I recently tweeted:
"Azure needs to
have a message bus for Social Computing Activity Streams with a common
auth (LiveId/OpenID) and BizTalk like plugs…#DREAMIN"
But I have no doubt that it is going to happen. It will be a massive MSMQ (message queue) in the cloud with BizTalk like adapters that will allow us to send our "Encrypted" messages with routing info (very similar to the current EDI platforms today), but rather than EDI, we are free to choose our format other than a routing message on the top of it!
This all sounds familiar though right? I just mentioned EDI, a very condensed text/tab based format for sending data. Problem with EDI, proprietary networks that have high entry costs and lets face it, UGLY. Will it continue to live? Yeah, for a few more years at least. What will it give way to? XML has taken it's fair share for the past 10 years, more likely…JSON formatted messages? Definitely not XML, some of you may have seen my tweet "Web Services RIP (1999-2009)". It was funny, and some people didn't like it too much, but unfortunately…its TRUE.
What else sounds familiar? Oh, only the fact that it has been done elsewhere too, Mastercard, Visa, and American Express have the largest transaction systems in the world. Trillions of dollars of transactions (and similar number of transaction counts) occuring everyday! At a previous company we even tapped into the massive network of transactions (hence why I know how to get your credit card number) to pump messages into the systems. We built memory based databases and built a massive message bus that accepted messages and routed them for processing by multiple subscribers, super cool stuff! We even did object oriented database rather than the older relational forms (another long blog post).
What makes this time so different? People. Social Computing has opened the eyes of individuals to be able to "brag" through "ego" about what they are doing. And it may not be all "ego", but pretty close. So now we can see the concept of "Activity" streams being built around everything we do! Every time we purchase something, start our car, make a phone call, all our every day events will be able to be pumped into the message queue in the sky for subscribers to be able to "plug" into and watch our every move!
Thanks to innovative applications like Facebook, they have paved the way for every new application to have a concept of "Activity" streams in ATOM format where these message are going to be bought and sold to the masses for behavior analysis!
And so on to our best friend SharePoint 2010. SharePoint 2010 has an "extensible" activity stream. This stream will allow every application you touch, to "pump" messages into the stream queue for people to monitor! Imagine if you will, every system you work with inside your company pumping status messages back about you. Are you doing your job? Your activity stream says you aren't! Thinking what I am thinking at this point? Lots of applications, both good and bad will come of this.
From a user standpoint, activity stream data will be VERY sensitive. From an "Application" standpoint, if we are to say that a user in SharePoint is an "Application", then activity streams create a whole new world of possibilities!
If companies simply stick to a user is a user for their streams, we may start to see government step in soon and limit the types of things that WILL start to happen with the technology.
Insightful eh? Enjoy!