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Tim Hibbard CEO for EnGraph software

Heartland Developers Conference 2006 in Omaha was a huge success!  Joe Olson, Phil Wolfe and everybody else involved did a great job getting everything put together.

Day 1:

Joe Stagner did the opening keynote on Federated Logic.  Basically using data sources that live anywhere on the internet with ASMX web services.  He even talked a little bit about GPS and web based mapping solutions.  Something that is near and dear to my heart.

Next, I went to Dave Donaldson's talk on Power Programming with Attributes.  This was by far the best talk for me.  I had no idea you could actually create a class that inherited from System.Attribute and write your own attributes.  I've already started implementing this into our existing code and his talk is the reason I waited so long to make this post.  I've been too busy playing with Attributes!  He show how you can use attributes to make your Enumerations more user friendly.  Also, stay tuned to his blog for EVIL.  I strongly recommend that you download his code and slide deck for this presentation.

Todd Van Nurden gave a conceptual Service Orientated Architecture talk called Realizing the BUS.  Basically, consuming fine grained services that have a single simple function with coarse grained services to deliver a "business function".  For example OrderNewLaptop, AddToActiveDirectory, AddToHealthInsurance are all fine grained services that would be wrapped in a AddNewEmployee function.

Dan Fox (who used to blog about the Kansas City Royals statistics) gave a real world example of Service Orientated Architecture application that he had been working on for the past 18 months.  It's always harder to follow real code than demo code, but he did a good job of showing SOA concepts in action and where they really fit into the picture.

Drew Robbins finished up the day talking about Windows Presentation Foundation.  Kyle and I drooled during all the demos.  WPF is just fantastic and I can't wait to get our hands on it.

Day 2:

Andrew Troelson gave the 2nd day opening keynote presentation on LINQ.  He talked about the new System.Query namespace.  I really like the idea of query against my business objects and XLINQ looks like a more usable version of XPath.

Our very own Kansas City Developer Evangelist, Steve Loethen talked about Windows Workflow.  WF is a way of designing what steps your code are going to take.  WF is going to be the engine running in all Microsoft products someday, and I can't wait to start using it.  I've manually coded my own workflow tools for our GPS solutions, and WF is going to fit nicely in there.  I need to do more research about it, because, I don't think it's quite the end all solution that they are trying to paint it to be.  For example, the idea is to put long running process into this engine and then when it is done, it will raise an event or run the next piece of code.  There isn't any process priority and there isn't any way of guarantee when the code will finish.  This will make it hard to run unit tests.  I also need to look at the actual overhead this engine will create.  If you have a short running process (<5 seconds), then does the benefits of WF outweigh the overhead?

Joe Stagner talked about Microsoft's AJAX library formally known as ATLAS.  I'm still not sold on ATLAS.  AJAXPro seems easier to implement and easier to accomplish more.  However, like I've said before, the controls are killer and I'll probably switch Where's Tim over to ATLAS once it is out of beta.  Joe hinted that it would RTM 2 months soon.

Robert Hurlbut finished up the conference with a talk about System.Transaction.  This is a very new concept to me and I still haven't wrapped my head around it all, but I think it could offer some benefits to our software.  The idea is that your application should always return to an ACID state.  Atomic Consistent Isolated Durable.  Any process that changes the state of your application should be wrapped in a transaction so if something fails, you can rollback to your former ACID state.  This is something else that I need to further research.

My head is still hurting from all the information that I absorbed in Omaha.  It was a great time, and I met a lot of interesting people.  Here are some pix. 

Jeff and Brian

Jeff Julian and Brian Muirhead (who won the grand prize, a XBOX and all the toys to make a happy geek)

Downtown Omaha

Downtown Omaha in the fog


A couple of geo geeks

parking lot


Community Credit


Posted on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 2:30 PM EnGraph , .NET , GPS , Mapping , Where's Tim | Back to top

Comments on this post: HDC 2006 wrapup

# re: HDC 2006 wrapup
Requesting Gravatar...
I get no Technorati Tag love?
Left by Jeff Julian on Nov 01, 2006 2:55 PM

# re: HDC 2006 wrapup
Requesting Gravatar...
As if you actually need more google juice :)
Left by Tim Hibbard on Nov 01, 2006 3:00 PM

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