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Final TechEd thoughts

Well, it's Father's Day, and I have finally recovered from TechEd. I think I slept most of Saturday just trying to regain from the exhaustion.

Out session on designing BizTalk solutions on Thursday morning went much better than I had hoped. I expected ten people to show up because it as was at 8:00am, which is a hard time to get up on the Thursday of TechEd. About 100 people showed up, and our score was 8.5 on a scale of 1-9! We were in the top ten of all 1,006 sessions until later that day. We got bumped to #11. Still a great showing. Personally, I think I have done better before, but the crowd seemed to have liked it.

I ended up going to several IIS7 sessions, a session on DSL's and frameworks, and went to some other great sessions/chalk talks.

The new architecture for IIS7 is really awesome. I can see how it will really help in the future. The first major step they did was to take the core functionality that supplied authentication, caching, dir browsing, static file serving (and plenty of other things), and broke each into it's own component. You can now configure the server to only load the components into the IIS7 pipeline that you need. This helps with performance, as well as completely customize the threat surface your server has. Don't want any file browsing to happen? Just don't load the module. This is awesome. Then they took the ASP.NET component and broke it up as well. The current module contains all ASP.NET functionality in one box. IIS6 receives a request, goes through any IIS authentication and authorization, caching, etc, and then passes it to the ASP.NET module. ASP.NET then does it's own authorization, and then goes through it's lifecycle, and then back to IIS for the second half of the pipeline, and eventually sending back the response.

In IIS7 you can run ASP.NET in the classic mode, loading the consolidated component, or you can load each component seperately, and natively in the IIS7 pipeline. This will increase your performance, and improve your security.

MS has been quick to point out that this also improves the usability of your server. How? If you load the Forms Auth component in the IIS7 pipeline, and then load the PHP or ColdFusion ISAPI extensions, you could suddenly use asp.net forms auth on your PHP applications. Or leverage any other piece as well!

The other great thing about IIS7 (that I can think of right now) is the distributed config files. The metabase is gone forever! Yeah! That thing was a pain in the rump. Your server settings are now stored like all other .NET configurations. There is a server and site .config file. You can load the config of your site into the web.config of the site itself! That will make it so much easier to deploy an application to a remote system. No more calling up the admin to make a simple change, like the default doc. Of course the sys admin has to give these permissions. They can make the system config file un-overridable.

This config can be managed in three ways. Directly through the config file, through WMI, and through the new management UI. If you write a custome IIS7 pipeline component, then you can implement your own admin UI, and have that integrate into the management toolset. Very awesome!

There are other nice parts, like FREB and tracing, etc. I might go into those later in other posts.

We also went to the Fenway Party with Train. It was a great time. I didn't expect to like the music, but it was really nice.

Going to TechEd is like going to Disneyland for the first time. We call it "Death by Disney". You are surrounded by your "type" (geeks or families), and have only a week to partake in as much stuff as you can. The laws of physics prohibit that, but you do your best. In the process you end up rushing and exhausting yourself. I have learned (in both occasions) to go slower, and take your time. You will get to experience more stuff on the next trip. By doing this, you may not DO everything, but you will definitely get a lot more value out of it.

I already can't wait for next year.


Carey said...
7/06/2006 06:53:00 PM  

You did a great job in your presentation, I was a little late because I thought your session was the second session of the day not the first but oh well, I walked out of a perfectly good ASP.NET 2.0 session to attend yours as soon as I spotted it in the mini-guide :) ... I thought of throwing something at you up on stage, but again I looked at the number of people attending and figured it wouldn't be kosher. Looking forward to seeing your presentation next year, and heck maybe at the PDC too!

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