Friday, June 15, 2012

Microsoft TechEd 2012 - Day 4

TechEd's Hidden Gems - Birds of a Feather aka BOF

People who've been coming to Microsoft's TechEd for a few years have discovered several hidden "gems". If you think TechEd is all about attending sessions all day long, getting your head filled with information, you'd only be half right. There's so much more going on, and, in my opinion, much better stuff than just sitting there watching. I like attending the Birds of a Feathers. Why? Because they are discussion sessions. You get to hear what issues people are really facing (surprise, a lot of them are the same ones I face!) and you get to toss out your own issues for people to weigh in on. Try that at a regular session. You might get a 30 second response. Meh.

One of the Birds of a Feather sessions I enjoyed was Enterprise SharePoint Developer. We heard all sorts of dirty laundry. Where else can you go and say, hey, tell me what's going wrong with your company? Ha! That sounds ominous, but really its much more good natured and the people who participate in the discussion are more about how issues they had and how they solved those issues, which helps everyone else.

I heard people give their opinions on using RBS with SharePoint 2010, which I thought was the way to go, but now, maybe not so much. I heard people talking about the challenges with trying to hire good SharePoint people and picked up some good interview questions. And I picked up some good tips on how to deal with "No Code" solutions.

What's the best part of the Birds of a Feather? They were recorded this year and will be available soon to you, at no charge, here:


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Microsoft Tech Ed 2012 - Day 3

Storyboards Anyone?

Ever want to prototype an application but didn't have a decent tool to produce the wire frame? Enter Visual Studio 2012's new Storyboarding tool! It uses PowerPoint (and who doesn't know PowerPoint) to allow you to quickly create mock ups of application design screens. And it comes built in with images for mocking up screens for ASP.NET applications, Windows Applications, and even SharePoint applications!

Check it out here:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Microsoft Tech Ed 2012 - Day 2

Windows 8, Windows 8, Windows 8

Day 2 Keynote seemed all about Windows 8. Fast, fluid, windows reimagined! Microsoft has determined that we don't use our PCs like we used to. Heck, we don't use PCs anymore (at least not as much) like we did when Windows 95 first came out. Wait, what? Who uses Windows 95 anymore? Well, according to Microsoft, Windows 7 is pretty much based on Windows 95. Huh!

So, today, instead of PCs, now we use laptops and smart phones and tablets. Time for a "reimagined" OS. Windows 8 and Metro apps.

Windows 8 will have its very own App Store (hmmmm, sounds familiar).

Everything's touch based and will be smart enough to run well on these many different devices. Windows 8 will also take advantage of the fact these devices are mostly connected to the Internet. Connected communications. Store data, not locally, but in many different places, in the Cloud. It all seems very promising...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Microsoft TechEd 2012 - Day 1

Here at Microsoft's TechEd 2012, we got a few cool announcements (and one noticeably "missing" one as well).

Here's the ones we got:

LightSwitch will generate HTML5

LightSwitch is a tool from Microsoft to enable rapid application development (what? another one?), and now this now this tool will generate the latest and greatest version of HTML 5. What's really cool about that? It means you could use LightSwitch to generate an  app that runs really well on iPads and iPhones and can even be added to the home page and look like a native app, but without having to go through the app store. Hmmmm....

Bing now runs Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 is so ready for prime time that Microsoft itself is using it in production, and not just any production, but for it's prime time search engine, Bing! That's a cool, huge announcement! I'm going to download Windows 2012 myself and get into this party. Ummm, it's not available yet? We don't have a release date? Wait, what? That's the missing announcement. Windows 2012 is raring to go! But not quite ready for us. Stay tuned.

Private Cloud is ready!

Not really an announcement, but it's all you hear at the conference. Not just Cloud, but Private Cloud! It's all about using Microsoft's System Center 2012 to manage your existing servers and turn them into your own Private Cloud.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Micosoft TechEd 2012 - Day 0

Three cool things I got my hands on at Microsoft's Tech Ed on Day Zero (the day before the conference officially started):


Microsoft's cool new add on tool for Excel that can let you do Data Warehousing type queries on your desktop. It's Business Intelligence in Excel!

SQL Server 2012 Master Data Services,

This is SQL trying to give us tools to get a handle on our look up lists. All of our look up lists should be the same. Master Data Services can help!

Want to have your end users easily created dashboards? How about letting them using Visio to do it?

FYI, Tech Ed's keynote is available via live streaming (for free!) at 9 AM ET, check it out here:

Good times!