• mwinkle.blog



    I'm moving on from my role as the technical evangelist for WF, but not too far.  I've joined the product team, working as a program manager (PM) for the Connected Tools team.  The job of the connected tools team is to provide all of the tools for the technologies inside the Oslo effort, including the WF designer.  As such, I'll be focused on the programming model for activity designers to use when they create WF activities.

    Oslo is interesting, as it represents the first real chance to look at the stuff we did in V1 of WF and think about it and find out ways we can improve on the experience.  .NET 3.5 was a very "constrained" release for the WF team, as we had only shipped about 12 months prior, so we were primarily concerned with adding functionality to what we shipped (the WF/WCF integration, for instance).  For WF, Oslo will be our first chance to take in a lot of the feedback we have heard (and keep it coming) to move things to the next level.  I'm excited to be part of that effort, especially from the designer side of things, as I see a great opportunity to simplify a number of things that a lot of our customers have been doing.

    It was a tough decision to leave DPE (developer and platform evangelism).  The job of a TE is probably one of the closest to geek nirvana one can achieve.  It was a bit odd when I was looking into this new position to lead off by saying, "I'm leaving the best job I've had."  I didn't do it because anything was wrong with the role, on the contrary, it is a perfect fit for anyone who is deeply passionate about technology and wants to drive that passion and excitement out to the rest of the world while working with an entire team of people focused on that goal.  My new role offered a really unique opportunity to have a large influence on the way people see WF (literally).  I'm also a bit crazy about making sure the tools are right, because that is going to be the bit of the technology most people will see first, and the way many people will interact with the product. Finally, when I look at the things I want to accomplish at Microsoft, shipping a product is a big item on that list. 

    As we're not talking publicly yet about a lot of the stuff we are doing in Oslo, I probably won't be blogging about it (that tends to be frowned upon for obvious reasons).  I'll still be posting about WF, and as always, am interested in your feedback (and will probably use the blog to solicit some as well).

  • mwinkle.blog

    VS 2008 RTM's!


    As widely reported on blogs far and wide, Visual Studio 2008 has been released to manufacturing (or shipped, available, ready to get, etc).  MSDN subscribers can do their part to degrade the global bandwidth supply and get in the download queue via the subscription center, trial editions are available here.  One can also simply get the updated version of the .NET Framework, .NET 3.5 here, and I'd strongly recommend the web setup to only get the bits you need on the machine, and not ones you may already have.

    While you're waiting for those bits to get downloaded, you might find yourself with some free time watching the status bar slowly move in the direction of completion.  Maybe I can interest you in some quality work that has been done by my former team (more on that in the next day or two). 

    First, I would grab the VS 2008 Training Kit, which consists of a metric boatload of labs, content, presentations and sample code to get you excited.  This is something my colleague, David Aiken, has been hard at work putting together.  In David's words:

    The Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 Training Kit includes presentations, hands-on labs, and demos. This content is designed to help you learn how to utilize the Visual Studio 2008 features and a variety of framework technologies including: LINQ, C# 3.0, Visual Basic 9, WCF, WF, WPF, ASP.NET AJAX, VSTO, CardSpace, SilverLight, Mobile and Application Lifecycle Management.

    This content was developed over the last few months. As part of the development process, we presented many of the topics to real people we invited to Redmond. In September we recorded these sessions and are making these available on Channel 9. There will be several videos posted each Monday for the next few weeks. Today I posted:



    The Channel9 videos are especially good, these are all various Microsoft folks from the product teams presenting about their individual area of expertise.  I especially recommend the What's new in VB9 and intro to LINQ talk.  There are some pretty cool things in VB9, and I think the XML support is something really cool.  For those of you from the WF world, inside the training kit is a presentation on the WF-WCF integration, as well as a set of labs and demos that walk through simple to complex use cases.

    That should be enough to get you through a few hours of downloading :-)

    Congrats to all the product teams involved in shipping, it's always incredible to me to see how we actually ship software out of this place (and to get to take part in bits and pieces of it).

  • mwinkle.blog

    Regarding Re-use of Context-aware Proxies


    Yesterday, following my "What's the context for this conversation" presentation, I was approached with the following question:

    I am sharing a singleton client that I want to use to interact with multiple workflow instances, how do I change the context for each of them.

    Completely unbeknownst to me, Wenlong, one of the product team's more prolific bloggers, addressed this very topic in his post here, conveniently posted yesterday :-)

  • mwinkle.blog

    Hanging in the Speaker Room


    No One of the best parts of any conference is hanging out with the other speakers and osmosing off some of the collective brainpower in there.  Some times it is big concepts, other times, it's the little stuff.

    Like my new favorite feature of Vista (Show Desktop Icons)


    No more need for a folder where I have to hide all that other stuff on my desktop.

    Right click, view, ShowDesktop icons.



  • mwinkle.blog

    Worst Presentation... Ever.


    I would like to take this moment to apologize for all of the attendees who were at our WIN302 session this afternoon here in Barcelona.  Moments before we were scheduled to begin, a very nasty power issue hit our room, causing the lights to go out, all of the equipment on stage to shut down, and reset all of the audio equipment (replaced with a series of rather nasty sounding "pops".)  Our demo machine, which we had just spent the last few hours getting set "just so," was also a casualty of this.

    Following 10 minutes of working with stage crews, audio techs, and David frantically trying to get the demo machine back to a usable state, we decided to begin the talk.  I had counted 5 minutes since someone ran down onto the stage yelling into a walkie talkie, so I figured we were in the clear.

    David was still working on the demo, so I began the talk, and quickly needed to fill time while David worked on the demo machine. 

    In short, by the time we got back to being ready, things were all jabberwockied up, and I was most certainly off my game, and as a result found myself rambling when I should have been focused, grasping for phrasing when I should have been driving the message, and stumbling in a talk where I had hoped to be knocking it out of the park.

    I want to apologize to the attendees, because you deserved a much better talk than the one you got (and David and I are going to make it up in part 2, tomorrow). 

    Reading through the feedback was pretty hard, this is a crowd that has very high expectations, and today did not meet that bar.

    Just when you think you have things all ready to go.

    How could we have done better?

    • A backup machine, set in exactly the same fashion as the first machine would have still not been particularly pleased with the power issue.
    • I need a way to be able to save the state of all of my open visual studio windows and script out so I can run one script that opens all of the instances, and all of the right files (setting to the right spot would be nice as well).
    • Not freaked out.  We had just gotten set and ready to go, and the power thing really knocked me off kilter. 

    So, we walk away and we learn something, and we'll be back to do it again tomorrow.  Everyone has these nightmare conference stories, but that still doesn't make things better.

  • mwinkle.blog

    Greetings from Barcelona


    I (and my entire team except for our boss) am here in beautiful Barcelona for TechEd Developer.  This is definitely one of my favorite events, because of the location, the amenities, and most importantly, the people. 

    I'm giving a number of talks throughout the week (see below), so if you're here, please drop on by.  If you don't make it to the talks, I've been known to frequent the bar on the first floor of the Hilton right next to the convention center :-)   There's also a great lineup of talks from other folks as well that I will probably be dropping into.  It will be a good week, and then on Thursday, following my last talk, I will be taking a bit of holiday until next Tuesday.


    Session list:

    SBP08-IS Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) Open Microphone Talk

    Matt Winkler

    • “Should I let a business analyst compose workflows?”
    • “Why is this class sealed?”
    • “How can I extend the designer to fit my scenario?”
    • “How would I build and use a repository of business rules in non-WF applications?”
    • “I think that WF is great.”
    • “I think that WF i... more

    Wed Nov 7 15:45 - 17:00 Room 130

    SBP09-IS Windows Workflow Foundation Performance

    Matt Winkler

    A key to understanding performance of any system is an understanding of the tradeoffs one can make. In a more relaxed, casual environment come and join us for a conversation about performance. This chalk talk will be organized around a series of performance considerations for Windows Workflow Foundation and how those c... more

    Thu Nov 8 17:30 - 18:45 Room 125 , Thu Nov 8 10:45 - 12:00 Room 128

    SBP304 Implementing Workflow Enabled Services and Durable Services using .NET Framework 3.5

    Matt Winkler , Justin Smith

    Inside .NET Framework 3.5, there is new functionality allowing Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) services to be built and consumed from a Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) workflow. This session will introduce the feature, discussing motivation, scenarios, and reasons for using this feature, an architectural overvi... more

    Tue Nov 6 17:00 - 18:15 Room 114

    SBP313 What is the Context of this Conversation? Enabling Long Running Conversations in Workflow Services

    Matt Winkler

    The .NET Framework 3.5 will introduce the functionality to call services from Windows Workflow Foundation (WF), and to expose workflows as a Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) service. A common pattern is to have a workflow serve as the coordinator between a number of other processes (including workflows). This tal... more

    Wed Nov 7 10:45 - 12:00 Room 114

    Matt Winkler , David Aiken

    Come with your questions for Matt and David about the Dinner Now demo. If there is something that you need to do in .NET Framework 3.5 but don’t know how, come and ask! more

    Tue Nov 6 10:45 - 12:00 Room 130

    WIN302 .NET Framework 3.5 End-to-End: Putting the Pieces Together - Part 1

    Matt Winkler , David Aiken

    Do you build .NET Applications? In this session, learn how to use the .NET Framework to build better end-to-end solutions using the DinnerNow.NET Sample application. From a Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) client to a Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) service tier driven by Windows Workflow Foundation (WF), w... more

    Mon Nov 5 17:45 - 19:00 Auditorium


    WIN303 .NET Framework 3.5 End-to-End: Putting the Pieces Together - Part 2

    Matt Winkler , David Aiken

    Do you build .NET Applications? In this session, learn how to use the .NET Framework to build better end-to-end solutions using the DinnerNow.NET Sample application. From a Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) client to a Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) service tier driven by Windows Workflow Foundation (WF), w... more

    Tue Nov 6 09:00 - 10:15 Auditorium

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