Sunday, November 22, 2009

The ups and downs of the final PDC 2009 day

In addition to the WCF 4.0 session I blogged about earlier, I also attended some more sessions. The first one, Hybrid Cloud Computing with Azure and the Service Bus by Clemens Vasters was quite cool. One of the challenges that you may have if you move only a part of your system to an Azure server , is how to communicate with your on-premise systems. His team wrote a nice tool called the Port Bridge that you can use to create a very efficient secure tunnel between the cloud-based website and the firewalled on-premise application server or database. It understands many of the protocols and can tunnel both TCP/IP as well as Named Pipes. Check out a more detailed description on Clemens' blog.

I then continued to the Workflow Services and Window Server AppFabric session, but left halfway. The speaker was British and had a horrible accent that made it very difficult to follow him. Anyhow, in addition to the WCF statistics, AppFabric's IIS extensions also provide in-depth information on the whereabouts of individual Workflow instances and its contained activities.

After the lunch, I dropped in a XAML/Silverlight Futures talk, but left after ten minutes because it was only dealing with advanced XAML parsing. I then moved to the Mastering RIA Services session but was disappointed as well. The first half hour was just an intro of what happens under the hood, followed by some best practices. However, the term "mastering" was rather misleading since it never touched the advanced topics I was expecting. Definitely not on par with the remainder of the PDC sessions.

I concluded the day with an awesome talk on all the aspects Team Foundation Server 2010 offers for getting a piece of functionality completely done. It included aspects such as gated check-in, automatic deployment, and managing your entire test lab using the System Center Virtual Machine Manager and the Test and Lab Manager. The host, Brian Randal, is a very good and enthusiastic speaker. I attended his full-day pre-conference session on last year's PDC.

As of now, all sessions should be available in normal quality as well as HD from the PDC website here.