This was the first keynote ever that I was late for; I missed the first five minute. I will have to go back and watch it on line to see what I missed. The highlight of the keynote was, of course, the enhancements to Windows Azure. One of the big things for me was Ray talking about private clouds; hosted clouds and public clouds; this I think will be good way to get the major Corporations on board. They show partners with good stories on why the cloud is important. Another announcement that made at the keynote is that Windows Azure was going to support other development tools like PHP. This could be game changing, because Microsoft is including all developers(I heard them using the word Tomcat). At the keynote there were also demonstrations with the new Identity frame. The keynote shows functionality in Visual Studio 2010, that I was not aware of like support for multiple monitors. This was also the first Keynote that I can remember that finished early (they usually finish late).
After the keynote was a snack break, good thing there was no breakfast because I would have not been able to resist the doughnuts.
Next on my schedule I had “FT02 - Data Programming and Modeling for the Microsoft .NET Developer “, which I chose, and “FT11 - Future Directions for C# and Visual Basic”. This session was really talking about modeling with the ADO.NET Entity framework. It is focusing on the new features in the Microsoft Entity Framework Feature CTP 2 for Visual Studio 2010. This session demonstrated the modeling tools “M” and “Quantant” with Entity Framework. This one of the technologies I will be trying out when I return to Virginia.
The lunch buffet followed, I grab too much food, could not finish the salmon (it was good). I did however finish desert. After eating I did quick walk around the “Big Room” saw the HOL (Hands-on-labs), some looked interesting will have to go back later. There however was a long line for the Windows Azure HOL (there are giving away a Flip Camera for completing one). I decided to go to a Lunch session (It was on my schedule), “CL30 - Microsoft Expression Blend 3 for Developers: Tips, Tricks and Best Practices”. I am trying to use Blend and have been many sessions on it this year (Mix, Tech-ed, local user groups and code camps). I also bought a book on it. I believe the more exposure the better I will become at it. This session showed me things I need to try. I will have to watch this session again online with Blend opened.
Next on my schedule I had “FT18 - Microsoft ASP.NET Futures”. Since I am an ASP.Net developer, this was a great session for me. This session showed the features the ASP.Net team is working on. The ASP.Net Helpers I thought was very interesting (email verification; background task; file upload progress).
The next session I went to was “FT10 - Evolving ADO.NET Entity Framework in Microsoft .NET Framework 4 and Beyond”, which was on schedule, this was a great follow-up the “FT02 - Data Programming and Modeling for the Microsoft .NET Developer”, I went to earlier. This session show how to use your POCO classes to generate a database from them (very cool). Other things that were demonstrated; the use of Store Procs, doing lazy loading, and the use of the repository pattern in EF.
For the last session of the day I had “CL23 - SketchFlow: Prototyping to the Rescue” and “FT32 - Code Contracts and Pex: Power Charge Your Assertions and Unit Tests”. However at that point in the day I was not in a mode for either topic, so I went to “FT08 - Code Visualization, UML, and DSLs” instead. This session demonstrated some of the new architect features and why they are useful for developers. I especially liked thing how it handle existing code with diagrams to help a developer figure out what the code is doing.
I was then off to the Partner Expo. I have a goal on trying not to bring home too much SWAG. There were great T-Shirts as always. Free beer, hamburgers; still full from lunch (there was a lot of food there).
The highlight of PDC09 Day One – the changes in EF