I’m about to fly back to Redmond after attending and speaking @ TechEd Orlando 2008. It was a rewarding experience in many different ways. Perhaps the best part was to have the opportunity to interact with hundreds of devoted MS developers and moreover devoted CRM developers.
The concept of CRM as a business application platform is really taking off. Developers that had little to no idea what CRM (or Dynamics for that matter) was all about were literally amazed after we showcased some of the most basic platform capabilities such as creating custom objects from scratch, automating business processes using workflow, building reports with the reporting wizard etc. They were really excited about the world of possibilities that our platform opens to them, liberating developers from overhead tasks and handing them a fully fleshed set of tools to build upon. We also showcased more advanced features that did required coding (after all, TechEd is all about developers right J ) such as creating brand new UI on top of the CRM platform using bleeding edge technologies like Silverlight 2, building mashups using Virtual Earth, consuming CRM data in a multitude of applications such as SharePoint’s BDC, extending the platform via .net assemblies (CRM plug-ins), etc.
I guess the best moment for me was having a hard core developer look at what we are doing and say “Gee, each year at TechEd I find something that is groundbreaking and really amazes me…. This [CRM as a platform] is one of those things; I’ll tell everybody at my company to take a look at CRM… it is so cool. “
Of course we also had several seasoned CRM developers shooting all kinds of deep technical questions that all the CRM folks did our best to answer. Many of them were really happy to meet CRM folks from Redmond that actually help building the product… very nice folks.
BTW, I’ll be posting some of code the samples that we used in TechEd in the upcoming weeks and I’ll make sure to put a note in the CRM Team blog so that everybody can take a look at them. The samples are definitively not rocket science but they are great jump starters.
All in all, TechEd was great experience; thank you to all you folks that were part of it.