Thursday, October 12, 2006

Patterns and Practices Summit - Day 4

Final Keynote - Architecture Evaluation in Practice  - Dragos Manolescu
Interesting session on Architecture Evaluation.  From what i got from the session is there is a comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of architecture.  Someone or some group goes to an organization and interviews, observes and analyses the IT architecture.  Important issues are making sure the evaluator has access to all the stake holders and is able to ask open questions and expect honest answers. Very interest.  An organization needs to be prepared for this evaluation in order for it to add value, certain pre requisites need to be in place.

TDD and Guidance Automation - Chris Tavares
"lipstick on pigs" Had to be here - sorry.  Recipe == wizard kinda.  Chris presented more about Guidance Automation and how to test it than he did about TDD.  If your organization has the initiative to create a recipe with GAX then your organization will be much better off.  Imagine you are working on a project that is a year long project.  During that year you have 15 to 20 some iterations.  In each iteration you create 4-6 new projects of various types. You have resources coming in and out and want to keep the consistency in the look, feel, structure and naming conventions. Having recipes made for each project type and basic structure using your own domain language would make your life a lot easier.  This is something that i think i will definitely explore further.

Web Client Software Factory - Michael Puleio
Similar in construction and intent with the rest of the Software factories, the Web Client Software factory will be able to generate a lot of the plumbing associated with creating Web Clients.  My company has recently made the decision to go to Smart Clients for a number of reasons so this will not directly affect me when it is released. But, it looks like something that anyone who is creating Web Clients will be able to utilize immediately.  One wish i have is that it should include the Web Application project type as well as the Web Site.  I am not a fan of the 2005 Web Site for many reasons but primarily deployment is a pain if you want to use an msi.  Sometimes there is organizational reason why not to just xcopy code to a Server.

Services Software Factory - Chris Kinsman
This is pretty neat if you are working on projects that do not have any consistent architecture.  The Soap ExceptionShielding was cool. I was kind of excited about this when Chris first started to present it. After he got through what is actually happening with the InstanceId I began to think the actual implementation of it doesn't fit with what I need from a business exception point of view. What we have done in our projects is wrap the business exception in soap and let the client deal with the exception.  What the Services Factory UI reminded me of was some of the stuff in Access.  Interesting how it has made it's way into a Visual Studio Service Factory. Don Smith came out and talked about WCF releases.  The second release of WCF is going to be released in the December time frame. 

Smart Client Software Factory - Wojtek (Voytek) Kozaczynski
Unfortunately I was unable to be a part of this presentation due to some items that needed my attention at my real job.  From what i understand, though, it was a good presentation about the Smart Client Factory.  This is not something that I will be utilizing at my organization but it does look like something i might want to investigate on my own time for some personal learning.

SI & Designing for Operations - David Aiken
Instrumentation is key to finding out why my application is not working.  This is one thing I got from this presentation.  David is an effective speaker and brings some British humor to what could be a dry subject to some.  What is also interesting about this is the power of Windows PowerShell and how easy it is to use. MMC can be your friend if you let it.  Why do we need to Instrument for our Operations?  Because on average 70% of an IT budget is spent on support.  I am not sure our budget fits that number but it could. Good solid session.

Keynote -Architectural Guidance with Software Factories - Jack Greenfield
I was glued to the deck and listening intently.  Possibly the one presentation so far that I was completely attuned to.  At the outset , Jack said he was not going to drill into specific domains.  He presented a clear, well thought out, notion of why Factories are a good thing.  I was hoping it would be more into the depths of what factories are and how they are created.  Unfortunately, what I call the meat of the presentation, was held to end of the presentation. Jack was running out of time so he fast forwarded through these slides and topics.  He covered everything in the beginning with more detail than I think this audience needed.  I think we were looking for more of the detail. Also, there was not any time for Q&A which was unfortunately.  All in all it was a good presentation but not having the time to ask questions was a hindrance.