It was a presenter’s worst nightmare. I was in the middle of my PDC Power Hour demo and my laptop froze. The CPU was at 99% and the mouse was hanging. I found out later that I had experienced some sort of hardware malfunction that only appears after 10 minutes of use. Still, it was the worst crash that I have experienced in close to 10 years of doing technical presentations.
As for the rest of PDC, things went pretty well. I arrived during the 2 hour blackout of Los Angeles but it didn’t really change anything other than delaying my hotel check-in. If you watched the first keynote on the web, you didn’t get to see the skit with Bill Gates and Jon Heder from the Napoleon Dynamite movie. It was well done and you rarely get to see someone wrestle with Bill over a lunch table. It was also fun to watch the folks who were doing the live close captionining of the keynote try to keep up with all of the acronyms. Other cool things during the keynote were the demos of newer builds of Windows Vista and AJAX, which enables you to easily build asynchronous HTML pages in ASP.NET that leverage the XMLHTTP object. We are looking at how to leverage AJAX in the next version of Reporting Services.
It was also really nice to get to meet lots of developers who are working with Reporting Services. Since we introduced Reporting Services at the last PDC (which also happened to be in Los Angeles), the growth of the product has been really gratifying. I hope that the new release will make it even easier for developers to take advantage of what we provide. Here’s a picture of me (blue shirt on the right) at the data track lounge in the “big room”:
I promised people that I would post the demo code from my Adding BI to Smart Client Applications session. It shows you how to use the new ReportViewer controls in Visual Studio 2005 to integrate reports in your application. One of the reports is based on a data mining query that predicts which customers are most likely to purchase a bicycle and shows how you can capture report events to integrate with your forms in your app. There are also examples of building offline reports using XML and flat file data sources. Here is the source for the application, model, and report.