Microsoft Practices & Preaches @ TechEd 2004

by Hinesh Jethwani & Ankush Sohoni    Aug 19, 2004

Microsoft’s three-day developer mega-fest climaxed today, giving technology geeks a chance to spruce up their arsenal with new tricks in the software trade. Attended by a mixed audience, TechEd 2004 showcased programming at its Â’visual’ best.

With new advanced visual programming tools lined up for release in 2005, Microsoft is actively stepping up its drive to push application software development from a Â’flowchart code generation level’ to a Â’visual drag and drop’ system, that can be used by virtually anyone with basic programming skills. However, coding is still alive, and by the looks of it, the future is going to be more graphic than text. Agrees Bindia Hallauer, senior product manager, developer platform marketing group, Microsoft. “I personally feel that low-level coding tasks will not be completely eliminated with programming becoming more and more visual. The basic building blocks will still need to be coded in the old fashioned way.”

To seed the market for the coming releases of Visual Studio, Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual C++, Visual J#, and Visual Web Developer, Microsoft India is starting a new campaign to win the hearts of the developer audience. Sheila Gulati, director, developer and platform evangelism, said, “The program is called ‘Channel9′, featuring a special video blog of top Redmond-based Microsoft executives. This will allow the local developer audience to relate to Microsoft in a more interactive manner. Videos will give developers a chance to observe Microsoft experts speak and learn from their views on the latest technologies.”

The event caught the attention of a diverse audience, comprising of database analysts, administrators, CIOs, consultants, systems engineers, infrastructure architects, etc.

There were a series of presentations that dealt with practical topics like integrated product & bug management, deployment of secure networks, technical overviews, features of Windows 2003, building applications with globalization in mind, etc.

In one of the presentations, Nauzad Kapadia, Quartz Systems, demonstrated the new concepts used in SQL server 2005 such as Common Table Expression (CTE), modified data-types and many others.

The Channel9 blog is an effort by Microsoft to get the developer community online in the form of a forum. It is a group of five people at Microsoft who want to move beyond the newsgroup, the blog, and the press release, to talk with local developers in a more humane manner.

The website uses moblogs, wikis and forums as a means for communication. Moblogs are basically pictures that are taken and are interesting enough o be put up on the website. A Hawaiian for “quick” Â’WikiWiki’ is a web of related topics, each of which has a title. Developers are encouraged to make their changes and are requested to leave their “Wiki signatures” after the changes they have made.

The event climaxed with a hands-on-lab session, where developers got a live demonstration of how Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2005 functions. The speaker at this event was Akash Maheshwari, program manager, development of convertor tools for software configuration management tool of Visual Studio 2005 team system.