Microsoft TechEd 2009: Day 2

13 May 2009

After the rush of the first day at TechEd, the second settled down in to a series of more in-depth presentations in our booth. I'm primarily responsible for demoing our WinForms controls (we have 6 kiosks, one for each of WinForms, ASP.NET, Silverlight, WPF, XAF/XPO, and CodeRush/Refactor! Pro) and I must admit that I had more inquiries in day 2 than I did on the initial day. Also, partly because of that, I think, but also because the first day jitters had gone, I'd settled into the groove of doing a good demo.

So, for example, I had an existing customer come up to me and ask about the designer for XtraGrid. It seems that he'd been using the grid for a while, but had never investigated the nooks and crannies of the designer. Now, I know full well that the XtraGrid is a rich product, bordering on complex, but it speaks volumes to the problems of writing software that exposes better discoverability of its features. We then went on to some discussion to some of the run-time features as well. All in all, a good chat.

For some reason (maybe I didn't get the memo), I've had a number of people ask me about our pivot grids and charting at this TechEd in an effort to understand what we do about Business Intelligence, to use the jargon. Our story here is pretty good, although, for the life of me, I can never seem to remember what Microsoft's cube server is called (quick surf: it's Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services, or SSAS, although I was calling it SQL Server Business Intelligence at one point), and we integrate charting with the pivot grid very easily. (And, from them both, printing is a breeze.)

Also, yesterday lunchtime I was visited by Lee Abramson, the Product Manager for the Open Platform Solutions at Novell (that is, the guy who looks after the Mono "product"). We had a brief chat about Mono, especially with regard to Linux web servers, and I promised to go and have a chat with one of their senior devs in their booth over the next couple of days to see what they're doing in that area and how our ASP.NET products can fit in.

All in all, a productive day in the booth and an enjoyable one. On to day 3!

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