Sorry for the pause in blogging - Tuesday I started my journey back from our company conference in Atlanta, Wednesday I made the UK, Thursday I slept and today - back to work. Forefront of my mind is thinking through how best we can help UK ISVs be early adopters of SQL Server 2005. I will fill next week with meetings and planning around this topic coordinating with the worldwide activities coming out of my colleagues in Redmond. But before that - these are my top take aways from 8 days in Atlanta:

  1. Atlanta turned out to be a pretty decent place to hold a conference - just enough to do in the evening but not so much that you end up distracted (One year we did the conference inside Disney Land - hmmmmm - didn't learn a great deal that year). Would recommend anyone visiting aims for a meal at Mary Macs - unusual "tea room" with great traditional southern food.
  2. SQL Server 2005 Beta 2 should be a great beta - the Release Candidates used during the conference were strong and showed many improvements over Beta 1. It should be with us very soon - fingers x'd.
  3. Visual Studio.NET 2005 Team System blew me away - this thing rocks. It is incredibly complete across the development lifecycle and amazingly integrated. Yes - apologies -  I am gushing!  The place to start is the overview.
  4. We haven't yet worked through our guidance on our choice of Asynchronous technologies - but this is recognised and smart people will be thinking it through over the coming months. At the moment the (main!) choices are MSMQ, Asynchronous Web Services and Biztalk Server but this will soon expand to 5. SQL Server 2005 introduces SQL Service Broker and in the future we will have Indigo (codename). No doubt I will soon get lots of questions from my ISVs on which to go with!
  5. And finally - I realised just how much technology, tools and applications we now have! The technical section of the conference was 4 days, 8am to 6pm with 18 parallel tracks - and virtually no level 100 or 200 sessions.