Buses, Beer and Belly Dancing …

Nov 12, 10 Buses, Beer and Belly Dancing …

Posted by in TechEd 2010

After leaving the TechEd at about 1 we headed back to the hotel from whence we were determined to launch an assault on Berlin’s pleasure spots. We started with a bus tour of the city which took in most of the sites. One of which was a stop at “Check Point Charlie” , the famous crossing point from East Berlin to West Berlin in the American Sector. I guess nothing could symbolize more the triumph of the western allies over the Soviet East than the fact that right next to the check point was a MacDonalds, actually on the eastern side of the old divide, with a Starbucks 50m further down the road! Traces of the infamous Berlin wall erected in 1961 could still be seen preserved at certain places on our route. We hopped back on the bus only to be deposited at 5 o’clock at the furthest point from our hotel that you could get, when the tour buses stopped running for the day. Not to be deterred we sought out the nearest German Bier Keller. Luck was with us … we found one of the best pubs I’ve ever been into. Each table had its own set of beer taps which allowed you to pour your own drinks as you wanted, whilst it recorded how much we’d decanted. After this we hailed a cab and headed off to an Egyptian restaurant near our hotel. Kieran volunteered to do a belly dance for us so you can imagine our relief when 2 real belly dancers appeared to dance among the tables. The meal was excellent and the dancing fantastic especially as one of the dancers pulled Jon on stage to dance with her! …. [Check out the video...

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TechEd Day5 – The Final Day

Nov 12, 10 TechEd Day5 – The Final Day

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It’s been a long and rewarding week. But I definitely detected a weariness in the slow trudge of the herd as the usual hundreds of people were disgorged from our train and made their way to the conference centre for the last time. Today I went to 2 final sessions : Inside Windows Azure WCF Data Services – A Practical Deep Dive Whilst they were very interesting and it’s useful to keep abreast of all the current technologies I don’t think that we’ll be using them in the near future, but you never know. TechEd has once again proved to be a fantastic and enriching experience. So all I can say is ” Sehr Gut” and “Bis bald!” * *Very good and see you...

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TechEd Day 4 : Variety is the spice of life …

Nov 11, 10

Today has been quite a mixture of sessions… Using the Entity Framework in .NET4.0 and Visual Studio 2010 WCF: The Unified Services Programming Model for SOAP, REST, Data Communication Windows Workflow Foundation Futures Deep Dive into HTML5 Administering and Running Team Foundation Server 2010 Kieran, Jon and Tuck have also been mixing and matching sessions today covering all manner of things from VS.NET testing tools to SQL Server 2008 optimisation. Reflecting on coming to an event like TechEd I can say that it does help to give one a sense of perspective on the breadth and depth of the various technologies and platforms that exist, not only in the Microsoft world but in the developer community as a whole. We can sometimes feel isolated within our our own little development world with its own peculiarities, projects and problems to solve. So connecting with the wider developer community ( ie my fellow geeks :-D) is actually quite...

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TechEd Day 3 – AppFabric

Nov 10, 10

Most of the sessions I attended today have covered the new technology of Windows Server AppFabric. As well as getting some in depth information on the existing technical details we’ve also been fortunate enough to get to view some of the brand new functionality (such as Caching) that was only revealed to the developer community 2 weeks ago at the PDC. AppFabric is a long promised technology platform that provides a number of services: Caching Service Hosting (eg WF,WCF) Monitoring Service Bus Access Control A view more details …. Caching This service could well be of use to us in scaling our ASP.net apps as it provides a viable alternative to ASPs current SessionState model. Service Hosting This is the bit that most excites me as it provides for the deployment, hosting and persistence of Workflows and WCF endpoints (ie running WF instances and WCF services). All of the Hosting, Tracking, Monitoring and control panel functionality(plus more) I had to code by hand for the Rio project is covered by this. Two years ago when we attended the PDC in LA this part of AppFabric was announced and was code named “Dublin”. So to finally see it delivered and demoed was great. (PDC 2008 : “Dublin”) Monitoring This “does exactly what it says on the tin”. It monitors the health of WF & WCF! Service Bus Connecting 2 disparate systems via a secure messaging paradigm (MSMQ … I think?). The systems don’t need to be on the same domain or even be .NET apps. Access Control Unbelievably this is nothing less than federation of a huge variety of the many different identities a user may have on the web : Passport, Facebook, GMail …. So for example you can choose to federate an AD account with a Facebook account to authenticate a user. Sounds very dodgy to me ! I can’t see HSBC letting users sign on to our AD using Facebook credentials ! ๐Ÿ˜€ Of course all of this new technology is key...

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TechEd Day 2

Nov 09, 10 TechEd Day 2

Posted by in TechEd 2010

Today has been pretty intense and we’ve all had the chance to get some pretty good insights into a multitude of various technologies. I started the day with a look at what’s new in .NET 4 after which I went to a Developers overview of SharePoint 2010, something that’s likely to make an appearance in our technical landscape fairly soon. It looks like a powerful tool but looks tricky to configure and handle. I also managed to squeeze in a lunchtime session on what makes good IT Architecture and …. it was pretty deep and very philosophical ! This afternoon I attended a crash course for architects on Cloud Computing which has helped to fill in some of the gaps behind Microsoft’s drive towards this new technology platform. My final session of the day was on a brand new technology being rolled out to both Windows Server and Azure …. AppFabric. This was the highlight for me today and when I return I’ll definitely be exploring this new technology in more detail. It can provide WF hosting, Monitoring and Caching across multiple servers. Today’s session was specifically on distributed caching something that could prove of use in our ASP.net apps. Tomorrow there are further sessions on hosting WF and WCF endpoints. It will be VERY interesting to see what it can offer...

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