Tech Ed 2006 Summary

Date Published: 16 June 2006

Tech Ed 2006 Summary

I haven’t posted in a bit, so let me summarize what I’ve been doing the last few days, apart from going to various parties and staying out late.

Monday I went to several Regional Director connect meetings with various Microsoft teams – didn’t make it to any sessions. I spent about an hour with SoftArtisans learning about how their OfficeWriter product integrates with Microsoft SQL Reporting Services, which has really got me excited about he potential of that product (both SoftArtisans’ product and SSRS). I still haven’t written my first SSRS report, but I have a feeling I will by the end of next week. And OfficeWriter is a pretty sweet improvement over the default functionality of SSRS, from what I saw of it, since it outputs (for example) excel reports with charts and formulae that are live, not static (e.g. you change the data and the chart updates – it’s a real Excel chart not just a GIF).

Monday night was the exhibit hall reception, where I spoke to a number of my .NET advertising network customers. Tuesday was largely more of the same as Monday. I still didn’t make it to any sessions apart from some more RD meetings. That evening was our RD dinner (and talent show), which was fun, and was followed by a late night at the always fun and the only place to be MSDN/TechNet/CMP party. This year it was at a huge billiards place, where I was able to hold my own at a few foosball games and pretty well embarrassed at my lack of pool skills. A big thanks to CMP for hosting the party – it was once again one of the highlights of the show for me.

So Wednesday I went to still more RD connect meetings, including a good one that addressed some questions I had about and Live Services. I have a big interest in Passport/Live ID, and it seems that InfoCard (now called Windows Cardspace) is going to play a significant role in that space going forward. The other Live services were less interesting to me as a website owner (I’d love to offer single sign on to my users), but I do think there will be a good opportunity for Microsoft to make this work this time around, most likely using an advertising revenue model instead of a subscription payment model, for a lot of the same services that were first put forth in 2000 as part of the ill-fated Hailstorm effort.

I spent the rest of Wednesday networking in the Expo hall and with fellow RDs whom I don’t get to see very often. A lot of vendors (and a few RDs) were very interested in the new Videos section of, so I expect we’ll have some third party tool walkthroughs featured in the near future, as well as more general How-To videos.

I went to my first session on Wednesday, which was the Business Intelligence Power Hour. Being an ASP.NET geek, this was not my usual crowd, but it was a fun session full of fun (if not immediately useful in a business context) demos including one pitting a Magic 8–Ball against a neural network in analyzing customer data to try and determine if a particular customer was a home owner. The main products featured here were SSRS and SSIS, as well as ProClarity tools (now owned by Microsoft). Immediately after the event, SoftArtisans hosted a reception for everyone in attendance at a nearby restaurant right on the harbor. I posted a couple of pictures here. I got to speak to a few SA devs and learn a little more about their company and how they build software, which was very interesting. Afterward I headed to yet another party to hook up with my MVP/RD brethren at an influencers event, which was followed by a short walk to another nearby bar with some live music.

So today I got up a little bit later than usual and rolled into the convention center around 11:00. Went to lunch with friends, then headed to Scott Guthrie’s presentation on Atlas, IIS7, and BLINQ. Those deserve their own blog entries, though, so we’ll continue the story in another post.

Steve Smith

About Ardalis

Software Architect

Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.