Thoughts from the SOA conference – day 3

As with all conferences you tend to flag part way through, you start to think of the flight home and not having to sit in yet another session (no matter how interesting it sound on paper). It starts to seem all sessions are either in a cold draft or tropical atmosphere. At this point I have to say I am not looking forward to another conference next week at TechEd Barcelona, I could do with a holiday! Now I am sure some will say a conference is a holiday, but I rarely find them so, holidays do not involve PowerPoint (with maybe the exception of Triathlon training camps, but many people would say they are not holidays either)

Today’s sessions have given me much to think about on in a diverse set of areas, but they could all be described as bring robustness to SOA. Now this is often lumped into the term SOA Governance, a hot topic at this event.

Arguable the most important session I saw for future work I will be doing was that by Marty Waznicky on Microsoft ESB Guidance which provides patterns and practices style information and samples for best practice use of BizTalk. It in effect provides dashboards and exception catching tools (and much more) that provide SOA Governance for BizTalk and potentially any other SOA implemention. The guidance pack he (bravely) used in the session was one that was only build this morning (and should be the release version) so you can expect to see it on MSDN next week. My only complaint over this session was the volume of information he tried to cram into 1hr, at least 2hrs were needed, it must have been one of the fastest sessions I have seen at any conference. I felt dazed by about half way through and am sure I missed stuff due to the pace.

If you want to know more ESB and are going to TechEd Developer in Barcelona next week why not look in on the session being done by Robert Hogg (Black Marble) and Ewan Fairweather (Microsoft)

Running a very close second to the ESB session was the session on Web Service Software Factory by Don Smith. Again this was a session using software built today; it is the V3 version of pattern and practice guidance pack. It is tools like this that allow developers to build robust supportable web service application in VS2005 (expect to see the VS2008 early next year). I would really advice any web service developers and SOA architects to look at this new and much improved release of the PnP when it appears in the next few days.

A couple of general points to end this post on:

  1. If this is a business automation conference why are the session feedbacks on paper and not online forms?
  2. Is there some problem with the attendees of this event which means they cannot find the mute/vibrate setting for their phones and laptops? Most sessions seem to have devices going off, but nobody here seems to do the usual British practice of silent tutting and a hard stare of disapproval. Is this an American thing (acceptance of devices going off) or are all just getting blind to it in this connected broadband age?