Thursday was yet again a session heavy day. The end of the day brough the party at Universal Studios which included free rides, drinks (including beer & wine), and food (they even bought out a few buffets to scatter trough the park. The best part of all though had to be the lack of any lines… THE only way to hit a park in Orlando!
The day started out with Rob Howard’s WEB325 - ASP.NET 2.0: Building Data-Driven Web Sites in ASP.NET 2.0. The session focused on just that… the databinding capabilities within ASP.NET 2.0. It was nice to see that while he did show the SqlDataSource and how you can use that within the ASPX files, he stated and demonstrated that you can, and should, use the ObjectDataSource instead which is much more suited toward n-tier designs. I guess if I needed to knock something out real fast, I’d use the SqlDataSource. But for 90% of my real production apps, I’d stick with the ObjectDataSource. Rob also dug into caching. He also showed a killer demo on caching that incldued using Application Center Test (a stressing utility that’s included with Visual Studio .NET 2003 & 2005). As he made little changes you could see how much it improved the speed of the page. Granted he was working locally so these numbers aren’t good for real metrics, but the scale was what got me. When he started, the simple site he created was able to handle roughly 30–50 requests/second… but once he was finished (and only 5–10 minutes of tweaking while he was explaining it so it’s problaly only about 60–180 seconds of work), he had it in the 500–600 requests/second!
The next session was quite an eye opener: PRT375 - SharePoint Products and Technologies: Performance and Capacity Planning Best Practices and Lessons Learned by Joel Olson. This was filled with TONS of information.. I can’t wait to get the slides and go back trough it! The focus of Joel’s presentation can be summed up as: “How we at Microsoft deployed SharePoint (WSS and SPS) for MSWeb (Microsoft Intranet) and their entire portal solution for the entire organization (4 data centers… Redmond, Dublin, Tokyo, SouthEast Asia) as well as lessons learned and what we thing are best practices”. Again, quite an eye opener and WELL worth the time.
I went to a lunch session as well, GNL012 - Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office: Outlook Add-in support, by John Durant. WOW… this dude is nuts… all over the place! He only had about 5–10 slides (tops) but focused on real world stuff. He built an Outlook AddIn that exported all his tasks to an XML file (and was viewable as a WordML file… very slick), but the coolest part of his demo was the following: he created another demo that when he had a task open, he could click on button in a menu he created that would take all the people listed as contacts in the task and pulled their information via a web service from his CRM system. Very slick!!! For more info, check the MSDN Office Development Center… I’ll post more about the VS Tools for Office in another post later (little TechEd.Reflection() series I’m planning).
Oh… John tought some of us a new error code: PEBKAC. What is this? Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair… something we have all had to debug many times. Some users get it more often than others.
Finally our last session of the day was PRT376 - SharePoint Search Technologies. Unfortinately I didn’t get a lot of what I was hoping: how to do advanced extensions for SharePoint… both WSS and SPS, but there was some good information in it.
One more day… looking forward to Friday where I’m hitting some InfoPath, WinForms, and ClickOnce sessions.