Last week I was in India as part of the world wide launch of Visual Studio 2008, .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Server 2008, and SQL Server.
It was a lot of fun – being in India, being able to talk to developers and IT Pros, celebrating the great work that the “Heroes” (developers and IT Pros) do in terms of amazing things with our products and launching a set of great products.
Some of you are aware that I really enjoy watching movies whenever I get the chance. So I loved the approach the team had taken with hosting the events in movie theaters across the country – inviting developers and IT pros to spend the day learning about our launch and then finishing up with a movie. They even rolled out the red carpet for us.
It has been great to see the enthusiasm of our customers for this new wave of products. The events have been a celebration of the great efforts of developers and IT pros in India taking their own time to support their organizations and help people. The team hosted a contest and I had the pleasure of presenting awards to the "Top Heroes". Three of these heroes will be joining us at TechEd this June. I wanted to share one of their stories with you.
To set the stage, in India some might argue that the sport of cricket is nothing less than a religion. Rajesh Shirpuram had to deliver a mechanism for 'On Demand Live Scorecard', which would be integrated with live online broadcast of matches. But it being cricket, the demand wasn't just to provide a scorecard but a detailed, near real-time scorecard that did not obstruct the view of the live action.
Shirpuram had his task cut out for him. First he had to find out a way to deliver the latest scorecard without reloading the page, which would have otherwise disrupted the online TV component. Next, he had to deliver the scorecard in a manner that the viewer wasn't distracted from the live action. To load the scorecard without refreshing the page, he developed a web service call using WCF that was placed from browser to server side web service. The optimized data returned by this web service was integrated with Silverlight DOM to display the score.
Thanks to Shirpuram's efforts, millions of online viewers could enjoy the game of cricket like never before. This might not seem heroic in the traditional sense of the world – no lives were saved – however to those online viewers, he is a hero.