Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Patterns and Practices Summit - Day 2

I am blogging this conference realtime after each session.  Check back every hour or so for updates.

My friend Steve is also blogging about this conference you can read his recitative here.

Architecture for the Next Generation - Scott Isaacs
History lesson to start.  Extremely interesting account of events related to the Internet over the last 15 years.  Key take away's from this presentation are Mash-ups, microformats and AJAX or Atlas.  I enjoyed listening to Scott present and could follow him completely.  If you are building new external web applications this presentation is a must. get more info at some of these sites:
http://atlas.asp.net, http://dev.live.com, http://gallery.live.com, www.microsoftgadgets.com, www.microformats.com, www.liveclipboard.org

Evolving Patterns - James Newkirk
This is one reason why I am here.  This presentation was about patterns as a development tool. Pattern = context, problem, and solution. we use tools to increase efficiency.  Patterns allow us to do this consistently.  the 2nd person pays.  Refactoring to include patterns is an underlying strategy to success. refactor to prevent broken windows - pragmatic programmer.  Re-enforced refactoring as a personal responsibility everyday of every developer.  When refactoring, tests are extremely important.  Tests allow for refactoring to at a minimum give you what you had before.  Spent a lot of time coding an example of the Dependency Injection pattern.  Great example for isolating tests.

Agile Presentation Layer Design - Andrew Flick
UI design - looking at the world in a different light.  Is it my fault or is it bad design?  Wow! Made me think about how I look at things around me.  Not just the software UI design but about the door I just walked through.  Andrew used the example of 3 Mile Island and the design of the control panel.  It was extremely complicated.  Could that disaster have been avoided with a better console design?

Contractual Zen - Scott Hanselman & Patrick Cauldwell
Strongly typed Contracts are good!  This was cool!  These guys are using all the really cool stuff. Code generation, contracts, 1st, 2nd and 3rd class interfaces. Completely decoupled components.  Cool stuff, but stuff that works and provides value to their product and company.  There were a lot of references to voodoo and pixie dust.  This was because the end users don't need to know about all the stuff on the inside.  To them it is pixie dust.  My take away from this is that my company is on the right track.  for the most part we are doing what we need to do to enable use to change rapidly and have that change have a minimal effect to the users.  Cool!  Also, the tag team presentation was very effective. You could tell they have been together for a long time.

Security Patterns for Services - Jason Hogg
Very interesting presentation. Not so much about Security Patterns but more about the implementation of the Web Service Factory and the Web Service Security Factory. The later gives you the ability to choose the type of security you want to implement and have the tool auto-magically generate the code in your Web Service. Microsoft really did some great stuff here. They also allow you to enforce a specific Security Model for all your Enterprise Web Services.
There was mention about a PDF on Security Patterns located here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/practices

Versioning Web Services 2.0 - Don Smith
Great discussion.  Don is a great presenter with lots of energy.  His way of making a point is clear and honest. This topic has been something my organization has had some issues with but we have made it through with minimal pain.  Our pain will be greater as we continue to develop our next release.  Some Key concepts:  Communication is key. Contract validation shouldn't be more strict than it needs to be. Loose contracts allow for greater extendibility.  Ignore the data you don't understand. don't let it be a burden to your service.

Re-Engineering to Support WorkflowBilly Hollis
Yeah - code samples in VB! Workflow Foundation opens lots of opportunities. You don't need to have Visual Studio to run the WF designer. Includes a number of generic set of Activities that are used in the workflow. There is the anticipation that 3rd party vendors will create more activities.

Two types of workflows

  1. Sequential- Flow chart types of workflow
  2. State Machine - State transition diagram type

Workflow Foundation demo was interesting. Workflows are on a separate thread so getting things in and out of a workflow is not as simple as grabbing a handle and setting a property.


They just announced a tour of the P&P build which is going to be really cool!

Today was a great day of presentations.  The subject matter was closer to what I expected and more applicable for me and my org.  Signing off!