TechEd.Progress = 66.6666;

Just begun the last day for the Tech.Ed 2007 conference – with some great sessions yesterday.   I was a bit disappointed and non-plus’ed from the first day of sessions.

First up yesterday was the Software+Services session, with other acronyms and buzzwords like SaaS (Software As A Service), and SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) – and the kinda media favorite “Web 2.0”.   This was a very high level, theory & even a dose of fortune telling about it.   Where we’ve come from, where we are and where we’re going.   From mainframe architectures, to client-server, and then Web, and what next ?    (40 years of I.T. into a single statement !)

Lots of “drivers” about the whole current trends (ie. future path) – including Business, Social, Architectural and Technical also.   Some good demos & show-offs of some “mash-ups” – bringing business value to a site, by combining “services”.    A cool real estate site using Virtual Earth –   Quick to get a site like that created, but also – the same for competitors.

So – the PRICE point will be the differentiator – Microsoft have even gotten to the point of minimizing the overhead cost of “electricity” – by building a 6 storey data centre in Washington, next to the Wolf RIver dam – when electricity is cheapest !    3 floors of the building is cooling fans !   Sounds incredible – costing them $500m.   But guess what – Google, and Yahoo are building similar data centres around the block.  

Great session – very thought-provoking – fortune & future telling, as well as reflective on yesteryears.

Next up was the Tom Hollander showing the Enterprise Library 3.1 add-on for Visual Studio – and .NET framework.   Best bits were the new features – esp. the validation block.   This allows the validation to be defined at a class level, and used within a shared UI – and business layer – meaning the rules will be consistent between ASP.NET, WinForm and WCF.   Other cool new bits were the config editor – and some nice “wants” like easy strong naming of assembly.

Next session was entitled “.NET 3.0 – end to end” – anyone remember the demo app’s from Microsoft like the PetShop, WeFly247 and so on ?   The new one is called DinnerNow

DinnerNow is a fictitious marketplace where customers can order food from local restaurants for delivery to their home or office.

This sample application is designed to demonstrate how you can develop a connected application using several new Microsoft technologies, including: IIS7, ASP.NET Ajax Extensions, Linq, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow Foundation, Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Powershell, and the .NET Compact Framework.

The entire source code for the sample application is provided as a download so you can learn how these technologies can be used within an scenario-based application.

Matt Winkler did a run-through of the bits in .NET 3.0 within DinnerNow – lots of cover, but some great bits to go and check out.   The PowerShell stuff looked great – will have to read up on that some more.

David Aiken has some great powershell templates.

He mentioned a few cool new WPF sites to check out :

  • – with a scroll wheel a la iPhone – bound to a dataset (with a designer doing the fancy bits)
  • British Library (page turner)
  • I couldn’t find the specific pages he was referring to – might have to throw him an email

Update – found one of them :

Next few sessions I drifted through (bailed early) :

  • Business Data Catalog (BDC) in Sharepoint 2007 – just wanted a quick look at this one – and Mike Fitzmaurice is always entertaining.
  • Windows Workflow in Sharepoint 2007 – well, there was lots of Workflow code & design – but only a 2 minute mention of Sharepoint.

The last session I attended was a Visual Studio 2008 session – building an app from end-to-end.   Some of the great new bits were the JavaScript intellisense and additions – as well as the debugging additions.   Some IIS 7 bits also – will be a great dev environment – can’t wait till we can grab the 2008 stack of products.

That was all for the Tech.Ed sessions – next up was the Tech.Party @ MovieWorld.    Stay tuned…


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