- T4 Toolbox and Tangible T4 editor (free) for good ADM/T4 experience.
- For ADM abstraction modeling Altova’s XML Spy is one of the best tools
- For code-level implementation ReSharper from Jetbrains has still our preference
We have initiated dialogue with various open-source solution providers (especially on Big Data space) as well as critical data hosting parties, who have clear interest to port “The Ball” to run in datacenter hostable platform. For any interest on those areas, we’d be happy to hear about you!
Warm (yeah right) and Sunny Spring from Helsinki, Finland
Kalle (+ the rest of The Ball Team!)