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SharePoint Book Signing

At high noon today (Monday, April 3rd), Stacy Draper will be signing his book, SharePoint 2003 Advanced Concepts : Site Definitions, Custom Templates, and Global Customizations. Find Stacy "somewhere in front of the Grand Cypress Ballroom".


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Orlando 06, Day 1: Workshops and Keynotes

Sunday began with a moan as I woke up to realize that I had to present a 7 hour workshop. But despite the crushing time difference and the daily savings time kicker it managed to be a successful ASP.NET hands-on workshop. Attendees (laptops in hand) learned how to sling some data controls, master pages, and login controls and lived to tell. I believe there were about 80 people in attendance.

Many other workshops were running simultaneously which I heard were very successful.

After my session was over, I grabbed a USB key from Erik Ruthruff and headed up to my room to look over the slides he had prepared for the keynote introductions. I then headed over to the rehearsal for the evening's keynotes. When I got there, there was a problem playing a film (on DVD) that Scott Guthrie had recorded on ASP.NET 2.0 development. Apparently, none of the machines on the stage could play the DVD. So I ran to my room to retrieve my laptop, which fortunately worked. We finally opened the doors and let everyone in and I ran through my brief slide deck and introduced Scott. The film (which premiered back in Vegas last fall) was once again well received, followed by another awesome keynote by Scott on ASP.NET.

Some randomly noted stuff that Scott said:

  • Orcas (the next version of Visual Studio) is slated to ship in 2007. Atlas will be tied to this release of VS.
  • In the mean time, the ASP.NET team is very much into a "continuous cycle of releases". Recent (or soon to be recent) releases include:
  • Atlas for those not in the know is Microsoft's "framework for building the next generation of cross-platform browsing experience".
  • MySpace.com, the number two site on the Internet (after Yahoo) is an ASP.NET 2.0 site that was deployed on ASP.NET 2.0 one week prior to its release. Upon deployment, the CPU load on the MySpace servers dropped from 85% utilization to 27%! Wow! MySpace gets 1.5 billion page views per day and has, on average, 2.3 million concurrent users. MySpace will be deploying Atlas support later this month.

After Scott's keynote, the Tablet PC folks at Microsoft planned to give away a new tablet to someone in the audience. Prior to the keynote they had duct-taped a tablet PC hat under one of the seats. So someone from the tablet PC group told everyone to look under their seats to see who had won. Pretty cool, right? The problem was the person who sat down at the winning seat had grabbed the hat earlier while Scott was speaking, received a call on his cell phone, and left the hall before the announcement. In other words, that phone call cost him a free tablet PC. Bummer.

After the tablet non-giveaway, Matt Nunn gave another inspiring keynote on SQL Server 2005. I don't have much to report on that keynote since I had to leave but I'm sure it was well received. After the keynotes were over, there was a dessert reception in the exhibitor hall. I enjoyed myself there gorging on cakes and beer, as did many others.


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Geek Women Unite

On Tuesday, April 4th at DevConnections, there will be Women's Luncheon at DevConnections in Orlando. According to Julie Lerman, "At Tuesday's lunch, there will be a bunch of tables reserved for women so that we can all get together and meet - attendees and the women speakers. That will be fun." So if you have two X chromosomes and you are attending Microsoft ASP.NET Connections, Visual Studio Connections, SQL Server Magazine Connections, or SharePoint Connections, please stop by. More details.
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Orlando 06, Day 0: Let The Games Begin!

I'm here in Orlando at one of my favorite hotels in the world, the Hyatt Grand Cypress. Here for the DevConnections shows, which include this week: Microsoft ASP.NET Connections, Visual Studio Connections, SQL Server Magazine Connections, and for the first time, SharePoint Connections.

This should be a phenomenal show at a great location. What more could you ask for. I'll be blogging at least one day while onsite. In addition, expect blogs from speakers, attendees, and vendors, including:

  • Me (Paul Litwin). In case you don't know I am the conference chair for Microsoft ASP.NET Connections and a speaker at that show. I am running an all-day hands-on precon tomorrow on ASP.NET 2.0 (my body will be on the east coast daylight savings time but my mind will be on pacific standard time--four hours later; should be fun). I'm doing two talks later in the week. One on the Data Controls and Data Source controls. And the other on SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services.
  • Julie Lerman. Julie is consultant living in Vermont (one of my favorite states in the union). Julie loves ASP.NET, tablet PCs, Web Services, ADO.NET, and lots more. She is a speaker at the ASP.NET and VS shows and lead a user group in her home state.
  • Carl Franklin. Carl is the man behind .NET Rocks and Franklins.net. He loves music, media, Visual Basic, and the weird (besides VB, that is). Carl is the co-chair of Visual Studio Connections and does talks entitled "What is an object". He also plays a million instruments and has a band.
  • Keith Smith. a Microsoftie and speaker at Microsoft ASP.NET Connections. Keith will be speaking on Master Pages, Themes, and Navigation and using Visual Studio Team System.
  • Mark Miller will be speaking at VS Connections. So what you say? Well, Mark's session "will be completely driven by the audience." Mark will also be manning (personning?) his Developer Express booth where he will be showing off his very cool products, including Code Rush. By the way, don't miss the photo on Mark's blog site at http://www.doitwith.net/2006/03/31/ExtendingVisualStudioLive.aspx. Scroll down and prepare to ROFL.
  • Bill Simser. I've never met Bill but I understand he is a SharePoint guru and will be speaking at the event. From reading his blog I can tell that Bill is as crazy as the rest of us.

Okay. that's it for now. I need to turn my attention to preparing for tomorrow's workshop and maybe even getting a little sleep.

Anybody else who will be onsite and blogging please send the URL to your blog and cross-link back to this blog.



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Call for Speakers -- Mobility Connections Las Vegas

Dear Fellow Speaker,

It is my pleasure to announce that DevConnections, the greatest third-party conference for .NET developers, is expanding with the addition of a brand new event this fall: Mobility Connections!

Mobility Connections will be held on November 6-10th at the beautiful Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. The show will run alongside Visual Studio Connections, ASP.NET Connections and SQL Server Magazine Connections. These events are also co-located with Windows & Exchange Connections. The last event in Las Vegas had more than 2,800 attendees, and more than 4,000 are expected this fall.

The conference is beginning its planning and the objective is to present the grid in the April show in Orlando.

I would like to extend you an invitation to submit abstracts for the Mobility Connections Fall 2006 conference.

Mobility Connections will have two tracks, one on Tablet PC development, and another on Mobile Devices development.

  • Day 1 is Microsoft Day where all sessions are delivered by Microsoft speakers.
  • Days 2 & 3 are for third-party speakers like you.
  • There are 5 sessions per track per day.
  • Half-day pre-conference and full-day post-conference submissions are also accepted.

Mobile PC / Tablet PC Track

This track is about developing enterprise applications for Mobile PCs with the tablet feature. The conference will be on or near the WinFX release. We would like to do justice to both to WinFX and .NET 2.0, but remember that you need to keep your topics within the context of Tablet PC development. Generic sessions about these technologies need to be covered as part of Visual Studio Connections.

Please submit abstracts along the following topics:

  • Developing applications for Tablet PC, both the 2005 and Vista versions.
  • Tablet PC SDK and WinFX on Tablet PC.
  • Building smart clients with the Tablet PC platform (offline use, security, etc.)
  • Designing applications for Ultra Mobiles.
  • Deployment, manageability of Tablet PC apps.
  • Power Awareness, Network Awareness, Sync Center and Windows Sideshow.

 Regarding other non-mobile generic topics, such as Orcas (C# 3.0, VB 3.0, LINQ), VSTS, etc. these should be kept for the Visual Studio Connections event.

If you want to talk about SQL Server 2005, then it should be done in the context of data access on Tablet PC applications, or using SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition on Tablet PC. Anything more than that should go in the SQL Server Magazine Connections event. Same goes for Web services and the ASP.NET Connections event, Atlas and AJAX.

Mobile Devices Track

This is a track for enterprise developers mainly, so please avoid talks on Windows CE platform and custom device development, writing device drivers, using the Platform Builder or Embedded Windows.

Please submit abstracts along the following topics:

  • Developing applications for Pocket PCs and Smartphones
  • .NET Compact Framework 2.0 and OpenNETCF.org SDF
  • Windows Mobile 5.0 SDK
  • Building for Windows CE and Windows Mobile
  • Building smart clients for mobile devices (offline use, security, etc.)
  • SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition
  • Deployment, manageability of Tablet PC apps.
  • Writing device applications in unmanaged code (eVC++, try to remain business/enterprise focused)
  • ASP.NET Mobile Controls

Since we have all been presenting on Whidbey for three years now, please try and submit preferably new VS 2005 content altogether or revised, updated and improved old sessions. Based on your experience, sessions about migration, compatibility (or lack there of), interop, etc. are encouraged. We will try to avoid any VS 2003 sessions (unless you have a compelling reason). All sessions must be compatible with VS 2005 SP1 and WinFX RTM/RC.

Sessions on security, deployment, tips and tricks, customer case studies, process, etc. are welcome as long as they target mobile scenarios.

Please submit at least 4 abstracts, but it would help your chances of being selected if you submitted 5 or 6 abstracts. Send your abstracts to nlandry -at- infusiondev dot com (you can figure out my address from this).

We need to have all your abstracts by February 28TH. The conference organizer (Shirley) wants to have an early start so that she could promote the event in ads and inserts, and as I mentioned have it ready for the April event.

Abstracts should be in the following basic format and included in the text of the e-mail:

Speaker Name
Title (Words Should Be Proper Case)
Abstract (without line breaks)

Please also include a short 1000-words bio about yourself in the e-mail.

Please keep the abstracts under 200 words each and in one paragraph. No bulleted items and line breaks, and please use a spell-checker.

Finally, please remember that there are a limited number of speaker slots. I have room for 20 sessions slots + a few pre/post-conferences, which means approximately 6-8 third-party (non-Microsoft) speakers. So please realize that I will have to turn a number of you down. :-( Someone has to make the cut and I have that unfortunate job. So please don't hate me if I don't pick you. Note that missing the above deadline and/or not following my instructions will significantly reduce your chances of being accepted as a speaker.

Thank you and good luck.

Nick Landry
Mobility Connections Conference Chair

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Call for Speakers -- Microsoft ASP.NET Connections Las Vegas in November 2006

It's time again for our semi-annual call for speakers for the Fall 2006 Microsoft ASP.NET Connections in Las Vegas. If you want to speak at the Vegas event, consider this your call for action!

Here is the basic info on the event:
Nov 6-10, 2006 in Las Vegas (Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino).

What I need from you now is an e-mail with proposed session abstracts by Sunday, February 19. Please submit at least 4 abstracts, but it will help your chances of being selected if you submitted more like 5 or 6 abstracts or even more. Do realize that many times more people will submit sessions as I can have on board as speakers, but you won't have any chance if you don't submit any abstracts! If you haven't presented before at one of our shows, I will also need a short biography as well.

Send all abstracts to me at paul -at- litwinconsulting . com (you will need to convert this into a real address so that's the first test of your acumen).

A word on ASP.NET Versions: The focus will be ASP.NET 2.0 as well as ASP.NET Next (Atlas, etc.). No pre-2.0 talks, unless you have a good reason for it.

Abstracts should be in the following basic format without any special formatting or extra text and included in the text of the e-mail (don't include the words Title, Author Name, etc.; these are merely placeholders for the content):

Title (Words Should Be Proper Case)
Author Name

Please keep the abstracts to under 200 words each and to one paragraph. NO bulleted items, please. And use a spell-checker.

Feel free to pass this link around to other potential speakers.

At the risk of repeating myself, please remember that there are a limited number of speaker slots. I have room for approximately 10-12 3rd-party (non-Microsoft) speakers. So please realize that I will have to turn a number of you down. :-( Someone has to make the cut and I have that unfortunate job. So please don't hate me if I don't pick you. Note that missing the above deadline and/or not following my instructions will significantly reduce your chances of being accepted as a speaker. Good luck.

Paul Litwin
Microsoft ASP.NET Connections Conference Chair


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April 2006 -- Orlando, Orlando, and Nice!

This blog has been quiet but that doesn't mean that nothing has been happening. We recently finalized the program for our next set of shows. And boy, is it a busy April for the Connections crew:

  • April 2-5, 2006: Microsoft ASP.NET Connections, Visual Studio Connections, SQL Server Magazine Connections, and SharePoint Connections, Orlando, Florida. Four great shows for the developer/DBA in one location at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress resort in sunny Orlando, Florida. This is one of my all time favorite hotels in the heart of America's playland: Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, etc. New for Orlando is the addition of SharePoint Connections.
  • April 9-12, 2006: Microsoft Exchange Connections and Windows Connections, Orlando, Florida. Two great IT professional shows in one location. This IT show follows the developer/DBA events by one week and moves down the street to the Disney Swan Resort. Also, a nice hotel but it's been about 12 years since I stayed there (at the first TechEd). Should be another great show for the Exchange/Windows professional.
  • April 24-27, 2006: Microsoft ASP.NET Connections, Visual Studio Connections, SQL Server Magazine Connections, and Microsoft Exchange Connections, Nice, France! Like Orlando, this is four great shows for the price of one but this time we add Microsoft Exchange Connections to the mix instead of the SharePoint. This is a great opportunity for our European (and African and Asian) friends to join a Connections event without having to fly all the way to the United States. And for some of us US speakers, what a great perk to be able to hang out on the Mediterranean. I've been to Nice once before (TechEd Europe about 7 years ago) and what another fantastic location. I am especially excited about this one.


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Top 5 Reasons why DevConnections was a Raving Success

Satisfied attendee Adnan Masood blogs on his "Top 5 Reasons why DevConnections was a Raving Success".  What more can I say. Thank you Adnan for such a nice post. Adnan also blogs on Juval Lowy's post-conference workshop (which I mentioned as well in an earlier post).
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Charles Petzold's Windows 1.0 Keynote

Paul Mooney blogs on Charles Petzold's fabulous Windows 1.0 keynote (his post includes a link to the video that Paul made of the keynote). If you missed the keynote at DevConnections Las Vegas, you can read Charles talk, complete with screen shots.
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Scott Guthrie's Behind the Scenes Video at DevConnections Vegas

During his keynote talk on Monday, November 7, Scott Guthrie ran a great video that was a "behind the scenes" look at the planning, program managment, development, and testing happened to make ASP.NET 2.0. Scott shot the video himself on the Friday before the event and it was fantastic. Scott blogged about the vide and some ASP.NET 2.0 stats recently which you might wish to read. (His blog, by the way, should be regular reading for any ASP.NET developer.)

I have asked Scott if he will be psting the video online soon. I will link to it if and when he does that.


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Day 5 (PostCon Day): DevConnections Las Vegas, Midnight

Okay, it's definitely over now and wow was it a fabulous show. Thank you attendees, speakers, vendors, and staff for making it all happen. In case you haven't heard: the next show is in April in Orlando. Hope to see you there. Continue to check www.devconnections.com for details.

BTW, I just heard from a reliable source that we were the only event that was able to give away Visual Studio 2005 Professional to attendees (rather than the Standard Edition that is being given out at the Launch events). What a coup for the conference president, Shirley Brothers! And what a deal for the attendee!

More blog posts about the show:

That's it for now. If anyone finds any other blog posts about the show that I missed, please let me know.


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Day 5 (PostCon Day): DevConnections Las Vegas, 10:30 AM

Well the main conference is over and most attendees, speakers, and vendors have gone home. It was a fabulous show. I didn't have any talks myself on Day 4 so I sat in on lots of sessions. All fantastic. And at the closing session we answered questions from the audience and gave away two DVD players, 3 IPod Nanos, 3 conference passes, two XBox 360s, and a few other things I can't recall.

Today, there are a number of excellent post-con sessions. I just sat in (actually stood in--the room was packed) on Juval Lowy's workshop on C# 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005. He just spent 1.5 hours going through IDE tips and tricks. Great stuff.

Don't forget to read the blog postings of attendees and speakers.

If you were here in Vegas, have a safe trip home. And if you missed it, perhaps we've given you a taste for what went on here and perhaps you'll consider joining us in April in Orlando or next fall back in Vegas.

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Day 4 (Thursday): DevConnections Las Vegas, 9:45 AM

Day 3 was another whopper of a day. Thirteen simultaneous tracks of cutting edge content from some of the best developer/admin/speakers in the world. Besides the two sessions I presented on Data Controls and SQL Server Reporting Services, I sat in on several other talks, including Dan Wahlin's excellent talk on moving from Web Services to SOA and Harold Chataway's talk on DotNetNuke and Robert Green's session on everything you need to know about working with XML in .NET 2.0. I love how Robert boils down potentially complex concepts into easily understood examples. Speaking of making things simple, I am currently blogging while attending Billy Hollis' fabulous session on Generics in VB .NET 2.0 (just about everything he's saying, however, applies equally to C# 2.0 as well).

Notable Vegas DevConnections blog posts:


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Day 3 (Wednesday): DevConnections Las Vegas, Noon

Day 3 is going great. A few more blog posts of note:

  • Julie Lerman wishes she was an attendee. Gosh, Julie, first you were an attendee and wished you were a speaker and then when we make you a speaker, now you want to be an attendee. There's no pleasing Julie. :-)
  • I whine about going late during my SQL Server Reporting Services session. Oh well. Maybe I should wish I was an attendee too.
  • Also, I put out a call for runners. A call for runners? Yes, I'd like to get together with other developers (attendee, speaker, etc.) who want to run. Details here.

More later.

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