I jumped the gun in yesterday's second post when I said the SDKs were ready along with the downloadable trials.  They are indeed finished being written, but there are more hoops than you can imagine getting things staged, approved, tested, etc. for distribution on MSDN.  The date of availability is the 28th of this month (November 2006).

While we're on the subject of SDKs and particular and developer information in general, I wanted to make a couple of quick comments.  You may have seen them elsewhere, but maybe you haven't.

  • Our strategy this time has been to make the SDKs as good as possible rather than get something out the door and backfill it for two years with whitepapers.  We had a really good team spend a lot of time on this for the 2007 releases, and the situation is markedly different from the 2003-era offerings.  I hope you'll notice the difference.
  • There *will* be whitepapers, but they'll be focused on best practices, recommendations, case studies with code, big picture advice coupled with tactical advice, that sort of thing.  But there will be a multi-month gap before the first one comes out, because:
    • <tirade>You can't define best practices without observing several practices and choosing the best; offering "best practices" on Day 1 would mean we already know every way people will use our handiwork (naive at best) or we're just making stuff up.</tirade>

We'll publish opinions on recommended practices in the team blog, my blog, and plenty of other blogs, but until we can see them validated out in the wild, we'll continue to call them best practices.

  • The November 28 drop of the SDK won't be the last.  We'll do incremental drops as needed or wanted, and sometimes we'll fold whitepaper content directly into the SDK where it makes sense.  The goal is always going to be that the SDK is the ultimate authoriative reference.
  • We're at work on training and certification for developers (we're also working on training/certificaiton for IT Pros, but that's for Joel Oleson to discuss):
    • We're opting to deliver these as e-learning rather than as instructor-led classroom content.  We can reach more people and offer it when you need it, where you need it this way. 
    • You'll still need to go through the SDK once you're done with this content, mind you.  Nothing ever absolves you from knowing the SDK :-)
    • We'll release WSS 3.0-targeted content in early 2007; MOSS 2007 content will follow a few months later.  All of the WSS content applies equally to MOSS; the MOSS courseware will solely cover features unique to MOSS, so the WSS course, or equivalent knowledge, will be a prerequisite.  The exams will surface shortly after the elearning courses surface.

Couple this with the number of books under development, the third-party courseware offerings, the wide variety of content you can find on the Web in general and the blogosphere in particular, etc., you're not going to have trouble finding out what you need to know this time.