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December 17, 2003

Day One at the Service Oriented Computing Conference

The conference is in a small town in northern Italy, near the Tirol mountain area. Trento is a very friendly historical town, outside of the major heavy tourist areas such Florency and Pisa. English doesn't get you very far in the shops and restaurants here. It's fun.

The conference is attended by about 150 people, most of them from Europe and Asia. Which immediately brings up one of the most remarkable facts: the absolute absence of American involvement, both in attendance and in papers. About 180 papers where submitted and 37 selected, with only 3-4 papers from the US. Is there no Service Oriented research happening in the US or was this conference overlooked? There is a heavily delagation from IBM research here, but not many from the other vendors labs or product groups.

The conference topics are broad (see the program) but I have the feeling that the attendance is somewhat top heavy in service modelling and service composition areas. There are two panels on these topics. The first one on modelling had a lot of audience participation. A common trend still is that there are no generally accepted definitions of (web) services, and people spent way too much time criticising each others definitions.

The first key note was by one of the technology officers from the IST program of the European union. He can be compared to one of the DARPA or NSF program officers, so most of the Europeans were eager to hear funding news from this guy, he certainly received no criticism about announcing another 500 Million Euro funding program. A first two year funding program just finished, which had 1 billion euro in funding and another 500 million euro funding project is underway. He put a lot of emphasis on 'free and open' software development as one of Europe's strengths, and that the EC is likely to help boost these areas with flowing more money into this direction.

More on the technical presentations later.

Posted by Werner Vogels at December 17, 2003 05:22 AM
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Wow! Wondered where you were -- talk about world traveller! Give a call when you get back! Cheers -- H

Posted by: Halley Suitt on December 17, 2003 07:15 AM