Maybe it was because I was wearing shorts, but the convention centre seemed especially cold yesterday (and today). Still really hot outside for TechEd attendees however, with temperatures hovering around the 30 degrees C mark. The day seemed to go fairly smoothly, with the exception of lunch (there was a session that went through most of the lunch break, and they ran out of food, which meant incredibly long lineups right at the end).
The first session I went to yesterday was Windows Server AppFabric Caching: What It Is and When You Should Use It. I’m a fan of Memcached, and have been using it for a number of years now, so I really wanted to see how AppFabric compares (the codename for this was Velocity, which I wrote about here). I’d say that overall they are quite similar, though if you’re a .NET developer using AppFabric can give you some quick wins. One example is that with just a couple of lines in the Web.config, you can use AppFabric to store Session information, perfect for a web farm scenario. Another thing I like is that AppFabric Caching is managed through PowerShell. Here are some resources:
- Windows Server AppFabric Caching Features
- Setting Up AppFabric Caching Features in a Single-Node Development Environment
After lunch I attended one of the bigger sessions, Overview of the Microsoft ADO.NET Entity Framework 4, hosted by Julie Lerman and Chris Sells. I really enjoyed it, first and foremost because it consisted mainly of demos, and secondly because Julie and Chris were really entertaining and worked well together. Here again, I have been using an open source solution – SubSonic. I remember reading about EF really early on, but didn’t spend too much time on it because of all the criticism it received. If nothing else, the session yesterday made me want to look at EF again – it has really come a long way. I was impressed.
Another session I attended was Building RESTful Applications with the Open Data Protocol. Although labeled a 300-level session, it was very introductory, and didn’t contain anything I hadn’t already seen. It was great to see so many people in the session though – clearly there’s some interest.
I also took some time yesterday to explore the Exhibition Hall a bit more, stopping by the Spoon booth to talk with them. They have some really interesting virtualization and application streaming technology. I recorded a short video and wrote more at Techvibes.
There are lots of social events during TechEd, but last night in particular seemed like a busy night. John and I checked out the Springboard party at the House of Blues (where we saw some of the Hawks-Flyers game) as well as the Pluralsight mixer. Good times!