Cloud Computing to Headline Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference

Microsoft readies for its big developer event, where cloud computing will take top billing, along with tools and servers to support it. Other areas of focus will be Windows 7, Visual Studio 2010 and Microsoft's new "Oslo" modeling strategy. And the software giant will provide detail on how other non-Microsoft developers can better interact with Microsoft platforms.

Microsoft is holding its first Professional Developers Conference since 2005, and it promises to be a cloud fest and a coming-out party for Windows 7, among other things.

As many have reported, based on sources and the PDC agenda, both Microsoft's foray into the cloud and Windows 7 will be big parts of the show. Tim O'Brien, senior director of platform strategy at Microsoft, said the PDC, which opens with preconference sessions on Oct. 26, is where Microsoft will demonstrate its "services aspirations and executing on that and saying what it all means for developers."

Part of those services aspirations have already been discussed in Microsoft's Live Mesh platform, which the company announced earlier this year. Now, Microsoft plans to unveil what many refer to as its "cloud OS," along with services and tooling for developers to take advantage of it.

In addition, Microsoft will begin to describe the developer opportunity that Windows 7 will bring and will offer bits for developers to try out.

Other things we will see at the PDC include Microsoft's new "Oslo" modeling platform, consisting of a new modeling language, a visual tool and a repository. The company will deliver early bits of that technology in the form of a CTP (Community Technology Preview). Microsoft also will give developers a look at Visual Studio 2010, the next major version of the company's flagship developer tools suite.

For more details on Oslo, click here.

But this only scratches the surface of all the stuff Microsoft has in store for developers. And the company is not looking to deliver information, technology, direction and other goodness just to developers currently on the Microsoft platform, but also to offer options to developers not on the Microsoft platform, O'Brien said.

"There will be lots of talk of interoperability and how developers not on the platform can work with Microsoft technology," he said.

Based on the show's agenda, the first day of the PDC will focus on foundational elements of the platform, including the cloud technology, while the second day will focus on front-end, client-side tools. The company also will continue to build on its strategy for how developers can build applications that span various formats such as the PC, the Web and the mobile device.

The PDC keynotes boast a bunch of high-powered Microsoft executives, including Ray Ozzie, the company's chief software architect. But the various sessions will delve more deeply into the topic Microsoft will lay out in its road map, as the PDC is a forward-looking event. Don Box, one of my favorite Microsoft technologists, has a list of sessions he wants to see.

Meanwhile, the PDC provides an opportunity for Microsoft partners to deliver tools and technology based on or supporting Microsoft's platforms.

For instance, Compuware announced Compuware DevPartner Studio 9.0. The new version of Compuware's quality management tool improves an IT organization's ability to diagnose software security vulnerabilities, defects and performance problems early in the development process-when problem resolution is most cost-effective, said Doug Carrier, the company's DevPartner product manager.

DevPartner Studio 9.0 scans Microsoft ASP.NET application source code to find security problems before they become deeply embedded in the code base, Carrier said. By scanning application source code at compile time, DevPartner Studio can pinpoint unsafe coding practices to the exact method and line of code. The security scanning feature checks each line of ASP.NET code for more than 200 security vulnerabilities and suspicious behaviors.

DevPartner Studio 9.0 now also offers integrated reporting, producing code quality reports that managers and team leaders can review easily using a Web browser. Important metrics and summary-level information enable managers to quickly understand the quality and stability of the code base from the earliest stages of development through the final QA testing phase, the company said.

In addition, DevPartner Studio 9.0 also now supports 32-bit application development on Microsoft Windows x64 platforms as well as a number of new .NET Framework technologies, including Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Studio Team System 2008; Windows Server 2008; .NET Framework 3.5; Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF); Language Integrated Query (LINQ); and ASP.NET AJAX Extensions, Carrier said.

"DevPartner Studio supports Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 to improve communication and collaboration among developers and testers," said Joe Marini, director of the Developer Tools Ecosystem team at Microsoft.