Developmentor day from PDC

Took a day our to listen to what Developmentor thought was important at the Microsoft PDC event in the USA. Richard Blewitt and Dominick Baier took us through some interesting aspects but I’m not sure whether they are relevant to me, or will be the same when they finally get past the alpha stage. They talked about Workflow4, MS Identity, Windows Azure – cloud computing and Oslo – the model driven editor.

They were using Visual Studio 2010, which was a bit buggy, but not too bad. Workflow 4 seems to have been re-written from the ground up. Is that because no-one found it to be useful?. It combines XAML with WPF. The workflow files themselves are now just text documents, so they could be created automatically I suppose, using a similar system to Sprouts. Services are built from the workflow and are generated in one of two asnchronous modes – ‘delayed’ can be saved away for a later return, or ‘parallel’ which are kept in memory. I need to compare WF vs WCF4.0 vs Dublin (with xamlx).

Dominick thought that the Identity announcements were the most significant of the PDC. Geneva has an API, a Server and then CardSpace to build the identities that are accessible across systems. It will go across trusted boundaries; will allow delegation of identirty; will allow the access of federated connections.

Geneva brings – Rich Identity, SIngle Sign on, 3rd Part authentication, Identity delegation, Federation

It should start Q2 2009 to give WS-Trust methods, using SAML2.0 and Ifo cards. (SAML = Security assisted markup)

What it allows systems to do is allow the identity to be authorised, not just be one server, but by authenticated third parties. It allows people to make a connection with this delegated identity using a local partner STS system. They already have introp to Oracle, CA, IBM and others.

The Azure services is Windows answer to Amazon, I suppose. Similar to Biztalk services. They will have both REST and SOAP versions with WebGet, WebInvoke. THe service bus will basically give facilities for Name Resolution, Identity Control, and a Registry of sevices. Teh system will even allow for your own services to be accessed directly. It’s all done in WCF with ‘relay bindings’. It will have Web Hosting both for normal pages and for worker services and will have a production/staging server system. The SQL data services will just give a basic API to tables of data, but will automatically take care of the scaling, replication (globally) and high availability problems. It will have workflow activities and will allow for simple storage of blob, table and quese types of data. The web sites, although replicated, will share a common storage area. Only beta at the moment.

Richard then took us through the even more alpha of Project Oslo, the Modelling language/Graphical tool to build apps without code. It generates SQL from the model. Based on the ‘M’ language – why not be different – who needs standards! Again, all text based with builders for DSL to MSchema, MGraph. Looked interesting, but maybe we don’t need to look at this for another 12 months. It was interesting to see what directions might produce more automated code for rich SQL generation.

It was an interesting day, and Developmentor know their stuff, but nothing said about C#4 and Silverlight. Have they already become commoditised? Not sure. Have a look on the site for the slides. They’re on Richard’s blog site.

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