The Worldwide Strategic Architect Forum has come to an end. If I have to summarize what has been shown and said, I'd say one word: Waouw!

The keynotes:

Day 1

Modeling for Connected Systems by Norm Judah. Well, I think that no one can doubt about it: not only is Norm an amazing speaker but he is also very knowledgeable when it comes to business modeling. He has shown really where Microsoft is heading to. He has given a little preview of one DSL (Domain Specific Language) that will be put in Visual Studio.NET (Jack Greenfields' keynote will further develop the subject). The feedback that I got from customers and partners while leaving the keynote was really great: They loved it. They just regret it's not there yet!

Business Architecture by Jack Calhoun. I had the chance to talk to Jack while eating in the morning and he's a real business person. He delivers an amazing view and understanding of the business world. I'm very much convinced that his insights are very valuable and has helped and sure will further help Microsoft better prepare their toolset to meet Business Executives' expectations.

Day 2

Q&A with Microsoft's Chief Architect, Mr William H. Gates. Loud and clear, the 3 main priorities are: Web Services, Modeling , and Security. Actually, those 3 core elements play a fundamental role in the future. Web Services go beyond the Enterprise boundaries and will open a whole new era of businesses and business models (just have a look at what's gonna come with the RFID technologies); Modeling is a way to communicate (first and foremost) but also to automate and, more importantly then, to reduce the potential surface for errors (indeed, if we can automate task and agree on them formally, this reduces the risk of manual interventions and human misunderstandings); Security ... should I say something about that?

Software Factories by Keith Short and Jack Greenfield. Well, as I announced in my previous post, this is THE thing not to miss. Those two gentlemen have really taken a step back to restart from the whiteboard and put their huge experience in common. (and if you add their experience with the one of Steeve Cook and Stuart Kent, you really understand what it means "experience"). Keith and Jack have gone to the extend to show really how to create your own DSL in minutes and thust make Design part of your day-to-day IT practices. Watchout, making things easy to begin with will undoubtedly create a confusion and a proliferation of languages, but rules will come to help finding the best language to communicate. There is just one thing: As discussed with David Chappell  when leaving the keynote: Factories are meant to create things ... are they as good at maintaining things? Well, I'll investigate the idea and will keep you posted! Thanks David.

Day 3

Interchangeability of Operations in the Service by Pat Helland. We did find a gigantic Pat Helland. All what he says makes good sense and is presented so simply that even I did undersand it! ;-) He has spent most of his presentation time trying to explain the fundamental shift between Service Orientation and CBD. That's all it comes down to. I'm sure it is essential to really understand that ... but I'm also sure that all the consequences of this SOA architecture are not anough understood. Pat makes an excellent job at explaining that. Oh, yes, he ended up with his now-famous performance "Mr CIO guy" that he will post on his site very soon.



Well, I think that's all I'll tell about it right now. It's been a great SAF.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Guido Van Humbeek and Mr Gary Cleal who have accompanied me to this unique event. I'm sure they have appreciated the experience. We'll have plenty of time to talk about it when we'll be back home.

Oh, one more thing before I forget: I'll have the unique opportunity to present the content of the WWSAF (at least a summary thereof) to the Belgium Microsoft Architect Council members no later than next Tuesday. ... They will definately have the latest news, hot from Redmond.