For me, as a newbie to the
Microsoft world, Tech Ed was most valuable for getting to know MS customers and
industry leaders. I met many of the members and leaders within
INETA the largest user group I have ever
seen -- INETA is comprised of over 300 MS .NET user groups. Excellent!
I plan to leverage INETA in the future for customer feedback programs.
There were so many people that I have been working closely with over the past
year that I had the pleasure of finally meeting face to face with.
Most importantly, there was a series of customers that I got to spend time with
outlining their business processes and identifying key areas where they would be
happy if we provided additional Web services technologies to simplify their solutions.
Scott Short, Matt Powell, Yasser and I have already been discussing DCRs for the
next release of our Tools. We now have about 20 more early adopter
candidates for Web Services Enhancements. Can't wait till engineering says
"NO WAY, we will only allow 2 more!"
Apparently the best way to get folks to open up and 'Ask the Experts' (ATE)
questions on the show floor is to feed and provide the with drink. I have decided that the Tech Ed show coordinators were trying
to kill all of us with the abundance of ding-dongs, ice cream, twinkees, coffee,
and whatever other junk that was constantly available for us to feed us.
For those of you with self-control, I hope you enjoyed the fruit.
The ATE booths got rockin after a full day of sessions
when people needed to wind down and mingle. They wanted to discuss the
sessions they had just heard about. I think it was an absolutely excellent idea
to get the speakers into the ATE booth post sessions. The three booths I
hosted were Introduction to
Web Services and Interoperability, Business Processes and Web Services, and
Advanced Web services. We had some excellent folks answering questions
including - Simon Guest, Scott Short, Yasser Shohoud, Eric Lee, Laura Machado de
Wright, Kenneth Circeo, Erik Leasburg, Rob Maushardt, Farah Deendar-Yacoob,
Scott Hanselman, Bryan Lamos, Matt Powell, Don Smith, Chris Nolan, . I
would dare to say we were one of the busiest Pods on the ATE floor.
We also hosted a
Hands-on-lab with ea bits of WSE v2.0. Thanks to
DevelopMentor, specifically Aaron
Skonnard and Scott Bloom, for building such excellent content for this and being
there to work with developers getting their hands dirty.
I did not have the opportunity to attend many sessions because I spent the
largest % of my time in the ATE booth. Of the few sessions that I did
attend, my favorite was given by Keith Ballinger.
He spoke on messaging why there are great benefits to choosing a loosely coupled
messaging approach to distributed computing over traditional RPC systems.
In classic Keith style he started with a blank MS
project and coded up a async application scenario to demonstrate some of the key
points in his talk. You could tell that everyone in the audience was groovin
with the concepts he was speaking about.
Another great talk was presented by Eric Schmidt.
Eric did an incredible job of demonstrating a very compelling end-to-end
business solution based on Web services technologies. For those of you who
still don't get the 'Why' of Web Services, I think you should take an hour to
review this presentation.
Key Messages from Eric's talk:
In his demo, he was not shy about leveraging the breadth of the Microsoft
platform including: BizTalk Server
Beta 2004's Schema editor and BAM technology, InfoPath to create a smart Forms
client that could easily create XML instance documents of the schemas, Web Services Enhancements v2.0 A^2 security features, and Excel
pivot tables for doing analysis on the data coming as a result of the
One thing I was surprised about was that none of the
speakers I listened to used the Accessibility features built into Windows XP for
folks to see the code etc. from the back of the room. Program Files
-> Accessories -> Accessibility -> Magnifier. I learned this
trick in a Develop Mentor training course.
Excellent show. Can't wait for the PDC.