Orcas Training Day 3


June 27

8:30 9:00 Breakfast
9:00 10:15 Building WCF and WF Applications with the .NET Framework 3.5
10:30 12:00 Web Programming with WCF
12:00 1:00 Lunch
1:00 2:15 Workflow Services
2:15 3:30 Hands-on lab
3:30 5:00 Building Mobile Applications using Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Compact Framework 3.5
5:00 6:00 Company Store Visit
I remember a few years back all the furour around Indigo.  I remember watching Don Box (http://www.pluralsight.com/blogs/dbox/) hugging a cringing developer on stage at the PDC to illustrate the concepts of loose and tight coupling.  Well it looks like its all coming to fruition now.  Justin Smith gave a great presentation extolling the virtues of this new technology.  The key ‘take aways’ for me were the promise that Microsoft has removed the requirement for ‘plumbing code’ when communicating with other parties and also a consistent interface to all the related methodologies for communication (all of which may be valid in different scenarios).  They look to my mind to be ahead of the game in this area, and there is a compelling business/commercial case for adopting WCF within an Enterprise to facilitate competitive advantage!  There was also some talk of the role of ESBs (Enterprise Service Busses) and the difficulties that organisations face when a CEO gets it into their head that they need to purchase one!  A new phrase was also raised by Justin: “Internet Service Bus” that makes a lot more sense, the idea being that instead of organisations having their own bespoke  ESBs, the notion of the availability of an ESB on the Internet itself. (Where WCF is made available as a service on the web).  Interesting.
Justin told us that Orcas beta 2 is going to include the syndication stack that is currently available as a part of the Biztalk API (http://labs.biztalk.net/downloads.aspx) Apart from providing all the common functionality associated with syndication a nice feature is the ability to handle any RSS version using a consistent format, (without loosing the ability to output in a specific format).  I can see people making a lot of use of this once it is available (apparently the Biztalk bits work just fine with Orcas beta one if anyone wants to give this a go now).
Workflow is at the core of MS.Net now (although the way it has been implemented if you don’t need it, it doesn’t get in the way)  The tool support and integration into the language is first rate, and must raise some concern in the hearts of independent workflow vendors.  I got to play a little with some workflow scenarios and was please with how intuitive it all was.  That’s not to say it isn’t a complex subject, the requirement for workflow in the first place often stems from the fact that the business rules associated with workflow are complex enough to require a workflow based methodology to make it all appear simple again!
Mobile Applications
We finished the day with a couple of excellent presentations from Anand Balachandran and Mark Prentice.  The mobile applications support is now very mature and there do seem to be a lot of opportunities for organisations that are prepared to take this technology seriously.  I was a little surprised to hear about support for new technologies such as LINQ (albeit limited by size constraints) within the new mobile stack!

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