I spent a lot of time at PDC debating the merits and drawbacks of distributed transactions and appropriate models within enterprise architectures. I have preconceived notions on distributed transactions (just say no unless you are really sure of why you are saying yes), but wanted to reconfirm my beliefs now that Enterprise Services is being resurrected into the consciousness of developers.
At PDC05, I talked for quite some time with Steve Swartz during the Expo night, and Steve put the spark in me to take a more serious look at ES, especially with respect to System.Transactions and creating compensating resource managers. I will be buying Christian Nagel's new book soon upon his recommendation.
After debating this for quite some time with several of my customers, I decided to leverage the Ask The Experts session at PDC to seek a second opinion. I tapped Shy Cohen and Clemens, and Clemens looked like he really wasn't up for discussion until I mentioned "distributed transactions", and I swear he got a second wind. The customer then went over to finish up the conversation with Steve Swartz.
I am glad to see a blog that takes a stance on distributed transactions versus compensation and where WS-AT fits. In fact, Sam has noted that coverage on Enterprise Services is a hole that has existed for some time in the blogosphere, which alludes to the lack of information and/or use of transactions within enterprise systems.
Most of my week was spent in this manner, talking with my CSNA customers after they saw a breakout session and then hooking them up with someone who could elaborate. This was largely why we threw the CSNA reception event at the beginning of the week, allowing our customers to make introductions to product teams and community influentials early in the week. More than once during the week, I would reintroduce a customer and a product team member, and they would remark "yeah, we talked for awhile at the party the other night."
Sam, THIS is why you go to PDC. I didn't hear anything comparing to this type of ES information in a breakout session, and didn't see it on a PowerPoint slide. The sessions are only a very small part of PDC, and represent a fraction of the information that you can get. PDC is mostly about the interaction possibilities that you can leverage to deepen your understanding and gain contacts. Heck, don't you remember us meeting at PDC 2003 for the first time?