As we wrap up the second half of 2009, we in the p&p team wanted to share with you an update on our deliverables; as well as what is our backlog for the first half of 2010.

One bit of housekeeping before I jump into the good stuff—a number of you have asked us to help you make it easier to adopt and use patterns & practices guidance inside your organizations, and in particular to help management understand the benefits. And so, we have been working with Nucleus Research, who also partner with Visual Studio Team System, among other teams inside Microsoft, to articulate the productivity benefits of using p&p guidance. Nucleus Research reached out to a number of you to put a report together. Specific highlights include:

"productivity increase of 25 to 40% from using patterns & practices"—customer quote

"it removes 30 to 40% of the work and lets us focus on very domain-specific work"—customer quote

Please let us know if this is useful, and if we can do more to help you in this context.

On to the fun stuff then.

Firstly, a couple of updates on deliverables shipped during the second half of 2009—in particular, the Microsoft BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.0, and the Guidance for Developing SharePoint Applications, as well as the Silverlight 3 update for Prism and the Acceptance Test Engineering Guidance.

We shipped the BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.0 in June of 2009. This product was formerly known as the ESB Guidance 2.0, and we has been renamed as part of the transition over to the BizTalk product team. The BizTalk team now owns future version and direction. For those that are not familiar with the ESB Toolkit, it is a collection of libraries and tools that extends the capabilities of BizTalk Server 2009 by supporting a loosely coupled and dynamic messaging architecture, and functioning as middleware that provides tools for mediation between services and their consumers. Enabling flexibility at run time, the BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.0 simplifies loosely-coupled composition of service endpoints and management of service interactions. Dmitri Ossipov, the lead PM and architect of the ESB Toolkit gave a talk at PDC that is good introduction to the Toolkit and usage scenarios.

We delivered the Guidance for Developing SharePoint Applications v2.0 in August of 2009. This guidance focuses on four key areas:1) using SharePoint capabilities to build more powerful applications; 2) building SharePoint applications that are easier to scale, maintain, and grow; 3) improving application quality through testing; and 4) improving and accelerating team productivity. This work is the result of a close partnership with the SharePoint product team as well as Microsoft Consulting Services. Chris Keyser is the lead PM, and he, along with Francis Cheung continue to be the prime movers.

The release candidate for the Acceptance Test Engineering Guidance was released in October 2009. Acceptance refers to the act of determining whether a piece of software or system meets the product owners' expectations and this provides guidance for developers, testers, and architects on the discipline of acceptance testing. This guide is the first in the series of three dedicated to acceptance testing and requirements engineering—with upcoming deliverables focusing on acceptance test automation as well tool support acceptance test-driven development. Grigori’s blog is a good way to track this work and also to provide feedback and input.

We have also updated the Prism guidance for developing composite rich client applications to use Silverlight 3. We will be enhancing the Prism guidance in the first half of 2010, which I will get to shortly, to use Silverlight 4 and WPF 4, after the release of Visual Studio 2010. And yes, we did publish the Application Architecture Guide in book form—it is now available on your favorite online book store. You can also download the PDF version, please see JD’s blog as well as on MSDN.

Onto a few other areas that we are currently working with the community—specifically, the Claims-based Identity and Access Control Guide, Web Client Application Guidance, and of course Enterprise Library, as well emerging patterns on Parallel Computing.

The identity landscape has changed significantly with the introduction of the Windows Identity Framework (WIF), Active Directory Federation Services v2 (ADFS), and with .NET Services (AppFabric). Our goal for the Claims-based Identity and Access Control Guide is to help customers understand the concepts and show how to use these technologies for securing applications. This guide introduces claims-based identity, and is intended to make it easier for our customers to build features such as authentication, authorization, and personalization into applications in a more flexible way. Eugenio Pace is the lead PM and as you can see he loves to talk about clouds. J

We are well into the Web Client Application Guidance project. This effort addresses customer feedback and requests for proven practices to assist in the development of rich, responsive, modular Web applications. It is designed to help customers that need guidance navigating the Microsoft Web technology stack. We will be delivering guidance, a sample application and how-tos applying common patterns, as well as a reusable library. Blaine Wastell, our lead PM, is looking for feedback and more feedback—so, please, please do give us your input.

We delivered a workshop at PDC 2009 on the topic of Patterns of Parallel Programming. This was the result of a partnership with a number of product teams inside Microsoft. We are still early in terms of being able to publish proven practices. but this is an area where we are keen to do more, especially with the back drop of multi/many-core computing. We will keep you posted, but, as always, please let us know your feedback, your opinions, and your interest in partnering with us. Ade Miller, the p&p development manager is the prime mover behind this work and his blog is a good place to track progress.

Enterprise Library 5.0 is on track to ship shortly after Visual Studio 2010. Grigori Melnik, the lead PM for Enterprise Library, and Bob Brumfield give an excellent preview of what is on the anvil for Entlib 5.0 in this video from the patterns & practices Summit. We are really looking forward to this release, especially with the good work that team are doing with regards to simplifying the user experience for developers using Enterprise Library. By the way, Unity will continue to ship with Enterprise Library—and in fact recently Chris Tavares, the man behind Unity, wrote an article on DI in Libraries for MSDN Magazine.

I had hoped to share some more context as well as the backlog for the first half of 2010, but given the length of this post, I am going to give you a quick update on the patterns & practices Summits and defer to David Hill, the p&p lead architect, to post on the roadmap, both for the first half of 2010, and beyond.

patterns & practices Summit

We had the privilege of hosting the patterns & practices Summit 2009 in Redmond in October of this year. Many, many, thanks to those of you who traveled from across the US, the Americas, Europe, and Asia to participate and to share with the p&p community. Attendance was up by double digits over last year’s Summit—again thanks to you. And 97% of you who attended told us that you would recommend the patterns & practices Summit to your colleagues in the community. We are humbled by this and realize that we have a huge responsibility in upholding your trust as we plan upcoming Summits.

In addition to the global Summit in Redmond, we also had the opportunity to partner with our colleagues in Russia, the Ukraine, and China to host events for our customers in these countries. In September, Microsoft Russia hosted the patterns & practices Summit Russia in Moscow; and Microsoft Ukraine hosted the patterns & practices Roadshow in Kiev; and this month, partnering with Microsoft China, we are hosting the patterns & practices Summit China in Shenzhen. Thank you to those of you who were able to participate in these events. We hope that you enjoyed the content and that you had a good time meeting with the p&p team at these events.

We are also talking to our friends in Microsoft Israel, Microsoft India, and Microsoft Latin America, among others, and hope to share some good news about upcoming patterns & practices Summits in these regions shortly. Ajoy Krishnamoorthy continues to be our prime mover in helping us reach out and connect across the continents. In fact he, Don Smith and David are all in China right now for the patterns & practices Summit in China.

patterns & practices Developer Center on MSDN

Last, but definitely not the least, we (Steve Elston and team) have recently been working on an updated p&p Dev Center as part of the MSDN relaunch. We have been partnering with some of our friends elsewhere on MSDN (for example, C#, .NET Fx, SharePoint, Visual Basic, and BizTalk) to showcase some of our deliverables across those developer centers. In the coming months we will be adding cross linking to other developer centers, including ASP.NET, Silverlight, Windows Azure, and so on. We hope that the new, and greatly simplified, user experience is to your liking. As always we look to your feedback, please feel free to send me e-mail at johnd@microsoft.com.

Happy Holidays from all of us at p&p!