I'm really running behind with my blogging, these have been busy weeks. I was at several community events and did a presentation at Multi-mania. Wow, that was a first where everybody was talking around mostly non-Microsoft products. Gill, Brecht and I were the only ones doing sessions on Microsoft technologies. The good thing to see there was the openness of the audience. Lots of people talking about Silverlight, curiosity to say the least.
VISUG event on VSX
On Tuesday 20th of Mary we had the visit of James Lau and Jean-Marc Prieur from the VSX team (Visual Studio Extensibility). They are on tour through Europe and did a first presentation at Microsoft offices, in the evening there was a VISUG user group event foreseen. James and Jean-Marc did a wonderful session on Visual Studio Extensibility: extension packages, DSL tools, entDev, etc. The good news is my colleague Tom already did all the encoding of the recorded videos and you can view the whole session online. If you want to learn more about extending Visual Studio, using the Visual Studio Shell for host your own designers and programming environment and more: check out the videos. During the presentation Jean-Marc did two full demos of building tools from scratch: building a custom source code outliner and building a custom DSL. This is a great way to get started on your own. Also check out James' write-up about the day.
Here is a list of resources that are worth checking out around VSX:
Wygday and BIWUG event
The Belgian Information Worker User Group meeting was last Thursday. I had a lot of trouble to get there on time... In the morning I travelled to Lille (boy, that's no longer Belgium, that's France!) to attend the Wygday, an event organized by Wygwam, the company of our Regional Director Gregory Renard. There were lots of interesting sessions around SharePoint, Silverlight, .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, GAT, GAX, etc. The event was organized together with Microsoft France but as quite some Belgian developers go over there as well it was worth the travel to meet up.
Then I left early enough to get to the BIWUG meeting in Kontich but had the bad luck of getting stuck in two big traffic jams. Result: a 1h30 drive took more than 3h30. But I still got to the BIWUG event, even if I was late!
When I arrived there the first presentation was already well under way: an introduction to Lotus software (Quickr), only got to see the final part of this presentation. Then Kurt Claeys did a presentation on Bizatlk integration with SharePoint Services and MOSS. Donwload his and the other presentation slides from Joris' blog.
Multi-mania event in Kortrijk
As I already mentioned in the beginning of this post, Friday 23rd May was Multi-mania day. It was a first for me to be presenting at a non (MS) developer event, lots of creative people around with presentations about their work, vision of the future of the web and lots of interactive and design technology (can you guess who was the main sponsor? :-). Gill did a general RIA development with Silverlight 2 session. As always, I think it was very well structured and introduces the technology well for people not having done Silverlight yet. The room was not completely full but the audience was very interested in seeing what Microsoft is doing in that space.
Brecht, one of the founders of the new XNA user group in Belgium (XNABUG) did a presentation on XNA game development, he had some great samples with games on a Zune and some of the projects Belgian participants of the Imagine Cup. That same day we actually got the good news that one of the Belgian teams has made it to the final 6 in Game Development in the Imagine Cup. Congratulations guys!
My own session was focused on the learning's for designers when doing WPF and Silverlight projects in Expression Blend. I mostly used great samples provided by Arturo Toledo, a designer audience product manager at Microsoft. He did a fantastic session at MIX that you definitely need to check out: XAML Ready Agency with Expression Blend.
VISUG HHH session: Introduction to Workflow Foundation
This week another VISUG event took place at Ordina in Merelbeke, presented by Kurt Claeys. Kurt again, he is keeping busy! Kurt gave a good overview of what Workflow Foundation is all about with lots of samples. He started by explaining the basics using .NET 3.0 samples and then moved to version 3.5, explaining the main updates between the two releases.
I especially appreciated the TV sample he made to explain State Machine workflows. This is actually explained in an article he did 2 years ago: State Machine Workflows in Windows Workflow Foundation. This is still version 3.0 but very usable in the current version as the article explains the concepts.
Kurt is already in Orlando for next week's TechEd US, where he will be helping out with the Hands-on-Labs the whole week. Have a nice time Kurt!
Workflow Foundation: new articles by Serge Luca
And to finish off, Serge Luca has posted part 11 and 12 of his Step by Step Tutorial "Creating Workflows for Windows Sharepoint Services and MOSS2007". Check out the two new articles on his blog:
One of the VSX Tour (Spring 2008) presentations by James Lau and Jean-Marc Prieur is now online for on
This month's letter includes information about Microsoft's first VSX Developer Conference, updates to