PDC 2009 Day 1: Keynote, Roy Ozzie
The first day keynote started with an introduction by Ray Ozzie, Chief Software Architect, Microsoft Corp. The Microsoft strategy (which hasn’t changed much since PDC ‘08) is to target “three screens (TV, phone, PC) and a cloud”.
Ray mentioned the single coherent developer experience which is extremely important to Microsoft. We’ll see advances in Visual Studio and Expression tomorrow in a keynote by Steven Sinofsky and Scott Guthrie. There were also hints about Windows Mobile vNext being announced or previewed at the Mix conference in March.
The strategic runtimes for all types of screens are Internet Explorer with Silverlight. (What happened to WPF, anyone?…) One of the most important targets for Silverlight is to easily bridge between web apps, desktop apps and the desktop OS (which already started with Silverlight 3 support for out-of-browser experiences and will probably continue in Silverlight vNext).
Windows Azure will go-live to production on January 1. During the first months there will be no billing, which will begin starting February 1. According to Roy, 10,000s of developers participated in the CTP, and there are new features that go live today:
- Single sign-on for Windows Azure, SQL Azure and more.
- Azure templates are part of Visual Studio 2010 and code can be moved easily between cloud and non-cloud projects.
- REST management APIs.
- Multiple types of VMS (CPUs and memory varying by price).
- Enabling other platforms – MySQL, Java, PHP etc. to be deployed to Azure.
- Chicago, San Antonio, Dublin, Amsterdam, Singapore, Hongkong data centers going live in January.
- Azure Storage blobs that can be mapped to an NTFS VHD.
With SQL Azure you can create a database whenever you need one, no need to think about instancing and physical machines. There’s also going to be support for stored procedures, ODBC and ADO.NET.
Some customers are going to Azure production as of today, including Automattic, the company behind Wordpress! They have LAMP (without the L :-)) support on Windows Azure!
Next, Ray is announcing a first CTP of Microsoft Codename “Dallas” built on Windows Azure and SQL Azure. Dallas is an open catalog for public data and commercial data with uniform discovery mechanisms, uniform data binding and access control, support for trial data sets, uniform licensing model, providing data from multiple sources easily joined and recombined. Dallas is data as a service.
Dave Campbell, Technical Fellow, Microsoft Corp. is introducing Dallas. The strategy is to take friction out of the process of using and experiencing data (discovering, exploring, using). Microsoft Pinpoint, a new “marketplace” or "portal” will discover Dallas data feeds - a set of data sources that we have, public and commercial. There’s also a way to filter and parse the data in an uniform way that is supported by Dallas’ underlying data storage model, and there are also REST services for retrieving an ATOM feed of the data. There’s direct support for integration with PowerPivot in Excel. (“Pretty cool, I think”. Silence from the audience.)
This all looks like an extension for ADO.NET Data Services, Astoria, with discovery support. According to Dave, there’s an underlying “emerging” industry standard for this kind of data exchange, OpenData.
Within the Dallas portal, you can click a button to generate the .NET web service proxy to directly start working with it in Visual Studio. The demo that Dave showed was a WPF application that shows NASA Mars Rover images in 3D (there were 3D glasses on every chair…).
The strategy of Dallas is to bring data into reach from a variety of data formats and a vast amount of data sources, including data in public domain.
Go visit http://beamartian.jpl.nasa.gov, and… umm, be a martian.
Next, Bob Muglia, President, Server & Tools Business, Microsoft Corp. Stay tuned for the next post at the end of the keynote.