Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

It's all about community!

August, 2006

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    More Developer Goodness at TechEd Australia


    [updated - Added a link to Eric's Impact Analysis blog post from his Cabana Session]

    Back in May, I asked, "What would make you come to TechEd?" both here on my blog and on the AUS-DOTNET list. I got a number of responses. These can be summarised as follows:

    • Make it cheaper
    • Give us access to the speakers
    • Let us play with the bits
    • Give us more/better swag
    • Give us more content
    • Make the content deeper
    • Make the content less deep

    We've been working hard on this list and while it doesn't address the cost, I hope you agree that this is a pretty good result:


    Also known as the Developer Expo Area, this will be the place to hang out while you're at TechEd. All of the speakers will be here while they are not in sessions (we've threatened to turn on the sprinklers in the speaker room). There'll be power and connectivity - both wired and wireless.

    Dave Lemphers has rebuilt, boxed up and shipped some awesome infrastructure from the Dev'Garten project in Melbourne. So in Dave's words:

    So make sure you drop by the Dev’Garten area when you’re at TechEd and say hi. We’ll have some great giveaways, lots of cool kit, and best of all, a full blown, production grade, completely distributed Team Foundation Server environment for punters to play with!

    That's right! Delegates will have the chance to use VSTS and TFS in a production-quality environment. Play with bits, create projects, do some reporting, collaborate, or simply check out what TFS and VSTS together have to offer. We'll have 10 client machines available and kitted out with all the latest bits, or you can use your own box to work in the Dev'Garten.

    Which brings me to the next point:

    Smith Family Project

    When we were looking for ways to make it easier for delegates to explore the platform that is TFS, we had a couple of ideas - coding competitions and such-like came to mind, but the problem with these things is that they only really last for the duration of the competition. The tag line on my blog is "It's all about community", something I really believe. Well, here's an opportunity to both be part of that developer community and to contribute to the community at large. As part of TechEd, we (the delegates) are going to build a system for the Smith Family to use to automate the currently manual process they use for collecting information at the Unlimited Potential Centres they run.

    Mitch Denny and Joe Sango will be running the project for us at TechEd and Mitch has already blogged about how to sign up and get involved.

    Ask the Experts

    This is the formal time for interaction with the "experts". We'll have a panel discussion for an hour or so followed by a break-out where all the speakers (and other experts) will be available for 1:1 or 1:few discussions in and around the developer expo area.

    Additional Cabana Sessions

    You asked for it! 22 pithy, 20-minute sessions on all sorts of developer-related topics, delivered by experts in their field. You can sign up for these on CommNet and come along in the breaks between the "real" sessions to get the good oil on some great topics.

    Date Time Title Speaker
    23/08/2006 11:20 Visual Studio Team System - Impact Analysis Eric Lee/David Lemphers
    23/08/2006 13:10 Team Foundation Server Tips - powertoys and offline support Eric Lee
    23/08/2006 13:35 Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals - Schema Comparison Michael Leworthy
    23/08/2006 15:20 Visual Studio Team System - Goal-based load testing Eric Lee
    24/08/2006 11:20 Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals - Source Code Management Michael Leworthy
    24/08/2006 13:10 Why native code matters Jason McConnell/Nick Wienholt
    24/08/2006 13:35 XBAP Apps with Vista Joseph Cooney
    24/08/2006 15:20 Migrating Visual Source Safe to Team Foundation Server Eric Lee/Michael Leworthy
    25/08/2006 11:20 BLINQ Jason McConnell
    25/08/2006 13:10 Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals - Data Generation Greg Low
    25/08/2006 13:35 Visual Studio Team System - Using the data warehouse Eric Lee
    23/08/2006 11:20 SQL Server 2005 Encryption Architecture Mark Morton - DDLS MCT
    23/08/2006 13:10 Building the TechEd Session Picker Part 1 Bill McCarthy and Paul Stovell
    23/08/2006 13:35 Building the TechEd Session Picker Part 2 Paul Stovell and Bill McCarthy
    23/08/2006 15:20 WPF Data Templates Joseph Cooney
    24/08/2006 11:20 TBA Object Consulting
    24/08/2006 13:10 Earning more per hour as a developer I Steve Herzberg and Adam Cogan
    24/08/2006 13:35 Earning more per hour as a developer II Adam Cogan and Steve Herzberg
    24/08/2006 15:20 Integrating Compuware with VSTS Sean Salisbury (Compuware)
    25/08/2006 11:20 Visual Studio Team System - Awesome Add-ins Michael Leworthy/Adam Cogan
    25/08/2006 13:10 Enhancing SQL Server Management Tony Finnemore (SQL Tools)
    25/08/2006 13:35 How Readify deployed Team Foundation Server in the cloud Mitch Denny (Readify)

    Hands On Labs

     There are so many great labs to do this year, I don't know where to start. Have a look at the selection and fill your boots. The labs will be proctored by MS people, MCTs and MVPs, so there's always someone there to keep you in the learning groove.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    The TechEd Developer Goodness just gets Gooder and Gooder!


    Developer Cabana Sessions

    Following on from my previous post, there has been a great response to the Developer Cabana sessions - so much so that they're already fully booked! I've increased the room capacity slightly, so it'll be standing room only at the back, but it looks like this one is a winner.

    New Developer Session

    Next, I'm pleased to announce a bonus DEV track session:

    DEV219  Introduction to Games Graphics Development in Direct3D

    Friday, August 25 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM, Exhibition Cabana A (red)

    Speaker(s): Ross Brown

    Session Level(s): 200

    Session Type(s): Breakout Session

    Track(s): Developer Tools

    Ross Brown. School of Software Engineering and Data Communications, Queensland University of Technology This presentation will introduce you to generating real-time graphics for games using Microsoft's Direct3D. This presentation will introduce you to the main programming components involved in getting 3D game content onto the screen and moving, including: the graphics pipeline, modelling objects, animating objects, and making them look realistic with lighting. It will end with a brief view of programming the video card for extra effect with shaders. The aim of this presentation will be to introduce you to the main areas required for further study. You will be able to use this talk as a basis for further investigation into Direct3D, and graphics programming in general. For this talk, it is assumed you are an experienced programmer, with a reasonable background in mathematics.

    Hot on the heels of the XNA Games Studio Express announcement, this might be just what you need to kick-start you on that games development career you always wanted.


    Finally, I had forgotton to mention the MCP Testing area at TechEd - This year at Tech.Ed 2006, you have the unique opportunity to take the Microsoft Certified Professional exam (MCP) for only $60 inc. GST (normally $180 inc. GST). But hurry, registrations close August 19th. The first 120 people to sucessfully complete a MCP certification exam at TechEd will receive a bonus "I Got There" cap (that's all the caps I could bring back on the plane from the US). You can't get one without taking a test, so sign up now! Hey, I managed to pass four MCP exams in the week I was in Seattle last month (and yes, I got a cap), so you should be able to manage :).

    There only 300 certifications vouchers available. The MCP centre is open at TechEd 2006 from 22-25 Aug – please check the agenda page for exam times.

    Limited Places Remaining

    Chatting with Kleefy today, it turns out that we're almost at the stage where (for the first time in Australia) we're going to have to put up the "SOLD OUT" sign and stop selling TechEd tickets. If you're tempted to come to TechEd, don't delay. Register Today.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Does this make me a Cabana Boy?


    [Update - fixed the DDLS link and added Cabana session titles for all sponsors]

    [Update 2 - changed Object Consulting's Session Title]

    Yesterday I posted that all the Developer Cabana Sessions were completely booked at TechEd less than 12 hours after they had been made available on CommNet. I pinged all of the cabana speakers and they've agreed to do repeats of all the cabana sessions. These are now available for booking, so if you missed out last time, I suggest you get in quickly now.

    In addition to this, I've just found out that Sparx Systems are a late signing as Developer Tools sponsors at TechEd (and will therefore be presenting a cabana session currently entitled "Using Sparx Tools with Visual Studio Team System"). For completeness, here's the list of Dev Tools sponsors - all of whom are presenting cabana sessions:

    Compuware (TechEd Silver Sponsor) - "Integrating Compuware with VSTS"

    Readify - "How Readify deployed TFS in the cloud"

    Object Consulting - "Injecting process into the heart of VSTS"

    SQL Tools - "Enhancing SQL Server Management"

    Dimension Data - "SQL Server 2005 Encryption Architecture"

    Sparx Systems - "Using Sparx Tools with Visual Studio Team System"

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    The Haiku Hits Keep On Coming


    Tech•Ed looms ever nearer
    Consumes all my time
    See you on the other side

    If you need a Tech•Ed Haiku for your OOF, see Dave in the Dev'Garten - he's offered to write you one.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    User Groups at Work


    I was presenting on Service Oriented Architecture today to a group of developers from a large Australian wealth management company. There were a number of really cool things about this talk.

    Firstly, the group I presented to was an internal user group (or as Dave would have it, an Eye Tee Cee). They meet monthly at lunch time and have technical sessions just like any community user group would.

    Next, I used Team Foundation Server as the back-end for all of the code I showed. This wouldn't be so cool on its own, but this was the world's smallest TFS, sitting under Dave Glover's staircase in Melbourne. I was connecting to it over an iBurst wireless card, through the cloud and all with pretty acceptable performance.

    Finally, taking a leaf out of Chuck's book, I managed to present for 75 minutes with no slides. All demo. It's fun! We played with the Application designer, the Logical Data Centre Designer and the System Designer in VSTS. We also implemented a Web Service and a VSTO application.

    If you're interested in starting a developer group at work, read Dave's post and contact your local Developer Evangelist. If you're not in Australia and you don't know who your local Developer Evangelist is, drop me a note and I'll find out for you.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Live Writer Beta is Out


    There's a new off-line blogging tool in town. Frank's blogged about it, so have Jeff, Tristan and Rob. I've just switched from BlogJet. Not because I don't like BlogJet, but just because I was curious. I have to say that the coolest feature for me is the ability to insert Windows Live Local maps!

    For example, here's a view of the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, where we'll be holding TechEd this year. Click on the image to view it on and notice that the pushpin is active!

    Download the beta and give it a whirl.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    What does TechEd AU look like for me?


    A few others have posted their TechEd schedule, so I thought I'd pop mine up too.

    Easy to read huh?

    The Blue appointments are NZ sessions in my Developer Tools Track, Red(ish) are the AU sessions in Developer Tools, White are Cabana Sessions and ARCCasts. Looks like a busy week.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Using TFS from Visual FoxPro


    Eric Lee, Product Manager for Team Foundation Server, has been in town for a couple of days after TechEd. Last night, he spoke at a special combined meeting of the Sydney VFP User Group and the Sydney .NET User Group. Eric give an introduction to Team Foundation Server, demonstrated the conversion process from Visual SourceSafe to TFS (by the way, here's an intro to TFS for VSS users) and talked about the data warehouse that ships with TFS. Finally, I gave a demonstration of using TFS Source Control (and work items) with Visual FoxPro via the MSSCCI provider. Once again, I used the world's smallest TFS for the demo, courtesy of Dave Glover.

    A couple of the links we discussed:

    Brian Harry’s Blog
    Eric Lee’s Blog
    Rob Caron’s Blog
    Anthony Borton’s Blog
    TFS on MSDN
    Team System Widget List (courtesy of Adam Cogan)

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Community Project at TechEd Australia is GO!


    In response to Mitch's call for team leaders, I volunteered for the role of Excel Guy. I got this in reply:

    Woohoo! We have a full complement of leads. I’ll send out a bunch of information tonight or tomorrow. Thanks

    I'm really looking forward to hooking in and making this project a great success.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Great VSTO Resources


    Following my TechEd session in Auckland, and in anticipation of my TechEd session in Sydney. All via Paul Stubbs - in particular his DEV303 post from TechEd Boston:

    PSS VSTO 2005 Client Troubleshooter

    Download this brand new tool to make it simple to diagnose and remediate issues arising from missing or misconfigured prequisites on VSTO 2005 client machines. Gives a great report on the state of the machine and its components:

    PSS VSTO 2005 Client Troubleshooter Results

    VSTO Application Manifest Editor Sample

    Sample application (with full source code) that allows you to inspect and update the application manifest file embedded in VSTO documents.

    Manifest Generation and Editing Tool

    Not strictly a VSTO-related app (designed for ClickOnce manifests), but can be used with VSTO deployment manifests. Drag a VSTO deployment manifest into the MAGEUI window and inspect and update the manifest. Ships with the .NET Framework SDK. Details in MSDN.

    White Papers and Documentation

    White Papers

    Deploying Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office Solutions Using Windows Installer (Part 1 of 2)

    Deploying Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office Solutions Using Windows Installer: Walkthroughs (Part 2 of 2)


    VSTO Security MSDN documentation

    VSTO Deployment MSDN documentation

    Security and Deployment walkthroughs

    Visual Studio 2005 Bootstrapper

    VSTO Outlook add-in architecture

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