Contents tagged with PDC 08

  • Summing up the year of 2008 and embracing 2009

    Tags: Microsoft, Personal, SharePoint, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, PDC 08, Windows 7

    The time has come to make a summary of the past year and have a look into the future – the year of 2009. About a year ago I made a similar post with a summary and some predictions.

    This year has been a fast year and I have made so much, both personally and at work. For a few months in the spring I was at home taking care of my daughters and tried not to work (which I find really hard). It was a great time and I really need that. At work I think I’ve never felt this pressure from the market, no financial crisis in sight here. It’s mainly been about SharePoint, SharePoint and SharePoint. Our team at Pdb has had some really interesting projects and we have some even more interesting in the pipe.

    This year has allowed me to focus more and more on Microsoft SharePoint. I took the two development certifications on WSS and MOSS (both with maximum scores) and I plan to take the configuration tests in 2009. I have quite some time blogging about it and answering questions on the SharePoint MSDN Forums which as always is a great way to get even more experienced.

    The highlight of the year was of course the PDC conference in LA. I learned a ton of stuff, met a lot of nice people at the conference and at the parties, such as the SharePoint by day, SharePint by night party.

    Personal Projects

    As usual I have a ton of personal projects that I have been working on. I released two of them out in the wild:

    Blogging

    Blogging here has been fun as usual, and I’m glad to see so much new people dropping by. I’ve had to increase my bandwidth cap three times this year. This years most popular posts are:

    Most of these are popular due to internet searches. If I look at what people actually reads and links to, these are the most popular ones:

    As you can see all of them are about SharePoint – one of this years hottest software products!

    If I count in posts from previous years the most read one is:

    Last years predictions

    In the last years post I did some predictions about 2008:

    • A working version of Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 Check – Vista behaves really nice nowadays. Just waiting for Vista R2, ahem, Windows 7
    • That OOXML gets approval from the national bodies So they did and OOXML is now an ISO standard, IS29500, but the debate still continues. Microsoft has really grown during this time and I think they are now more open than ever and I really like the new Microsoft. Just take a look at the latest interoperability initiative at http://www.documentinteropinitiative.org/
    • That XPS is submitted to ISO Nope. I guess they have to ride the OOXML storm out first.
    • Getting at least a few of our customers to upgrade to Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 Yes – we have had fun
    • Having a nice parental leave You bet
    • Getting some time over so I can finish msfeedicon version 3 Nope. Did some other interesting stuff instead, such as the ChartPart.
    • Testing out the new Media Center for Vista, codename Fiji Nope. But instead I got my hands on Windows 7 during the PDC.
    • Internet Explorer 8 Yes and no, I did initially think that IE8 would be ready by now – but it’s not far away…

    So what about 2009?

    Guessing that Internet Explorer 8, Windows 7, Office 14 and SharePoint 14 will hit the streets is not that hard. But what else? I don’t expect any major new releases from Microsoft – but I do expect some more “open source” projects dropping out of Redmond and I do expect some major updates to the Windows Live services so they become even more “social”.

    This will once again be a year of constant betas, like 2006.

    Happy New Year!

    Happy New Year to all of you readers out there, and thanks for subscribing to my little blog. I really appreciate all feedback that I get.

  • PDC 2008 Photosynth

    Tags: Windows Live, PDC 08

    Today I have spent a few hours tagging photos using the incredible Windows Live Photo Gallery application. It’s quite slow and still has some buggy features, but it’s so good for cleaning and tagging photos.

    As I tagged along I found some images I took during the PDC 2008 at the LA Convention Center entrance hall. From the Windows Live Photo Gallery I fired up Microsoft Photosynth and made me a Synth. Creating the synth was really easy and done in a few minutes and here it is:

  • PDC 2008: Reflections

    Tags: Business, Internet and the Web, WinFX, PDC 08, Windows Azure, Live Mesh, Oslo

    Now sitting here at LAX and reflecting over what we have experienced during the PDC 2008 the last few days. We learned a lot about technical stuff and what’s growing up in Redmond, but I think the most important stuff is what’s happening to the software business in large. With Windows Azure as the first large scale service host and with the number of online services that Microsoft will release in the upcoming years we have a real challenge to adapt to these new business models. Not only Microsoft is running this way, just look at Amazon and others, but Microsoft have such an effect on a large number of users.

    We are going to see how our business models will be changed in a few years, and it is time to start thinking about this now. Ok, now you say; I know SOA, I can make web services…but it’s not all about that it’s just the technology that will be used. But it’s fine as long as you know the technology you’re right on track. Several of the PDC sessions was about how to architect solutions for the cloud, which is somewhat different than having your services on premise. If you haven’t watched them I urge you to do so.

    Another thing that was really evident at the PDC was that the imperative programming paradigm will and can be replaced with more declarative programming and functional programming. This will be painful for a lot of developers, including me. Same here, you better get to start adapting to this. You have no-code XAML workflows, F# and last but not least Oslo to start with. Of course we will have standard old imperative languages for a long time to come, but you should know when to use other approaches, and knowing about this will be a competitive advantage for you.

    This is what I have been thinking about since PDC ended and i know I don’t cover it all here, but it’s just to give you a hint of where the winds are blowing…

    Now I have to kill a few hours here at LAX before a long flight home to my beloved family. See ya around.

  • Windows 7 - first impressions

    Tags: PDC 08, Windows 7

    I have now done some initial testing and evaluation of the 6801 build of Windows 7, which we got at PDC 2008. First of all I was a bit disappointed that we did not get the updated UI that were shown during the keynote, instead we got a previous build that does not have that much changes in the UI.

    It boots pretty quick on my Virtual PC, yes I run it there – a little to early to switch out my main OS, and it has a nicer loading screen than Vista.

    Windows 7 Starting

    Windows 7 notification areaFirst you notice that the notification area has got some changes; by default only the volume, network and Solution Center icons are present, you can configure it to show all icons by default if you want to. When you hover them you get a smaller and less graphical tooltip than on Vista and a small highlight of the icon. The area to the right of the clock shows the desktop if you click it, on later builds it will show your desktop with the current windows transparent (shown at the keynote).

    The Sidebar is now changed so it is not a side bar anymore, you can place your Gadgets all over the screen. Funny, they even took this one out of the Vista beta for a while…

    The Start Button

    The Start Button glows a little more in this build than in Vista when hovered, but the version we saw at the PDC keynote looked a little bit more different. But, the interesting stuff is what happens when you right-click it! Now think how you normally starts Windows Explorer with the mouse – I bet that you do not go into the Start menu and select the Explorer program but instead you right click the Start button and selects Explore or Explore All Users and then you find yourself in Explorer and navigates back to the drive root from the Start Menu folder. No more in Windows 7! When you right click you just select Open Windows Explorer and voila – just as hitting Win-E! Nice!

    Right-click on Windows 7 Start menu

    The Windows 7 Control Panel

    The Control Panel has changed a lot, it looks like they have worked most of the items over all in some nice and smooth transitional effects.

    Windows 7 Resource MonitorThe Resource Monitor have been updated heavily and are now a really interesting tool for monitoring your PC. You can easily select which processes or services to monitor. When checking out the processes you can filter out which to watch and inspect which modules and handles they have. Same filtering works for network and disc – you can see how much network or disc a specific process uses. When monitoring the network you can even see which ports and protocols a certain process uses and if the firewall blocks it or not. Good job, this will be useful!

    Some new control panel stuff:

    • Clear Type Tuner is there by default
    • Biometric devices
    • Default location and Location and other sensors – used for location awareness
    • Pen and Touch instead of Pen and Input Devices
    • Credential Manager – Manage your Windows and certificate based credentials

    Windows 7 Disk Defragmenter The Windows 7 Disk Defragmenter

    The Disk Defragmenter now includes an Analyze function so you can analyze your discs, and you can more easily see when you last defragmented your disks. And you can even see how your defragmentation is doing – couldn’t I do that in Windows XP? The scheduling also includes which disks to defragment during a scheduled defragmentation.

    There are of course more cool stuff, such as the usage of the Ribbon controls in Paint and Wordpad and the new calculator etc…

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  • PDC 2008: Day 4, wrapping it up

    Tags: Microsoft, SharePoint, Visual Studio, Microsoft Office, Office Open XML, PDC 08

    So the last day of PDC 2008 is over. The brain has been cooked for a few days…

    This very day did not have any keynote and I kicked off with a session on the Visual Studio Extensions for SharePoint. I have note used this add-in since the first releases of it since I didn’t like it that much but had instead relied on manual packaging and deployment as well as STSDev. But after this I might think about moving over and try it out once again. During the session a basic site was built with some lists, event handlers and a Silverlight application using the new Charting controls.

    Then I headed over to listen on the work on the Open Xml Formats SDK. Some nice demos of how you can merge, edit and create documents without using the Office clients. Some demos on how to integrate it to SharePoint was included. Version 1 is now available and based on the ECMA OOXML standard and version 2 will be available when Office 14 hits the street.

    Next I sat down and tried out some more of Azure and Quadrant. The Quadrant tool is amazingly interesting and at the same time confusing – I wonder what it eventually will end in…

    I ended the day with an introduction to F#. Really good session and Luca Bolognese explained it well by creating a real-world solution using F#. The syntax is really weird for me who is a natural-born-imperative-programmer, but I can see the usage for it and I hope that I can try it out in a project sometime. F# is currently available as a CTP but will RTM during 2009, and my guess that it will be installed with Visual Studio 2010.

    PDC 2008 was a great experience and it will return to LA next year. I have had the fortune to meet some really smart people from Microsoft and from other companies. I will return home with a head full of new stuff that I need to dig into deeper and a bag full of merchandise. Now I just can’t wait to start working with all of this exciting stuff.

    One thing I missed though was any “official” news on the Office 14 clients and SharePoint 14 platform.

    Having one more day here in LA I will try to get some hours out in the sunlight instead of sitting inside and being a geek.

    That’s all folks.

  • PDC 2008: Day 3, the picture is getting clearer

    Tags: .NET, SharePoint, Internet and the Web, Office Open XML, PDC 08, Windows 7

    Day three is officially over, I’m pretty tired today after staying up to late yesterday and playing around with the “goods”. I installed Windows 7 and tried it for a while, but to my disappointment I found out that the nice stuff that were shown on the keynote was missing in my release…

    This morning started with the last keynote of PDC 2008 and it was Microsoft Research that should be in the spotlight. An hour and a half was filled with stuff such as environment and healthcare studies done by MSR, important, but hey – you have an audience of 6.000 programmers/geeks here… The last 20-30 minutes was cool though, they showed up a kids-programming-language called Boku (not only for kids, for me too!) and Second Light an evolution of Surface, where you can project a secondary image onto a surface that is above, yup not in touch with, the surface. Really cool!

    First session I attended after the keynote was about how to architect services for the Live Framework – It’s all about using HttpWebRequest and RESTful services. If you know about these you can work with the Mesh and Azure. Now I’m just waiting for my activation codes for Azure and that Live Mesh will support non-English regional settings..

    I took a quick lunch so I could do one of the hands-on-labs with Microsoft Surface. Easy lab, but I spent some time extra and played with it. All is based on WPF and XAML and it’s really easy. Finishing the lab allowed me to claim the SDK for Surface, which otherwise is quite expensive, so I will have it within a few days. All that then remains is someone to hand me $12.500 so I can replace my living room table at home with a brand new Surface machine!

    Then it was time for some more of the Oslo stuff and this time the Quadrant application. Quadrant is the program to use when you are visualizing the repository you have described using the M-language. It’s one heck of a tool which you can turn inside out and more, but the question still remains – how will this really be useful? I’m sure that Don Box and his crew had a lot of fun making these tools and languages, but at this “pre-alpha” stage of Oslo, I have hard to tell how to apply this to my daily work.

    To ease things up I went to a talk about Oomph, an incubator project from Microsoft that tries to take advantage of the Microformats such as hCalendar and hCard. The session was a little to light-weight but shows the intention from Microsoft to take advantage of existing standards.

    Last session of the day was a long awaited talk from Miguel de Icaza on the Mono project, an open source version of .NET that runs on Linux, Max and Windows machines. Miguel made some really nice demos and it was neat to see how far Mono has come. I did participate in the first release of Mono with some contributions. Mono has some really nice features, such as the C#5(?) compiler as a service, and some sweet JIT optimizations that makes Mono worthy as a game framework. The Mono project also implements a Linux version of Silverlight, version 1.0 will ship any day now and version 2 will be at beta for Mix 2009.

    The Mono talk, Oomph talk, Windows 7 Wordpad with ODF/OpenXml support and a bunch of different framework released under the MS-PL open source license really makes me see a Microsoft in change.

    Before finishing the day off I walked around and talked to various experts in the Meet the Experts reception at the convention center. Tried to get some more information on Office “14”, but in vain…

    During this day the picture of Windows Azure is getting clearer, but the picture of Oslo is still quite blurry. I still have hard to find out to what Oslo is really about but I think I’m getting there – I have to try it some more.

  • PDC 2008: Day 2 with Windows 7 and Office Live

    Tags: Microsoft Office, Office Open XML, PDC 08, Windows 7

    Day two is official over. I’m just back from the attendee party at Universal Studios.

    Keynotes

    This Tuesday started with a couple of keynotes. I was fortunate and arrived just as they opened the keynote hall and got myself a seat in the front row.

    Me as a keynote frontrower

    After Ray Ozzies intro Steven Sinofsky took over and showed Windows 7 for the first time in public. You can read about the demos on almost every blog, but here are the stuff that caught my attention:

    • New and improved taskbar
      • better grouping/sorting of programs
      • applications are shown as icons, instead of text and icons, with spacing that adapts to the number of icons
      • you can pin applications to the taskbar, so they are shown there even if they are currently not running which makes the Quick Launch redundant
      • Jump Lists; for example shows the MRU list of Office applications
      • Improved Notification Area (formerly known and stilled referred to, in the keynote as System Tray) defaults to not showing the icons
      • the square to the right of the Notification Area is the Show Desktop function
    • Docking of windows
    • Wordpad supports both ODF and OpenXml
    • Booting directly off a VHD – isn’t that heaven for us developers!
    • Home networking that works…I’m not sure until I see try it
    • Ok, there is touch capabilities and they look neat, but it will take some time until I get my hands on hardware that is capable of this
    Windows 7 touch capabilities

    Visual Studio 2010 was also shown and it will be completely based on WPF and contains some really neat new features. How about having several web.configs! One for debug, one for staging and one for production! It’s there…

    Windows Live wave 3 is coming and is now a service on top of Windows Azure. The APIs looks slick and is based on standard REST protocols.

    Then it was Office time. I sure had hopes to see something from the Office “14” server products. Nope. Instead we were shown the Office “14” clients and Office “14” online sharing documents between the client, web and mobile devices. Office Online will really be something and Google Apps have to watch their back! The demo were they co-worked on a OneNote “14” document from the OneNote client, the OneNote online client and a cell phone was awesome – this is how I want to use OneNote!

    After a break Don Box and Chris Anderson hit the stage and made a really nice show (not rehearsed according to Don at a later session). They really showed how easy it was to work with Windows Azure using shipped bits and protocols, such as WCF and REST. Of course there were no PowerPoints but just Visual Studio and the command prompt.

    Keynote with Don Box and Chris Anderson

    Sessions

    After a lunch, with a nice guy from Microsoft Excellent Engineering, and after picked up the hard drive with the goods, I went to the session on Microsoft Velocity. Velocity is a distributed cache that really can easy your work with caching on large farms. The cache is easy to install and manage and really easy to program with. It has built-in support for redundancy and fail-over and scales unlimited. Velocity is currently at CTP2 and will be shipped during mid 2009 as a standalone product to ASP.NET.

    Next session was on the “M” language, a part of the Oslo project. I have not really understood the full capabilities with “M”, but to sum it up you can use M to model your domain languages. “M” is a language to describe types, values and constraints. It contains a compiler which can generate T-SQL from your “M”-code and then you can run the T-SQL and create a database with the types and constraints you specified and fill it with the specified values.

    Last session for this day was on how to architect services for Windows Azure. This was a pure PowerPoint session which described how to design and what to think of when you create applications/services for Windows Azure. All of this Windows Azure seems to be clearer for every day, can’t wait to get home and try it out some more. It feels almost to easy to build, configure and manage the services you build. You can just with a click scale out your application. If your application fails on one node, Windows Azure will try to restart the service or node and if that fails it allocates a new node for you. Why can’t I stop thinking about Skynet!

    Then back to the hotel and a quick change before I took a bus to the Universal Studios, where I met up with some nice Swedes and went for a few rides.

    That’s it for today. Now I have to continue my Windows 7 installation. Stay tuned for more “commercials”...

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  • PDC 2008: Day 1 and Windows Azure

    Tags: .NET, C#, SharePoint, PDC 08

    Back at the hotel and watching some Monday Night Football (which I could do that in Sweden!). Here is a summary and some reflections on my day.

    Woke up early and walked down to LA Convention Center and got me some breakfast (tomorrow I’ll eat at the hotel). I tried to get to the keynote hall as early as possible for some good seating. I ended up in 6th row and had a good overview of the stage and the huge screens. As this is my first PDC and first conference of this magnitude I’m really impressed with the size and organization of it all.

    Ray Ozzie, Microsoft Chief Architect, hit the stage and did after an introduction introduce Windows Azure – Microsoft’s new cloud server and offering. Windows Azure and the Windows Azure Platform is Microsoft’s way of hosting your services in the cloud. Microsoft will also have a set of services ready; such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Dynamics CRM Online etc. Windows Azure pricing will be based on subscriptions and SLA’s and competitive.

    Windows Azure

    I think the Windows Azure Platform can be really interesting. The thing that really made me interested was that you can federate your Active Directory (and/or your customers) and use that as authentication on your services in the cloud. I really like what Patrik Löwendahl calls it (article in Swedish): “Outsourcing 2.0”.

    After the keynote I went to a session on which I had big expectations: SharePoint Online extending your service. This session was about the SharePoint Online service hosted on Windows Azure. Small summary: SharePoint is hosted by Microsoft and you pay per user! The session and the content was really bad – from several perspectives. First of all we in the audience, several SharePoint MVPs were there, expected more stuff for developers than just SharePoint Designer editing. The only way to add code that makes something real is to host it in a Silverlight application. And then the presenter had a rough mission presenting this non-interesting material for a demanding crowd, especially since this session was an Advanced session! I’ll try to ignore I was there…

    Then I headed over the the Big Room and got stuck when Chris Anderson made a spontaneous demo of the new M-language. It looked really cool when he on-the-fly showed the small crowd how to create a schema from a text and then validate your input and create structured data. Got a book with the draft specification of the language and I will browse it through until tomorrow when Chris and Don Box will have their keynote. After this I tried on some Hands-On Labs with the Windows Azure federated authentication – sweet!

    Chris Anderson demonstrating M

    Then I, and a lot of people, headed over to listen to Anders Hejlsberg (Anders was really the one who made me interested in programming with Turbo Pascal in the 80’s) talk about the future of C#. Anders presented some new stuff that will be in C# 4.0 such as the dynamic keyword, which will combine the features of dynamic languages with C#. Anders made some really nice demos of this, and he actually copied some JavaScript code and pasted it in the C# file, compiled it (just a few small changes) and run it. His demos did receive more applauses than Rays keynote this morning. Some other nice stuff Anders presented was optional and named parameters. He also gave us some hints on what will happen after C# 4.0 – “Eval” in C#! This is what I really look forward to, but that’s long down the road…

    I had hard then deciding which session to attend and I finally selected ASP.NET MVC. Really good session with really good presenters. I like lean and neat HTML code and the MVC model. I hope to get to do some nice projects with this in the future. Unfortunately I’m very bound to SharePoint now so that will likely not happen so soon, if not SharePoint “14” will use this…say no more!?!

    Verne Troyer at PDC 2008

    Last session for today became WF 4.0 – first look which was about the new stuff in Workflow Foundation. Good session and good speakers here too. Tools, persistence and performance was the mantra for this session. WF sounds so cool in English – dub-F, can’t really say that at home in Swedish…

    Then it was freebie time with food and beer in the sponsor area. I now have a set of t-shirts to wear when painting the house. Some interesting sponsors and some interesting give-aways. Did have some time to play with Surface a little more, if I win on lottery I'll order one right away!

    More keynotes tomorrow, more focused on the client side, the bits is distributed and then there is the attendee party at Universal Studios…

  • PDC 2008: Pre-Con: Performance By Design

    Tags: PDC 08

    I have arrived at my first PDC and it’s an awesome experience. The conference is huge and I arrived here for the registration and breakfast and met up with some nice guys.

    LA Convention Center

    I fetched my bags of goods which contained mostly magazines and a bunch of sponsor commercials. We’ll have to wait until Tuesday until the real bits (the hard-drive stuffed with goods) are released and revealed. The keynote on Tuesday morning will really be interesting.

    As Pre-Con session I choose the Performance by Design, an area which I keep close. Nothing revolutionary was really revealed during this session, which took the whole day and a little more. I really like this enthusiasm that the presenters (Rico Mariano, Vance Morrison and Mark Friedman) had, they really made this, on the paper, boring session great. The mantra from the day was Measure, Measure, Measure.

    Most of the stuff I was aware of, except for some nice tools that now is slipping out of Redmond. But even if you are aware of all this you need to practice it, which they gave some nice examples of; what, when and how to measure.

    Here are some of the presented tools:

    I always snapped up a few interesting spots for the upcoming .NET 4.0 framework:

    • Image verification will will be optional – no longer need to GAC every assembly?
    • Next framework version will contain “profiling in the field” – instrument your application for field profiling
    • Even better thread pool thanks to the parallelism

    The day ended up with a nice SharePint at the Biltmore hotel, where I met some really nice SharePoint MVPs and developers. I had some fun when using Microsoft Surface when getting the directions to the hotel.

    Microsoft Surface

  • PDC 2008: On my way

    Tags: SharePoint, PDC 08

    Sitting here in Zürich waiting for the delayed flight to Los Angeles and PDC 2008.

    This PDC is my first and I really look forward to it. I will suck in as much as I possibly can during the next few days. I have a couple of things on my agenda that I want to accomplish:

    • Go through all of the Office Systems and SharePoint sessions to find out what’s going on
    • Meet with the SharePoint MVPs, Product team and other cool SharePointers
    • Listen and learn from the Experts
    • Understand the Microsoft cloud vision even better, especially how do these services fit in a larger enterprise (I have not understood this yet)
    • And of course be one of the first to try out all this new stuff!

    I will be staying at the Westin Bonaventure hotel and drop me a line if you would like to meet and have a pint or two.

About Wictor...

Wictor Wilén is a Director and SharePoint Architect working at Connecta AB. Wictor has achieved the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) - SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) - SharePoint  and Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) - SharePoint 2010 certifications. He has also been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for four consecutive years.

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