Wednesday morning’s keynote started the conference off at 8.15am. Highlights of some of the new features of Windows 7, Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010 were demoed.

They also took some photos of the attendees which have ended up as a deep-zoom photo. See if you can spot that guy near the front in the orange (actually bright red) shirt :-)

I attended the following sessions. Bullet points are transcripts of the notes I wrote for each session, so they may or may not make much sense sometimes!

SQL 2008 R2 with Mark Souza

  • Base engine is basically unchanged
  • “Gemini” add-in for Excel can efficiently process millions of rows of data in memory
  • Data-tier Application Component
    • unit of deployment
    • virtualise connection strings
    • can be moved between servers
    • supports updating and running custom scripts
  • Complex event processing

The DAC stuff looked interesting, and appears as though it will be a useful way to deploy and update database schemas.

ASP.NET MVC with Damien Edwards

  • Sample site
  • Model-binding instead of data-binding
  • Unit testing
    • arrange-act-assert
  • Includes AJAX javascript library and JQuery
  • Mobile
    • restrictions on cache size
    • – mobile device compatibility
    • mobile-aware view engine
  • Optimistion
    • Reduce HTTP requests
    • PowerShell post-build script to strip/compress/optimise javascript and CSS files
    • Switch to condensed javascript file (single file instead of multiple includes) in release mode

The optimisation stuff was interesting – concatenating multiple js files into one to reduce the number of HTTP requests.

WCF and WF in .NET 4.0 with Graham Elliot

  • Simplified configuration
    • Able to figure out default endpoints from bindings
    • Set default behaviours by omitting names in configuration
  • Service discovery
    • Dynamic endpoints
      • ad-hoc – good within a subnet
        • managed – uses a discovery proxy
    • Routing
  • Improved REST support
  • WF 4
    • XAML-only
    • Activity library
    • No state machine support

IIS 7.5 New Features with Jorke Odolphi

  • Support for Server Core on R2 – 64bit only
  • Use DISM to install ASP.NET on Core
  • FTP
  • WebDAV
  • Media Services (more integrated into IIS now)
    • smooth streaming
    • demo of HyperV live migration whilst streaming video
  • Web deployment tool

Live migration of virtual machine whilst streaming video was impressive.

SQL High Availability with Nicholas Dritsas

  • 2008 SP1 can finally uninstall updates and service packs
  • Support for HyperV – 1-2% impact if using newer hardware
  • Mirroring enhancements
    • recover from I/O errors by copying from mirror
    • log stream compression
  • ServiceU case study
    • Cluster at primary and DR sites
    • Log shipping and async mirroring
  • Connection string
    • use “Failover Partner=servername;”
  • Clustering new features
    • rolling node upgrade/patching
  • Can use replication to migrate to a new server and have the ability to roll back to the original server should the upgrade fail.

SQL Certification 70-432 Cram Session with Greg Low

  • Installing and configuring
    • Don’t need Browser service running if using fixed port numbers
    • Database mail depends on Service Broker
  • Maintain SQL Server instances
    • Transparent database encryption – need to backup the certificate and private keys too
  • Performing data migration tasks
    • Filtered INDEX can include a WHERE clause
  • Monitoring and troubleshooting
  • Optimise SQL Performance
  • Implementing High Availability
    • Log shipping can be a good way to upgrade to a new server

Not sure if I’ll do this exam, but Greg did a nice job giving an overview of the required knowledge, and we got tea as well.