SOA-based Architecture in progress


I’ve been tasked at coming up with a standard architecture for us to apply to our future projects. Yeah, I know, there’s no blanket answer for everything, but given the requirements I expect, I think a single architecture can handle 95% of what we’ll be doing and we can deviate/improve as necessary for the other 5%.

Ultimately I don’t yet know what this is going to look like but this is the direction I’m leaning in:
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Azure’s Service Bus and EnergyNet (PDC Day 0)


On Day 0 of Microsoft PDC, I attended the Software in the Energy Economy workshop. Much to my surprise (and disappointment), we didn’t talk about energy for the entire first half of the workshop. Instead, it was about Azure’s Service Bus. BAD Microsoft!! It was explained to us by Juval Lowy that he wanted to do it entirely on energy but Microsoft forced him to have half of the talk on the service bus. Now I can understand this from Microsoft, but this should have been clear to the people there. Honestly, I would have much preferred to go to another workshop than to learn about the Azure Service Bus. Cool stuff but my current analysis of it is that it’s way too unreliable (I don’t mean bugs, I mean lack of transactional support) and it is simply missing some of the things that I would want/need in such a system, like queues! There are hacks to implement them, but I don’t want to have such an important foundational part of my architectures built on hacks! Anyways, that can be for another day (gotta get to the keynote).

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Going to PDC 2009


Yesterday I got the thumbs up that I’m being sent to PDC 2009 by my company! I planned on going whether I was sent or not but it’s nice to not have to foot the bill out of my own pocket this year. In 2005 I was lucky enough that my company covered airfare and hotel while Telerik was generous enough to cover my registration for the conference and the pre-conference. Last year I wasn’t so lucky and had to cover almost all of it out of pocket but that’s what you expect as a contractor.

Here’s what I have to do:
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Pragmatic Spaces ’09


Pragmatic Spaces 2009 is coming soon.

Known details for now:
1. Limited to 150 people
2. You want to be there
3. There will be GREAT discussions you WON’T want to miss!
4. #pragma09 is something to watch for!

While not directly related to Indy ALT.NET, many of the folks from that community are involved in this event. Alan Stevens will also be an important person for the event.



Indy Invades CinArc!!


On Tuesday (July 8, 2008) evening, Sasha Kotlyar, Dean Weber, and I made a spontaneous trip to Cincinnati to check out the CinArc group (not to be confused with this CinARC). This group is Cincinnati’s Architecture User Group and seems to be mostly .NET-based. They are a very new group as this was only their second meeting. They meet monthly on the second Tuesday of the month. Their current meeting-format is that of a fishbowl meeting. You can read more on Wikipedia about this here.

I must say, the three of us Hoosiers really enjoyed ourselves at CinArc! Despite the downpours, rush-hour construction, and construction barrels we had to dodge in the middle of the road, it was great! Oh, and I won a door prize as well! I walked out with a VS2008 Pro license (only had MSDN-based licenses before, now I have a permanent license!). The group is led by Mike Wood, who also happens to lead the Cincinnati .NET User Group. Lots of other people were also in attendance (I’m not even going to attempt to name them because I’m horrible with names and I’ll surely forget some of them but turns out I follow lots of them on Twiter). There was a total of 19 people there with 5 chairs in the middle of the fishbowl (1 moderator, 3 speakers, 1 open). It was great that they veered away from the norm where it was a very interactive discussion and almost everybody participated in it.

The agenda for the meeting was different than what I’ve been used to for user group meetings, and I really liked it! I’m used to food before hand, kicking things off with announcements, then going into the discussion for the rest of the night, and door prizes at the end. What they did, instead, was kick things off with the discussion, about an hour into it take a break for food, kick the second half off with announcements, go back into the discussion after the nice little break, and then door prizes at the end. The trick to accomplishing this is timing on the food and if it can be pulled off, I may actually try to assimilate this style into the ALT.NET meetings! However, one important part of the ALT.NET meetings, I feel, is the social time spent before the meeting. Perhaps we can have snacks and drinks available then and real food available at “Halftime”.

One other thing that was really neat was that the meeting attendees were able to choose the topics to discuss. Ideas were put up on a whiteboard as recommended by the people there, and then everybody voted on the ones that they were most interested in participating in discussion with. There were 3 topics that seemed to be the most popular, and it turned out that we had time to discuss 3 topics. So it worked out perfectly!

As I said before, I had a great time at CinArc and I highly recommend it to anybody who is in the area and is interested in best architecture practices and bouncing ideas off of one another! There were some extremely intelligent guys at this group and it’s great that they are trying to expand knowledge in the community and help one another! I can already see this is going to be a very popular user group in the future! I hope some of those guys come visit some of our Indy events, and I just may try and pick up some Reds tickets some second Tuesday of the month afternoon so I have a good excuse to be in town again for another CinArc meeting! :)

-Shane


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