Category Archives: Events

PDC Notes

I just got back from the Microsoft PDC in LA and have been thinking about what I saw there.

It turns out that I have come to a couple of conclusions that I will surely post more about in the future, but for now here is the overview.

First there were several Windows Azure announcements that have swayed me from skeptic to seeing a real chance for Azure to be a contender. Chief among my concerns was the fact that I just didn’t see companies doing a big rewrite just to leverage a cloud solution. Now it is much easier to port an existing application to Azure and there is the option to customize the hosted image. I also saw a demo that no one else seems to have noticed (or I was imaging things). I could have sworn I saw a demo where SQL data hosted behind the company firewall was opened up for consumption by an Azure hosted application. I plan to watch that keynote again to make sure I know what I am talking about so consider this a disclaimer.

Second, I am now confident that Microsoft will not abandon either WPF nor SilverLight developers since there were already announcements to make both able to run with the same assemblies. A small step, but when coupled with the fact that VS2010 is built with WPF I think the two technologies are both valid for development (I was worried about the future of WPF until recently).

There was of course more, but those will have to wait for other posts.

PDC BOF Session on Security

I am packing tonight to head to the PDC in Los Angeles and wanted to tell anyone else who will be attending that I am hosting a Birds of a Feather session at lunchtime on Thursday on security hype.

The thesis is that we are seeing a steady stream of over hyped security “issues” that tend to remind me more and more of the ads for the evening news that say things like “Your water could be killing your children, details at 11″. We plan to discuss how this trend is hurting actual preparedness for the real threats.

Hope to see some of you there.

Countdown to PDC

I am getting ready to go to the PDC this year and I got to thinking that devs need to dig in now more than ever to stay up to date on the latest and greatest tools available to get their jobs done.


I spent this last week teaching a class on SQL Server 2008 at Blended Solutions in Manchester, New Hampshire and I found myself telling many old school stories about how back in SQL 4.2 we had to do pretty much everything ourselves and how Replication made its debut in SQL 7.0, but alot of people didn’t discover it until SQL 2000.

It got me thinking that while you hear it alot you have to keep learning and work pretty hard to stay up to date, which brings me back to PDC. I know it is really hard to get away these days, but Microsoft has been really good about putting content online so watch the web and pay attention. Even dropping out for a few months can really hurt your abilities to get caught back up.

Egypt Developers Conference (EDC)

I have finally confirmed the final dates for the Egypt Developers Conference which is held every year in Cairo. This year it is in Mid April and again I will be speaking. I really look forward to this event and for a short time I was afraid that the dates would move to a week where I couldn’t attend, but I now know that this is not the case.
This week I have to solidify which sessions I will present and am thinking about doing a session on commercial software development (as opposed to business software development) on the new Software Architects track.
Last year I made the mistake of re-presenting session from previous years at the request of some very well intentioned people who were running the show, but I will not make that same mistake again.

See you in Cairo!

Code Camp 6 in Waltham, MA

Code Camp 6 is tomorrow at the MS office in Waltham and this is the first one since the original world premier Code Camp that I am going to miss.

With Thom Robbins moving on to Redmond and the rush of business that everyone seems to be seeing, this 6th edition didn’t come together nearly as early as previous editions.

I apologize for not making it, but since it is slimmed down to a single day this time and I specifically have a conflict tomorrow, I won’t be there.


I expect we will do a better job for Code Camp 7 and provide much more advanced warning and I will do my best to defend the date ;)

Microsoft in 12 step program

Microsoft has released a 12 step plan to help its image and communicate their intent to prevent the kinds of lawsuits like the one going on with the EU.

While I think the plan will work on a number of levels, I am disappointed that it had to happen this way.  I am not of the belief that Microsoft has never acted in the name of profit or that sometimes there have been less than the fairest of practices employed, but is this any different than any other company?  I would prefer that the oil and gas companies were held to such high standards or even just the cable companies.

The Twelve Tenets to Promote Competition are outlined on the MS site and should make anyone who has dealt with Microsoft in the past feel a bit better.  The reason for this is that in all my dealings with Microsoft the staff there have been zealots about dogma.  If it is a defined part of the company culture (as these tenets are sure to be) then it is embraced pretty thoroughly.

I have no doubt that this will help Microsoft by actually influencing the internal culture and that it will help competition.  I just wish the pressure it took to make a single software company do this were either applied to the industry instead or better yet to an industry that actually needs it.

Mega User Group Panel tonight

Tonight at TechEd in Boston there is the Panel discussion.  This is an event by pretty much all the user groups in the area and I will be one of the panelists. 

The room (251 at the Convention Center, not the Hynes) is open at 6:00 PM with the meeting starting at 6:50 PM.  The room should be packed based on current registrations so get in early if you want to go.

Details are here.

Membership Provider DB Install Scripts

At Code Camp 5 in Waltham this past Sunday I was delivering my session entitled “All you need to know about Membership”, when I learned that I didn’t know everything I need to know about membership.

Someone asked if the scripts were available that aspnet_regsql.exe uses to create the membership table.  My answer was that I hadn’t seen them so I assumed they were baked into the exe.  WRONG!  Our good buddy and fellow Code Camp presenter, Dan Krhla, pointed out that in the same directory that you find the aspnet_regsql.exe (namely C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727) you also find the scripts that the tool users including InstallMembership.sql.  There are a bunch of them and you have to install them in order (installcommon.sql first, etc.).  They offer some good insights and I have already spent a bit of time on them myself.

Thanks again Dan and I am happy that the question came up so I could learn something too.  This is why I really love the Code Camp.