In a nutshell, a year ago we started a small project thinking about the various characteristics that comprise a ‘composite’ application and what it would mean if those pieces were exposed as a set of developer oriented services.
Today we’ve made two of them public and available to developers interested in experimenting with them.
John has a bigger picture overview of where we’re going with these services.
I thought I’d be useful to provide a quick jumpstart to developers to get them started:
Step1: Register with https://identity.biztalk.net. This site allows you to register a Windows Cardspace Information Card that you will then use to authenticate with various services. We’ve come up with a pretty interesting user model where you can have multiple accounts registered with a card. I’ll have more details on this in a later post, but you can imagine that as services register with IBN, you’ll be able to login to them with a single card.
Step2: Use the Relay at http://connect.biztalk.net. We’ve shipped an SDK with a few samples showing you how you use the relay and identity services together. If you’re familiar with Windows Communication Foundation, you’ll find this trivial to use (by design!). Basically, your service opens at a URI on the connect.biztalk.net machines. Then a client connects to that URI and can start sending messages. We don’t want to be in the way of your app, so our relay will immediately try to establish a direct connection between clients. More details on this how this all works in a later post. Here’s a quick diagram that describes it at a high level. I’d recommend taking a look at the EchoSample first.
Step3: Start writing your own services and give us feedback on features and/or behavior you’d like us to start thinking about. You can expect to find more samples on my blog and in the SDK.
I’ll be writing up a lot more about how you can use these services and occasionally dive deep into how they work in the next few weeks. Let us know what you think!