My second day at PDC05

Today is still the pre-conference day which means I may still have trouble to get in (Microsoft puts the customer first and doesn't want its employees to compete the seats with its customers). I spent some time to help setting up code4fun lounge (my booth duty) today. I can’t believe so much cool applications were built using our VS tool! E.g. Voice controlled “smart” house, Finalizer, camera movement etc. from PhidgetsUSA, LEGO, FischerTechnik. Simply unbelievable!

After fulfilling my lounge duty, I somehow managed to sneak into some sessions. Below are some highlights.

VSTS introduction

People are excited! An customer just grabbed me for question about the VSTS features, licensing and pricing during the break (I think I was the only one with MS event blue shirt). Richard Hundhasen did a good job to introduce VSTS through some interesting demonstrations on 2 boxes (DT and AT were different boxes). Though I have been working on Burton DCR etc, this is actually the first time I got to explore the following in great details.

  • Work items

  • Documents

  • Reports

  • Team Build

  • Security

I can see how each of these features attracts various roles in the whole software development process. The reporting feature in VSTS is really neat. The reports such as bug fix rate, active count, trend prediction can be easily generated and published based on the data/work items stored in SQL server. The fact that you can switch between VSTS and different project management app such as Excel, Project makes the life so much easier.


Marc and the other Burton folks, you guys are building really awesome stuff. Customer (at least in pre-con) loves it!

Customer questions

  1. How much will this cost and why should I pay that much? 10K?

  2. Does doc have the version control? Not in VSTS. Maybe in SourceSafe

  3. What is the difference between task and work items? Task is the instance. Work items is template

  4. Does project manager need to publish his project doc twice? Once for Team Foundation server, once for project server? Yes

Framework Design Guideline

Adam Abrams and Krzysztof Cwalina have done a great job to present the best practices for designing frameworks, which are re-usable object oriented libraries. These guidelines are applicable to framework ranging from large systems to small components. It coverd the design, background and motivation for naming conventions, namespaces, assemblies, type, members, designing for extensibility, error handling, memory management, usage guidelines and general library design principles.

Above all, this presentation was fun, fun, fun! I love those cartoon characters in the slides. This burned the image of those slides in my head.

SQL 2005

We know it is almost 6 years cycle for Yukon. I sometimes wonder “Does Microsoft still know how to build product after not shipping this baby for 5 years?” This doubt was just instantly removed when I saw the session about SQL 2005. Well, I always reserve a special spot in my heart for Yukon after myself worked on this for 3 years. Normally, each session’s slides are about 15-30 pages. Yukon slides are 123 pages. This gives an idea how many cool features we added for Yukon. A couple of them are my favorite.

  • Partitioning solves resource contention issue. It made SQL database scalable. I anticipate this will be used by Office sharepoint if WSS wants to scale out.


  • Database mirroring

  • XML indexes

  • Bunch of T-SQL improvements

    • Row_number, RANK, PIVOT, CROSS APPLY, error handling(TRY/CATCH), Event notification, Parameterized TOP
  • Index tuning advisor automatically suggests index creation for query perf optimization based on the workload

  • Snapshot isolation

I have no doubt Yukon is not only my number one database product, but also will be the favorite for our customers.