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DevConnections and OpenForce

So I have just returned to Vancouver after a very successful OpenForce conference.  While I did attend a number of the other Open Force sessions I decided that it would be important in my role as "Senior Architect" to check out some of the other DevConnections sessions, especially in light of the "Cambrian" roadmap announced at the keynote.

Here are some highlights from my perspective.

  1. I made sure to attend Jim Bonnie and Rob Connery's talk on using SubSonic for DotNetNuke modules.  This session was an Open Force session but I was really interested in SubSonic's potential as a Database agnostic solution to the DAL.  Rob Connery the lead of the Subsonic project, has recently been hired by Miscrosoft (see ) to continue to work on this Open- Source (MPL licensed ORM project).  I have to admit it is quite tempting but I am not sure how it would integrate with the core.
  2. I attended Tim Scudders' talk on the ADO.NET Entity Framework.  Again this emerging technology could be a potential solution to the Database Agnostic problem.  While SubSonic works on .NET 2 and can be implemented today, the Entity Framework and LINQ for Entities will require .NET 3.5 (in fact it will be a post .NET 3.5 Add-in).
  3. One of the most interesting talks though was ScottHanselman and Eilon Lipton's talk on the new MVC Framework being developed by the ASP.NET team at Microsoft.  As a regular listener to the Hanselminutes podcasts, I have been a fan for a while of Scott's work - and he is even better live - although he can't stop pacing around the stage when he is talking.    

    The MVC project is an attempt to build a "Ruby on Rails" like experience for ASP.NET developers.  After the talk I had a ton of questions about how and if we could integrate this approach for DNN - and I was able to chat with Phil Haack (lead of the SubText Open Source project and recently hired by MS as a Senior Program Manager responsible for the MVC Framework).  One of its biggest strengths is that it allows a better testing experience for web applications.

One common theme through these observations is that Microsoft seems to be gobbling up some of the brightest minds in the .NET Open-Source Community AND allowing them to continue their involvement in these projects (Scott Hanselman - Das Blog, Phil Haack - SubText, Rob Connery - SubSonic).  I think this demonstrates a significant change in their open-ness to Open Source initiatives.


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