Platform Symphony Only Distributes Executables

30 Apr 2007

Last week, Lab49 showed up in force at the Microsoft Financial Developers Conference. One of our founders and managing directors, Daniel Chait, trotted out some powerful Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) data visualization demos for the financial services industry.

I got a chance to sneak in and out of several sessions, but overall the conference was ho-hum from a developer’s perspective. Not much new, not much technical. Not even much in the way of vendor swag. I mean, really, how many Microsoft-branded over-the-shoulder messenger bags can one person use? Yawn. Praise be for the vast aquifers of coffee and candy-coated apples.

I did learn at least one new thing, though: Platform Symphony now only supports distributing tasks as executables. According to a guy named Rene, a Platform Computing tech representative roaming the audience answering questions, though the product used to support distributing tasks as libraries, they’ve jettisoned that feature for simplicity and performance sake.

It seems rather archaic to me to have such limited choice in designing your distributed applications. The Digipede Network, for example, allows you to distribute executables, libraries, and even in-memory objects. Being locked into wrapping your logic into an executable (even when all you want to distribute is a function call) reminds me of the coding awkwardness of PVM and MPI.

Is Platform Computing old guard or just getting old?


2 Responses to “Platform Symphony Only Distributes Executables”

  1. Zane Says:

    Hi Marc, my name is Zane from Platform Computing.

    Happened to see your posting here. I don’t know how you got this wrong impression. But Platform Symphony can actually distribute libraries, executables, even any serializable in-memory objects as long as the objects can be recognized by the distribution end points. Furthermore, unlike Digipede that is only for .NET on Windows, Symphony workload distribution is end-point binding agnostic across different languages, Windows, Linux, and others.

  2. Marc Jacobs Says:

    Hi, Zane. Yes, several folks from Platform have contacted me about this post. I was simply reporting the specific answer I got from Rene-Paul Lafarie to a direct question I asked him after the Platform session at the conference. I’m not sure where the breakdown in communication occurred; perhaps there was a language barrier.

    In any event, I cede the point and will take a closer look at Platform in the coming months.

    Thanks for reading and providing your comment!

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