Tech-Ed Europe and trying to keep up with two blogs

For the occasion of Tech-Ed Europe I’ve setup a separate weblog, in Dutch. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to keep up both weblogs while attending the conference. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with one weblog. But I’m going to give it a try.

Today marks the beginning of Tech-Ed Europe, with the entire day filled with so called pre-conference sessions. The exhibition area is not open yet, so one might argue that the convention actually starts tomorrow. Well, who cares.

The good thing about the pre-conference sessions is that you can watch and listen the entire day attending one specific track. Fortunately, these tracks are divided into different sessions, so if you decide to switch tracks, which I did, that’s easy to do. You may miss, however, the in-track transition from one subject to the next, which I did. The architecture track started out a bit vague and more business than technology oriented. While business modeling certainly is required stuff if you are to do some enterprise architecting, this is not my focus, at least not until I’m > 40. So I switched to the ASP.NET 2.0 track. This track, however, was simply a showcase of all the new and nice ASP.NET 2.0 controls and APIs. Most of these I’ve already heard about and seen, and if necessary one could always check the docs.

So, back to the architecture track. The session turned out to be a bit more interesting with the demonstration of the Guidance Automation Toolkit. This is a very neat tool to implement the elements of a service oriented architecture in your Visual Studio .NET (2005) solution. I did have a bit of a flashback, since it reminded me of the tools delivered with EDRA, formerly known as Shadowfax. I never got around to it to using these tools in full effect, and I wonder what would happen with the GAT if the team that develops it goes of to do other projects. What about (end user) support? What if we find bugs, and we know that there are bugs in the GAT. The toolkit looks pretty powerful but if there’s no guarantee that it will keep working, why would I invest in it. As far as I know, developing a service oriented architecture and implementing it with the right tools is not something to be done in one begin-end 6 month project. Is it?