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Microsoft Partnering With GigaSpaces

Microsoft Corp. has partnered with Israel-based GigaSpaces Technologies Ltd. to bundle the vendor's extreme transaction processing middleware with a Microsoft front-end and enterprise grid. The agreement is on the heels of GigaSpaces' announcement of version 6.0 of its flagship data grid and caching platform, expected in September.

The GigaSpaces infrastructure platform includes software for messaging, business logic, and data management. Developers can write a high performance data processing application and distribute the application across multiple servers for real-time analytics, avoiding the latency involved when accessing remote databases.

Under the Microsoft partnership, GigaSpaces' Enterprise Data Grid will run on Microsoft's Compute Cluster Server (CSS) 2003, which is an enterprise grid designed to schedule and manage hardware and software utilization. Microsoft's Excel 2007 spreadsheet will serve as the front-end to a centralized repository of data and business logic run over multiple servers. The joint solution also supports Excel Services and User Defined Functions, according to GigaSpaces.

"You'll have GigaSpaces on the server side maintaining the data, and we do it in memory so it is extremely fast, scaling it out to as many machines as needed to handle the number of users that are trying to access it," says Geva Perry, chief marketing officer of GigaSpaces. "So you essentially get Excel on the front end with a centralized repository for the data and business logic but with the scalability and performance that you need."

For developers, version 6.0 of the GigaSpaces platform means a new name and friendlier APIs. "There was a branding issue, we needed to separate the company name from the product name," explains Perry. Now dubbed the GigaSpaces eXtreme Application Platform (XAP), the software is designed to support extreme transaction and real time analytic processing in environments that require scalability without changes to the applications. Extreme processing is predominantly used in insurance, telecommunications and financial services, in areas such as algorithmic trading, where machines handle transactions in milliseconds or less.

The new programming model in GigaSpaces XAP supports plain .NET and C++ objects. "There will be a GigaSpaces plug-in in Visual Studio but that's a little further out," says Perry.

Java developers will be able to use the Spring Framework to write POJO (Plain Old Java Objects). The existing APIs -- JavaSpaces, JMS, JDBC, and Jcache -- are supported in the new release.

"Unlike a traditional middleware where you have to write to a certain API that works with that middleware, in our case, you don't," says Perry. "Interacting with our product is external to your business logic."

The Microsoft and GigaSpaces joint solution follows Oracle's acquisition of data grid provider Tangosol, Inc., announced in April.

About the Author

Kathleen Richards is the editor of RedDevNews.com and executive editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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