Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Unify Tour 2007: Better than being there

I'm currently watching Session 1: Designing Architecture from the last stop of Microsoft Canada's Unify Tour 2007. The tour is all about how professional developers and IT professionals can collaborate together on the entire product lifecycle from design to deployment to monitoring and management.

Although I couldn't be at the in-person event today, I am watching it using Windows Live Meeting. While I don't get to mingle with IT Pro Advisors and colleagues in the industry, the streaming webcast is in some significant ways better than being there. I'm not talking simply about avoiding 3-4 hours of commuting to Toronto from Kitchener and back again, or even about the luxury of having my notebook computer for notetaking, maximizing and minimizing screen shots, or even blogging while sessions are being delivered. No, I'm talking about really important things, like washroom breaks, fresh home-made coffee, and leaving my cell phone on full volume.

Yeah, it's also useful to have access to the Internet, chat features with other remote session viewers and Microsoft IT Pro Advisors. But can that really compare with watching the sessions in a recliner?

Having spent many years in development and coding, this 10,000-foot overview of some of the new tools for design were quite impressive. The new Visual Studio Team System includes some features which really impress, including the new DB Pro role, auto-generation of sample data in the developer's SQL Server Express prototype database, specific service pack and other IT-related settings for design components, and source control for database schemas.

Kudos to the MSDN and TechNet presenters, Christian Beauclair and Damir Bersenic.

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