Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Day 2

Well, it was a very difficult morning indeed. Last night, we went to Olaf Conijn's party at the beach of Montgat and met with him, his twin sister Judith and Don Smith, Product Manager of P&P. Each of us brought some drinks and snacks and we had a great time talking about lots of useless stuff. I think I went to bed between 4:00 and 4:30 in the morning.

But, here we are, at the first session of the day presented by Simon Guest. As was promised in his summary, I was expecting a kind of framework that should help architects defining a system that better suits their customer's needs. But even though he is a reasonable speaker, his presentation was a bit of an open book. Nevertheless, he did show us a nice tool that helps choosing between the many technologies Microsoft has to offer. By adjusting sliders representing aspects such as the amount of interaction needed, required performance, offline/online dependency et al, it shows you the best combination possible.

The second show of the day was hosted by Luca Bolognese, the Product Lead for LINQ, which was suffering from an extremely heavy Italian accent (or pretending to have one). He presented us with a great code-only demonstration of LINQ-to-SQL, the types of LINQ queries available, and the resulting SQL queries executed. Quite powerful indeed. I think there must have been over 2000 attendees, but he didn't seem to bother at all.

The fourth presentation was much more interesting. Shanku Niyogi (Microsoft) demonstrated the new ASP.NET MVC Framework and a whole bunch of new dynamic controls. These dynamic controls allow you to build a data-intensive web site using simple page templates for lists, details, edit, etc. They basically created what many IT shops have been creating themselves. The first CTP of it will be available soon.

The formal part of the day was completed with a presentation on ASP.NET AJAX. Since most of this stuff is already available on www.asp.net/ajax I didn't pay a lot of attention there. Obviously, the lack of sleep was not really helping either.

In the evening, I had diner with Don and Olaf to discuss the contents and the slides of our presentation on Wednesday. We had lots of discussions on what may work and what may not, especially because there will be three people on the stage. Olaf will do the demos, Don will guide the audience through the slides, and I will try to provide comments and additions from my own experiences. The presentation will be held at the auditorium so it is well possible that we will be talking to 1000-2000 people! Hmmm, I need to get a decent sleep to relax now...