TechEd 2006 – Monday

Connected with Greg after breakfast. (I’m glad I have a Treo; it has been very useful.) We attended the first session together.
Windows Powershell:Solving Management Problems, presented by Jeffrey Snover. He was a very animated and charismatic (manic?) speaker. He did a lot of good demos, showing the ways that Powershell works and can unite many of the Windows information silos (cmd.exe, WMI, registry, etc.).
Jeffrey used the phrase “psychotically powerful stuff” several times, and there were several applause moments during the demonstration.
Mark (?) showed an example of using Powershell with ADSI to work with Active Directory interactively from a CLI. I do most of this work with the ds* commands, currently, but the approach was more flexible.
Don Jones showed some of the capabilities of PrimalScript in working with Powershell code.
SQL Querying Tips and Techniques
Richard Campbell is one of the most engaging presenters I’ve seen. He was funny, yet polite, professional and very at ease and genuine. He showed some good, crunchy demos of T-SQL queries and focused on several techniques:

  1. subqueries
  2. using temporary tables (instead of cursors)
  3. using CTEs (specific to SQL Server 2005) for recursion
  4. self-joins
  5. ranking
  6. and crosstabs, including an elegant but esoteric approach called ‘binary aggregation’, if I caught it correctly.

I was so engrossed in the presentation that I took only sparse notes, but Richard said that the code would be available.
Windows/Linux Integration: the Art of the Possible was thoroughly disappointing. I was hoping for a step-by-step demonstration of configuring a Linux client to use AD for directory services (via LDAP) and authentication (via kerberos). Instead, Jeremy Moskowitz spent have the time talking about the differences between Linux and Windows in very broad generalities. Then he went though Service for Unix and the services available in Windows Server 2003 R2. He touched on a few other points, too. But I didn’t get a whole lot out of the session.
I did get a quote: “Linux if free like a puppy is free.” I’ll buy that.
Leon Alexandrou presented Microsoft Office Groove 2007: Enterprise deployments, which described the process of deploying Groove at Microsoft. He started with a broad overview of the basic Groove Enterprise architecture. He gave pretty detailed information about what is required, what the important decision point are, and how the deployment and MS was handled.
for some reason, this session was the first where they dimmed the lights. I almost fell asleep. ..zzZZZ
CLR IronPython, RubyCLR and .Net Scripting Languages
Mahesh Prakriya and Jon Lam demostrated these two projects. IronPython is an implementation of the Python language in CLR. RubyCLR is dynamic ‘glue’ that allows Ruby to access CLR facilities.
IronPython has two goals:

  1. Ture implementation of Python
  2. Seamless integration with .Net

They both showed some interesting examples of rapid development of applications using these tools. Mahesh created an application window, ink-enabled it, and captured the ink he wrote to ascii with just a couple lines of Python. There were numerous demos, but by now, they’ve started leaking out my ears….
IronPython 0.7 is available from codeplex.com.
Tomorrow, Greg and I are probably going to link up again in the morning for a session on building a Windows XP Master Image. Now, I must sleep.

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