# Wednesday, July 9, 2003

WS-Federation Security Specification

IBM and Microsoft (companies that are not known to be friends) released yesterday the WS-Federation Security Specification. It has not been released to the W3C for specification (but most likely will), mostly because the W3C is moving too slow and IBM/BEA/MS want the business world to start using this new standard. WS-Federation also follows IBM & Microsoft’s by-now familiar way of delivering WS- specifications with partners, signing-up ISVs with expertise in specific markets. Verisign and BEA put their names to WS-Security and Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS) for example.

I really like the approach of Microsoft and IBM, standards bodies are not moving fast enough and we need this technology now. WS-Federation will really allow users of future Services to interoperate much easier with better security-by federating the user’s identity across several Web Services. This is a good spec. The problem is that since the W3C is sitting on its hands, there is competition in the standards space. That competition comes from the obstructionist company called SUN Microsystems.

SUN Microsystems cried foul today to the release WS-Federation security specification. Will this near bankrupt obstructionist company just stop acting all bitter and spiteful and kill off the competing Liberty Alliance specification for once and for all and join with IBM, BEA and Microsoft with the WS enhancements. Jeeze, if IBM and Microsoft can agree, why can't SUN bury the hatchet for the good of the industry. Liberty has the smell of CORBA to me (remember that specification that nobody understood or used).

I think that Liberty is dead in the water.

Some background:

"There's got to be some overlap there," said Britta Glade, vice chairwoman of the Liberty Alliance Project's business and marketing expert group. "It focuses on federated identity. That's what we've been focusing on for two years."

Sun--whose two biggest rivals are Microsoft and IBM--launched Liberty at the behest of Visa International, but the effort now is controlled by many companies. There is no unwillingness to incorporate others' technology in Liberty, Glade said, adding that the group incorporated some of the work by an earlier Microsoft-IBM Web services effort, WS-Security.

posted on Wednesday, July 9, 2003 11:04:29 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [11] Trackback
# Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Another RD returns to the Mother Ship

 

Steve Lasker, the Microsoft Regional Director for Dallas, TX has joined the collective and is going to work for Microsoft as the Program Manager for the VB .NET team. He has started a few days ago and so far he is happy (but Seattle has not gotten any rain yet!). Good luck Steve!

 

After Chris Sells and other RDs moved to the evil empire this year, more and more good people are making the move to Microsoft.

 

This raises the question, will I ever work for Microsoft? Not anytime soon.

posted on Tuesday, July 8, 2003 4:04:16 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [21] Trackback
# Monday, July 7, 2003

The Future of Microsoft Access

 

The most difficult session I had to do at TechED in Barcelona was DAT231: Migrating Your Mission Critical Access Applications to SQL Server. The reason why it was hard was I had to convince a roomful of Access developers about the merits of upsizing to SQL Server and that since the two products architectures are so different, upsizing your application is actually going to be a rewrite in .NET (Windows or ASP .NET) or COM/ASP. The crowd did not boo me off the stage and I actually got pretty good scores and comments-it was a very highly ranked session on the Data Management Track. With some distance in Paris and time to reflect on long plane journeys, I started to think about the future of Microsoft Access.

 

It use to be that an Access developer can make the jump from Access VBA development to VB/COM development with not that much effort. That migration path does not exist anymore. Access and VB/COM had lots of things in common, including the language VBA (yes VB 6 developers, VBA is the language behind the Product you know as Visual Basic 6.0.) But .NET is just way too different.

 

Not sure what has to happen, maybe an Access .NET?? Who knows.

posted on Monday, July 7, 2003 6:04:47 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [14] Trackback
# Sunday, July 6, 2003

Detour for le Tour

 

Homeward bound from TechEd Europe and in Paris watching Stage 1 of the Tour de France. Cheering on Lance Armstrong and all of US Postal. After the Stage, went to the top of the Eiffel Tower and then walked to the start of the Champs-Elysées at the Arch de Triumph and then had some dinner on and strolled down the Champs-Elysées all the way to the Plaza de la Concorde and the Louvre.

Tomorrow is back to work in New York! Can’t wait to get home…

 

posted on Sunday, July 6, 2003 4:53:32 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [13] Trackback
# Saturday, July 5, 2003

And then there were two….

 

As fast as it started, TechED Europe is now behind us. Most everyone has went home today, of the crew we have been hanging out with this week, only myself and Bart DePetrillo the CEO of NewTelligence are left and we are about to hit the beach.

 

TechED was such a great conference, average session evaluations were up and the attendance was up year over year. The 10th Anniversary of TechED Europe was very special. The Imagine Cup was just well done and the contestants so impressive and inspirational. I have seen many of the contestants in the halls and parties and talked in length to them about their career goals and ambitions after they graduate. The sessions were terrific and my two sessions on Thursday and Friday went super. Surprisingly all tired from Thursday’s party, Friday’s session was very highly ranked, one of the best in the data track overall. (Thanks everyone who attended for the great scores and remarks!)

 

Thursday’s Attendee party was such a hoot. RD’s rocked the house with some out of this world Karaoke, Clemens Vasters, Christian Weyer and I sang Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”. At one point Christian stripped on stage and Clemens and I got on the ground on top of each other singing up to him. There are photos and videos of this someplace, will post them soon. There was a lot of love between the German RDs and their New York colleague.

 

After my sessions on Friday, went out sightseeing for a few hours with my Dutch pals and saw the unfinished Cathedral and climbed to the top and took some awesome overhead photos of the city. Then we went to the speakers dinner at some over the top fancy place. Sat with my Dutch pals Remi and Mark, and speakers at the table included RDs: Goskin, Billy Hollis, Joval Lowey, and MS speaker and pal Kevin Collins and the very popular and soon to be RD Kimberly Tripp. We then went out and partied like rock stars. Kimberly was worried about her reputation partying with Clemens and I until sunrise…(Kimberly, it can go either way!) I got home so late that I was able to take the subway home and have breakfast in the Hotel restaurant (when in Barcelona…)

 

Tomorrow I fly to Paris for the Tour de France, then home. Having been on the road for the majority of the last two months and the last 2 weeks straight, it is time for a break. Looking forward to going home.

 

See you all in Amsterdam next summer for TechED Europe 2004!

posted on Saturday, July 5, 2003 9:31:54 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [19] Trackback
# Friday, July 4, 2003

The Best TechED in Years...

TechEd is over and my sessions are done. This year the content and attendees were top notch. (Parties were good too!)

The scores are in for DAT307 Developing Applications with SQL Server Desktop Edition
and it was great. I love typing in code on the fly. I did that today with some stored procedures adn such. Showed a mix of C# and some VB.net code too. Some of the comments (I asked them if I was talking too fast a few times!):

How could we improve this session?
n/a

Good insight in subject. For your life decision: Continue to use C# code :P

Not enough depth for a simple subject like this
very informative of a product which has little visibility.
The session was too easy.
Good to see a bit of humor added to the presentation
great speaker, very usefull
Speaker does not speak to fast, but should keep more to the topic. I'm been working with MSDE for 4 years, so I guess that I should have attended another session.
Its hard to do it bether :-)
A very useful session.
Speaker was not speaking too fast :-)

posted on Friday, July 4, 2003 8:00:26 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [19] Trackback

Where is Patrick Roy?

Oh my hero Patrick Roy retired too soon.

From ESPN:

The Colorado Avalanche has signed unrestricted free agents Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne to one-year contracts, the Associated Press learned July 3. An NHL source said Kariya, who played with the Mighty Ducks last season, agreed to a $1.2 million contract. Selanne, who declined his option at $6.5 million with the Sharks, agreed to a $5.8 million contract with Colorado. Kariya and Selanne are two of the NHL's top forwards, scoring 56 and 64 points, respectively, last season. The duo last played together in Anaheim in 2000-01. Kariya, a seven-time All-Star, played his entire career with the Mighty Ducks, holding a string of team records, including most career goals (300) and assists (369). Selanne had 28 goals and 64 points last season, leading the Sharks in both categories.

posted on Friday, July 4, 2003 4:27:06 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [13] Trackback
# Thursday, July 3, 2003

Estaban Splain this Jukon to Me

So my pal and RD from Peru Jorge said this to me on the MS campus last February. Of course I can’t talk about Yukon, other than it is the next version of SQL Server. But I can say that once a fan of DTS today, I am now waiting for Yukon in a very hard core way.

I worked the Ask the Experts booth for SQL Server all week and fielded a lot of questions. Talked about DTC, migrating from Oracle, Notification Services (my favorite), SQL Server CE Edition and so on. Most questions were on Reporting Services and Yukon. Here are the most popular questions and answers:

SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services

1. How much will it be? Who knows. My gut says free.

2. When it the beta? September

3. How do I get on the beta? Sign up here.

4. When is it coming out? Before the end of the year.

Yukon:

1. Tell me ANYTHING! Yukon content will be at the PDC in LA this October.

 

posted on Thursday, July 3, 2003 12:00:22 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [10] Trackback

Open Letter to the TMB (Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona)

I have mastered the subways in Barcelona and having taken the subway to and from work each day here it is easy to use. I have a two things to say here.

#1. For a city where the bars stay open later than New York (NYC 4am, Barcelona 5am-ask me how I know this) and people don't sit down to dinner until 11pm, why the heck do you close the subway at midnight?

#2. The subway runs on Windows and looks like VB 6 app. You should convert to .NET. In addition, please fix your type mismatch error in the Espanya station!

posted on Thursday, July 3, 2003 5:47:08 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [14] Trackback

I have Demos Completely in Spanish!

 

Thanks to fellow RD Carlos R. Guevara (RD for Panama) for his code! Carlos, wish you were here in Spain...

posted on Thursday, July 3, 2003 5:21:29 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [13] Trackback
# Wednesday, July 2, 2003

Why do we come here?

 

A few years ago I contemplated getting an MBA. A good friend with an MBA advised me not to. They said that the main benefit of business school is to build relationships with your classmates. People who go to Biz school together have a bond that can’t be broken and a network of colleagues-colleagues who help each other over the years, call for advice, hire as consultants and do business with. Over the last 8 years in the Microsoft world of speaking, consulting, writing and attending conferences, I have build a large network, my “business school contacts”. This network of colleagues and friends is a primary motivation for me speaking at TechEd.

 

So why do delegates come to TechEd? Delegates come to TechEd to learn about technology in the breakout sessions. That is the primary goal, or at least why their employers pay for them to come. But another important reason is to meet other developers and catch up with other friends and see what they are up to. So Tom is heavy into C# optimization now. Mary is knee deep in the ASP Cache. Bob in SQL Server transactions. That network is more valuable than any session on those topics, when you have a problem or are contemplating a new project, in that technology, you can call your friend who is using that technology in the real world (of course with the background of the breakout session fresh on your mind too.)

 

This is serious reason not to miss any parties while at the conference (ok and the open bar too!). Last night was no exception, about 600 people were at the Imagine party (where Clemens Vasters and I danced on stage with supermodels), and of course there was an after-party down in Porto Olympia which lasted-well way too late. At the after party, I caught up with some Imagine Cup constantans from Canada, German, Australia and Columbia. I explained that in this industry help from another developer is your #1 asset. I told them that when interviewing with Peter Bloom for the CTO job at Zagat back in 1999, he asked me what my #1 qualification was for the job. I said that my network of experienced friends and colleagues who I can call at home anytime when the sh*t hits the fan for advice.

 

So see you at the attendee party on Thursday night or at the next conference!!

posted on Wednesday, July 2, 2003 7:52:18 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [12] Trackback