MSDN Event Boca Raton Review: 10/17/2006

3 minute read

Today me and one of my co-workers (not my boss as I announced earlier) went to the MSDN Event in Boca Raton. This was my first time at one of these events so think of this post as a first-timer. There were three sessions discussed at ther Event that I’d like to go over with you.

Introduction

Because me and my colleague were at the Event a tad early, we were treated with a couple of tracks from Jethro Tull’s live album at the Isle of Wight. Always nice. These tracks were chosen by our presenter. We also watched some Microsoft propaganda from http://www.escapeyesterworld.com/ .. it was funny though. Our presenter was Mr. Russ Fustino, who introduced himself to the crowd in person wearing a yellow hard-hat and red suspenders while his theme-song (yes, a song bout Russ, not by Jethro) was playing in the background. Unconventional? Maybe. But it’s an attention-getter for sure.

Session 1: Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals

After all that stuff it was time to get down to business and absorb information — after all that’s what we came for. Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals is a nice integration of Database accessibility into Visual Studio 2005. It looked fairly simple to set up a new database from within Visual Studio and some features were very nice. Features such as the ability to rename a table in MSSQL and automatically rename all its references in Stored procedures etc without losing Data. I guess this could be called Recursive renaming or something similar. Another striking feature was the ability to compare changes side-by-side in a Visual Studio window. This product could really save some time and money on a large production scale.

Session 2: Windows Workflow Foundation

Windows Workflow Foundation (WF for short) is a layer in the .NET 3.0 Framework and got a Visual Studio extension in which you can create/define applications from a diagram view. Similar to the Class Diagram tool in Visual Studio yet think bigger and more objects to drag and drop. Mr. Fustino Slapped together an asp project from which he called the xoml (same as xaml, different extension) file in which he made a litte if/else diagram to show how the extension works. I can honestly say that I didn’t see the benefit of having this ability. Maybe it’s the type of company I work for but most of it seemed quite redundant to me. Each object that you drag into the diagram holds code and from what I saw, the code beneath the if/else function was stored in its own functions which seemed strange. I’ll have to look more into this program to actually understand its benefits. Please note: I’m not bashing the program/functionality just not sure about its usefulness.

Session 3: Expression Web

All I saw of this presentation was “Expression Web Designer” which is the tool marketed as “similar to Dreamweaver” yet more similar to say.. FrontPage yet including ASP.NET support. Not long after the presentation began I got the gist of the program and became rather scared for Russ’ Safety while he was presenting a designer’s tool to a room filled with Software Developers. Though this tool I am sure about: a waste of money. People already had FrontPage, Dreamweaver and many more wysiwyg tools, no need for more. Expression Web Designer claims to be a standards compliant tool.. Like the Microsoft browser? Hm.

Concluding

Now, one tool in the Expression package seems interesting which is the “Expression Interactive Designer”. I didn’t see it in action but I will install the CTP to my machine tonight and might make a post about how it is later this week. Regardless of the software, Russ Fustino was a great presenter who was fun to listen to and watch. Kudos for that.

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