News from National -- Current Articles
Interview with Michael Flynn
By Stephen Ibaraki, I.S.P.
This week Stephen Ibaraki, I.S.P., had the opportunity to interview the
Internet guru, Michael Flynn. Michael's current responsibilities include
media interviews, educational and promotional initiatives for Microsoft
employees, customers, and partners on .NET, Developer Tools, Commerce Server,
BizTalk Server, ISA Server. My background is 16.5 years in IT. Started
building clone PC’s, moved to field service, moved to large scale IT
management, moved into software development, moved to computer sales, finally
onto marketing. Companies I have worked for include Computer Junction, Office
Equipment of Canada, Nestle Enterprises, Compaq Computer, and Microsoft. I
have developed commercial software for Windows CE (Pocket Administrator) and
have developed over 20 different software products for various industries
include broadcast media.
Q: Can you describe your current and future role?
A: Currently I manage a number of products in a marketing role. Primary
responsibility is to develop strategies for promoting / fostering excitement
in Microsoft products and technologies. If I had my choice of jobs, I would
like to design new products that leverage web services.
Q: Can you describe XML Web Services?
A: Web services, based on XML will greatly simplify application integration
across the Internet. A great example of this is to consider using your
accounting software vs. a browser to connect to a business partner to
purchase product for resale. Using the accounting software, you could type in
the distributor’s web site URL, your accounting software would then connect
to a web service to order products, the advantage is to have the inventory,
accounting, and pipeline databases within your accounting software updated
automatically at the time of the order. If you use a browser to place the
order, you would have to manually enter the order details into your
Over time, any software package could be used to connect to a web site (web
service) for information exchange. The big part of this is that with XML/SOAP
you will be using industry standard based messaging protocols to develop
these new connections.
Q: What are the capabilities of the new SOAP Toolkit and why would developers
A: The new version, SOAP Toolkit 2.0 provides full support for SOAP v1.1, the
Web Services Description Language (WSDL). With the Toolkit, developers can
build high performance, commercial quality XML Web Services or add such
capabilities to any existing application that supports the Component Object
Model (COM). In addition to new samples and debugging tools, this release
also is fully interoperable with XML Web Services built using the .NET
Framework and has been tested with SOAP implementations from a variety of
Although you can expose Web Services using any programming language, object
model, or operating system, Windows, COM, and our tools make it a snap. The
SOAP Toolkit automates all the key parts of creating a Web Service.
Interoperability with Visual Studio.NET Beta 1. You can now use the SOAP
Toolkit to call a Web Service created by a Visual Studio.NET Beta 1
application. You can also write a Visual Studio.NET Beta 1 application to
call a Web Service created by the SOAP Toolkit.
Source code cleanup and optimization, and better performance. Our stress-test
results showed a performance increase of about three times faster.
Memory leaks and bug fixes. All known memory leaks and many bug fixes are
included in this release.
Improved error handling. We are now handling errors properly, and returning
meaningful error messages.
A new Visual Studio.NET ROPEDEMO sample. This is an exciting addition to the
SOAP Toolkit. Please see the documentation included with the toolkit for more
details about this release.
Q: How is Native SOAP Support for Windows XP provided?
A: In addition to the standalone Toolkit, Windows XP will have native support
for SOAP, simplifying the efforts of developers building XML Web Services on
Windows XP, and ensuring customers will easily be able to utilize such
services. Just as Windows 2000 was the first operating system with native XML
support, Windows XP is expected to be the first in the industry with native
Q: Can you describe the W3C Acceptance of New Security Specification? Can you
detail the XML key management specification (XKMS) digital certificate
specification by the World Wide Web Consortium?
A: The W3C recently acknowledged the submission of the XML key management
specification (XKMS) which was jointly authored by Microsoft, VeriSign and
webMethods with submission support from Baltimore Technologies, Citigroup,
Entrust Technologies, Hewlett-Packard Company, International Business
Machines Corp., IONA, PureEdge Solutions, Reuters Limited, RSA Security and
Science Applications International Corporation. The XKMS specification helps
enterprises and developers use Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) digital
signatures and encryption with XML Web Services.
Q: Can you provide a road map for future XML Web Services?
A: Primary developers and consumers of web services will be corporate IT.
Many customers are already developing web services to simplify the
connectivity of disparate islands of information regardless of the platform
they exist on. Web services from MS will include authentication,
notification, and access to data.
Q: What ten tips and recommendations would you give to those entering the IT
field and for seasoned veterans?
A: 1 - Understand the different platforms available, what are the pro’s,
2 - Understand current industry trends, i..e. Web Services – XML/SOAP
3 - Understand the new developer tools, why and how they do most of the
4 - Understand advantages of different approaches to information access
5 - Understand how the many different devices i.e. PocketPC, play a role in
6 - Make education your everyday priority, every 24 hours the world turns,
and with it so does your choices with OS platforms, developer tools,
7 – If you are developing software, spend 90% of your development cycle in
design, if you have done your job right, you only need 10% of the development
cycle to complete the actual coding
8 – Don’t be afraid of change, change is good, looking back at the time of
structured coding to object coding, it was hard to make the move, but making
the move was one of the best decisions I had ever made. The investment in
time to learn this new approach to development paid off on the very first
9 – If you are managing a development project be sure to leverage a good
project management application. Tracking progress, setting goals and
milestones is imperative to good project management.
10 – Documentation is another imperative to strong IT and project management.
Assume the people you work with on a project will be replaced in 12 to 18
months. This is the nature of the business, so good documentation is critical
to project and long term management success.
Q: Consider this a blank slate. Are there additional comments you want to
A: Web services represent one of the most important changes in application
design, development, deployment, and management. This is clearly one of the
biggest paradigm shifts since the advent of the GUI. Those who understand
this change and those who leverage this new approach will be the most
successful in the future.