I had the chance to work in a customisation of the IFS applications 6 years ago, when they were using only Oracle as data and business tire. I came from a C++ perspective and had to adapt to the Oracle procedural-like kind of language. I found IFS development environment impressive. They made Oracle packages programmable as objects, they were simulating inheritance, something close to how XWindows (X11) was programmed in pure C and #DEFINE's . There I saw the first serialization engine which acted as the transport mechanism between layers (written in PL/SQL). Pure interfaces with hidden implementation, modules, asynchronous jobs, long running transactions, compensations, and so on. Hope I'm not violating any copyright laws
I was impressed by the architecture they were having back then and I am sure they made big steps. Maybe Dan can share with us more of the challanges they overcome over the years. I liked his interview and want to have more. I belive that the challanges we are confronting now are not new, they were 6-7 years ago: modularity, decoupling, deployment, etc. Some of us made it possible without using .NET, J2EE or other technologies (IFS is a living example), so the solution does not lie in the technology but somewere else. Thanks Dan for pointing this out.
Real-life examples are very important for a platform provide like Microsoft. I salute the initiaitve and hope for more.