If you couldn't make it to TechEd - or even if you did - check out Virtual TechEd.
I loved attending Tech Ed this year because I had a chance to be at the Open XML File Formats booth and chat with MVPs and developers that are really passionate about this technology. It was great week to be there because we launched the Open XML SDK and there was a lot of interest in the new API. In case you haven't seen all the Open XML SDK news and announcements, Doug Mahugh has a great blog post with useful links and the whole story.
I also had a great opportunity to meet and share booth duty with Stephanie Krieger and Doug Mahugh.
Stephanie Krieger is a Microsoft Office MVP and the master of document production. Stephanie is the author of the Office 2007 documents bible: Advanced Microsoft Office Documents 2007 Edition Inside Out. This is the book you need if you want to learn tons of cool tips and tricks for advanced document generation. Stephanie included Office Open XML and VBA code samples.
It was so fun to hang out with her because I got private black-belt lessons about Office 2007 documents. One of the things Stephanie showed me was the super cool Office Online interactive reference guides. This is a fun set of tools to use if you are getting started with Office 2007 and trying to figure where commands are located.
If you want your own private lesson with Stephanie, you should check out her blog and her webcast Advanced Tips and Tricks: What You Can Really Do with Your Documents Across the 2007 Office Release.
Doug Mahugh is the traveling encyclopedia of the Open XML File Formats. He has visited all continents to share with the community the latest tips and tricks for developing solutions using the Open XML File Formats. He has one of the most visited and coolest MSDN blogs and he has quite a following. I was surprised by how many people were looking for him at the booth.
Doug delivered two great sessions at Tech Ed: Office Open XML File Format Fundamentals and Working with Custom Schemas in the 2007 Microsoft Office System. He is currently traveling all around the globe delivering Office Open XML workshops. Last time I saw him, he was returning from Africa. Read Doug's personal blog and follow him around the globe.
I also had a chance to meet Stephen Peront, a co-founder of XINNOVATION, Inc. Stephen is so smart! He managed to learn the Open XML API and migrate a PowerPoint presentation generator tool in a weekend. He demoed the before and after code at the Office Open XML File Format Fundamentals session and it just made me proud to see in action a happy consumer of the first release of the Open XML API. You can find all details about Stephen's tool and adventures with the Open XML API here: Announcing the API with a hands-on example.
I also met Mick Lohan. He is the Technical Director of South East Software and a great enthusiast for the Open XML File Formats. He is Irish and he gave me a "Celtic Sounds & Songs" CD as a gift for answering some Open XML questions. I have to say that Irish people are the best. They are super fun, smart, and nice. Mike has a nice blog and he compiled a huge number of pictures at Tech Ed.
Finally, I met the Altova team. They were very nice to give me a demo of the new XMLSpy. If you work with XML technologies it comes quite handy to have an XML editor tool and XMLSpy rocks. Altova announced at Tech Ed some great news for Office developers. They just released a new version of XMLSpy that provides support for accessing, editing, transforming, and querying XML data saved in Microsoft® Office 2007 documents and other zipped files. My favorite feature is the intellisense support. It's really helpful when you are working with WordProcessingML. You can find a free trial and all info here: http://www.altova.com/features_office_2007.html
More Tech Ed 2007 Pictures
The Open XML File Formats booth gang
This is me in my new orange dress with the Open XML Gang: Stephen Peront, Stephanie Krieger, and Doug Mahugh.
The Microsoft Office Developer booth
I visited every now and then my friends at this booth. Jim Corbin aka Mr. Project Server was at this booth doing demos of an Office Business Application solution and the Microsoft Office Interactive Developer Map.
MSDN news and the Microsoft super heroes gang!
I get to work with all of them, so it was cool that I got my picture with my v-team J.
MSDN launched recently a new UI (Tobago) and the MSDN gang showcased the new navigation and search improvements. Verna Appel DeLuna and Karen Bass from MSDN migrated the MSDN Office Developer Center last week to the new UI. In case you haven't seen it, come look!
MSDN also ran demos for the three new Microsoft Community Betas.
The Atlantis Shuttle launch with the IIS gang
My lovely husband CarlosAg and friends from IIS kidnapped me to go watch the launch of Atlantis. This was such a happy ending for Tech Ed and an experience I'll share with my kids one day. Thank you Brian for organizing such a fun trip! BTW. Brian is Irish too.
Interesting fact. The Atlantis crew landed last Friday (6/22). Can you believe it took them less time to go to space and come back, than the time it took me to download my Tech Ed 2007 pictures and blog?
Part 2 of this blog will list the top ten questions from the Open XML File Formats booth. I'll provide answers with code samples and pointers to resources.