One of the most important aspects of attending conferences for me is the networking opportunities. As I am currently an MVP in BizTalk Server, still a fairly minority technology, it’s usually only at these events that I get to meet up with the people who really know the technology (apart from the BizTalk User Group Sweden of course). There are quite a few of the MVPs and “influencers” out this year, and I’m looking forward to catching up on old times and having intelligent and informed discussions about what’s hot at PDC.
I’d been wanting to go to “Magic Mountain” on Saturday, so I was overjoyed when Johan Lindfors suggested I hook up with a few of the guys from Microsoft Sweden and head up there. On the way up there we had a very interesting discussion on BizTalk vs. Dublin, which will be a very hot topic at this PDC.
Johan, despite heavy peer pressure, decided to play caddy with the backpacks and water bottles whilst we took to the rides. We bought an $80 “Thrill Pass” that allowed us to push in at the front of the, sometimes two hour, queues for most of the big rides (a very very un-Swedish thing to do, we recovered our Karma somewhat by giving them away to a group of kids when we left so they could get a few hours use of them), and managed to get round all the coasters except X2 (I really wanted to, but the “Thrill Pass” didn’t apply there) and Viper. Tatsu was the best, with Goliath a close second. We took Tatsu again for the last ride, everything started OK, but leaving the station someone hit the emergency stop, and we were left hanging face down, just outside the station for 20 minutes whilst security chanced an intruder around the area under the track. Luckily we were only 5 feet above the ground; it could have been 170.
PDC Top Tip #1: Network with Microsoft People
They know all the best events and parties at the conferences, and have a lot of inside info on the latest technology.
Later on I headed to the Sheraton down-town and met up with Yossi Dahan, who had just arrived on a flight from the UK. We had a long chat about the current status of “Oslo”, and our expectations for the PDC, and also the “Dublin vs. BizTalk” discussion. Yossi started with BizTalk about the same time as I did, about five years ago, and we chatted on the evolution of BizTalk from an almost unknown project that most people could not install, to a mature and comprehensive integration platform that drives the heart of some of the world’s largest companies. An interesting discussion to have with nine hours jetlag after a couple of beers.
Robert “Boss” Hogg joined us on the way between his room and dinner with some other UK people, it was great to see him again.
PDC FAQ 01: Will “Dublin” replace BizTalk
The short answer is “No”, at least not for a long time. I could spend a couple of pages trying to justify this argument, but Charles Young has posted the best overview of this on this, and there is no way I could come close to explaining it as well as he does. As far as existing customers and developers are concerned, after PDC it will be BizTalk as usual for the foreseeable future. It’s a real shame Charles is not in town for PCD, I think Microsoft should have flown him out and had him on the “Ask the Experts” booth to address the BizTalk related questions.
If you are at PDC, head for the Palermo Party tonight, it sounds like the place to be. I’ll be the guy with the “Bloggers Guide to Oslo” t-shirt, so feelfree to introduce yourself if you have any Oslo and related questions.
Don’t forget to check daily for links to the best news and blogs regarding Oslo and related stuff. I have Camtasia on my laptop, so I may even have a chance to get a webcast done if I can get my hands on those bits