TechEd ARC Announcement Roundup

Of course, TechEd is a big time for product announcements, new websites (like ARC) and other assorted new stuff. Here’s a roundup of stuff I’ve been tracking:

  • TechEd is the first time we’re talking about the new Architect Certification in earnest. There has been quite a bit of cabana traffic on this topic. People hear “certification” and think it’s a simple test, but when we explain that it’s more like a PhD board, they get more impressed. When they talk some of the people who have been through the beta program and they hear how hard it is, they are more impressed. So far, I think we’ve only passed around two thirds of the candidates even though the beta program consists entirely of hand selected partners and MSFT employees. Mario made a great analogy to 18th century medicine – certification helped the public separate the real doctors from the charlatans. There’s also a great roundtable interview about the program up on PressPass. Joe from that interview spent a lot of time talking certification in the cabana yesterday. He mentioned that while there is some product focus, a deep Java architect should be able to pass the certification. Good news for Ted who didn’t have many takers to sign his book Effective Enterprise Java at the TechEd author signing on Sunday.
  • patterns & practices launched their new dev center on MSDN. They’ve also released previews of their new Global Bank Integration Baseline Architecture (typically just referred to as GBI) and the WS-I Basic Security Profile Sample App. I got a preview of the GBI project a few weeks ago, and I was very impressed (though it will be even more impressive if they release it as a GAT package). GBI has lots of moving parts that are headless, so the team wrote an application called The Narrator to help users explore what is happening in the system. It provides multiple views into the running system, including a system view, a services view, a pattern view and a security view. When I saw this, my first reaction was “Let’s get that on the web!” I mean, it’s great for use with the actual GBI, but GBI consists of 40 projects running across as many as six machines. That’s a lot of time investment to simple explore the system. So based on my suggestion, the p&p folks built a flash demo of the GBI Narrator. Of course, the flash demo doesn’t connect to a running system, but it’s otherwise a very similar experience to the “real” narrator. Let us know what you think of this approach.
  • Lots of other people have linked to the new VSTO Outlook that SteveB announced on Monday, but I also wanted to link to David Hill’s blog. David is an architect from the Architecture Strategy team, but the VSTO team “borrowed” him 3-4 months ago to help make this happen. Watch David’s blog for info on what’s happening under the covers with VSTO Outlook. Congrats David!