Just finished posting my ramblings from my recent visit to TechEd 2003. My postings are in the order in which i viewed the presentations, so as you go further forward, you may see some duplication on the material that was presented.
All in all. I enjoyed this years Tech Ed presentations. So what was i able to take back about Microsoft and their products:.
- Windows 2003 just works. They have built on top of the stability of the previous release to offer (i) NLB and improved clustering, (ii) .NET framework 1.1, (iii) Web Services & UDDI, Virtual Shadow Copy, ....and much more im sure!
- Office 2003. I didn't attend any of the seesions on Office, but from what ive read to date. I am impressed. I think the way that they are opening up Word using XML and XSD will really expand the way people will start to build producitivty applications. That coupled with InfoPane, which provides a context sensitive client side panel embedded in Word, which allows developers to build workflow based applications that leverage on XML and Web Services. Additionally they released InfoPath, an XML Forms editor that can be used send XML data to BizTalk... I really don't know where Office 2003 and InfoPath are going... but i think it will really open up new oportunites for building apps... i would recommend taking the time to follow these new developments.
- BizTalk 2004. Of course, you could not go to TechEd without seeing the announcements for BizTalk Server 2004 (which by the way is an absolute darling of a product). This is more a reflection of how how quickly Micrsoft has taken leadership position in the EAI space in a very short space of time. While companies like SAP are making noises of their NetWeaver / SAP XI platform strategy, and IBM still in the process of integrating (and rebranding to IBM WBI) its recent acquisition of CrossWorlds and its ICS Server / Collaborations product... Oh and lets not talk about TIBCO's continual acquisition of products (last one being Talarian?), it sort of makes me think that these companies are really struggling to deliver a cohesive strategy. So I think Microsoft have really stolen a lead, with its organic development, that is in line with its product stack and their Jupiter product strategy. This is additionally supported by Microsoft entering the Gartner Magic Leader/Ability to Execute Quadrant, which means they must now be taken very seriously!