We’ve used BizTalk a lot at work, but only BTS2002. This new version is incredible. As Scott Woodbridge said, this is a revolutionary jump, not just evolutionary. Everything is done from in VS2003 and the output/deployment is via assemblies.
I don’t really know where to start, there is so much to say about this product.
See Scott’s blog for more details: http://blogs.msdn.com/scottwoo/
User group/MSDN Connection lunch
We met with some of the University Student representatives to discuss how user groups can help at Uni. We also discussed MSDN Connection initiatives.
I missed the first session due to the MSDN Connection meeting, but caught part 2. Brian Goldfarb gave an excellent presentation on some of the features of ASP.Net 2.0
I was gobsmacked at some of the features. Finally quick controls for login management. User profiling. .Net takes care of it all. We’ve spent a lot of time developing our own sets of classes for this kind of thing, but now it is all going to be available out of the box.
The only thing really missing is an online payment control, but over dinner Frank mentioned there are plans for putting that into the next beta. Along with controls for all the big web services. Think Ebay control, Amazon control etc.
I’m actually hesitant about telling some of my team about this – so much work has been done by them on this already.
Finished the day with a session on InfoPath. I’ve tinkered with this before and have been impressed. It is a great tool. The only problem I see with it being widely adopted is there is no InfoPath reader you can download (you know, like there is a Word reader, PowerPoint reader, Acrobat reader etc).
Say I want to build a customer survey form in InfoPath and send it to all our customers. Most of them won’t have InfoPath (its not even part of the Standard version of Office) and the functionality is lost.
A shame because I can see big potential for this product. Perhaps it is even a little bit ahead of its time. It has great functionality, is easy to build, and ofcourse saves as XML. The number of ideas is immense. You could build InfoPath forms from another product (eg VFP) and then just use InfoPath for the rendering.
I’m going to work on a simple InfoPath to VFP example for the Sydney User Group sometime.
The highlight of the day was meeting Eric Rudder, he’s the Senior VP for Development Tools and Servers, and hearing his thoughts on everything from Pizza to Bungy Jumping to development tools. He’s a Fox man from way back and even gave OzFox a plug. See the OzFox site for details. A big thank you to Andrew Coates for making this possible.
The night finished with a big TechEd party. Well organised and fun, but to be honest, I’d rather have been back in my hotel room coding. In fact if they had wireless in the hotel that’s where I would have been. Can you believe the hotel wanted to charge me $1 a minute to connect to the net? Bastards.I can’t understand why the internet isn’t available everywhere for next to nothing. Come on, we’re still where we were 5 years ago!