Microsoft President Steve Ballmer caught the attention of industry observers today by introducing Windows DNA for Manufacturing, a technical architecture designed to bring software integration to manufacturing environments. Earlier this month, a new Windows DNA Lab opened near Washington, D.C. -- the third such facility in the United States to spring up as a resource for companies building solutions on Windows DNA.
Clearly, Windows DNA is gaining a strong following. But as with any new industry trend, it raises an obvious question: What exactly does this architecture have to offer? More important, what does it mean to the people it's designed to affect? Jigish Avalani, group manager of Windows DNA marketing at Microsoft, explains that Windows DNA refers to the Windows Distributed interNet Application architecture, launched by Microsoft in fall of 1997.
"Windows DNA is essentially a 'blueprint' that enables corporate developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) to design and build distributed business applications using technologies that are inherent to the Windows platform," Avalani says. "It consists of a conceptual model and a series of guidelines to help developers make the right choices when creating new software applications."
Applications based on Windows DNA will be deployed primarily by businesses, from small companies to large enterprise organizations. Consumers are likely to use many of the applications built to take advantage of Windows DNA, such as electronic commerce Web sites and online banking applications.
A major force driving the need for Windows DNA is the Internet, which has dramatically changed the computing landscape. Five years ago, the process of developing programs used by one person on one computer was relatively straightforward. By contrast, some of today's most powerful applications support thousands of simultaneous users, need to run 24 hours a day, and must be accessible from a wide variety of devices -- from handheld computers to high-performance workstations. To meet these demanding requirements, application developers need adequate planning tools and guidance on how to incorporate the appropriate technologies. The Windows DNA architecture addresses this need.
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