• Tech-Ed 2009 – Wednesday

    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 hooizdat.com
    • Model-binding instead of data-binding
    • Unit testing
      • arrange-act-assert
    • Includes AJAX javascript library and JQuery
    • Mobile
      • restrictions on cache size
      • mdbf.codeplex.com – 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.

  • Tech-Ed 2009 Arrival

    The day almost didn’t happen when I realised I’d left my wallet in the car after being dropped off at the airport. Some frantic phone calls managed to catch Narelle before she’d driven too far! Boy did I feel silly!

    The flights to Melbourne and then to Brisbane were uneventful, and made a bit more comfortable by being upgraded to exit seats (my legs appreciate the extra room). I’d had some of my Melbourne flights automatically upgraded when I was flying over to see Nanna before she died and for her funeral, and I also discovered that often you can ask to be moved to an exit seat – if you don’t ask, you won’t get.

    Next the AirTrain down to the Gold Coast. I took advantage of booking the taxi when I collected my tickets at Brisbane airport, so they were there to pick me up from the train station and drive me directly to my motel.

    The motel is directly opposite the convention centre, so you can’t get a more convenient location. My priorities were to get something as cheap as possible, and it probably is a case of getting what you pay for. The room is very simple – bed, TV, bar fridge and bathroom. No, it isn’t the Sydney Hilton by any means, but as I’m paying for it out of my own pocket, I’m quite content.

    After dropping of my bags in my room, I wandered across the road and met up with Rob. Wearing our shirts we looked like the Lobsterpot Solutions Twins :-)

    There was a nice dinner on offer as part of the welcome party (I do have good memories of conference catering at the Gold Coast!) and a chance to be introduced to many of Rob’s contacts, survey the expo stalls and grab a few freebies for the kids.

    One interesting thing I learned while chatting to one of the guys (I think it was Vaughan Knight) was that he had to change the topic of his talk because Microsoft were dropping the Live Services Framework – including Live Mesh. I’ve been using Live Mesh a bit (including as a way for the band-members of sevenfold to collaborate and share lyrics, recordings and other documents), but apparently it will shortly be no more, which is a real shame.

  • Catching up

    It’s been a little while between posts, and there’s been a couple of reasons for that..

    • That back injury has been persisting a lot longer that I’d hoped
    • My Grandma (Nanna) Jean was hospitalised and then passed away recently

    Nanna was 96, and had pretty much been living independently in her house right up until she suffered a massive stroke. She hung on long enough for the family to travel interstate to Geelong Hospital to spend time with her before she died.

    I flew over to say goodbye to her (she wasn’t able to speak but was alert and had limited movement), and then returned to Geelong a week later to attend the funeral service. Then last week her body was brought back over to Adelaide where she was buried.

    My back injury seemed to be healing well initially but a work field trip (spent largely sitting in a car) was not helpful and things seemed to plateau for too long. I’ve taken to avoiding sitting as much as possible – including standing on the bus to/from work and even standing in some meetings.

    Some more “enthusiastic” (aka painful but effective!) treatment from my Chiro and a follow-up remedial massage session seem to be helping. I’m sure my work colleagues would prefer to see me being able to sit down for most of the day rather than doing yoyo impersonations :-)

    Ironically my iPod Shuffle appears to have succumbed to the dreaded “flashing LEDs of death” – annoyingly on the flight home from the Geelong funeral service, so all those podcasts will have to wait until I come up with a replacement plan.

    And to top it all off, tomorrow I’m heading off to the Microsoft TechEd Conference 2009 at the Gold Coast Convention Centre. I well may be the conference delegate who stands up in the sessions rather than taking a seat.

    Oh, and additional congratulations to LobsterPot Solutions, as they are now a Gold Certified Partner. Was it that long ago they were just plain Certified?! I’ll be proudly wearing a LobsterPot shirt at TechEd and lending my support to raise the profile of Rob’s company.

    No doubt I’ll be posting more about TechEd in the next few days..