Simon Harriyott

Understanding Web Services: Microsoft MSDN UK event

Went to the MSDN event today. On the whole, it was really good. Got up really early:

although some people seem to do that every day. I'm usually asleep then. Anyway...

The speakers were all good, and all have weblogs, and all pronounce things strangely (more to follow). The first session (David Gristwood) was an architectural view of web services, which was expanded on in the other sessions. There was quite a lot of time spent talking about WS-* standards, and how they're either superseded or unfinished, and nobody's really using them yet. If the earlier ones are superseded already, then how long before the unfinished ones will be?

The second session (Mike Pelton) was about smart clients, which I'm sure I'd seen Tim Sneath talk about at the last MSDN event I went to in Brighton. Smart clients (for the benefit of Lawrence) are Windows programs that automatically check for new versions, and download them.

The third session (David Gristwood again) was about Biztalk 2004, and how to integrate web services using "business rules" in a flowchart style diagram, rather than writing code.

After a surprisingly good free lunch (got a cheese sandwich and an apple in Brighton), was a session with some code. Benjamin Mitchell managed what seemed like the only working demo of the day, and he wrote the code for it in the session. The demo was a publish/subscribe web services model, and was only a few lines of code (with WSE included). As the slides will be available soon, but the code probably won't be, I took photos.

n.b. I can appreciate how nerdy that is, and I'm almost ashamed of myself.

The last major session was a detailed look at security in web services. Whether it was the surprisingly good lunch, or that the speaker (Mike Shaw a.k.a. Dr. Security a.k.a. .NET Security Dude)
sounded rather like Griff Rhys Jones, or that I'm not using web services yet, I struggled to keep up with this one. It was very detailed, comprehensive and useful, and when I get to do security in web services, I'll wish I paid more attention.

Finally there was a little tiny overview of Indigo, which could have been a whole other session or two. It probably is another session or two in a whole other event, which is why there was only a few minutes today.

The best quote of the day: "InfoPath is to BizTalk as Outlook is to Exchange".

30 November 2004