What to See at the Microsoft PDC

The Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in October will have a little something for every type of Microsoft developer. The Microsoft event will feature sessions on software modeling, agile development, cloud computing, Silverlight and a whole lot more.

This year's Microsoft PDC (Professional Developers Conference) will be chock full of content for developers focused on the Microsoft platform.

If nothing else, the preconference sessions that will run Oct. 26, the day before the PDC actually begins, indicate a richness and variety of what Microsoft plans to offer its developer base.

The preconference sessions will touch on everything-from .Net data access and advanced Windows debugging-to agile development, multicore programming on Windows and .Net-and creating rich Internet applications with Silverlight.

In short, even before the PDC officially begins Oct. 27 in Los Angeles, Microsoft will have set the tone for the event by covering nearly all major topics for early arrivals. For more information on the preconference sessions, check out this Microsoft Channel 9 video.

Meanwhile, Microsoft also will provide attendees with what it calls "UnSessions," which include advice from experts, "Hands-On Labs," PDC lounges and "A Women in Technology Networking Event."

However, missing from the preconference sessions is a focus on Microsoft's "Oslo" modeling strategy and the company's cloud initiative with the Live Mesh solution Microsoft is working on. However, those two areas will be heavily represented in sessions during the overall conference.

So far, Microsoft has listed 84 sessions that will be presented at the PDC, covering topics from ADO.Net to the WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation). Other topics include ASP.Net, cloud services, Dynamics CRM, Entity Framework, Hyper-V virtualization technology, Internet Information Services (IIS), Internet Explorer, Languages, LINQ (Language Integrated Query), Live Mesh and Silverlight.

With Oslo, Microsoft is pushing its developers into a new direction-enabling them to create applications from models. Microsoft officials said they expect to release a CTP (Community Technology Preview) of Oslo at the show. That means a CTP of the new declarative language associated with Oslo, the new repository and new tools.

In a PDC session entitled "A Lap around 'Oslo,'" Microsoft architects Chris Anderson and Don Box will give developers a primer on the technology. Anderson and Box always deliver a good show and provide a good amount of technical information. I last saw the duo stand and deliver at the Lang.Net Symposium in January at Microsoft, so if you're interested in Oslo, you probably don't want to miss this session.

Meanwhile, another Oslo session to catch is the one by Oliver Sharp, a general manager in the Microsoft Connected Systems Division, which is responsible for Oslo. Sharp will present a session entitled: "'Oslo': Managing Software + Services Applications." The online description of the session reads:

"Increasingly, applications will consist of services that run both on-premises and in the cloud. Learn how Microsoft is simplifying the deployment and management of Software + Services applications."

In all, there are eight Oslo sessions listed on the PDC agenda thus far. Other Oslo sessions cover hosting workflows and services in Oslo, customizing and extending the visual design experience, focusing on the Oslo language and more.

There also are three sessions on Live Mesh, focusing on how to build applications for the platform. If you're interested in Live Mesh, you might want to catch Microsoft presenter Andres Sanabria in a session entitled, "Live Platform: Building Mesh Applications," which is described as:

"The Live Mesh cloud services and client platform provide powerful FeedSync-based data synchronization capabilities, device P2P and cloud-relay communications, pub-sub infrastructure, and an extensibility model for applications. This session describes how you can take advantage of the Mesh developer platform, protocols, and APIs to mesh-enable your existing and future Web services and client applications-allowing you to target unique new scenarios and reach new users. "

Between the Oslo focus and the Microsoft software-plus-services drive around Live Mesh and cloud services (about which there are 12 sessions), Microsoft's PDC2008 looks like it's shaping up to be a cloud fest-a coming-out party for new technology for the new Microsoft.