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Tech-Ed Developer Conference a Mixed Bag

Bill Gates' sometimes-inspired, sometimes-tired keynote may have been a harbinger of the first week of this year's Tech-Ed Conference, which, for the first time, has been split into two parts: the developer conference this week and the IT professional conference next week.

While the focus on dev tools and issues is a boon for developers and guys like me who watch this industry for a living, it's a mixed bag for vendors.

Alexander Falk, CEO of XML and data tools maker Altova, believes the quality of the audience is better than it was in previous Tech-Ed conferences. His problem: Altova markets high-volume, client-side tooling like XMLSpy, and he'd like to see more people exposed to Altova's newly released tools suite. He's hoping next week's IT conference makes up the difference.

From a news standpoint, Gates' keynote ushered in a lot of new technologies for developers to sink their teeth into, but failed to go in-depth into most of them. Victor Mushkatin, CTO of application monitoring solution maker AVIcode, singles out the lip service paid to Oslo, the far-reaching initiative to establish model-driven application development and a unified repository for code, assets and resources. He says the keynote failed to move the discussion forward. Granted, there were some sessions this week that did go deeper into Oslo, and Microsoft is planning to put more meat on the bone at its Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles in October.

Mushkatin did praise Microsoft's new modeling approach, demoed by Microsoft Technical Fellow Brian Harry at the Tuesday morning keynote. Mushkatin said Microsoft is making progress in combating what he calls the "complexity crisis" around SOA and services development, where far-flung dependencies pose a serious threat to application performance and reliability.

"It's extremely important to make models live," Mushkatin said. "Without that, models will die. It's just another artifact that you print and you put on paper. Only if you can look at the code or switch view and see that code on the model, that's when it makes sense."

Posted by Michael Desmond on 06/05/2008 at 1:15 PM

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