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...

read more

TechEd Day5 – The Final Day

Nov 12, 10 TechEd Day5 – The Final Day

Posted by in TechEd 2010

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...

read more

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...

read more

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 ! 😀 Of course all of this new technology is key...

read more

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...

read more

The Onward March of the Cloud

Nov 08, 10 The Onward March of the Cloud

Posted by in TechEd 2010

Today was the official start of the TechEd with a keynote speech in the afternoon. In 2008 whilst attending the PDC in LA we were present when Microsoft launched Azure and announced nothing less than a complete re-focus of their core business model away from software supplier to a service provider … in the shape of “The Cloud” Two years on this is now maturing into a concrete set of tools and products and is very much the core of what Microsoft see as the future. This is a huge risk and involves a considerable investment in time and resources, no less than 70% of Microsoft’s development effort is invested in to developing and supplying Cloud technologies. However I have to say that whilst the technologies and frameworks are extremely fascinating I remain to be convinced that they can persuade people to abandon their own infrastructures and port their environments to MS’s hosting services in the Cloud. Time will tell but they certainly seem to be betting the Farm on this one. Included in the keynote was a very impressive end to end demonstration of Cloud computing from the newly released Windows Phone OS to the newly announced Office 365 (Office in The Cloud) We also got to see some quite mature management tools for Azure allowing a user to manage the Cloud environment from Windows systems centre on the desktop aswell as remotely. Also allowing the intergration of existing intranet environments and domains with public Cloud servers. A lot of the TechEd sessions are related to these new Cloud developments in the Microsoft world and I will be attending a couple to keep an eye on these emerging technologies. I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into the varied sessions over the next few days from .NET4, WCF, WF, AppFabric, Cloud Technologies, Architecture Best Practices,MVC, SQL Server 2008 … the list goes on … yeah bring it on! 😀 We finished up the day by going out for a most enjoyable (& very...

read more

Beer & Sausages

Nov 07, 10 Beer & Sausages

Posted by in TechEd 2010

After an early start (5am ugh!) I’ve finally arrived. Kieran & I flew in from Heathrow and after registering at the TechEd we headed off into the night determined to go native … first stop the Reichstag then some beer, sausages & apple strudel followed by a quick trip to the Brandenburg gate. Not bad considering we’d only been in the country about 5...

read more

TechEd here we come …

Nov 03, 10

Yay … techy heaven here we come … On Sunday I’ll be off to the Microsoft TechEd in Berlin. Have to say I really enjoy these events. You get to see all the latest tech developments in software design, and coding practices, plus you can chat one to one with the Microsoft experts, most of which actually worked on the tools & frameworks we use … yeah baby ! This year there’ll be myself, Kieran, Jon & Tuck off to Berlin. Sunday I’ll be meeting up with Kieran at Heathrow then it’s off to the Fatherland. Unfortunately the only German I speak is that gleaned from war films and the heaps of War Comics I’ve read over the years … so my conversation with the local population might prove limited! so … “Achtung !” … and … “Hande Hoch Tommy !”...

read more

WF in the Cloud …

Oct 30, 08 WF in the Cloud …

Posted by in PDC 2008

The last session of the conference I went to was on deploying & running WFs in the Cloud (aka Azure). Azure is able to host a number of different services : .NET Services; Live Services (part of MS Live data eg credentials contacts etc etc) & SQL Services. WFs are hosted directly inside a runtime provided by the .NET Services bit. More about Azure …         Currently only a sub-set of the existing WF (3.5) Activities are supported . However there are some extra ones there too, to take advantage of the Azure framework. Only Framework v 3.5 & v4.0 are supported at the moment & only XAML WF’s as well (deep sigh!). You can directly manage your workflow instances & types either through the Azure portal or via APIs on you client machine that talks to the Azure platform thru it’s Service Bus (this is Azure’s Controller Service). So either way you can  directly manage your workflow instance eg  Create, Suspend, Resume & Terminate … pretty cool! …. had to write a lot of extra code to do this in Rio  Well enough for now …….. we’re off to Vegas !  ...

read more

Manbag heaven ?

Oct 29, 08 Manbag heaven ?

Posted by in PDC 2008

This year rather than give out the usual rucksack or laptop bags to all delegates MS have opted for …. you guessed it …. the “Manbag” So (Kieren) if you want to be one of 4000 developers sporting a shiny new “Manbag” then L.A. is clearly the place to be! Below we can see Faheem modelling the latest in “geek chic”, a lovely little black off the shoulder number we call the “Win7 Manbag” ……..     😀 ...

read more
Page 1 of 212