MURA—Looking back, looking forward...

Microsoft’s Upstream Reference Architecture fails to shake the earth.

Microsoft has just release a whitepaper, ‘MURA, Looking Back to 2011 and Forward to 2012.’ The 2011 recap covers two whitepapers, one by MURA participants Esri, OSIsoft and PointCross on ‘Declarative integration for composite solutions leveraging an upstream reference architecture.

Declarative integration is said to be a ‘pragmatic approach’ for achieving workable interfaces between applications, at run time. It is an alternative to point-to-point interfaces between applications. The solution is a ‘composite user interface’ approach to integration—contrasting with approaches focusing on data exchange.

‘Looking Back’ describes ‘in detail’ the process for ‘defining and creating a composite solution from diverse solution components.’ The technologies under the hood include SharePoint Web Parts, AJAX and Silverlight. The other proof of concept, of ‘Complex event processing’ was penned by Logica, showing how CEP is put into practice in a remote operations center. In this case, technologies used were SharePoint, Stream Insight and Bing Maps.

We have expressed skepticism before as to MURA’s reality. The fact that a systems integrator managed to make a composite application from two vendors’ SharePoint Web Parts is hardly earth shaking. No more is the fact that Logica can deploy Stream Insight and Bing Maps!

Two years since its launch, the effort has, as the French say, given birth to a mouse. But the MURA headcount is on the up. MURA had around 20 companies signed up in 2011, this has now grown to some 35. This means that either folks are keen to sign up for the (free?) marketing clout that Microsoft is offering through the nebulous MURA, or that by 2013 we will see a major shift in upstream software as apps all plug and play with each other, with data and all! Read this month’s editorial for more on MURA and watch this space.

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