Day two of the Technical Conference was an exhausting day for me.
After arriving at the Microsoft Campus we were greeted by the always smiling conference team.
Babs Coler, Lanelle Vasichek, and Naomi Wavers
Mariano and I had a quick breakfast and then set up for the first session of the day. We presented our tools session: Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics GP Customization Toolsin which we did live demos of creating Dexterity, Modifier & Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) as well as a hybrid: Dexterity, Modifier and Visual Studio Tools customizations. The session was targeted towards new developers, but even the experienced developers in the audience mentioned that the learnt one or two tricks. I am always thrilled if we can provide something of value to developers who have been in the Great Plains world for many, many years.
David and Mariano getting set up for the Customization session (see Mariano's beast of a laptop).
If you have a look at Mariano's post on the day, you will see that I took too long to get through my two demos (too many questions) and did not leave as much time as planned for Mariano's demo on the hybrid application. Will have to work on that... Sorry Mariano. Again, I wish we had more time.
Between sessions, Mariano and I are often tracked down by various partners and thanked for our work within the community (for the newsgroups and forums, as well as our blogs and for tools such as Menus for Visual Studio Tools and the Support Debugging Tool for Microsoft Dynamics GP). Thank-you to everyone who made the effort to come and say hello, it is always heart warming to get feedback like that and helps encourage us to keep doing what we can.
Next up for me was a session with Patrick Roth (co-blogger and member of the Developer support team here in Fargo). We presented Best Practices and Tips for Upgrading Your ISV Solution. In this session we gave an overview of how to upgrade applications written in the customisation tools: Dexterity, Modifier & VBA, Visual Studio Tools and the integration tools: eConnect and Web Services. The idea was to demonstrate how simple the upgrade processes for the various tools are and point out the best practices and the possible "gotchas".
Patrick Roth and David Musgrave presenting the Upgrade session.
While Patrick, Mariano and I were finally having a chance to relax now that our sessions were over, we were informed by the conference team that they would like us to repeat our sessions. There was an additional time slot in the agenda to allow for repeating any session that had high interest and we were given this time slot to fill.
So without a specific topic to cover, we decided to use this additional session for a Technical Q & A and let the audience to dictate what we covered. Mariano, Pat and I, just allowed the audience to ask whatever they wanted and did our best to provide answers. We had the opportunity to explain some more development techniques and tips & tricks as well as show an additional slide on how Mariano's hybrid customization from the earlier session fits together. We were also asked to demonstrate some more of the Support Debugging Tool (but ran out of time to show the Security piece again!!). This was a great session and maybe this sort of free form Technical Q & A will happen again in future conferences.
David at the final session (Notice the Great West Australian Bike Ride icons on the desktop)
If you liked this session format, please post comments and let us know.
After the final breakout session, there were an Expo, Reception and Table topics session which drinks and dinner (and drinks) provided.
It was during this time, that the promised opportunity to try the Tim Tam Slam was provided. See Leslie's postwhich includes details of how to do the "Slam". In summary, the Tim Tam is a chocolate covered chocolate biscuit made of two chocolate wafers with a layer of chocolate cream between them. Biting off the ends and then using the biscuit as a straw to drink a hot drink causes the Tim Tam to dissolve and disintegrate. The trick is to get the Tim Tam into your mouth before it makes a huge mess. The result is an amazing chocolate explosion in your mouth.
My good friend Sheila Ochoa doing the Tim Tam Slam.
During the night, we went through 2 packs of Tim Tams (22 biscuits). Sadly, there were no major mishaps to capture in a photo. Next time, I think I will not explain what is needed so well just to see someone covered in chocolate. 🙂
All of a sudden the Expo was over and we had to go back to the hotel. However, the night was young and so a large group of the attendees ended up in the bar area at the hotel and we continued to socialize while having something to eat and drink and..... continued with the Tim Tam Slams (I still had one more pack).
Jim Peliksza showing how it is done.
Beat Bucher showing what happens if you take too long....
.... and ending up with chocolate all around his mouth.
Bill Marshall avoided doing the "slam", but got a Tim Tam anyway.
David and Mariano relaxing now that the presentations were over.
It was a fun night for all.
Finally it was time to say goodnight.
See you in the next post for the final day of the conference.