Behind The Scenes At The VS/SQL Launch Press Event

We are at the Century Room in downtown Toronto which serves as a nightclub most of the time, but today it is host to our press event. There are about 30 press here from a variety of media types. The day kicked off with David Hemler (who is the President of Microsoft Canada) welcoming the crowd and providing the introductory remarks. Just before David went on stage with got the first glimpse of the "rock concerted" themed videos that will be a major part of Tuesday's kickoff event in Toronto. 


Craig Symonds (VP of the Developer Tools Division at Microsoft) was next. Cool fact - Craig is Canadian - one of many Cannucks in key positions in Redmond. It is just great to have Craig north of the border for our launch events. Craig provided a deeper view into the business and technical value that VS/SQL/Biztalk (and .NET) brings to our customers and partners.


We have a very cool group of customers and partners showing off the work they have done with the new products. My team as had a great deal to do with helping these customers, so I am particularly proud of how many case studies are featured as part of the launch.


Here are just a few:


TorStar / -> they are working with iMason to rebuild the portal in ASP.NET 2.0

Workers Compensation Board of BC -> presented a very cool video case study of the work they have done on a field application

Squirrel Systems -> hospitality ISV that has built an all .NET / SQL point of sale system

TD Bank -> has built a mission critical application with the new tools

Active -> ISV in the municipal government space that has committed to VS/SQL in the production of their products


Telebec, CGI, HP and Coast Mountain Bus were also in attendance. There is a press release hitting the wire later today with even more great customer success stories.


Here is a quote from one of the releases:


"Some of Canada's premier companies, including TD Canada Trust, RBC,, Coast Mountain Bus and WorkSafeBC (the Workers' Compensation
Board of B.C.), have leveraged the Microsoft-based application platform to
achieve greater business value across their organizations.
"We've been very successful in delivering a variety of innovative
solutions using the Microsoft-based development environment, from e-business
applications to our wireless mobility solution," said Brian Cooper, CIO,
WorkSafeBC. "We were particularly interested in using Visual Studio 2005 and
SQL Server 2005 on our WorkSafe Mobility project, as it will not just be a
point solution for our prevention officers, but also a foundation for all of
our mobile solutions over the next few years. As such, we wanted to use the
latest tools that would give us the best productivity and functionality
Microsoft technology partners such as HP, Squirrel Systems, imason and
Active Networks have implemented SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 across
a variety of vertical and horizontal industries. Customers can benefit from
their deep knowledge of the platform and their ability to harness its
capabilities to deliver enterprise-class solutions.
"These new products deliver more than just a platform any business can
trust to build and run its most demanding, mission-critical applications. With
SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005, companies can take advantage of a rich
set of new capabilities that will help the people within their organizations
to better understand their business and drive for better bottom-line results,"
said Scott Howlett, principal, imason inc."


We had 28 press show up - which was a great turnout based on what we had hoped for. There should be plenty of stories appearing in the next 72 hours.


I am now going to catch up some mail before heading out to the community VIP reception tonight. It will be cool to chat with some of the key folks from the developer community. I hope to take my recording gear - perhaps we can get their thoughts on the launch into a podcast.