Microsoft will be at DrupalCon Denver next week, and I have the good fortune of being one of the Microsoft representatives that will be attending. The program looks great – it’s packed with great speakers and sessions, and there are lots of fun events planned. I’m excited about going for those reasons, but also because I’m curious about how this conference will be different than the last DrupalCon I attended (DrupalCon San Francisco, 2010). At that conference, I was frequently asked “What is Microsoft doing here?” You can read more about that in the post I wrote after the conference, What was Microsoft Doing at DrupalCon? (be sure to read the comments), but suffice it to say that I hope the fact that we will be at a Drupal conference (as a sponsor, no less) isn’t as surprising as it was then. And, because of that post, I’m going to Denver with great interest in the community reaction to us today. Essentially, I said that our commitment to Drupal would (and should) be judged by our continued involvement with and contributions to the community. Now that two years have passed since my last DrupalCon, I hope that our actions do speak to our continued involvement and contribution.

I am, of course, very eager to hear what folks at the conference have to say, but going in, I feel good about our level of commitment. At DrupalCon 2010 in S.F., we announced the beta release of our PDO driver for SQL Server and our engagement with Commerce Guys to build integrated support for SQL Server into Drupal 7. Since then, we have continued to engage the Drupal community by continuing to sponsor and be engaged at subsequent DrupalCons and other Drupal events worldwide, sponsoring and providing guidance for various integrations, tools, training, and much more. I’m sure I’m not capturing everything in this list, but here are some of the results:   

Note: I need to point out that the results called out above were, in part, due to the ongoing work of many people at Microsoft over the last couple of years.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts at the conference or in comments below.

OK, so now let’s talk about DrupalCon Denver. What are we doing there? At a high-level, I hope we are continuing to collaborate with people and support efforts to broaden opportunities for Drupal deployments. Specifically, here are the Microsoft-related events and people to watch for:

  • Monday, March 19, 9:00-6:00 (pre-conference training): Deploying Drupal at Scale on the Microsoft Platform. This training is for anyone “who wants to explore the IIS ecosystem and gain knowledge on optimizing Drupal and PHP on Windows…” This training will be run by Alessandro Pilotti, CEO of Cloudbase Solutions Srl, and will be full of useful technical information. (I’ll be there!)
  • Tuesday, March 20, 3:45-4:45: Lightning Talk: Mobile Essentials for Drupal. Alessandro Pilotti will present Windows Phone: a Platform for Drupal Mobile Apps. During this session, Alessandro will demonstrate how to get the best out of Drupal and the next generation of Windows Phone devices, including some practical Javascript debugging tips.
  • Throughout the conference:
    • Microsoft booth. Stop by, say hi, and ask questions. We’ll have some goodies as long as they last.
    • Giveaways. We’ll be giving away three LG Quantum Windows Phones. One of these will be given away on Tuesday at Alessandro Pilotti’s lightning talk (details above), and the other two will be given away on Wednesday and Thursday via Twitter (look for the #windowsphone, #drupal, and #drupalcon hash tags).
  • The folks from Microsoft who will be at the conference (and who will be happy to answer any questions) are Grace Francisco (@gracefr), Jerry Nixon (@jerrynixon), and myself (@brian_swan). You can read Jerry’s pre-conference thoughts here: Drupal and Microsoft? Yes!

Looking forward to it!

-Brian

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