Microsoft U.S. National Architect Forum 2006 Vail, CO (USNAF) -- Simon Guest and WPF and XAML!!!!

During April 18 -20, 2006 at Vail Cascade Resort, Vail, Colorado

The Microsoft U.S. National Architect Forum is being held. This event is an invitation-only event for 350-400 influential CIOs and senior enterprise architects in Fortune 1000 organizations. Infosys, Intel  and others along with presence from Windows Mobile team, Microsoft Office and Visual Studio Team System.

The first keynote on Wed April 19th began with:

Putting the User back into Architecture

By Simon Guest, Group Program Manager

Microsoft Architecture Strategy


If you want to find out more about User Experience -- NEXT Generation – May 12th in Denver, CO.


Simon begins with: “What is Architecture?” This is the question Simon often asks during an interview for his team as they are currently hiring. One of the best answers he says he received is: “Architecture is the balance between art and engineering.”


He also mentions as the Architect goes thru the day they concentrate on the Engineering and lose track of the User. Hence the User Experience comes LAST.   (Wow, what a Great place to talk about Expression Interactive Designer, by the way this used to be called (Sparkle, but the name as been changed to Interactive Designer). I wonder if that is where Simon is headed with his keynote talk at the 2006 NAF (National Architect Forum).


Simon goes on to say: “we as Architects need to carry the emotion message to the user and really connect with the user.”


User concerns –

  • Simon spent some time speaking with Users and finding out how they receive the data.
  • How long does it take for the user to receive and respond to data
  • Is it something they use everyday? (office, outlook, etc.)
  • Visualization is important but do I have a good uptime? (does my application stay up, or does it have problems has a lot of down time?)
  • Does the application work online and offline? (on a plane, when the network cable gets unplugged?)
  • Is the data safe?
  • Does the application fit into how I work?
  • Does the application share my goals?


Hence the triangle of Visualization, Context and Foundation.


Recommendations and tools:

CSS Zen Garden – Will there be A LOT of CSS in our future?

IE 7.0

AJAX –  Other than a cleaning product in Europe (And the middle east by the way) it is:

Ø      Interaction – making post backs much richer

Ø      Predictability – pre-loading & caching

Ø      Customization – crate a much more personalized and customize experiences

Examples of AJAX:

Ø      You’ve seen AJAX on Google Maps.

Ø      Flicker


How does AJAX really work?

            Currently every click posts back to the server. With AJAX there are a set of behavior services that live within the browser.


Great photo Simon shows of the Linux penguin previously known as 'Linnie'  and currently called Tux, drinking the Microsoft cool aid.


Most people think AJAX is open source, well maybe J. The early outlook web client has used similar technology. The way Microsoft is currently move forward with AJAX is by ATLAS. The framework for ASP.Net which really helps you create AJAX like applications.

ATLAS has both client and server side controls.



HERE WE GO!!! My favorite part Simon talking about WPF that’s right!!!! Windows Presentation Foundation.

And now he shares my FAVORITE PART!!!! Developers working with designers. This is where I am SOOO excited about Interactive Designer (code name was: Sparkle)

So what does WPF really give us? This is GREAT Simon talking about XAML my passion and pushing the message across to Architects.


XAML Browser Applications (XBAP). XAML really runs smoothly in the browser. Windows Presentation Foundation EVERYWHERE!!!!!! (WPF/E) For those with alternate browsers and alternate devices. So for those not using Internet Explorer (IE).


I am very excited to hear the message of XAML being shared to Architects as this will help Evangelizing the message easier.



If you want to find out more, there is a GREAT event coming to Denver, CO. NEXT GenerationMay 12th in Denver, CO. This event will cover more in-depth about WPF, Workflow and Office 2007 as well as Vista and how to develop on the next
Operating system.