Post PDC

PDC is done! To me PDC is a major disclosure event – where afterwards we minions are finally able to mention the things that were hidden waiting in the wings for the big unveil. But are now happily in the public domain. And it’s also a good chance now to see lots of interesting demos, and pick up info or tutorials on new technologies from the session videos…

My new interest since Workflow is… “Composite Applications”. At least that’s the current name. Basically it’s a new way to design and manage apps for Windows Azure. Apps that we hope are both easy to build and also massively scalable without extra effort from the developer.

Near the end of Bob Muglia’s speech during the PDC keynote presentation (about the 2hr and 39min mark in the keynote session []) James Conard shows off a quick demo, of which I have some blurry screenshots which I thought would nearly stand alone, or benefit from explanatory notes for those who haven’t seen the video, or found it hard to see:


This is a new design experience inside Visual Studio aimed at building multi-component cloud apps, spread out across multiple tiers. It can be your classic 3-tier application, with Web roles, worker roles, and SQL Azure on the backend. It can also take advantage of the Platform as a Service features that don’t map to any role, like AppFabric access control service or the new cacheing-as-a-service. Of course we want to enable as many of your customer scenarios as possible.

Our friend Workflow 4.0 also stars up in the demo, as a workflow service used to implement an approval request workflow, in a ‘Workflow Component’.


The code for accessing the component model may change but what I don’t expect to change much is the simplicity. It is just one line of code to get a hold of that particular component in your application you need to talk to. And then you can use it in a convenient fashion:

approvalRequest= Component.ExecutingComponent.ResolveImport<IApprovalRequest>();

Here is some more public informational material that I found by searching for “AppFabric Container” and “Composite Application Service”. Choice quote: “Composite App service is not yet available for developer preview, but will be coming as a CTP in 2011”.

Are you building apps for Azure? Are you using Platform as a Service? Are you interested in Composite Applications? I’m interested in whatever you’re thinking.

Comments (2)

  1. Notre says:

    Thanks for sharing Tim.  Was there anything workflow related (other than what you noted above), that was unveiled at the PDC?

  2. tilovell09 says:

    Yup, I'll add a follow up to link to it.

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