Teched 09: Day #1

Picture of keynoteMy first day in Berlin was really exciting.
The registration went quite well and after receiving my goodie bag (which has some odd colours),
I was ready for my first session ever at TechEd:

The Windows Azure Platform: When and Why to use it? (David Chapell)

I previously planned another session, but a colleague said David Chapell is a great speaker, and I can’t say he’s wrong!
The good thing about this speaker is that he is not a Microsoft employee, so his opinion is not influenced by anyone.

The first part of his session contained some technical details about Windows Azure.
I think a lot of blogs have already been written about this, so I skip this part.
The second one tries to answer the ‘Whens’ and ‘Hows’.

The first reason to consider using Windows Azure is the pricing.
Microsoft will put $0,12 on their account for 1 Virtual Machine/hour.
Other pricing can be found online.

When will you use Windows Azure?

  • For applications with a massive scale
  • If your apps should have a high reliability
  • Applications with a variable load (ticketing system,…)
  • Those apps that have a short or unknown lifetime
  • Apps that use parallel processing
  • Apps that must fail or scale fast (for start-ups)
  • Software that doesn’t fit well in the firm’s data center

There are some competitors for the Windows Azure platform:

  • Other cloud platforms: Amazon, Google AppEngine, Force,…
  • (Dedicated) hosting companies

We must not expect to see all the applications run in the cloud in a couple of time.
Azure is also not trying to bring existing applications to the cloud.
But Azure seems to be very important for Microsoft, because they want it to be reliable straight from version 1.0 (which ships next week)

Session 2: A lap around Microsoft ASP.NET 4.0 and Visual Studio 2010 (Jeff King)

This session contained a lot of demos of the new capabilities of ASP.NET 4.0 in VS 2010.
The VS editor has some nice new features :

  • Multi monitor support
  • A new editor profile: the “web development (code optimized)” profile
  • The “add reference” dialog shows on default the projects tab and the loading of .NET references is now asyncrhonous,
    so the UI doesn’t freeze anymore (this is a tiny, but nice feature though!)
  • There are also snippets now for HTML, Javascript,… (i.e. <table + TAB +TAB adds a complete table with one row on your ASP.NET page)
  • Also a nice feature is the dynamic intellisense: if you declare a bunch of variables in a loop,
    Visual Studio 2010 just recognizes these variables on its intellisense.
  • In VS 2010 you can now specify your target framework.
  • If you type in the camel case capital letters in your markup the intellisense just fills in the whole name of a control
    (i.e. typing GVP will result in GridViewProducts)

Specific features in ASP.NET 4.0:

  • Performance should be better.
  • Better extensibility (output caching, URL encoding, external request validation)
  • the web.config is minimized (that is a great feature!)
  • the ASP.NET default template already contains authorization and styles by default
    (The default style just looks like the one on ASP.NET MVC)
  • Also there are some improvements to controls:
    • listview is improved (better templates)
    • checkboxlist: they added unordered and ordered list as output above table and flow layout
    • formview: property RenderOuterTable can be set to false, this won’t result in a nested table in the HTML output.
  • Viewstate can be enabled, disabled or inherited.
  • Controls now will have a property ClientIDMode which can be set to static, predictable, auto or inherit.
    This gives you the abillity to control the Client ID’s of the controls, especially interesting when you want to use them in javascript (good feature!)
  • The Page class now has two SEO ‘helper’ properties: MetaDescription and MetaKeyWords which enables you to dynamically change the meta tags of your page.
  • You can add routes to pages in the Global.asax

Developer General Session (Jason Zander)

This session took place in the keynote hall and eventually this just seems to be the keynote for developers (more on that later in this post)
Jason Zander presents us with Visual Studio 2010.
He brought some fresh news to this session, declaring that MS have Acquired Teamprise.
This is great news for companies with mixed environments. They could now put all their code, including Java and other technologies, in TFS 2010.

There were also some other partners  presenting their integrated technology for VS 2010:
Cobol integration (yes it still exists and still looks like crap) seems to be quite easy now
and also Oracle finds it way in the database projects of Visual Studio.

End of the keynote
End of the keynote


(Stephen Elop)

The keynote was really a disappointment.
First of all I just felt in an Americaon teleshopping commercial (overacting included!)

Secondly not a single technology for developers was discussed, so they better call it the IT professional keynote!
Halve of the crowd just left the keynote session before it has ended.

Oh yeah, what technology did they discuss in the keynote?
I can only remember 2 things: Exchange 2010 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

And between those presentations they want to mark the “New Efficiency” keyword.
Microsoft really wants their products to work smoothly these days.

So, this was Day 1 and I’m looking forward to the next day!
Hopefully it will not rain that much as today: allthough the celebrations off the Berlin wall were historically important,
I just felt historically wet and cold!

Some more pics may appear in this post, but now I really need to catch some sleep!