Dutch Microsoft SOA and Business Process Conference 2008

Before I start my post about the annual dutch Microsoft SOA and BPM Conference in Groenekan near Utrecht I attended today I would like to announce that I have I have recently joined Getronics PinkRoccade for a role as technical consultant in technologies like BizTalk Server, Integration and Messaging. After working two years for Inter Access I thought it was time for a new step in my career. Participating in a company wide expert group and doing projects for customers seems to me a new challenge to gain experience at customers and spread/share insights, knowledge and vision to colleagues. Could I or did I do this at Inter Access? Yes, but on a small scale and my role in technical management became marginal. Now I do act on a larger scale and work with large companies and share knowledge/expertise with a large population of IT professionals.

That said back to the conference. The agenda was as follows: two keynotes one by Jeff Sampler and one by Dan Alling followed by two tracks a business and technical one. I attended two business talks about achmea and city county of Breda and one technical done by Gijs in 't Veld about Human interaction with SOA.

My impression of this conference was that it started with an excellent keynote about a Business view on SOA and BMP. Jeff’s talk was titled When Worlds Collide: Surviving in changing times and he had everybody’s attention. He kicked off with some historic perspective about technology, where it is hard to predict that technology designed for a certain group of people around a certain age is difficult and hard. For instance he said computer games intended for children are played mostly in 2004 in the US by people around their 26th, not exactly children. Also WIFI users, wifi being a technology for people doing business and so on anywhere, anyplace anytime is used a lot by children in the US. So both successful technologies both end up being used the most by a group of people it was not primarily designed for. From this point he went on talking about thinking about current and future technologies. Who is this balanced and should one be more concerned and thinking about future technology than current. Then he went into IT and business alignment (well known subject), where IT leads the business based on triggers (what these triggers exactly were not mentioned). He ended his talk about strategic shock adapters, were he used brakes in car as a metaphor. Brakes are intended to let one driver faster (not slower) and make one stand still if needed. If you like to know more about this subject of his thinking visit his website or buy his book at amazon (I just bought a copy).

Next keynote was done by Dan Alling and was very similar to one done by Robert Wahbe at Microsoft SOA and BPM Conference 2007 around Oslo and so on. See one of my previous blog post about that subject or the conference. After lunch I attended two business track sessions about using Microsoft technology in achieving a SOA. In these sessions it basically came down to using Microsoft technology, rely on this technology and buy as much as you can and do not custom code to much. So using .NET 3.5, BizTalk, Visual Studio 2008 TFS, WCF and WF will do the trick. Beside technology, use common sense, standardize methodology, use best practices, do versioning, narrow scope (don’t implement SOA in a big bang, but incremental). And that is basically it.

Last session about human interaction in SOA was basically integration of BizTalk with SharePoint (with or without InfoPath). Gijs did his presentation about architectural and design decisions that can be made in order to make it possible to also have human interaction capabilities in a SOA environment based on BizTalk Server and the various SharePoint products, InfoPath and Office. And he will comment or tell you more on his blog.

In the end it was a perfect day to meet people and gain some more knowledge and insight.


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