“Quadrant” scrapped, “M” refocused – Oslo soon under water?

Mary-Jo reports that her sources tell Quadrant is going to get scrapped and the M language refocused. What’s up with the previously massive Oslo codename?

imageBoth parts were key to Oslo – in fact, the most visible parts left of the original vision that once seemed to span the data modeling needs of the entire universe. Quadrant was the visual designer (see the image), M was the language that allowed the description of data structures and much more. Supposedly, M was going to get some ground also outside the pure developer space – for example, it was planned to be used in the next version of Active Directory.

I think Quadrant sucked all the way in its complexity. Even for pre-alpha software, it failed to generate any excitement in me whatsoever. Admittedly cool concepts, but really, rather little in terms of immediate benefit for practical, everyday software development. In this sense, its dismissal is no surprise. There’s so much available in terms of cheap or free Visual Studio and its designers already – and the platform certainly can be extended further.

M, on the other hand, looked like an abstraction that would have unifying impact across various forms of data storage (AD, relational data, SharePoint lists, …). In that sense, it’ll be very interesting to see the scope of this “refocusing”. If M loses its universal nature, it loses its appeal – or at least, I tend to think so.

Whether or not SQL Server Modeling will ship in Denali or not remains to be seen. The third part of said module is the model repository, but with Quadrant’s and M’s shuffle, will there be anything to store there? At any rate, SQL Server Modeling November CTP is still out there for download. While supplies last, at least.

Oh, and yet another PDC with a chance to announce something regarding Oslo? Looking forward to October…

August 6, 2010 · Jouni Heikniemi · No Comments
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