Sunday, September 7, 2008

TechEd Sydney 2008

Shane Morris, Microsoft's UX evangelist in Australia gave a couple of great presos.  He used deep zoom in his UX session and showcased the Expression suite in another.

Local Brisbane boys Anthony Borton & William Bartholemew demo'd the architect features of Rosario, and the word is that the next CTP will coincide with PDC at the end of October. Particularly neat are the architectural discovery and validation features.  We can also expect some new features as well.  Hopefully the architect features will be available to all developers.

Harry Pierson's session on moving beyond the industrial age into what he terms the "individual age" was thought provoking.  His main tenet was that today's institutions and the was we do IT is still rooted around a factory mentality, and that we will change.  Harry in his new role with the Iron Python team extolled the virtues of open source dynamic languages.  Expect Iron Python 2 integrated into Visual Studio just after PDC, an alpha version of Iron Python built on the DLR around the same time, as well as an Iron Ruby beta.

Paul Stovell (who's doing work for us) talked on Reactive Programming - which he describes as "data binding gone mad".  He also demo'd his own Bindable LINQ.

Elvin Slavik gave an overview of SQL Server 2008 spatial features.  The new geometry and geography types provide a complete storage mechanism for spatial data (x,y,z & m) but the spatial functions are only 2D for now.

Another Queenslander, Joel Pobar gave a great overview of F#.  He gave 3 compelling reasons for functional languages.  In a data driven world, we need higher order algorithms and techniques to derive value.  In a world where scalability is king, we need tools, frameworks and languages that scale.  To take advantage of the multi-core (r)evolution we need more adaptive languages and compilers.

Kiwi Chris Auld outlined what's coming in Oslo.  It's being run by the Connected Systems Division which also looks after BizTalk, WCF and WF.  Expect Oslo in around 12-18 months time over 3 waves.  First up we'll see a new version of workflow foundation in .NET 4 and Rosario VSTS .  The new WF will have a better designer and improved UX and will include a new "flowchart" workflow type.  At present we have sequential which is simple, but not too useful as it doesn't support "go back" operations.  The state machine workflow allows you to do anything, but is more complex to implement.  The new flowchart workflow is designed to fit between  these extremes.  It will still be aimed as devs rather than end users.  The second wave will include the repository, visual editor and a process server(WF/WCF only), with the third wave including the full process server(lifecycle manager and BizTalk host).  To summarise, Oslo is a repository and a modelling language and tooling to facilitate building and deploying mega composite systems.  Expect the first CTP at PDC.

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