I feel like I have been "out of business" for a really long time and like I really got nothing done in the past 3 months, even though that's objectively not true. I guess that's "conference & travel withdrawal", because I had tone and tons of bigger events in the first half of the year and 3 smaller events since TechEd Amsterdam in July. On the upside, I am pretty relaxed and have certainly reduced my stress-related health risks ;-)

So with winter and its short days coming up, the other half of my life living a 1/3 around the planet until next spring, I can and am going to spend some serious time on a bunch of things:

On the new programming stuff front:
     Catch up on what has been going on in Indigo in recent months, dig deeper into "everything Whidbey", figure out the CLR aspects of SQL 2005 and familiarize myself with VS Team System.

On the existing programming stuff front:
      Consolidate my "e:\development\*"  directory on my harddrive and pull together all my samples and utilities for Enterprise Services, ASP.NET Web Services and other enterprise-development technologies and create a production-quality library from of them for us and our customers to use. Also, because the Indigo team is doing quite a bit of COM/COM+ replumbing recently in order to have that prohgraming model ride on Indigo, I have some hope that I can now file bugs/wishes against COM+ that might have a chance of being addressed. If that happens and a particular showstopper is getting out of the way, I will reopen this project here and will, at the very least, release it as a toy.

On the architectural stuff front:
         Refine our SOA Workshop material, do quite a bit of additional work on the FABRIQ, evolve the Proseware architecture model, and get some pending projects done. In addition to our own SOA workshops (the next English-language workshop is held December 1-3, 2004 in Düsseldorf), there will be a series of invite-only Microsoft events on Service Orientation throughout Europe this fall/winter, and I am very happy that I will be speaking -- mostly on architecture topics -- at the Microsoft Eastern Mediterranean Developer Conference in Amman/Jordan in November and several other locations in the Middle East early next year. 

And even though I hate the effort around writing books, I am seriously considering to write a book about "Services" in the next months. There's a lot of stuff here on the blog that should really be consolidated into a coherent story and there are lots and lots of considerations and motiviations for decisons I made for FABRIQ and Proseware and other services-related work that I should probably write down in one place. One goal of the book would be to write a pragmatic guide on how to design and build services using currently shipping (!) technologies that does focus on how to get stuff done and not on how to craft new, exotic SOAP headers, how to do WSDL trickery, or do other "cool" but not necessarily practical things. So don't expect a 1200 page monster. 

In addition to the "how to" part, I would also like to incorporate and consolidate other architect's good (and bad) practical design and implementation experiences, and write about adoption accelerators and barriers, and some other aspects that are important to get the service idea past the CFO. That's a great pain point for many people thinking about services today. If you would be interested in contributing experiences (named or unnamed), I certainly would like to know about it.

And I also think about a German-to-English translation and a significant (English) update to my German-language Enterprise Services book.....

[And to preempt the question: No, I don't have a publisher for either project, yet.]

Categories: Architecture | SOA | Blog | IT Strategy | newtelligence | Other Stuff | Talks

July 24, 2004
@ 03:21 PM

Daniel Fisher aka "Lenny Bacon" joined the pack and is already having some fun.

Categories: newtelligence

newtelligence AG will be hosting an open workshop on service-oriented development, covering principles, architecture ideas and implementation guidance on October 13-15 in Düsseldorf, Germany.

The workshop will be held in English, will be hosted by my partner and “Mr. Methodologies” Achim Oellers and myself, and is limited to just 15 (!) attendees to assure an interactive environment that maximizes everyone’s benefit. The cap on the number of attendees also allows us to adjust the content to individual needs to some extent.

We will cover the “services philosophy” and theoretical foundations of service-compatible transaction techniques, scalability and federation patterns, autonomy and other important aspects. And once we’ve shared our “services mind-set”, we will take the participants on a very intense “guided tour” through (a lot of) very real and production-level quality code (including the Proseware example application that newtelligence built for Microsoft Corporation) that turns the theory to practice on the Windows platform and shows that there’s no need to wait for some shiny future technology to come out in 2 year’s time to benefit from services today.

Regular pricing for the event is €2500.00 (plus applicable taxes) and includes:

  • 3-day workshop in English from 9:00 – 18:00 (or later depending on topic/evening) 
  •  2 nights hotel stay (Oct 13th and 14th)
  • Group dinner with the experts on the first night.  The 2nd night is at your disposal to enjoy Düsseldorf’s fabulous Altstadt at your own leisure
  • Lunch (and snacks/drinks throughout the day)
  • Printed materials (in English), as appropriate
  • Post-Workshop CD containing all presentations and materials used/shown

For registration inquiries, information about the prerequisites, as well as for group and early-bird discount options, please contact Mr. Fons Habes via training@newtelligence.com. If the event is sold out at the time of your inquiry or if you are busy on this date, we will be happy to pre-register you for one of the upcoming event dates or arrange for an event at your site.

Categories: Architecture | SOA | newtelligence

May 20, 2004
@ 01:39 PM

Now that we're getting close to the dasBlog engine's 1st birthday, I'd like to know how people use it. I am seeing quite a few blogs out there who run the software, but it's just as interesting to know how the engine is used in corporate Intranets and whether you use it as a tool to help coordinate projects, share knowledge about certain topics or .... how would I know?

If you use dasBlog, it'd be great if you could share with me how you use it, how you like it, and what you don't like. If you've warped the engine into something totally different or if you have some really cool design but it lives hidden inside the corporate firewall, I would appreciate getting a screenshot (blur out the secrets). None of the information will be published unless you allow me to do that.

I am also interested to know whether and how you've used snippets from the blog code for your own projects and/or products. Knowing what pieces are valuable to you would allow me to isolate them and put them into some isolated "goodies" library down the road.

Categories: newtelligence | dasBlog

April 5, 2004
@ 03:25 PM

Here's a life sign. I am buried under lots of work of which pretty much all will see the light of day at TechEd. We're getting close to having a first public version of the FABRIQ project with Microsoft EMEA and we're very busy here at newtelligence writing a huge SOA sample application using and combining all the good things of ASP.NET Web Services, WSE 2.0, Enterprise Services, MSMQ, SQL, and Remoting. The result is quite likely going to play some role at TechEd US and other TechEds this year. Between then and my last technical blog positing I've written several thousand lines of code again and there are several thousand more to follow. Hence the silence. Once those two projects are done or close to being done, expect a flood of explanations.

Categories: Architecture | newtelligence

January 20, 2004
@ 08:04 AM

I am getting ready for the Longhorn Developer Preview tour. Now that the whole notebook ordeal is hopefully over, I have been and still am polishing slides and we'll have an online rehearsal today during the day. Furthermore, we're working with Microsoft EMEA on a two day workshop about writing service oriented applications that consolidates all the thinking that I've been blogging about in the past year. The "sample" around which the workshop will center is, not very surprisingly, the FABRIQ.

I really need to get back into a "blogging mood".

To expect that the newest hardware works with a pre-Alpha version of the newest Microsoft operating system may be expecting a bit much. My Alienware Area51-m just wouldn't boot past the logo screen just 3 seconds after booting from the install disk. It just hung. Bummer.

To expect that a hardware vendor, especially one that's comparatively small and which is specialized in gaming machines and therefore very consumer focused, would even consider providing support on that issue is hopeless.

Is it? Well, usually it probably would be, but not with Alienware. Their tech support simply rocks. And with their help and help from the Longhorn Evangelism team in Redmond, Longhorn is now finally running on my new notebook.

The problem of the Area51-m not booting Longhorn is an unfortunate combination of a more BIOS-sensitive bootloader in Longhorn compared to XP/Win03 and a bug in current production AMIBIOS (AMIBIOS8, 1.09) that Alienware puts on their machines. Once we had that identified and I got the same fix that the Longhorn Evangelism team got for their Alienware machines (they have them too), flashed the BIOS and Longhorn booted.

Done? Unfortunately not. What I found was that this particular "special fix" BIOS version (1.08.01) would work stably with Longhorn and Win03 only when the machine is on AC power. Once you unplug and run on batteries, both OSses bluescreen after about 10-15 seconds.

Because this is my primary machine, I must have the machine running on batteries and therefore I re-flashed the BIOS back to the production version (1.09) so that at least Win03 would work and for Longhorn demos I'd just re-flash down to the other BIOS. Once done, I rebooted the machine and it happened to boot into Longhorn. And worked. Why would the installer hang so early on this BIOS version but the OS just boots fine once installed?  Puzzling.

So after all this had been sorted out, I figured that Longhorn isn't a good idea to have on the D: drive, after all. It does work, but I'd have to adjust a lot of demos and that's just too much work. So I am installing Win03 and Longhorn once more right now in the following sequence: BIOS 1.09 > Win03 to D: > "special fix" BIOS 1.08.1 > Longhorn to C: > BIOS 1.09. Now that we've got this sorted out, Alienware will hopefully have a permanent fix for the production BIOS soon so that this step becomes unnecessary and so that others can get Longhorn installed on their Area51s as well.

On the Longhorn tour, we'll have two of these boxes as our demo machines. Although they are absolutely swamped right now, Alienware made it possible to provide a system for Microsoft on very short notice, so that we don't have to carry a rather massive desktop PC around on "this 13 cities in 13 consecutive work days" tour as was initially planned.

Now I need to work on my backlog.

December 13, 2003
@ 07:32 AM

There's a free weblog hosting site under the domain dasblog.com. I'd like to inform you (my readers) that neither me nor newtelligence AG are associated with that site and that we are not providing that service. The operator of the site does certainly nothing to make that clear. We're currently investigating the situation.

Categories: newtelligence | dasBlog

November 14, 2003
@ 02:21 PM

While most of the newtelligence events are currently held in German (such as www.TornadoCamp.net), there's actually one that you can attend that's held in English - and it happens in one of the most beautiful little countries in Europe: Slovenia.

(The area around the event location is so cute, you might think Disney had something to do with it - I've been assured that they didn't)

CodeWeek runs a full week (7 days!), from December 1 through December 7 in Bled and I've been told that they've got one or two seats left, so if you're interested (or know someone who is) and act quickly, you may still be able to grab one.

Categories: newtelligence

Yesterday and today I have added another new feature to dasBlog called "Crossposting". This feature, which will be available in the v1.4 build that I still plan to publish before the Microsoft PDC next week, is simplifying having multiple blogs on several sites by allowing a entries to be posted to a master weblog running dasBlog and having the engine crosspost across multiple weblogs using the Blogger API or the (more powerful) MetaWeblog API. If the entry is updates locally, the crossposts are updated and if the entry is deleted, the crossposts get wiped, too.

My concrete problem was that I wanted to contribute to longhornblogs.com, but didn't want to maintain a separate blog. Now I can post a local post here, check a checkbox and it'll appear in both places. To still get the referrals, I am "bugging" the crossposted articles with a transparent GIF that phones home into the referrer stats of the main blog.

I'll post a "how to" along with the release, which I hope will happen by Friday. Until then, you can check that it works by looking at the three synchronized weblogs.

Categories: Blog | newtelligence | dasBlog

Grosse Dinge steht vor der Tür, alle wollen hin. Problem: Die ganze Operation ist nicht gerade billig und der Chef läßt einen nicht hinfahren.

Um ein bisschen Trost zu spenden und auch um einen netten ersten Anlass zu geben, sich unter (nieder-)rheinländischen Entwicklern mal zusammenzusetzen ohne dass es gleich was kostet, haben wir hier bei newtelligence vor, sehr kurz nach der grossen Microsoft Veranstaltung in L.A. irgendwo hier bei uns einen Saal zu mieten (irgendwo rundum D, MG, NE) und unter dem Motto "Neues aus L.A." in ungefähr 3 Stunden, ganz informell und bei einem gepflegten Bierchen die wichtigsten Stichpunkte von dem was wir an Einsichten mitgebracht haben für den programmierenden Rheinländer zusammenzufassen.

Wenn wir genug Kölner und Bonner zusammenkriegen machen wir auch sehr gerne einen zusätzlichen Ausflug auf die Südseite der Worringer Linie. Die Veranstaltung soll und wird nichts kosten und wir kennen sogar jemanden, der bereit ist ein oder zwei (oder drei) Lokalrunden auszugeben.

Also, wer Interesse hat oder wer einen kennt der Interesse haben könnte, hier sind die Eckpunkte:

  • Termin: irgendwann in der Woche vom 10.11. bis zum 14.11; Start so um 18:30. Endgültig festgelegt haben wir ausser dem Ausschluß vom Hoppedizerwachen (11.11.) noch nichts. Kommt auch drauf an wann die meisten Interessierten können und was wir für eine Lokalität brauchen. Unsere Favoriten sind aber Donnerstag und Freitag.
  • Themen: WinFS, Indigo, Avalon und ASP.NET 2.0
  • Ort: Altbierzone D, NE, MG und ggf. zusätzlich nochmal in der Kölschzone K, BN, BM 
  • Vortragende: Willers, Freiberger, Vasters
  • Anmeldung von Interesse: Bitte per EMail (training@newtelligence.com) mit dem Betreff "Neues aus L.A.", mit Name und Adresse/Kontaktinfos und bis allerspätestens 24.10. damit wir das auch organisatorisch noch hinkriegen. Und da wir weder die Kölnarena noch die Philipshalle mieten werden, müssen wir natürlich irgendwann auch die Tür zu machen. ;)
  • Grund: Künne mer donn, also dommer dat.

Weitersagen.

Categories: newtelligence

"I'd like to bring you in for a review/training/coaching, but I guess you guys are too expensive" is something that I hear quite often when conference attendees approach me after a speech and ask me for assistance with problems they have. In fact, we likely aren't. We know the circumstances in quite a few markets in the EMEA region very well and know about the budget constraints of small and mid-size software companies. Don't make a guess, ask.

Categories: newtelligence

He's an author and a great speaker, he was one of the best known technical consultants at Microsoft Germany and he initiated the "MSDN TechTalk" event series. His in-depth knowledge of Win32, COM and COM+ is astonishing and the same goes for the dark corners of the .NET Framework. With this, and a lot more things I could mention here, he's already a "software legend" in the German developer community.

... and now he made a very newtelligent move and joined our team. Welcome on board at newtelligence AG, Michael Willers.

Categories: newtelligence