Democratizing the Cloud using Microsoft Live Labs Volta
Nearly two years ago I posted Beyond LINQ: A Manifesto For Distributed Data-Intensive Programming on this forum. Now, within a period of a few weeks, both LINQ as well as a rather different realization of my original post-LINQ plans are shipping. I am particularly proud to announce that a community preview of Volta is available for immediate download from http://labs.live.com/volta/.
Volta is a collection of tools that enable programmers to develop asynchronous and distributed (including but not limited to AJAX) applications by successive refactoring of normal, sequential, programs written in standard .NET languages (this CTP requires Visual Studio 2008) and deploy the resulting applications on a wide variety of target platforms (this CTP supports Internet Explorer and FireFox). Or as I sometimes say when I am trying to sound like a marketing person “ Volta stretches the .NET platform to cover the Cloud.” Volta allows programmers to concentrate on the essential complexity involved in building AJAX application and have our tools take care of the gory details and accidental complexity.
When using Volta, programmers can specify their intent of running certain classes on the server by decorating the class declaration using a
Volta embraces the Lean Programming principle of delaying irreversible decisions until the last possible responsible moment. In particular we want to delay decisions about distribution as long as possible. To help developers make informed decisions about the distribution a program across tiers, the Rotunda profiler from MSR is fully integrated in the Volta toolchain. By automatically injection hooks for all interesting events, Rotunda creates trace information that can be inspected using the standard Service Trace Viewer tool.
When I speak about Volta or show a demo, the best compliment I can get is when people say this is “trivial” or “really straightforward”. The best tools are those that do their work unobtrusive hidden in the background. Anyway, with the holidays around the corner you may have some spare cycles to give Volta a spin and let us know what you think!
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