The first day of TechEd is always exciting. Everyone is still full of energy and ready for the Steve Ballmer keynote.
The keynote went pretty well. Although Steve seemed more subdued than we’ve seen in the past, he gave a great talk about the future of work and how IT and Microsoft software would help realize this future. The demoes showed lots of integration between Office, especially Outlook, and other forms of information on their machines or within the company’s corporate network, and even out to the internet. There were several funny skits by Samantha Bee (one of the correspondents from the Daily Show), including the top 5 information worker (IW) requests from the IT department (don’t recall them all, but most ended with ‘how hard could it be’) and resolving issues between operations and developers.
I spent most of the day at the Architect cabana chatting and answering questions. The biggest surprise was how many people were asking questions about DSL Tools. I signed up to answer questions about Class Designer, the Distributed System Designers, and DSL Tools. Other than 2 questions about the Distributed System Designers, I spent most of the day talking about DSL Tools. Interest varied from people who had just heard rumors of it to those that were working on their own DSLs using the toolkit. And, Jack Greenfield gave his talk on Software Factories on Monday and that produce some of the interest in DSL Tools this afternoon.
I spoke with a couple of developers from EDS that had specific questions about how to solve issues with templates that they’re creating to generate XML from the diagram. And, they were very excited about compartments and had started retrofitting them into their existings language. They appear to be doing some very exciting work in this area.
Also, I spent some time with Matt Curland from Northface University. Matt used to work on the Whitehorse designers before he joined Northface. And, he’s taken his knowledge of the MDF APIs to create an ORM designer. Their designer has lots of great functionality, and he’s now working on templating his diagrams as well to create source code either in C# or VB.NET. Matt has created his own templating engine that can easily switch between output languages. He’s giving a chalk talk on Wed at the Architect cabana about his designer.
It was a great first day. I hope to see more of you at the cabana. I’ll be working there on Tues morning until about 1 pm. After that, I hope to catch some sessions.