mars 14


I have followed the 3 days of the Tech Days 2009 in Antwerpen so time to do a little résumé of the sessions I have seen ! 

For the pre-conference day, I have followed the architect track, focused on Software + Services: the convergence of SOA, SaaS, Cloud Computing and Web 2.0. Cloud Computing was by the way one of the reccuring subject of the techdays with a few presentations dedicated to the subject.

Session 1 : Architectures: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly (by Miha Kralj)

This session was dedicated on fighting against some architectural ideas. Some key ideas about this talk :

  • The Pattern and Practices group has released the v2.0 of the Architect guidelines.
  • Requirements can be both your shield and your sword
  • Some Anti-Patterns:
    • Measure Abuse
    • Start Small, Grow fast : we cannot add scalability later on
    • YAGNI : You ain't gonna need it : dealing with things very low on priority list
    • YAFL : Yet Another Fine Layer
  • He also took the example of Sharepoing where developpers must use the API as the DB expose something like 500 stored procedures and 50 unrelated tables : high too hard to maintain

One of his conclusion was "It's much better to be approximatively right, than precisely wrong" 

Session 2 : Identity & Cloud Services (by Vittorio Bertocci)

Very nice training of Vottorio which is part of the Windows Azure team. The objectif of that session ? Presenting Azure, but more precisely the security part and the security claims.

  • What is a claim ?
    • It is a statement about an entity (a subject) made by an entity (an issuer)
    • Said differently, it is the base of systems where you will trust someone that will check the identity of a subject
  • The security is based on tokens (signed XML fragments that transport the credential and claims)
  • You will define some policies, meaning that to be able to do some business with someone (a client), he needs to provide me with a claim
  • The Microsoft .NET Services are composed of:
    • The .NET Service Bus
    • The Workflow Services
    • The .NET Access Control Service ("Geneva")
  • The "Geneva" framework has been designed to consume claims
  • The "Geneva" server is built on the "Geneva" framework
  • You will edit the authorization rules via a web portal or thru a MMC
  • The Active Directory can be used as an identity provider using the "Geneva" Server

The best explanations here were related to the claims "workflow" and the transformation of claims in the relay service.

Just read his post about his sessions of the TechDays.

Session 3 : Software + Services: The convergence of SaaS, SOA and Web 2.0 (by Beat Schwegler)

Beat used this session to speak a bit about SaaS, Web 2.0 and to provide us with some examples of web sites / application currently leveraging Web 2.0.

  • Some Definitions
    • SaaS
      • Software as a service
      • You consume a software provided by a "Service Provider" (like eMail, CRM, ...)
    • Web 2.0
      • An internet application that explicitely leverage network effects
      • Data is the next "Intel Inside
      • Software above the level of a device
  • Some Demos
      • The biggest online game (for the number of players connected at the same time in the same virtual world)
      • Built on Sql Server 64 bits
      • Allow the users to upload photos
      • The software will then give a 3D presentation of a scene based on the different photos uploaded
      • The library is currently scanning the most rare and precious book they hold and give a free access on the Web to consult these volumes
      • A composition of high resolution photographies of the Yosemite Mountain, allowing the use of the DeepZoom technology
      • The greatest online database of space information and photography
      • Also allow the DeepZoom technology
  • He finished the talk with a quick presentation of BPOS (Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite) which is composed of Sharepoint Online, Exchange Online, ...

Session 4 : Lap around Oslo (by Shy Cohen)

Olso is currently for me the most obscure upcoming technology. I was first introduced to it in Amsterdam during the First International SOA Symposium. But OSLO is continuing moving, and it's still very unsure to know when it will be delivered and what will really be inside. Some more information in the upcoming MIX 2009 ?

Let's try so summarize here some information I could catch during the talk.

  • Curently there is a clear trend towards data : we develop a generic software, and the specific parts (functionality specific to a client for instance) is getting moved in the data part to "configure" the behavior of the whole application
  • A CTP is currently available but "Quadrant" is not part of it
  • OSLO comes with "M" : a set a languages that will help manipulating the repository of OSLO
    • "M" is a textual modeling language
    • Allow to defines types
    • Allow to define constraints in a very easy way like "where value > 0" or "Text#30"
    • Generates Sql Code (including transaction management, (primary and foreign) keys, constraints

Session 5 : How IT will change in the next decade (by Miha Kralj)

This session was more a vision of the change of IT during the years and how it will evolve in the upcoming years. I will just note here some facts, in a time where "Green IT" is becoming more and more a fashion debate:

  • 50% of the global hardware is being bought by Microsoft, Google and Yahoo!
  • 6% of the carbon pollution is currently due to IT (meaning the same ratio as the aviation)
  • Cooling machines and servers is now the greatest energy consuming part of IT


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