Day 2 :
The session started with Customer Panel: SOA Success Stories for me and I was realy amazed at the cariety and scale of challenges that Biztalk is solving . The next session thta i picked was
Avoiding 3 Common Pitfalls in Service Contract Design by Tim Ewald. This was a great session , This did focus on the facts that message contracts and schemas do evolve no matter how much reasearch you do upfront and the trick is to expect that change and how to make your schema extensible and how to change your idea of validation from a sub- set presence rather than an exclusion from a sub set of valid nodes.
There was a demo by K2 on thier new Workflow tool and I must say I am IMPRESSED with it's capabilities starting from AJAX based browser workflow designer to thier tight integeration into the Visual Studio environment and integerated debugging. It is code named BlackPearl , Reminds me of Pirates of the carribean . It is truly amazing howK2 has grown from it;s humble begininig in South Africa.
Choosing the next session was tough . I was torn between two sessions
Advanced Routing and Correlation with BizTalk Orchestrations
Lee Graber Microsoft and
Building an ESB on the Microsoft Platform
Brian Loesgen , Neudesic & Lukas Cudridge, Microsoft
I finally chose to attend Lee's Session and it was well worth it . His slide on Zombie factory ( classic Zombie a Recieve with a timer in the parallel branch ) had the room in splits :-) . Other thing that I really found out was Lee was not Chinese , i am not sure how that notion got into my head . This was one of my best rated sessions
I went for the "ESB Technical Deep Dive " by Brian next as I missed the intro talk but I was really impressed with the framework . You can get more details on the tool at EBIZTLKIT@microsoft.com .
I finished the day with a Developer Q and A and went to the Birds of the feather and Partner Expo. Some of the things that caught my fancey were
Farpoint Spread - An excel pipeline component
SKELTA workflow tool . They too has Ajax based workflow designer like K2 . It has outlook integeration too .It is not integerated into the .net platform at this point . This might be a cost effective option if K2 is out of your reach .
Java- Bizalk - JNBridge Adapter
Did stroll over to Jon's QuickLearn Booth , but couldnt catch him anywhere . Spend some time chatting at the BOF tables and went for a movie to relax