With TechEd US well under way in Orlando... It's time to start kicking TechEd Australia into gear.

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Below is our current session list thinking (i.e. subject to change etc. etc. etc.) around the Connected Systems (Web Services and SOA) track.... Let me know what you think!

The track names are somewhat irrelevant when you are actually attending sessions, but it does provide a neato way to organise the thousands of worker ants (including me) prepping behind the scenes.

Having said that, the Connected Systems Track has a wonderful marketing blurb that goes something like:

"Building modern applications can be a challenge. To reduce risks and ensure faster release to market, it's important to use tools that maintain the parameters of existing systems along with visual model-driven development for composition of services. Providing a standard way to exchange digital identities across federated systems is also vital for providing a safe and user-friendly experience.

If your job is to design, develop or deploy these applications, the Connected Systems track is for you. Find out how you can apply real-world best practices and get a holistic up-to-date view of the entire spectrum of Microsoft's application messaging, integration and workflow technologies. Learn how to build and manage the entire lifecycle of your composite applications and you'll have the power to really make your mark."

More interestingly, the key products and technologies covered are:

  • Windows Communication Foundation.
  • Windows Workflow Foundation.
  • Windows CardSpace.
  • Microsoft BizTalk Server.
  • Microsoft BizTalk Adapters.
  • Host Integration Server.

Anyway .. back to the session list ... The session list looks something like this:

Programming Microsoft Windows Communication Foundation: A Developer's Primer
How do you actually build and consume WCF-based services? At its core, the WCF programming model is simple and straightforward, requiring actually very little work on behalf of the developer. The session describes the essential WCF programming concepts: clients, services, contracts, and end points; and shows how to build, configure, and host simple services. After attending this session you will be able to start programming and exploring WCF.

Custom Activities with Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation: A Developer's Primer
Windows Workflow Foundation provides the tools and runtime for building workflow enabled applications. Activities are the building blocks of those workflows and provide the model for reuse and encapsulation of business processing logic. This session provides developers with the information needed to start writing custom activities for Windows Workflow Foundation today. We cover the responsibilities of the activity developer related to the runtime execution of activities, as well as how to develop activities for a rich design-time experience. Find out how to build both simple and complex activities including features such as asynchronous processing, custom design surfaces, validation and databinding; and how to incorporate them into your workflows.

Introduction to Microsoft Windows CardSpace
Windows CardSpace, formerly codenamed “InfoCard”, is a piece of client software that enables users to provide their digital identity to online services in a simple, secure, and trusted way. CardSpace is an implementation of an identity selector on Microsoft Windows. Other operating systems will see their own identity selector implementations. The architecture upon which CardSpace has been built—consisting of subjects, identity providers, and relying parties—is called “The Identity Metasystem.” This isn’t just a Microsoft initiative, but rather it is the shared vision of many across the industry as to how we can solve some of the fundamental identity challenges on the Internet today. The initial vision for the Identity Metasystem was developed by Microsoft’s Identity Architect, Kim Cameron, and has been broadly adopted and championed by thought-leaders such as Doc Searls and Lawrence Lessig. We look into how CardSpace can change the way we handle Identity from a Developer perspective in this talk.

Rules Engine Use and Extensibility in Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation
Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) includes a fully functional rules engine which you can use within software you are developing. Learn about the WF Rules extensibility mechanisms, which support more advanced scenarios. See an example of how to externalize rules from your application so that they can be maintained separately from your code. This allows rules to be edited at runtime with no redeployment. In addition, learn how to author and execute rules without even having a workflow or the WF runtime. Also, see how you can create custom expression and action types that can be used directly in your rules.

Building Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation Enabled Windows Communication Foundation Services in .NET Framework 3.5
The .NET Framework 3.0 has great software for building communications and great software for building business logic. How do you use them together? This session demonstrates how easy it is to build communications aspects with Windows Communication Foundation and business logic with Windows Workflow Foundation.

Architecture of Microsoft Windows Communication Foundation and Common Extensibility Points
This session provides a deep dive into the architecture of the Windows Communication Foundation's service model and channel model. Learn about the role of bindings in creating the channel stack; and about the many extensibility options you can use to change the behavior of the runtime.

WCF Performance Best Practices
Abstract TBD

Building Connected Systems on the Microsoft .NET Framework Using the Windows Communication Foundation Adapter in BizTalk Server 2006 R2
Building applications today requires the ability to create secure, reliable connections between systems; manage complex business processes, transactions and rules; and integrate with systems of all kinds. Microsoft provides a number of technologies and products to help in building these applications, but understanding how these tools all work together can be difficult. In this session, we examine using Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow Foundation, BizTalk Server 2006 R2 and Windows CardSpace together to build today’s connected systems. Discussion includes the integration points available in these products, with an emphasis on the WCF adapters and including the adapter framework in BizTalk Server R2, and how to apply the technologies together.

Microsoft BizTalk RFID at Work
Microsoft BizTalk RFID is an innovative device management and event processing platform at the edge of the enterprise. It is designed to provide a scalable, extensible platform for development, deployment, and management of rich RFID and sensor solutions. Core components include a device abstraction framework and robust set of tools that enable customers and partners to build .NET based RFID and sensor applications with: • “Plug and Play” services for a rich set of heterogeneous RFID and sensor devices • Application services for interacting with devices and tag reads for filtering, transformation, and aggregation of events • Management tools to manage devices and design and deploy RFID business processes • Extensibility points to implement standards based solutions The platform also provides customers and partner with a rich set of primitives to orchestrate and build end-end, "integrated" real time plant to business via deep integration with the EIA / B2B / BPM capabilities of BizTalk server. Come and learn how this brand new framework will help you track and trace physical objects as they move through the supply chain, and orchestrate supply chain visibility solutions at the edge of the enterprise, with real-world demos.

Building EDI/AS2 Solutions with Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 R2
BizTalk Server 2006 R2 includes new features that add native support for EDI messaging protocols such as EDIFACT and ANSI X12, as well as the AS2 secure communication protocol. Come see these features in action and learn how BizTalk now provides a robust EDI solution.

Building an Enterprise-Wide Instrumentation Solution Using the Microsoft BizTalk BAM Infrastructure
Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) is a powerful feature of BizTalk Server and is often marketed as allowing "the business" to understand what is happening within your BizTalk solution. BAM does this really well, but it can in fact be used in a variety of other ways which can deliver huge value to customers and address a number of issues they have with BizTalk based solutions and non-BizTalk based solutions. In this session, we cover some of the fundamentals of BAM and detail how you can utilize BAM to collect a variety of information and produce a "tracking portal" which you can use to support your application, perform manual repair of messages, and generally observe your solution. We also show how BAM is not just for BizTalk solutions and how it can be used to produce an enterprise-wide instrumentation solution that is highly scalable and flexible; we touch on the new Windows Workflow Foundation and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) BAM Interceptor technology that enables data to be collected from Workflows and WCF services enabling a true end-to-end instrumentation solution.

Advanced Microsoft BizTalk 2006 R2 Concepts
Business processes are a required component in most Enterprise Integration solutions today. Business processes are modeled, designed, and built inside BizTalk Server 2006 R2 using Orchestrations. Orchestration can range from a few simple shapes to a complex multi Orchestration, Transactional process. This session focuses on highlighting key Orchestration features to shorten development time and increase overall Business Process reusability. Also, messaging-only scenarios using WCF are discussed, and the power of BizTalk as a Web service routing system is shown. Topics covers are: Untyped Messages, Dynamic Transforms, Starting Orchestration and Passing Port Parameters, using Helper .NET Components, and Message Only WCF Calls.