It was great to start the day catching up with a few people I hadn’t seen in a while (Castro powering on with SQL, and best of luck to Luis for your wedding in a few weeks).
Then, onto a few sessions…
Windows PowerShell and WMI (Mitch Denny)
Mitch covered the basics of PowerShell (blog), which was a real eye opener for. I was lucky to have Rob Farley sitting next to me giving me pointers and tips as the session went along (don’t worry we were up the back and not disrupting people). I have to admit to having only passing knowledge of PowerShell so it was very helpful to get such a quick in depth dose of the goodness.
Then he went into to how to access Windows Management Instrumentation via PowerShell and a few of the tools for using PowerShell in a visual environment (including Powerscript Enterprise and PowerShell Analyzer).
High availability Web servers (Jorke Odolphi)
Jorke covered the various scenarios for scaling out your web servers. The good thing is that under Windows 2008 and IIS7 this is so easy. (Even I could understand it). I felt sorry for Jorke because the demo gods fighting and his excellent demos were hampered a few times. Having presented myself (yesterday) with two VMs, I can empathise with the extra risks they bring – especially when they need to talk to each other. I could tell from his setup that he’d worked really hard to put together some excellent scenarios. Not to worry, because he covered the enterprise need well and I came away with a good understanding of the capabilities.
Actually, I’m not really sure what question this session answered (I don’t think it was the one we started the session with) but it was entertaining none the less. The panel discussed how User Groups and Social networking fit together. My opinion: I agree with Andrew that User groups are a continuum of social networking (or perhaps vice versa) along with a range of other activities.
SQL Server Fulltext (Greg Low)[UPDATE: For some reason I had the term ‘freetext’ in my brain, but I of course meant ‘fulltext’ – have updated the post]
I can’t believe how easy and performant the fulltext searching in SQL Server 2008 is. Greg took us through the befits and code to get fulltext searching running. Everything is now in the database (not external files) and is super simple to setup. Folks, it’s time to say goodbye to %LIKE%.
ADO.NET Data Services (Scott Hanselman)
This is the first time I’ve seen Scott present (in the flesh) and yes, he lives up to the hype – he’s very slick, informative and entertaining. But more importantly, the content was very useful. The session covered how data entities are being served up via simple URI addressing using the new Astoria stuff released in SP1. This totally changes the approach we have to consuming data over the web, and I for one was left wondering about all the future possibilities.