When E.F. Hutton Talks, People Listen

You may or may not not be old enough to recognize the phrase in the title but E. F. Hutton & Co. was a brokerage firm founded by Edward Francis Hutton. Hutton became one of the most respected financial firms in the United States and was best known for its TV commercials in the 1980s based on the phrase, "When E. F. Hutton talks, people listen" . The commercial would usually have a large noisy crowd somewhere and when one person said “well my broker is EF Hutton and they said…” and the room falls silent to listen in.

80’s EF Hutton Commercial

There are two such people in IT today that should garner the same response from a crowd of IT people.

Don Box – The creator of SOAP and a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer (ie. a really, really, really smart guy who has done amazing things) http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/de/Box/default.mspx

Jack Greenfield – Former Chief Architect of Rational XDE and now Chief Architect Enterprise Frameworks and tools with Microsoft. (ie. a really, really, really smart guy who has done amazing things) http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa480032.aspx

When they talk and they are talking, the IT world really should just be still for a moment and listen intently. They are saying things that will change the software development world. Okay, let me make it more personal. They are talking about whether you will have an income in the next few years and be able to pay your mortgage or not depending on whether you listened and did something about it or  you will be learning the phrase “and would you like fries with that?”

Take a few minutes to listen to Don Box about Oslo and “M”

http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/Charles/Don-Box-Paul-Vick-and-Chris-Anderson-Introducing-M/

Don’t let the low-key approach fool you. This is a game-changer.

  • SQL Server Modeling Services (formerly the ‘repository’), a core database role for models and a set of shared, common domain models. Modeling Services is built on Microsoft SQL Server) and is highly optimized to provide your data schemas and instances with system-provided best SQL Server practices for scalability, availability, security, versioning, change tracking, and localization. Common domain models include identity, CLR, and UML.
    • This means the hard stuff is already done for you…
  • A configurable visual tool (Microsoft code name "Quadrant") that enables you and your customers to interact with the data schemas and instances in exactly the way that is clearest to you and to them. That is, instead of having to look at data in terms of tables and rows, "Quadrant" allows every user to configure its views to naturally reveal the full richness of the higher-level relationships within that data.
    • This means highly interactive, easy to understand, less errors and fast ….
  • A language (Microsoft code name "M") with features that enable you to model (or describe) your 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 your 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. "M" does not mandate how data is stored or accessed, nor does it mandate a specific implementation technology. Rather, "M" is designed to allow users to write down what they want from their data without having to specify how those requirements are met by a specific technology or platform.
    • How much faster can you deliver when the “how” is taken out of the equation?

Now hear what Jack Greenfield is saying about the Software factory approach and domain specific languages.

“Hi, my name is Jack Greenfield. I’ve spent most of my career building either enterprise applications or model-driven frameworks and tools for enterprise application developers. I am currently an architect with Enterprise Frameworks and Tools at Microsoft. Before coming here, I was the chief architect for Rational XDE. …In my mind, the primary factor that will determine the success or failure of model-driven development in the industry today is pragmatism. There is a stark contrast in terms of pragmatism between the two leading approaches, which are software factories from Microsoft and MDA from IBM and the OMG. With MDA, you have two domains, or viewpoints as we call them, the platform-independent model and the platform-specific model. These two viewpoints are both based on UML which is a general-purpose modeling language, and they are related by transformation, since PSMs are generated from PIMs. With software factories, by contrast, you have an arbitrary number of viewpoints such as user interaction, business work-flow, or logical database design to name a few. In fact, you can define as many viewpoints as necessary to describe the business requirements in the software under development. Each viewpoint is potentially based on a DSL but is tailor-made to address a set of unique concerns for that viewpoint. Viewpoints can be related by nesting and by a variety of operations such as trace, validation, analysis, refactoring, weaving, or optimization in addition to transformation…So we learn more about key abstractions in the domain by working with these less automated forms of guidance; we can gradually move to models. So what is different this time from the CASE tools in the 1980’s? I think it is precisely the pragmatic bottom-up approach we are taking with software factories. Unlike MDA, which optimistically assumes like CASE did that most or all of the software can be generated from models, software factories blend modeling with other software development practices to meet the needs of developers in the real world.”

So what do you get when you take a technology that allows you to work quickly with your user to express a domain in any manner that makes senses to them, automate all of the data work so you only have to describe what you want done , not how and then combine this with a software factory approach to build the solution at light-speed?

If you really pay attention, you will hear that EF Hutton is talking again.

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