Next week I am presenting two sessions at Software Architect 2009. Both sessions are new, new in the sense that I am creating them this week and new in the sense that whilst they are on topics I have experience with, in each case there is a significant new element for me to learn. I thought it would be fun and interesting (to me anyway!) to keep a diary of my preparations to get these sessions in good shape.

The two 90minute sessions are:

Design considerations for storing data in the cloud with Windows Azure - Wed 30th Sept, 2pm
The Microsoft Azure Services Platform includes not one but two (arguably three) ways of storing your data. In this session we will look at the implications of Windows Azure Storage and SQL Data Services on how we will store data when we build applications deployed in the Cloud. We will cover “code near” vs “code far”, relational vs none relational, blobs, queues and more

What impact will Entity Framework and Entity Data Model have on application architecture - Thu 1st Oct, 11:30am
The Entity Framework is a strategic technology from Microsoft. In version 1 the focus was on helping developers use an ORM within their application and to expose data as RESTful Web Services, but version 2 extends this to include scenarios such as reporting. In this session we will look at what is the impact, both good and bad, of embracing an ORM technology and specifically, the impact when that technology is the ADO.NET Entity Framework.

I will be posting the decks and links for these sessions, although right now there is nothing to see :)

The new stuff is a mix of:

  • Windows Azure and SQL Azure has moved on a lot in the last 6 months – and whilst I have been following it, I haven’t been playing with them. Especially SQL Azure which I have yet to use :-)
  • Whilst I have been tracking Entity Framework 4.0 Beta (and the subsequent CTP) I have not actually installed them :-) (I don’t even have a machine/vm with Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 installed)
  • The sessions are “for Architects”. But all the decks/demos that I have used in the past on these topics have been “for Developers”

And… I have just 5 days to pull this all together whilst still doing “the other stuff” which I am responsible for. Oh … and it is all in Beta and I have flattened my machine since I last did presentations on these areas which means i don’t even have a properly configured dev machine.

I did have some time on the lead up to this week to pull some stuff together. This included:

I also refreshed my collection of videos, including:

And… importantly I ring fenced this week to prevent a bunch of other stuff filling it. Which almost worked.

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Finally, I wrote a long list of everything I needed to do to get these sessions together. Then I split the tasks out over the 5 days. For day one I had:

  • Install Windows Azure SDK on VS2008 on Windows 7 host
  • Install Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio on VS2008 on Windows 7 host
  • Install SQL Server 2008 on Windows 7 host
  • Install Virtual PC RC
  • Identify any new tools which will help demonstrate these technologies
  • Create draft decks for both sessions

Then I panicked :-)

The next post is a summary of how day one of five (Monday) actually went.

Thanks for reading this far – both of you.