I attended the Microsoft Innovation Days event at Le Meridien Hotel, Kochi today. Innovation Days are day-long free events filled with technical and business sessions, during which one can learn about the Microsoft technology roadmap and are introduced to upcoming technologies. Microsoft also presents Partner Programs and benefits for ISV partners.
This year the event series in India started on 16-May-2008 at Chennai and is concluding at Pune on 02-Jun-2008. Besides Cochin, Ahmedabad is the only other city to host this event. One source from Microsoft indicated that the big cities like Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi are getting 'abused' by events and the number of no-shows after signing up is increasing. That made them to choose Tier-II cities in India for such events where they are getting a very good response.
The day here started with a session by Nahas Mohammed on 'Building Rich Internet Applications Using Silverlight 2.0'. At the end of it, my colleague Jim Mangaly did a great presentation showcasing 'Lithium', a virtual vehicle gallery and showroom application developed in Silverlight. He explained how various awesome technologies in Silverlight were taken to full advantage for the development of this application. The 200 plus technology enthusiasts in town were quiet impressed with the presentation. Since our company IdentityMine is mostly focusing on US market, we are not so well known here. But the participation in events like this are slowly changing the scene.
The next session 'Building high performance .NET applications' by Harish Ranganathan focused on tips and tricks to make .NET applications perform better. He also did a demo of 'ASP.NET Dynamic Data' which is part of '.NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 Beta'. It was scary to see him build a web site to manage all the data operations (add/edit/delete) for all the tables in a database just by pointing to a LINQ to SQL data context. The wizard created website was complete with proper navigation and validation.
After a heavy and delicious lunch, there were two more interesting sessions named 'LINQ: Working with data naturally!' and 'Getting the Best from SQL Box: Performance Tuning SQL Server'.
Microsoft also announced their partner program called Innovate On for Kochi. They distributed a lot of goodies for the early birds and for the question askers.