PDC 2009: Retrospective Thoughts

28/11/2009

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PDC09The PDC ended over a week ago with me coming back home this Wednesday after a short vacation. On this blog post, I’ll try to summarize my main thoughts and conclusions from this year’s conference and also give a quick reminder regarding the upcoming SDP.

Cloud Computing in Full Thrust

image In my opinion, the main issue in this year’s PDC was Microsoft’s full thrust motion towards cloud computing with Windows Azure. Ray Ozzie’s vision of “Three Screens in a Cloud” and Bob Muglia’s approach to “Cloud: The Next Generation” right at very start of the conference, together with the profusion of sessions on Windows Azure, left no doubt that this definitely an area of interest in which Microsoft is pushing forward.

The thing I noticed the most in this area is the ease of development and deployment to the cloud versus deployment to a local server, and the level of integration into Visual-Studio, SQL Server Management Studio and other Microsoft tools. In light of this you better start thinking – Is the cloud the right solution for you?

Silverlight 4

image The announcement of Silverlight 4 awed a lot of people in the crowd – this was definitely an announcement worth a PDC keynote. Silverlight 4 introduces many new features into the platform including Video Processing, improved out-of-browser application experience and many more.

The abundance of features in Silverlight 4 and the amount of investment in the platform leads me to think – What is going to become of WPF? Will Silverlight and WPF be consolidated at some stage? Silverlight now has a very impressive range of capabilities, is cross platform and lightweight, while WPF’s only advantage (as far as I can tell) is the fact that it is a true .NET platform with access to the entire .NET framework… This is definitely food for thought.

If you’re interested in leaning more on Silverlight 4, I suggest you read Alex’s blog post series on its new features (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5).

 

Windows Server AppFabric

The announcement of Windows Server AppFabric Beta 1 and the sessions on it (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) were a key area of interest for me, as the demos presented sure did impress me since AppFabric gives us a very easy way to host, configure and administer composite applications built on top of WF and WCF, integrating technologies formerly code named “Dublin” and “Velocity”.

In my opinion, this is an enormous breakthrough in the development of WF applications, and I plan on deep diving into this technology in the near future.

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