Messaging with Windows Azure Service Bus

Windows Azure Service Bus offers a rich set of messaging capabilities in the cloud as well as on-premises. This session discusses some of the advanced messaging capabilities in Service Bus. Join us to learn about publish-subscribe patterns, Using the Service Bus sessions, interoperability with AMQP, scaling with Service Bus, and messaging strategies for server to cloud federation. >> Channel 9

Connected Clients and Continuous Services with Windows Azure Service Bus

Most applications today involve “connected clients”—smart phones, tablets and special-purpose devices—that extend the applications’ reach out to users or assets that can be located anywhere. In this session, we will explore the common messaging challenges associated with building such apps—including mobile user engagement, location transparency/addressability, integrating with a diverse set of client platforms, and providing a common model for client auth. Taking these challenges one-by-one, we will delve into the rich options provided by the Azure Service Bus for building “connected clients" >> Channel 9

Categories: TechEd Europe

Even though the TechEd Europe Developer Website doesn't yet clearly say so, Steve Swartz and myself will "of course!" be back with a new set of Steve & Clemens talks in Barcelona for TechEd Europe Developer (November 5-9). And for the first time we'll stay for another week and also give a talk at TechEd Europe ITForum (November 12-16) this year.

What will we talk about?

Last year we've started with a history lesson, did a broad and mostly technology agnostic overview of distributed systems architecture across 4 talks and closed with a talk that speculated about the future.

This year at the TechEd Developer show, we'll be significantly more concrete and zoom in on the technologies that make up the Microsoft SOA and Business Process platform and show how things are meant to fit together. We'll talk about the rise of declarative programming and composition and how that manifests in the .NET Framework and elsewhere. And as messaging dudes we'll also talk about messaging again. At TechEd ITForum we'll talk about the end-to-end lifecycle of composite applications and how to manage it effectively.

And of course there'll be "futures". Much less handwavy futures than last year, actually.

So .... We'll be in Barcelona for TechEd. You too?

Categories: Architecture | Talks | TechEd Europe

WS-* or REST? Is there an epic battle? How does Microsoft think about a big chunk of the web development community ignoring the beloved WS-* specs and preferring "HTTP programming"? Answer: We think that people make these choices of good reasons and we like and support any way you want to write services. As a matter of fact, we're engaging with the community to make both, the WS-* stack and the HTTP/REST better to work with and make them a safer environment for, well, everyone.

In the spirit of the last statement, Bill Gates has just announced at the RSA conference (and our Chief Identity Architect Kim Cameron blogged) that we're working with JanRain, Sxip, and VeriSign to integrate CardSpace with OpenID and help making OpenID more resistant against phishing attacks by allowing relying parties to request and be informed of the use of phishing resistant credentials. We'll also integrate OpenID into future Identity products. On the OpenID side, you can expect direct support for CardSpace Information Cards on infrastructures that use the OpenID products from these vendors.

If you ask me, that's pretty big. But working here it's not as much of a surprise as it might be for people on the outside. We're very closely looking at what the community is building and asking for and if we see technologies or initiatives out there that gain lots of traction (such as REST programming, JSON or OpenID) I don't see a "wasn't invented here" attitude around anymore around here these days. We'll have REST support and JSON support (and RSS and Atom) in the next version of the .NET Framework and we'll have broad support for OpenID in our Identity infrastructure. At the same time we'll continue to work with industry partners to make the enterprise-messaging features in WS-* work better and, as demonstrated by the OpenID announcement, that "WS-* stuff" actually comes to the rescue of OpenID for phishing defense.


Categories: TechEd Europe

Arvindra blogged it first and I'll add the immediate link to the video stream (because the regular links don't work on my machine for some strange reason)

Categories: TechEd Europe

Marcus Mac Innes has a funny collage of our TechEd show. I've spoken to the folks at MSDN and there's a good chance that the video recording will show up on Channel9 soon.

Categories: TechEd Europe

Benjamin Mitchell wrote a better summary of my "Building Proseware Inc." session at TechEd Amsterdam than I ever could.

Because ... whenever the lights go on and the mike is open, I somehow automatically switch into an adrenalin-powered auto-pilot mode that luckily works really well and since my sessions take up so much energy and "focus on the moment", I often just don't remember all the things I said once the session is over and I am cooled down. That also explains why I almost never rehearse sessions (meaning: I never ever speak to the slides until I face an audience) except when I have to coordinate with other speakers. Yet, even though most of my sessions are really ad-hoc performances, whenever I repeat a session I usually remember whatever I said last time just at the very moment when the respective topic comes up, so there's an element of routine. It is really strange how that works. That's also why I am really a bad advisor on how to do sessions the right way, because that is a very risky approach. I just write slides that provide me with a list of topics and "illustration helpers" and whatever I say just "happens". 

About Proseware: All the written comments that people submitted after the session have been collected and are being read and it's very well understood that you want to get your hands on the bits as soon as possible. One of my big takeaways from the project is that if you're Microsoft, releasing stuff that is about giving "how-to" guidance is (for more reasons you can imagine) quite a bit more complicated than just putting bits up on a download site. It's being worked on. In the meantime, I'll blog a bit about the patterns I used whenever I can allocate a timeslice.

Categories: Architecture | SOA | TechEd Europe

July 4, 2004
@ 01:04 PM

Wow. Done. TechEd Amsterdam was great fun as each year (the partying was a bit less excessive than Barcelona last year, but Forte wasn't here so that explains a lot) and thanks to a great audience who liked my content, I got some really awesome scores this year. I have a couple of pictures and stories to blog, but I will give myself a day to settle in at home. I am really glad that we're now entering the rather quiet summer time. No travel for the next weeks. Goodness. 

Ah, if you happen to have pictures of the "The Nerd, The Suit, and The Fortune Teller" session, it would be great if you could share a copy with me or send me a link if you put them anywhere on the web. Haven't seen any so far. That session was a lot of fun for Pat, Rafal and myself.

Categories: TechEd Europe

June 30, 2004
@ 08:12 AM

I had a nice dinner yesterday night with Don Box, Ingo Rammer, Christian Weyer, Christian Nagel, Benjamin Mitchell, Matt Tavis, and Juval Löwy. Don arrived a bit later and started by saying "look, I wanted to have dinner with all of you because we've decided to make some changes to Indigo and by now we've decided to simply bake WSE into Longhorn". Silence. Laughter. No, we didn't buy it and Don couldn't manage to keep the story up for more than two sentences. Dicussions were lively and went from the Windows Kernel to some high level architecture topics and one of the interesting takeaways was that Don elaborated a bit on the "Business Agents" idea he'd been talking about briefly in his CTS200 session. There's apparently a related project Boa (another serpent name along the family line of Viper that was the original codename for MTS), including the business markup language BML (pronounced "Bimmel") that he's involved in and he talked a bit about that, but of course I'd be killed if I gave out more details.

Hello Microsoft Watch readers and El Registraderos: go here for an update. 

Update #2: The nice thing about blogs is that I can update this entry all I want. Understand: This *is* a joke. Read the first few sentences. See, there's a little "April Fools" story right there. If that isn't enough, the codename "Viper" is a bit ancient right... like 1995/1996? Still no good? How stupid is Bimmel? And would I really break an NDA here?  If the press turns this into a story without asking whether there is any substance .... well....   This is my weblog. I don't work for Microsoft. Thank you for your understanding.

Update #3: If you are less interested in blown-out-of-proportion we-have-nothing-better-to-report summer-time "news" and more interested in the big thing before the next big thing (and -who knows- that next big thing might really be "Business Agents", after all) and are therefore contemplating whether Services and Service Oriented Architectures make sense to you, go here.

Categories: Architecture | TechEd Europe

On cool aspect about TechEd Amsterdam is that it is essentially a home game for newtelligence in terms of proximity to home-base and it’s one of the very few conferences that I can drive to (I’ve spent way too much time in airports and on planes this recent half year). Saturday it took me just 1:50h to get here from my place near Düsseldorf.

Part of the fun is of course that a good part of the trip is on the not-too-busy German A3 Autobahn and therefore I could drive at a reasonable speed ;-)


Of course the real street fun sort of ends once you hit the Netherlands, but at least there were no traffic jams all the way into Amsterdam

Final approach; the RAI conference center is in sight:

Once I got to the hotel close to the RAI, my friend Goksin Bakir (Microsoft Regional Director for the Middle-East & Africa Region) and I immediately headed out for some drinks:

… and went to watch the Holland vs. Sweden game in some bar amongst the locals:


Amsterdam will be great fun. :-)

Categories: TechEd Europe

June 25, 2004
@ 07:57 PM

Finally, finally, finally. It was a looong wait. As many others, we were in a wait loop for WSE 2.0 for a long time and that let us do what we do today only much, much later than we initially anticipated. So after being able to test on and adjust for the WSE 2.0 RTM bits for the last four weeks, we're now happy enough with our "1.0" that we're ready to share it:

Microsoft EMEA and newtelligence AG present: The FABRIQ. (
(When you go there, make sure you get both the bits and the Hands-on Labs; you will need them).

Also, a few things to keep in mind before you go and get the bits:

  • This is a proof-of-concept project collaboratively created by Microsoft EMEA and newtelligence AG. We have tested intensively for quite a few sets of use-cases, but this is not a product. We are giving this to you because we think it's very useful architecturally and most implementation aspects isn't too bad either, and we do expect you to play with it. We don't give it to you to install this in a production environment tomorrow or even on the day after.
  • The support policy for FABRIQ is very simple: There is none. If you download this, you are absolutely and entirely on your own, legally speaking. We are keen to hear your feedback and are curious whether and for what you find this useful, but this is no product and therefore there's no support whatsoever. (If you find this so useful that you want customization, support, or need help to get this from near-production quality to production-quality, is a great place to write e-mail to)
  • This is "work in progress" and you are getting a version that is not considered finished. You will find artifacts in the code that are not (anymore or yet) used. You will find code branches that we not (anymore or yet) hit.  There are a few places, where we cut some corners in terms of implementation efficiency in order to get this out early. You will find that there is a bit of a disconnect between the specification documents that we have in the package vs. the documentation that you'll find and we could have done a better job cleaning it all up. We love this ourselves and will continue to polish it.
  • You need WSE 2.0 and the Enterprise Instrumentation Framework to play.
  • Contributions: We give you the code and you can use it and change it. For the first version and the next minor drops, we'll not have a public code repository that people can check things into immediately, because the beast turned out to be so complex that we need to stay in control for a little while. If we allowed "random" community contributions early, people who don't live inside in the codebase could too easily seemingly unrelated stuff. Therefore: If you want to change or add stuff, wrap up your changes along with a good reason why that's needed and send it here.
  • Discussions: Write what you like or hate or what you don't understand into the forums in the workspace or just blog about it and refer to this entry or relevant entries on my blog or Arvindra's blog once he's fully set up. We'll accept everybody into the workspace; just apply and you'll be granted access as soon as someone sees it.

Credit where credit is due: Very many thanks to the development team in Argentina, with Eugenio Pace, Adrian Nigro, Federico Winkel, and Juan Carlos Elichirigoity, who have worked very very hard turning my "written in two weeks in a hurry" prototype code into something that's actually useful.

Categories: Architecture | TechEd Europe | FABRIQ

June 24, 2004
@ 01:06 PM
In this post, I describe the FABRIQ concepts of "networks" and "nodes":
Categories: Architecture | TechEd Europe | FABRIQ

The most fundamental element in FABRIQ is a message handler and handlers are organized in pipelines to process messages. I explain the relationship here.
Categories: Architecture | TechEd Europe | FABRIQ

June 22, 2004
@ 10:59 AM

We have one regular session:

  • Architecture Overview Session (ARC405) with Arvindra Sehmi and myself: Wed, Jun 30 12:00 - 13:15 Room: 9b

along with a Hands-On-Lab and a Chalk-Talk 

  • Internals Chalk Talk (CHT019) with Arvindra Sehmi (I will try to make it there. Thursday is very busy): Thu, Jul 1 10:15 - 11:30 Room: U
  • Hands-On Lab (ARC-IL01) with newtelligence's Achim Oellers and Jörg Freiberger: Tue-Thu throughout the day, Room: O
Categories: Architecture | TechEd Europe | FABRIQ

June 22, 2004
@ 10:28 AM
For the impatient, this post shows two config snippets.
Categories: Architecture | TechEd Europe | FABRIQ

June 22, 2004
@ 09:53 AM

Before I can get into explaining how the FABRIQ works and how to configure it, I need to explain a bit of the terminology we use:

  • A network is the FABRIQ term that's rougly equivalent to an "application". A network consists of an arbitrary number of network-distributed nodes that are running inside the scope of the network. The network creates a common namespace for all of these nodes. Networks are configured using a single XML configuration document that is submitted (or routed via another network) to all hosts that shall host the network's nodes.
  • A node is the FABRIQ term that is roughly equivalent to a "service" or "component". A node is the smallest addressable unit. Every node has a "relative node URI" that is composed of the network name and the node's own name into {network/node}. This relative node URI can be composed with absolute, transport dependent URIs such as http://server/vdir/network/node or msmq://machine/queuename/network/node. Within a network, the runtime is also capable of resolving logical addresses of the form fabriq://network/node and automatically map them to physical addresses. At runtime, a node accepts messages and dispatches them into one of one or more action pipelines. Each node may be guarded by a set of WS-Policy assertions, including Kerberos and X.509 cert authentication and authorization claims. A node may be hosted on a dedicated machine, one a well defined set of machines or on "any" machine within a cluster.
  • An action pipeline is a pipeline that is associated with an action identifier and is roughly equivalent to a "method". An action identifier is a URI as per WS-Addressing's definition of wsa:Action and is mapped to SOAPAction: whenever we go through HTTP. A node must host at least one action pipeline with no limit on the number of action pipelines it can support. An action may declare a set of message schema-types that it understands and those message definitions may be used for validation inbound messages. An action has one or more outbound message routes that are matched against the result message action or destination. Multiple routes may match a message, which causes the message flow to fork. For each route exist one or multiple prioritized routing destinations. If multiple destinations have the same priority, the engine will balance calls across those, otherwise the engine will use the ones with lower priority as backup routes. At the end of each action pipeline is a sender port that sends resulting messages out to their destinations, which may be other FABRIQ nodes or any other external endpoint that understands the respective one-way message being sent.
  • A pipeline is a composition of a sequence of handlers or nested pipelines. Pipelines can be nested in arbitrary depth. Pipelines are strictly unidirectional message processors that have no concept of a "response" on the same thread analogous to a return value (hence all actions are one-way only). A pipeline may or may not be based on a predefinable pipeline-type. Pipeline-types allow the definition of reusable pipelines that can be reused within the same network or (via import) in multiple networks.
  • A handler refers to a software component (a CLR class) implementing a set of interfaces that allow it to be composed into and hosted in a pipeline. Handlers should be designed to perform only very primitive operations that can then be composed into pipelines to implement specific functionality. Built-in handlers include a content-based routing handler and an XSLT transformation handler. Custom handlers may contain any type of logic. A handler receives messages and may consume them, evaluate and annotate them and yield any number of resulting messages. The definition of a handler embeds an XML fragment that allows the handler to configure itself. The actual reference to the CLR class implementing the handler is defined in a handler-type.
  • A handler-type associates a CLR class with a name that can be used to define handlers within a configuration file. It also allows the declaration of a code-base URL for the CLR class. This feature allows the installation of "virgin" FABRIQ runtimes in a cluster and have the runtimes auto-download all the required code for hosting a node from a central code store and therefore dramatically eases deployment and dynamic reconfiguration of a FABRIQ cluster.

In the next couple of postings I will map these terms to concrete config files.

The interesting bit about config is that FABRIQ's configuration mechanism uses the FABRIQ itself. FABRIQ has a predefined (extensible, configurable) network "fabriq" with a node "configuration" that currently defines a single action "configure". The pipeline for that action consists of a single handler (the FabriqConfigurationHandler) and that expects and accepts the configuration files I'll describe over the next days as the body of a message. With that, the configuration mechanism can be secured with policy, or can be embedded into a larger network that does preprocessing or even performs automatic assembly of configuration, or that automatically distributes configuration from a single point across a large cluster of machines.

To be continued ...

Categories: Architecture | TechEd Europe | FABRIQ

June 22, 2004
@ 07:34 AM

Achim and myself are currently in a series of very quick rev-cycles for the first public release of the Microsoft/newtelligence FABRIQ project that we did with and for Microsoft EMEA HQ and that was conceived, driven and brillantly managed by my architect colleague Arvindra Sehmi, who gave me the lead architect role for this project.

[Reminder/Disclaimer: this is not a product, but rather a pretty elaborate "how-to" architecture example that comes with an implementation. Hence it's not a supported Microsoft or newtelligence "framework" or an attempt at some general, definitive guidance on how to write services. FABRIQ is an optimized architecture for fast, one-way, message processing within network-distributed nodes consisting of sequences of dynamically composed primitive processing steps. This isn't even trying to get anywhere near the guidance aspirations of Shadowfax, or let alone all the guidance we're getting from the Indigo team or even the parallel work I've been doing for MS by building Proseware.]

We've settled on build 1.0.4173 (yesterday) to be the TechEd version, but we still found a last minute issue where we weren't using WSE 2.0 correctly (not setting the SoapEnvelope.Context.Destination property for use with a bare WSE2 Pipeline in the presence of policy) and when I reassembled the distribution I didn't reset an option that I use for debugging on my machine and that caused installation hiccups over at Achim's machine. Achim commented the hour-long bug hunt with "Ah, you gotta love software!".

There will be hands-on labs at TechEd Europe led by Achim and Jörg that let you play with what we (very much including our friends at Microsoft Argentina and Microsoft EMEA) have built. And even if you don't have a proper use for a one-way queuing network architecture, it actually turned into a fun thing to play with. 

I'll be starting to explain aspects of the spec over the upcoming days and will explain how the architecture works, how you configure it and what its potential uses are. Already posted is some relevant information about the great idea of an XmlReader-based message design (which I designed inspired by the Indigo PDC build) and our use of lightweight transactions.

I am in the boot phase for the next software project right now (proprietary work) and I have identified very many good uses for the FABRIQ model in there already (hint).

Once all parties involved are giving their "thumbs up", we'll also make the source code drop and the binaries available to the public (you) and from there we're looking forward to your input (and contributions?).

Categories: Architecture | TechEd Europe | Technology | FABRIQ

The TechEd Europe session search tool starts to reveal what I am up to in Amsterdam ...

CTS308 Building Proseware, Inc. – a non-trivial service-oriented system (just me)

Proseware, Inc. is an online bookseller. A big one. They have warehouses all over Europe, have millions of customers, sell millions of different items and process tens of thousands of orders every day. So imagine they came around to you and asked you to build a system for them. What would you do? In this session, we explain what we would do and what we did. The Proseware Services Demo consists of 14 autonomous, collaborating services, designed with best-practice architecture principles and implemented on Windows Server 2003. Proseware leverages the power of technologies such as Enterprise Services, ASP.NET Web Services, the Microsoft Message Queue, Microsoft Web Services Enhancements 2.0 to implement a large scale, robust, secure and scalable service oriented system that shows how all these technologies can be put to work effectively and that reflects the complexity of real-life enterprise applications.

And this is going to be great fun, too:

ARC230 The Nerd, the Suit and the Fortune Teller (sharing the stage with Pat Helland and Rafal Lukawiecki)

Object Orientation promised to deliver us from all IT evil and to ensure longevity and reuse of software. With today’s business requirements changing faster than it takes to compile an application and an ever-present call for integration, even that approach does not seem to work. However, it seems that Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Operational Service Orientation of IT departments (MOF, ITIL), Service-Based Interoperability (WS-Guidelines) and Service-Based User Interfaces (messenger, wizards) are quietly converging onto a new paradigm in IT. For the lack of a better name, we call it “Service Oriented Convergence”. Come to this session and see if this concept has any merit and value to you. Rather than endure a typical PowerPoint presentation, you will observe a discussion between: an experienced developer, an unforgiving businessman in charge of IT and a visionary technology innovator. On your behalf, they will battle out their differing points of view and leave you with useful guidance on ways to handle this very important issue that will affect your job, work and future. Oh, and we hope this session is unlikely to be boring.

There is also an updated sessions on the FABRIQ (ARC405, with Arvindra Sehmi) and even a hands-on lab where you can play with the FABRIQ yourself (ARC-IL01, led by newtelligence instructors Achim Oellers and Jörg Freiberger).

Categories: TechEd Europe | FABRIQ

I am back home from San Diego now. About 3 more hours of jet-lag to work on. This will be a very busy two weeks until I make a little excursion to the Pakistan Developer Conference in Karachi and then have another week to do the final preparations for TechEd Europe.

One of the three realy cool talks I'll do at TechEd Europe is called "Building Proseware" and explains the the scenario, architecture, and core implementation techniques of Proseware, an industrial-strength, robust, service-oriented example application that newtelligence has designed and implemented for Microsoft over the past 2 months.

The second talk is one that I have been looking forward to for a long time: Rafal Lukawiecki and myself are going to co-present a session. And if that weren't enough: The moderator of our little on-stage banter about services is nobody else than Pat Helland.

And lastly, I'll likely sign-off on the first public version of the FABRIQ later this week (we had been waiting for WSE 2.0 to come out), which means that Arvindra Sehmi and myself can not only repeat our FABRIQ talk in Amsterdam but have shipping bits to show this time. There will even be a hands-on lab on FABRIQ led by newtelligence instructors Achim Oellers and Jörg Freiberger. The plan is to launch the bits before the show, so watch this space for "when and where".

Overall, and as much as I like meeting all my friends in the U.S. and appreciate the efforts of the TechEd team over there, I think that for the last 4 years TechEd Europe consistently has been and will be again the better of the two TechEd events from a developer perspective. In Europe, we have TechEd and IT Forum, whereby TechEd is more developer focused and IT Forum is for the operations side of the house. Hence, TechEd Europe can go and does go a lot deeper into developer topics than TechEd US.

There's a lot of work ahead so don't be surprised if the blog falls silent again until I unleash the information avalanche on Proseware and FABRIQ.

Categories: Architecture | SOA | Talks | TechEd Europe | TechEd US | FABRIQ

May 15, 2004
@ 09:07 PM

Rebecca Dias from Microsoft asked us to do a bit of work for her team and write a demo app for TechEd 2004. As things happen and being the serious German engineers we are, it just turned out to be a little too serious, little too big to be useful as a “and now here’s a bit of code!” demo app for TechEd (U.S.).

What we’ve built is a very serious service-oriented application and your feedback will contribute to the final decision about how Microsoft is going to make the application and code available to you. What’s already clear is that I will do a TechEd Europe talk that will cover the most important architecture and technology choices made for the application. Unfortunately the decision to have such a talk came too late to squeeze it into the TechEd U.S. agenda. Come to Amsterdam, TechEd Europe isn’t sold out, yet.

Comment on Rebecca’s blog entry here and let her know whether you rather like little samples like Duwamish or a full-blown SOA system that you can stick your head into for a week.

Categories: TechEd US | TechEd Europe

The two biggest conferences in Microsoft space (save PDC) are coming up and I am already looking forward to be in San Diego in two weeks and in Amsterdam four weeks later. Those two events are always very special because they are big, because they are really well organized and because I get to meet and party with very many good friends who I see regularly at some place somewhere on earth, but only once a year we’re all together.

As much as I value the technical education aspect of events like that (yes, I do attend sessions, too), the primary reason for me to go to TechEd is too meet friends and make new friends. And the “networking” on the professional level that goes on at TechEd is very important as well: There’s nothing in this industry as valuable as learning from other people.

What I am also looking forward to is some time off when TechEd Amsterdam is over. At that time, I will have been to 25 countries since January of this year (several of them twice or even more often) and I would have to do some serious analysis of my calendar to assess how many events it were. My friend Lester Madden made the best comment on that sort of traveling lifestyle some time back in February. We boarded one of those planes together and he threw himself into the seat grinning sarcastically “Ah! Home, sweet home”.

So with the somewhat slow summer time ahead, I’d like to say “Thank you for all the beer”, because Microsoft (most, but not all events were hosted by them) certainly knows how to throw great parties. So here are my Feierabend Awards” for the first half of 2004 and before the “big two” events:


My “Winter/Spring 2004 Best Conference Party Award” goes to: The Beach Party at Microsoft TechEd Israel (Elat, Israel). Close runners up are the Arabian Night at the North Africa Developer Conference 2004 (Casablanca, Morocco) and the “Wild West” party at the NT Konferenca 2004 in Portoroz, Slovenija.  

My “Winter/Spring 2004 Best Organized-After-Work-Activity Award” goes – hands down – to Microsoft Finland and their Architecture Bootcamp in Ruka, where we did a 25km snow mobile ride in beautiful northern Finland and afterwards had a very Finnish “now let’s get naked with all the customers and go to Sauna” experience. Runner up is a great evening hosted by Microsoft Turkey at Galata Tower in Istanbul. The restaurant up there is an absolute tourist trap, but we had a fun night and the views from up there can’t be beat.

My “Winter/Spring 2004 Best Beer Award” must of course go to Dublin. Not much (except our local beer in and around Düsseldorf) beats a fresh Guinness. Along with that goes the sub-award for  “most inappropriate workplace discussion” about how cleavage (Def. 6) is most effectively used in business.

The “Winter/Spring 2004 Best Restaurant Award” goes to the Vilamoura Restaurant (Portuguese) at the Intercontinental Hotel in Sandton/Johannesburg for absolutely awesome shellfish. Runner up is another Portuguese restaurant: the Doca Peixe in Lisbon/Portugal. The special Best Homefood Award goes to Malek’s mother. The “Winter/Spring 2004 Best Nightclub Award” goes to the Amstrong (sic!) Jazz Club (which it really isn’t) in Casablanca, Morocco.

The “Winter/Spring 2004 Gorgeous Event Hostesses Recruiting Award” (sorry, but while that’s not strictly “after work” that’s a category that I can’t leave out) has to be evenly split between four winners: Morocco’s North Africa Developer Conference 2004 (just ask Mr. Forte),  Slovenija’s NT Konferenca 2004 (reliable winner each year), the Longhorn Developer Preview event in Budapest/Hungary and the MS EMEA Architect Forum Event in Milan, Italy. Israel already won the best party event and that should speak pretty much for itself. Therefore they’re runner up in this category.

The “Winter/Spring 2004 Best Travel Buddy Award” goes to Arvindra Sehmi for the EMEA Architect Tour, and Lester Madden, Nigel Watling, Hans Verbeeck, and David Chappell for the Longhorn Developer Preview Tour.  

Finally, the “Winter/Spring 2004 Best Host Award” goes to my great friend Malek Kemmou from Morocco, whose house became “Speaker’s HQ” before, during and after the NDC conference and who took us all around the country to experience Morocco – and refused to let any of us pay for anything.

Categories: Talks | TechEd Europe | TechEd US

July 3, 2003
@ 11:53 AM

I am party incompatible ... ummm... no, my session schedule is party incompatible, says Lorenzo. The good news is: My talk this afternoon at 18:15 (DEV387) is going to be pretty light compared to yesterday ;) The session is on "Layers & Tiers" in distributed systems and I'll explain the difference between the two terms, will talk about a broad idea about what a service in an SOA world is and will talk about proper treatment of data and about using data services and about communication patterns and contracts. Very conceptual talk and only one quick (prebuilt) demo to illustrate the concept of "smart" data services.

Categories: Talks | TechEd Europe

July 3, 2003
@ 11:45 AM

WEB404 post-mortem

My talk on web services internals like custom reflectors and importers and format extensions went well -- for what I wanted to achieve. However, based on the audience feedback there was definitively a spread between good and bad in terms of customer experience and most of the critical comments are related to the demo (of course). Here's two out of about 40 feedback comments I got :

  • The speaker had quite a few surprises with his own code during the demo, giving the impression that what he proposed was rather a problem than a solution. The techniques shown looked very powerful, though.
  • sorry about all the demo problems, I hope practicing the demos 3times more before the next time will help.

What's interesting about these two is that everything actually worked and failed just as expected. I was running into "problems" that were there by intent in order to introduce the next step to get the solution going. Whenever I do a coding session (and I think it was appropriate to do that for this session) it is not even my intent to make it all look as if the sun would always shine and everything were easy and works with two mouse clicks. It's not. It's work. Also, I needed good reasons to go into the debugger and show appropriate debugging techniques -- essential for writing importers. But it's always pretty difficult to make it right for everybody, especially with level 400 talks on very complex matters where you need to cover a lot of ground.

Here's the link to the Soap Extension Wizard once more.


Categories: Talks | TechEd Europe

July 3, 2003
@ 11:14 AM
Here is the sample code I used for the WEB400 talk about loose coupling here in Barcelona today. To get it to run you need to create virtual directory for the "web400" directory and move the person.xml file into client\bin\debug.
Categories: Talks | TechEd Europe