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May 11 – 15, 2009. Los Angeles.

It is always exciting to attend conferences like TechEd and talk to the users like you! I attended Teched 2009 North America, which took place in Los Angeles last month, as a Visual Studio staff, and spent 20+ hours standing at Visual Studio booth. I really enjoyed experiencing TechEd once again and enjoyed the moments when you told us the products are helping to do your daily work more efficiently. Hearing your feedback is also very important to us, and it is exactly the reason why we are there at the conference! For those who were also at TechEd this year, I hope you enjoyed the sunshine in LA and liked hundreds of sessions there!

This year, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 drew a lot of attentions. Mark Russinovich, who is a Technical Fellow at Microsoft, demoed quite some new Windows 7 features at keynote on the first day.

- One of my favorite features in Windows 7 is the Problem Steps Recorder which helps customers (or friends, or family) to easily record what they did and what happened on their machine instead describing the repro steps, therefore it’ll largely help the ITPros to understand and troubleshoot the problems.

- Another highlight in Windows 7 is AppLocker feature, which helps IT Admins to easily specify what is allowed to run on user desktops and creates a secure environment.

Windows 7 demo is followed by Windows Server 2008 R2 demos by Iain McDonald, including the File Classification Infrastructure which helps ITPros to establish policies for classifying files and then performing common administrative tasks based on the classification.

Another hot topic at TechEd was Silverlight 3. (download Silverlight 3 Beta 1) If you are still wondering if you should choose Silverlight to build line of business applications, you should definitely try out Silverlight 3! Silverlight 3 has made Silverlight ready for building data-driven applications than ever before! A few Silverlight 3 controls that you might be interested in your business applications:

  • ChildWindow
  • DataForm 
  • DataGrid
  • DataPager
  • Navigation (Frame, Page, Deeplinking..etc.)
  • Validation UI (ErrorSummary)

These controls are available for download at Silverlight Toolkit Sample.

Besides Silverlight 3 new controls, .NET RIA Services (download ".NET Ria Services" March 2009 preview) is the other essential piece that makes build Silverlight business applications much easier. In short -

Microsoft .NET RIA Services simplifies the traditional n-tier application pattern by bringing together the ASP.NET and Silverlight platforms. The RIA Services provides a pattern to write application logic that runs on the mid-tier and controls access to data for queries, changes and custom operations. It also provides end-to-end support for common tasks such as data validation, authentication and roles by integrating with Silverlight components on the client and ASP.NET on the mid-tier.

".NET Ria Services" March 2009 preview provides a great overview document that introduces .NET RIA Services in details, and it also described an end to end walkthrough for you to get started. Start building your Silverlight business applications today!

It is great to see .NET RIA Services generated huge interests at TechEd, as our team is also working on some of the features in there. :) Please let us know if you have any comments and suggestions once you have tried it out. You are more than welcome to leave comments here or post at .NET RIA Services forum.

Next year, TechEd will be back in New Orleans, June 7-11, 2010.

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See you there!