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Intergen’s contribution to the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference

As representatives of the Intergen Strategy and Innovation team, Mark Orange and I were fortunate enough to make it along to the recent Microsoft PDC in Los Angeles, along with a handful of other New Zealanders.

This conference is as good as it gets – arguably the most important Microsoft conference held anywhere in the world, as it’s the place where all the new and important technology, product and strategy announcements for the next 12 to 36 months are made public to the market. PDC is made even more significant by the fact that it is only held every two or three years. It has been three years since the last PDC, so it has been a long wait to see what’s beneath the covers.

The PDC was an important event for Intergen for a number of reasons. It gives us the opportunity to get up close with the upcoming Microsoft technologies and also to network and build connections with the Microsoft people and community experts who actually design, build and evangelise these technologies and products. But the significance of the event to Intergen doesn’t end there – we’ve been doing some critical work behind the scenes too, building content presented during a number of conference sessions, including a keynote.

For Microsoft technology advocates, you’re most likely up to speed with all the exciting announcements. What you might not know, however, is how a kiwi company, all the way on the other side of the world, helped shape parts of PDC. So here’s a quick overview of how we’ve been involved along the way.


PDC saw the first outing of the forthcoming Oslo modelling platform from Microsoft. Intergen has been involved with Oslo since the middle of 2007 as one of the Connected Systems Advisors (CSAs). CSAs are a group of Microsoft customers and partners providing feedback and guidance on their product plans. We have watched the Oslo vision change and grow over the past 18 months and we are excited that we’ll now be in a position to talk about it in depth with other organisations in New Zealand and Australia. I was able to touch on Oslo for the first time to New Zealand and Australian audiences at the Microsoft Tech•Ed events recently.

Windows Azure

One of the biggest announcements at PDC related to the Microsoft Cloud Services strategy. As a Connected Systems Advisor, Intergen has been involved in assessing the Cloud Services technologies for some time now. We are excited about the opportunities they present for both ourselves and other organisations in New Zealand and Australia. Intergen has been working with Microsoft over the past six months in the build-up to PDC. Specifically, we have built some of the Hands on Labs that have been used to introduce the technologies to new users, and Intergen has presented a number of talks on Cloud Services, including sessions at TechEd in Australia and New Zealand. Microsoft announced the name of their cloud hosted operating system platform as Windows Azure – http://www.microsoft.com/azure

SharePoint and Visual Studio

Intergen was one of the pioneering partners when Microsoft SharePoint was first introduced to the market several years ago. Today it forms a core part of our business. Intergen has been involved in the development of tooling shipped by Microsoft for SharePoint development of SharePoint applications. We have developed a range of training manuals and Hands on Labs, as well as contributing to the Patterns and Practices Guidance for SharePoint. Our content was widely distributed at PDC, including:

  • A set of Hands on Labs for Visual Studio and SharePoint
    This was written by the team at Intergen Christchurch, which is being included in the PDC Bits. The PDC Bits is the 160GB hard drive that was given to every attendee with all of the technologies focused on at PDC.
  • An end-to-end demonstration for one of the SharePoint breakout sessions
    The Intergen Wellington team worked hard in the lead up to PDC, putting together a full one-hour ‘build it from scratch’ demonstration of the use of the Visual Studio Extensions for Windows SharePoint Services (VSeWSS) tools. This was developed in cooperation with the SharePoint Product Management team from Microsoft Redmond.

To see Intergen’s work in action, go to: http://channel9.msdn.com/pdc2008/BB13/

Early next year we are going to be running several sessions on some of the new technologies unveiled at PDC – so make sure you sign up to our events list by emailing events@intergen.co.nz and watch this space. The date for PDC 2009 has been announced – Microsoft must have more innovation up their sleeve to have one so soon after the 08 event. The Intergen S&I team will be there; if you’re going too, be sure to drop us a note.

Posted by: Chris Auld, Chief Technology Officer, Executive Director | 05 November 2008

Tags: Microsoft Professional Developers Conference, SharePoint, Oslo, Azure, Visual Studio

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