TechEd 2007 Gets Going

Went to the keynote for TechEd 2007 today.  I've been to a few of these and so I thought I knew what to expect. What I didn't expect to see was the Imagine Cup coming down the tracks as the first headline item.

Bigging up the IC

Interesting in that three and a half years ago I went to the first imagine Cup world final and there were 14 teams who had a bunch of booths off to one side of the main exhibition. Today we have the IC as a keynote item and teams from pretty much every country in the world taking part and a big stand in the middle of the exhibition area. If you are at TechEd go and see Caroline on the stand. Tell her Rob sent you.... This is all such good stuff. Nice to see that Microsoft is still keen on getting students fired up in this business. They also introduced a lass from Pakistan who, at the tender age of 10 managed to get some C# qualifications. Very impressive. I thought back nervously to my 11 year old self, I think I was writing joined up by then.....

Then it was on to the computer stuff. They showed a thing where you can view  business processes via Sharepoint 2007 and actually modify their actions directly using C#. Very clever.  Business process is a big, big, thing. And the ability to do this kind of thing is terribly interesting. I'm pondering about the potential of regarding academic progression as a process like this. Might be a fun student project. 

Then we went on to using Ajax to seriously spice up the user interface, which was very pretty. They had a bit whre you could select swatches for clothing and then view the outfits that would be made from the. this was kind of impressive, but what I really wanted was a tool which would do full cloth modelling (like some of our students are doing for games) and then put them onto representations of real people. I guess it will come with time. And I'm pretty sure the platform would support it.

Finally it was the seriously techie stuff. Using the new Linq extensions you can connect databases directly to your software objects with just about no glue. This is hugely significant. One of the nasty problems at the moment is how you can take your nice shiny objects and connect them to your big fat database. It looks like Linq will  pretty much nail this issue. And it has some lovely RSS tools too.

And now I'm off for lunch....