Intro entries are for blogs are what "Hello world" applications are for most books - you need to have one, they all look alike - although everybody wants theirs to look different - and everyone (including the readers) are very happy to be over with them and move to the real stuff.

So this is mine... and of course it's special :)

I'm a developer on SQL Server " Yukon " team - more specifically Business Intelligence (BI) Unit. We are working on quite a bit of very new and exciting stuff, including Analysis Services, DTS and Reporting Services ... most of which I can't talk about yet :) ... but I will as soon as I can.

I have been with Microsoft for 4 years - in fact, exactly 4 years on Oct 18th. It's been one of the most professionally fulfilling experiences I have ever had, but this is not what I intend to write about here. You see, I'm your typical geek - I get a kick out of strange and interesting technical stuff. Also - for some strange reason - I find it really exciting to know how things really work and what can be done to make different things work together. I don't know why - I just do. And the reality is, sometimes this information is quite difficult to come across, but that's what this makes it all even more exciting.

I'm a very curious person and every time I start doing something I tend to try to get to the bottom of things, which at times turns into a obsessive-compulsive search for the inner peace ("why does it do that? why??? Must. Find. Out.")... and that's not always very productive( shh... don't tell my managers ). At times these campaigns bring some unexpected discoveries or what I consider interesting tidbits. And this is what this blog is for me - an outlet for my geeky compulsion :=)

OK, seriously. Integrating with new technologies is tough. Things are moving pretty fast. And it doesn't really help you much if you happen to be employed by Microsoft. Well... it does help, just a little, but not very much. You see, Microsoft is a very large company, which may look like a huge monolith to the outside world, but the reality is that internally we are facing exactly the same issues our customers see externally - many teams, may moving parts, new things come about every day. 

" Yukon " team started using CLR, C# and VS.Net long before they became publicly available - in fact I recall that C# was referred to as "Cool" back then. It's been a pretty wild ride, and I guess now I feel compelled to share some of that experience with you. And this what this blog is also about.

While I'll be rambling about a lot of stuff, mostly I'll be talking about technologies I have been working with for the last 3 years: CLR in general and integration with VS.Net(The latter is in fact just un umbrella topic, it includes Office-based VS.Net AddIns, a very little known "Designer Framework" owned by WinForms team (this one is pretty mysterious - all interfaces are fully public and some topics are selectively covered in a bunch of articles, but the whole picture is somehow not out there, which is a shame, because it is really cool) and the very hard-core low-level API behind it all -  VSIP (Visual Studio Industry Partner Program), which went public several months ago). Now I have been using all this stuff from managed code, which - of course - means that I will have to talk quite a bit about COM Interop as well. There will be some stuff on SQL Server/Business Intelligence too ... let's just see how it all comes along. 

It is important to note that I do not work within Developer Division (which includes VS.Net and CLR), which means I'm basically in a similar situation as just about everybody else. Sort of an insider look from the outside, if you will (or is it outsider looks from the inside?). This means that while I can speculate why things are implemented in a certain way - and I will - you'll have to take that as just that - my judgment. What I am always really interested in is how things work... and how to make them work they way *I* want them to.

OK, this entry is getting waaaay longer than I wanted it to be, so I'll just wrap up. I should say that if you should definitely check out other GotDotNet blogs  If you are interested in CLR and Interop, I would definitely recommend reading Chris Brumme and Adam Nathan on a regular basis - you'll be getting as much technical information as you can handle... and probably more :) If you are interested in VS.Net extensibility, the you also should check out Craig Skibo's blog - you'll know much more about the seemingly straight-forward EnvDTE... which is really not all that simple. :)

So... the "Hello World" entry is over... Let the "real" part of this blog begin.