Keynote #3 – Box, Anderson

PDC 2008, Day #2, Keynote #3, 1.5 hrs

Don Box, Chris Anderson

Don and Chris’ presentation was notable in that they did not use a single Powerpoint slide.  The entire presentation consisted of Don and Chris writing code in Visual Studio.

This will be a short post because Don and Chris went so fast and covered so much stuff that I didn’t make any attempt to take notes on specific techniques.

Their basic demo was to build a simple Azure (cloud-based) service that served up a list of processes running on the server.  They started by writing this service as a “classic” local WCF service, then publishing it on the ServiceBus, to make it available on the cloud.  And finally, they deployed the service into the cloud so that it was being hosted by the Azure servers.

The most important takeaway from this talk was that the service that they wrote was at every point accessible through standards-based protocols.  Azure-based services are accessible through a simple “REST-ful” interface.  The idea of REST is to use the existing GET/PUT/POST/DELETE verbs in HTTP to execute corresponding Read/Update/Create/Delete data operations on the server side.

This session was the hardest to keep up with, mentally, but also the most fun.  Don and Chris traded off talking and coding.  Both were equally quick at talking through explanations of what they’d do next, in moving from a local service to a service published up in the Azure cloud.  And both were equally quick to write the corresponding code in Visual Studio.  They probably used fewer code snippets than any of the other presenters so far at PDC.

All in all, an excellent session, though it did make my head spin.