DevDays 2008 Amsterdam

I just came home from Amsterdam after a long day of listening to presentations on the DevDays 2008 in Amsterdam. It was a long day since I live “below the rivers” as people in Holland like to call it and its a pretty long drive to Amsterdam so I had to get up early.

 

I stepped into my car at 6:00 in the morning to be in Amsterdam at 9:00. In the Netherlands traffic is such a joke that it isn’t possible for me to be in Amsterdam at 9:00 because when i leave at 6:00 i’m there at 8:00 and when i go a bit later i’m already late for the first session because of all the traffic jams. So around 8 o’clock I entered the Rai and helped a bit at the Avanade stand to help kill the time before the first session.

At 9:00 the keynote started and David Platt told us Why software sucks. To wrap his story up he told us that developers write software that doesn’t function well because it doesn’t do it’s job like it is supposed to. We build to many “cool” features that nobody uses etc. His principle of software development is: KNOW THY USER FOR HE IS NOT THEE. All in all it was a interesting presentation about something everybody already knows or should know but still a lots of developers keep doing a bad job at it. If you want to know more about this subject check out David’s website or read his book called “Why Software Sucks”

The Second session I visited was an “Introduction to Silverlight 2” by Daniel Moth. He gave us a good overview of what silverlight 2 is going to do at release and what it can already do know. Since I already played around with the silverlight 2 beta I already knew some stuff he told and showed us in the demo’s but it was nice to see all aspects of what silverlight 2 is capable off. The demo’s he showed us were a Hello World example, a XAML introduction, The bridge between html/javascript and Silverlight 2, Networking capabilities in Silverlight and at the end he showed us how to acces the local file system. On Daniel’s blog is a nice summary of his presentation at DevDays so if you are interested in what Silverlight 2 can do check it out at http://www.danielmoth.com/Blog/2008/05/my-silverlight-session.html

After enjoying a nice lunch in the sun I visited a presentation about “Building Rich Internet Applications for WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007“. This presentation was done by Patrick Tisseghem. Patrick is a SharePoint MVP and showed us to possibilities of using Silverlight in SharePoint. Before I went to the presentation I thought that this could be very useful because in my daily work I have to code against/in SharePoint quite a bit. The Silverlight support Patrick showed us didn’t came as anything new to me since Daniel Moth already showed us in his presentation that in Silverlight 2.0 you can acces webservices via the client side code. Patrick showed us how to use the standard webservices that SharePoint exposes and explained to us that we can build our own services to communicate with SharePoint. Since on my projects I already build several webservices on SharePoint this didn’t feel like anything new to me and it was mostly more of an introduction to Silverlight 2.0 that that it had something to do with SharePoint. Patrick also showed us what it takes to use Silverlight in SharePoint  but the steps you should take were a bit to specific in my opinion and you’ll have to look them up anyway as soon as you want to try it out yourself :)

The next session was by Ingo Rammer and was about “Combining WCF and WF in the 3.5 framework to build durable services“. I really liked this presentation since I work with WCF quite a lot on my projects and it was nice to see how to build workflow services using WF and WCF. Ingo showed us that in the 3.0 framework it wasn’t possible to build durable services and if you use duplex services things can go wrong when one of your services restart for some reason. He build a durable service that was serialized when the service shuts down and when it starts again it can be deserialized again so the service that is sending a response wont get any errors because the service has restarted.

The last session of the day was by Peter Himschoot and was about how to use REST and JSON in WCF. Peter showed us that it is really easy to use REST instead of soap to communicate to WCF services but I still don’t think that I’m going to use this very often since REST is specially build to be reached by everyone and most services I build require security and that something that’s lacking in REST. Rest isn’t supposed to be used for those services and Peter had a nice line for this: REST = REACH. meaning that if you have to communicate with software that’s build using older languages you probably use REST because most languages support the HTTP protocol.

All in all it was a nice day and I enjoyed myself and learned lots of new stuff. People who are going again tomorrow enjoy! I won’t be going tomorrow since I have to work on my project half a day before I go away for the weekend to Terschelling with my colleagues of Avanade Netherlands to have fun and drink some beers.

Geert van der Cruijsen

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