Didn't I write that I wanted to blog more this year? It's June, you see what came out of that.

First things, first; I'm flying to Orlando tomorrow for TechEd. Looking back at what my conference schedule looked like up until 2 years ago, it's hard to believe that this is my first (!) scheduled conference talk this year. I actually do miss the life on the road a little bit. The compensation for it is that I get to see my family every day (my daughter Eva's first birthday is coming up on June 25th) and that I'm getting to work on and define the stuff that I 'just' used to be talking about. This really is the first time that I do a talk about a Microsoft technology that I own; so that's a bit of a thing:

SOA 403 Building Federated Solutions on the Internet Service Bus
Thursday, June 5, 2008 10:15AM-11:30AM
Room: S220 C (DEV)

'Own' means here that I'm the responsible Program Manager for the entire 'Messaging' feature area of BizTalk Services in what we call the '.NET Online Services' team around here. The PM title isn't entirely accurate, because I'm also writing pretty substantial amounts of product code these days. The ability to write and contribute code into the product was the primary reason why I switched jobs and joined the team I'm now in, but it turned out that the PM role was the overall better fit for me. So I'm 60% PM and 40% Dev. Or something like that.

Back to TechEd. There are two talk about what we're building. The first one is 'today' (I'm still on Pacific Time so I realize that may be a bit late); Justin Smith will provide a broad overview on the services we're building:

SOA206 Messaging, Identity, and Workflow in the Cloud
Tuesday, June 3 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM
Room: S220 C  

The second talk is mine (above) and as you might be able to tell by the '400' classification I've got the clear intent not to spend too much time in Powerpoint. I am going to show four common architectural issues and ways to deal with them using the cloud platform. And I'm going to show you the code for it. I also plan (we'll see how that part goes with the on-site network) to host an app for 'crowd participation' so that I'm explicitly not going to ask you to turn your laptops off. Since the BizTalk Services SDK hasn't spread very broadly, yet, I'll base the majority of the demos on the SDK samples so that you can easily repro the stuff that I show you.
Now ... you say ... "BizTalk Services? I don't have anything to do with BizTalk! Do you want to sell me BizTalk Server?" 
Well, it's always nice if customers decide to pick up some BizTalk Server licenses, but: No, I don't. Our stuff does actually compose with BizTalk Server 2006 R2 through the WCF Adapter, but the way to think about this code-name is that 'BizTalk' just happens to be the brand that our division has been using for Messaging. There was the BizTalk Framework, BizTalk Server and now we've got BizTalk Services. It's a brand. And we're actually finding that that name isn't really a perfect fit for what we're doing; customers suggest the same. So there'll be a different name. I'm guessing we're going to talk about that new name and some other cards we hold in our hands at or around PDC.
The stuff that I own in the 'Cloud' Messaging area are Naming, Service Registry, Connectivity/NAT Traversal, Relay, Eventing, a bunch of internal, servide-side infrastructure supporting those feature areas and some feature areas that we'll talk about more at PDC. So the fun part of TechEd for me (and you) is that the 'feedback opportunity' is pretty immediate. We're updating the services (just about) every quarter and I'll probably check in my last set of stuff for the current release cycle from Orlando or the night I get back here. From there I'm switching into planning mode for the next release (aligned with PDC) and if you bring good ideas that we can fit into the next cycle, I'm very inclined to take them. Not that we'd have any shortage of feature ideas, mind you. More is better.
If you are in Orlando .. I'll have booth duty at the WCF booth in the Exhibition Hall (or whatever they call it this year) both Wednesday and Thursday from 2:30PM to closing so come see me there or come to see my talk or just grab me at the Attendee Party if you can recognize me. ;-)
If you are not: http://labs.biztalk.net