This afternoon I did a workshop on  for . I think it went really well, despite the amount of topics the cover and the time constraints. I started to discuss the importance of building better online experiences and how these influence business opportunities. Next we took a dive into the different web technologies.

From the technology side I started with covering . As most of the developers where already familiar with ASP.NET AJAX and even had some hands-on experience we could almost immediately dive into some examples. I showed some of examples of the AJAX Library, the ASP.NET AJAX Extensions and the AJAX Control Toolkit. While preparing my demos I had to update some of them to the latest bits.  were of great help to get them to work.

Some sample sites build using ASP.NET AJAX can be found . I showed and ... the audience was impressed.

Next we had a look at the as one of the elements of the  for building desktop and (Windows) web applications. After looking at the architecture the coding and compilation/XAML parsing model I showed some demos from . I also showed how designer and developers can work better together using the XAML collaboration model to design user interfaces. Most developers where impressed when they saw how this worked: creating a XAML based UI in Expression Blend beta 2 - saving the project - opening it in Visual Studio 2005 + Cider - adding some code - etc. In a couple of weeks I'll be visiting the designers of LBi!

Moving from WPF to was a little step but it remains difficult to explain the differences. Hopefully we'll soon get rid of the confusing codename (WPF/E). I hope the final name won't get any link to WPF ... Main difference is that WPF/E is cross-platform & cross-browser where WPF only runs on Windows because it requires the .NET 3.0 runtime. WPF/E doesn't need the .NET 3.0 runtime but a  lightweight browser plug-in that will be made freely available. It's currently in .

Some examples using WPF/E can be found . I also showed the WPF/E SDK and the Visual Studio template that comes with it. The programming model even lets you integrate ASP.NET AJAX and WPF/E applications very easy. More on developing WPF/e applications using the SDK can be found on the .

Finally I explained how and can embrace the technologies above to extend the reach of connected applications. and have some examples of a Vista gadget using WPF. I don't have an example yet of WPF/E in a Windows Vista Sidebar gadget, but I'll have a look at it in the upcoming weeks.

These are the technologies I covered during the workshop. Of course if time would have permitted I could have talked about creating Media Center experiences using . A deeper look at the Expression Tools is definitely something that not only designers should do but also developers. Till today - and the availability of the March CTP of Visual Studio "Orcas" - Cider is just not sufficient for exploring XAML in Visual Studio. And yes, the development experience of WPF/E will only get better when getting closer to a beta stage.

If you want to experience all of this live, you can at . During the all (except WPF) will be covered by .