Blog Posts from May 2005 (page 1 of 2)

TechEd Utility Player

So we’re one week out on TechEd. This time next week, the final prep will be done and we’ll be ready to let this thing fly. Some of the core team goes down this week, though as a track owner, I’m not really needed on site until Sunday.

What a difference a year makes. Last year, I was freaking out – it was my first TechEd. Now I feel like the old hand at this. Of course, I wouldn’t have made it through last year with out the assistance of a few key individuals. Among others was Esther, who just started blogging for this year’s TechEd. She’s got a long post about the track cabanas. Last year, they were a big hit, but there were a few glitches. Esther writes about some of the changes they made this year to address those issues.

If you’re going to TechEd, make sure to stop by the ARC cabana and say hi.

Finally, The New DSL Toolkit CTP

The May CTP of the DSL Toolkit is finally here, as per Jochen’s blog. The big new feature is compatibility with VS05 Beta 2, but according to Jochen this CTP also includes:

  • New features for the model explorer and property browser in the generated designers.
  • New shape type with collapsible compartments like in the Visual Studio Class Designer.
  • New text templating (code generation) engine with richer features like an include directive.

They haven’t updated the DSL Workbench pages yet, but you get the CTP directly from the Download Center. You can also leave feedback in the MSDN Product Feedback Center.

Introducing the Architecture Resource Center

Shortly after joining the Architecture Strategy Team, we worked with MSDN to re-launch the .NET Architecture Center. While we’ve had good success with that site, we realized after running it for several months that we needed a new approach in order to engage architects of all kinds. While Solution Architects are a key audience of ours that is well served by our MSDN site, there are also enterprise and infrastructure architects that we want to be able to engage with via the website. For these audiences, the MSDN site is not really the optimal channel. So today we’ve launched a new site – the Architecture Resource Center on We’ve also re-launched the MSDN site, now called the MSDN Solution Architecture Center.

One of the key differences you’ll notice about the sites is that we have a new way of categorizing our content. Previously, we used a topic based approach with categories such as service oriented architecture and application architecture. Now, we have a taxonomy with categories for think ahead, learn more, solve now and share ideas. This gives us a new way of differentiating content such as Metropolis, which really is about the future of architecture, from content such as the Smart Client Architecture and Design Guide, which really is about solving a specific design problems today. Over time, as we add both more content as well as more personalization features, we think this approach will make it much easier for our customers to find the content they are looking for.

Of course, as “community guy”, I’m most excited about the Share Ideas section. In addition to a site wide RSS feed, we also have an aggregate architecture blog (and RSS feed)  featuring both Microsoft architects like myself and Simon Guest as well as and 3rd party architects such as Architect MVP’s Jimmy Nilsson and Barry Gervin as well as Architecture Advisory Board members David Ing and Martin Fowler. There’s info on the new architecture certification, upcoming events and webcasts as well as profiles of my coworkers on the Architecture Strategy Team.

Finally, I’m very excited to announce that JOURNAL is becoming The Architecture Journal and that you can sign up for a free print subscription to this great quarterly publication. We saw a huge traffic spike when JOURNAL was introduced on Architecture Center last spring, so I’m thrilled that that great content will now be available in print format delivered right to your home or office! Watch for print copies of the Best of the Journal issue at TechEd.

Of course, with any new venture, there will be tweaks, hiccups and improvements. Please leave a comment or email me with your thoughts, opinions and suggestions on how we can continue to improve this site to meet the needs of all kinds of architects.

Architecture Webcast Series

Coming in June, hot on the heels of TechEd is the Architecture Webcast Series. This is a series of four webcasts in June and July of architectural topics such as service orientation and reusable frameworks. In addition to the valuable content, you’ll also get a free patterns & practices book and get entered into a drawing for a portable media center. Here are the webcasts:

Connecting Your Business with Service Orientation
This webcast invites you to delve into the Microsoft vision for service orientation and service-oriented architecture in enterprise computing. Discover the benefits that service orientation can bring to your business and how service orientation can play an integral role in developing connected systems. You’ll also become more familiar with Microsoft offerings and initiatives in the area of service orientation. And you’ll come away with practical guidance on how and where you should invest in the skills and technologies needed to capitalize on the short- and medium-term promise of service orientation.
Live Webcast: 10:00-11:00 A.M. PDT, Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Creating a Shared Technology Vision
Increasing business complexity and rapid industry changes are forcing IT and business executives to look for new ways of leveraging technology. Executives must become enablers for strategic innovation and sustainable competitive advantage (top line) rather than just operational efficiency (bottom line). The paths to business flexibility and innovation run through enterprise architecture that can allow companies to decompose their strategies, processes, and technologies into a set of services using proven theoretical frameworks and service-oriented architecture (SOA). Learn more about this effective and simple approach that can bridge the business-IT alignment gap and inspire the creation of the shared technology visions that can power real-time, event-driven network organizations of the twenty-first century.
Live Webcast: 10:00-11:00 A.M. PDT, Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Value of Reusable Frameworks
Frameworks provide the building blocks of component-oriented application development through inheritance, abstract types, interfaces, and design patterns. Microsoft and Avanade have been working together to create a set of common application blocks and provide these blocks in an extensible and reusable manner. This joint effort has resulted in the release of Enterprise Library, a set of reusable software components designed to assist developers with common enterprise development challenges, such as Security, Data Access, Instrumentation, Exception Handling, and Caching. In addition, Avanade has extended Enterprise Library with a set of advanced application blocks for implementing Aspect-Oriented Programming and Service-Oriented Architecture called ACA.NET. This webcast will provide an overview of the architecture of Enterprise Library and ACA.NET, and discuss the design patterns that were used to implement the application blocks.
Live Webcast: 10:00–11:00 A.M. PT, Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Examining Enterprise Service Patterns
The demands you face to produce aggregated views of business information and automate business processes are more intense than ever before. You have to deliver on these demands to assist in the growth of the business while at the same time driving down the cost of IT by commoditizing integration, aggregation, and process management in a complex heterogeneous environment. In this session, we’ll examine a common set of enterprise service design patterns for commoditizing integration, aggregation, and business process management. We’ll consider J2EE, Microsoft .NET and host environments.
Live Webcast: 10:00–11:00 A.M. PT, Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Agile and DSLs Workship

I’m not sounding off in the pub, so I guess I’ll blog the workshop that Alan and Steven Kelly from MetaCase are doing at XP2005. It’s called “Agile Development with Domain Specific Languages” and here’s the abstract:

This workshop will investigate the application of Domain Specific Languages within Agile development. A Domain Specific Language (DSL) is designed to express the requirements and solutions of a particular business or architectural domain. SQL, GUI designers, workflow languages and regular expressions are familiar examples. In recent years, Domain-Specific Modeling has yielded spectacular productivity improvements in domains such as telephony and embedded systems. By creating graphical or textual languages specific to the needs of an individual project or product line within one company, DSM offers maximum agility. With current tools, creating a language and related tool support is fast enough to make DSM a realistic possibility for projects of all sizes.