Unfortunately, as is often the case at a large developer conference, the Internet connection gave out on Friday morning and I was unable to make my post for Thursday’s sessions. I attended a couple of more sessions Friday and left directly from the conference for the airport and didn’t arrive home until after 2am Saturday. Now that I am back home and settled in, Let’s just do a wrap up of the conference.
On Thursday & Friday I attended a few really good sessions, specifically “Future Directions for C# and Visual Basic” presented by Anders Hejlsberg, “Creating immersive data experiences with Entity Framework” presented by David Annsley-DeWinter & Jeff Derstadt, and “Building real-time web apps with HTML5 WebSockets” presented by Ravi Rao.
Of the Sessions I attended I would recommend watching the following if you missed them:
- What’s new in Visual Studio 11 – Jason Zander
- Create rich, data-driven Web apps with ASP.NET 4.5 Web Forms – Damian Edwards
- Future directions for C# and Visual Basic – Anders Hejlsberg
- Creating immersive data experiences with Entity Framework – Jeff Derstadt, David Annsely-DeWinter
- Building real-time web apps with HTML5 WebSockets – Ravi Rao
One of the sessions I was looking forward to on Thursday was cancelled (Building IIS and ASP.NET apps with the power of async – Damian Edwards and Phil Haack). I believe they are planning on recording the session once back in Redmond, so I’ll post a link when I see the video.
Windows 8 Developer Preview
If you were not lucky enough to attend Build and receive a Window 8 Developer Preview PC you can download the Windows 8 Developer Preview from http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/apps/br229516. Scott Hanselman has a good article on how to set up a Windows 7 PC to boot from Virtual Disk. I have followed this guide and installed The preview on the PDC09 Laptop. It seems to work well so far.
Beta & technical preview downloads – Announced this week
- Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview
- .NET Framework 4.5 Developer Preview
- WebMatrix Beta 2
- Silverlight 5 Beta
- ASP.NET 4.5 Developer Preview
- ASP.NET MVC 4 Developer Preview
- WCF Web API Preview 5
- SQL Server Code Name "Denali" CTP3
- SQL Server Developer Tools, Codename "Juneau"
Executive Conference Summary – Key Take Aways
The conference really revolved around the Release of Windows 8 Developer Preview and Building Apps for the new Metro Interface.
Microsoft has put significant effort into improving performance of the operating system for Windows 8. Boot times seem to be much quicker, the UI seems very responsive and the memory footprint for the O/S has been cut nearly in half.
Windows 8 will ship with a new Windows App Store for Metro Apps.
The new Metro Interface looks a lot like the Windows Phone 7 Metro Interface. When writing an application for Windows going forward you will have the choice of building a traditional Win32 (or .Net WinForms/WPF) app running on the desktop or a new Metro Style app running on the new WinRT (Windows Run Time). The two environments cannot be mixed, the new Metro Style apps are sandboxed. Also note that you cannot use GDI in Metro Style Apps, only Direct X.
As a web developer I spent most of my time attending the ASP.Net and Visual Studio 11 sessions, but there were a lot of great sessions on a whole range of topics around developing for Windows 8. I would recommend checking out Channel9 on MSDN to learn more and watch the sessions.
In ASP.Net 4.5 Web Forms gets support for Model Binding, Strongly Typed Data Controls, Support for Data Annotations. All ASP.Net applications get better support for HTML 5 and CSS3, CSS Folding, auto tag matching, new improved design view support (borrowed from Expression Blend as I recall) along with a newly designed style in all the project templates.
If you were not able to attend Build, and you feel like you’re missing out, here’s your fix.
You can download the Windows 8 Developer Preview from http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/home/ . Scott Hanselman has a great Guide to Installing and Booting Windows 8 Developer Preview off a VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) . Please note the Warranty! The Windows 8 Developer Preview is pre-Beta software, and as such it WILL crash, do unexpected things and in general misbehave. I have had pretty good luck with it so far, but I haven’t used it much and I certainly haven’t pushed it at all.
Some of the new items announced @ build are available as NuGet Packages (ex. ASP.NET Optimization – Bundling – 0.1 ) and can be used in Visual Studio 2010. Just add a Library Package Reference in your project and go.
Also, Channel 9 has the keynotes available to view online. Currently there aren’t any videos for the sessions, but every session I have attended has been recorded, so I am assuming it is just a matter of time.
Hope this helps!