Roll on Day two of the conference. There were a few bleary eyed attendees at breakfast and for some reason the breakfast hall looked a little emptier today.
Fargo put on another brisk day for us with -6 degrees Celsius, 21 degrees Fahrenheit. The nicely decorated tree could not keep me outside any longer than it took to take this photo.
After breakfast the Consultants and Sales streams stay at the Holiday Inn, while the Developer and Marketing streams headed over by coach to the Microsoft Campus.
Mariano was nowhere to be seen after his partying the night before, so I sent him a message to check where his was. He responded that he was alive and was working on preparation of a demo for our session in the afternoon and would be in later.
So I attended the break out sessions on Service Based Architecture:
- Service Based Architecture: Maximize the Power of Dex Patterns for Service Procedures with Dan Lothspeich and Marge Swanson
- Service Based Architecture: Debugging and Troubleshooting with Dan Lothspeich and Rob Bernhardt
- Service Based Architecture: The A to Z of Building Service Operations with Brian Roney
In the break between the session I spent some time chatting with Jim Peliksza and Patrice Bremond-Gregoire about standard development templates, tools for automating Dexterity development and how far to take object based code in Dexterity. An interesting discussion which will influence how I update my standard development template to make it more Service Base Architecture ready.
Now, while this will not be unusual for many readers, I had to take a picture of snow falling. It is just something that does not ever happen in Perth, Western Australia. The only place in Western Australia that sometimes gets snow is our highest hill called Bluff Knoll. If it does snow there, by the time you drive the five or so hours down from Perth, the snow would have melted.
Mariano arrived later in the morning and we discussed our plans for the session we were presenting that afternoon in the breaks and at lunch. Talking of lunch, some of your might know that I have an intolerance to Flavour Enhancers such as MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate) and its related chemical friends. Well, I need to call out Kevin who is the Chef at the Commons Cafe as he always makes sure there is something I can eat, even if he has to make an extra, separate meal just for me. For lunch he made me a fantastic Pasta Alfredo with Grilled Chicken, and it was yummy. Thank you Kevin.
After lunch it was time for Mariano and I to present our session:
- Service Based Architecture and Building Exciting New Customer Applications and Integrations with Mariano Gomez and David Musgrave
Mariano was going to present this session with Kevin Racer, but Kevin was too busy with all the other sessions he was working on and so Mariano asked me to help out instead.
We took a different approach to the Service Based Architecture sessions that had come before at the conference. All the sessions presented by the Microsoft Dynamics GP development team members were low level, detailed and complex.
Our idea for this session was to say “Now that you have seen all the cool technical stuff about Service Based Architecture, let’s discuss at a high level what you can do with it.”. We had some overview slides which discussed methods of working with Service Based Architecture and we added our thoughts on what the benefits might be for different approaches and what issues you might face.
Mariano demonstrated an example of Service Based Architecture using Project Sienna (well if Errol could do it ….) and also a .Net Interop demo to provide trigonometry functionality inside Dexterity (see his blog post for more information).
We also discussed the future for current technologies such as Integration Manager, eConnect and Web Services. Just so you know, none of the existing technology will go away until we have all the features available using Service Based Architecture and there have been one or two versions of Microsoft Dynamics GP released to allow for a transition period. Nothing to worry about, but you need to get your head around Service Based Architecture sooner rather than later.
We finished the session with an open forum and discussion rather than a traditional Q & A. I felt that this went well and it was great to get so many smart people contributing. We even had ideas for solutions to two issues raised. We have to test them ideas to see if they work.
Here are the ideas using hybrid development, if you are able to create a working demo, please let us know in the comments for this article:
- Using Visual Studio Tools’ ability to capture modal dialog events to handle dialogs from third party windows when trying to wrap another developer’s window with a cross dictionary Service Based Architecture global procedure to be exposed as a service.
- Using Visual Studio Tools to expose get/set/changed functionality for fields added to third party windows using modifier (as you cannot have an alternate of a third party window), so they can be accessed from Dexterity using the new .Net Interop functionality.
We had some of the Microsoft Dynamics GP development team in the back of the room for the session, so they were taking notes on the feedback and concerns from the developer community.
It was now time to catch the coach back to the Holiday Inn to drop off our stuff, before catching another coach to downtown Fargo for the Doug Burgum Keynote and sponsored pub crawl.
Here are some photos from the evening as a picture says a thousand words… and this blog post has got long enough. 🙂
Now, we knew that Doug Burgum was going to be the guest speaker, but only a few people knew that we would be graced with the presence of none other than The Fabulous Matt G (Matt Gustafson) who left the Dynamics GP world in 2009.
Matt was great fun and helped warm up the crowd before Doug’s speech. He even interviewed me and reminded me of the gift I gave him the last time we met, a Lucky Pouch. A soft and supple seamless leather pouch made from genuine kangaroo skin…. but only from male kangaroos.
Doug then presented his keynote. It was great to hear him speak again. The last time for me was the one and only Stampede I attended in 2000. The theme of his speech revolved around Clarence Birdseye and the reminder to “Stay Curious”. After his speech there was the expected Q & A session where people could ask questions and then Doug would respond talking about whatever he wanted to. As usual the first two questions came from Bill Marshall and Mark Rockwell, respectively.
After getting a photo with Doug, Mariano and I headed out on the pub crawl, initially to Dempsey’s which was sponsored by Njevity. Thanks to John Lowther for my cool hat, it was needed as the night was getting colder.
Mariano had organised a dinner and so I joined him at Mezzaluna Fine Dining. We had a very interesting discuss with the guys from Barlett, Pringle and Wolf, LLP. I think that Mariano and I could start up a business planning consultancy and charge for the advice and suggestions we gave.
After dinner, Mariano and I headed to HoDo which was sponsored by eOne and it was there I caught up with my good friend Mark Rockwell from Rockton Software. I was trying to get a nice photo of the two of us, but as you can see that is hard when Mark is in a fun mood and when Mariano photo bombs me. I suppose that is fair after I photo bombed one of his photos.
After a fun night out, we caught the last coach back to the Holiday Inn and got some sleep before the final day of the conference.
This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.