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TechEd 2007 Day 4

Written by Alcides Fonseca at 2007/11/09

Opening up Windows Live Data & Protocols





Windows live is now releasing some APIs, for now IM control and Presence messenger, Windows Live Contacts and Windows Live Spaces Photos. They are also offering developers free Silverlight Streaming at 1.4 TB per second. Wow!



They also revealed some more numbers, as the 2 billions of photos there are in Windows Live Spaces, and they want people to start to move from Flickr to there. Yeah, right…



There is a WebDAV support for Photos that is very cool for desktop applications, but when it comes to webservers, you must stream what you get from the API. It sucks in terms of memory and bandwidth limits! I wish a REST approach was also used…



Windows Live Photo Gallery had both Windows Live Spaces and Flickr support that is a really nice thing, it shows that they-re not afraid of the competition and I haven’t found the trick that is making them so confident in their product!



There is also a API for getting (and modifying) Windows Live Contacts in a way that social networks like Hi5 and so stop asking for our live credentials to import our friends contacts. However they made the allow panel with such an hard security (like warnings and stuff) that makes users suspicious about services (and forget if you have no SSL!). I believe this is a issue they should think of, but not as much as they did! It will make people not to do mashups as they want them to do!



There are also weird Terms of Service that you should check up, one of the things is that if you allow sign up you must have a revoke link! Pretty good hein?




The next release of ASP.NET



This session sucked pretty much. Matt Gibs just announced stuff that already had been spoken of in other presentations. First, Astoria, the new project that serves webservices as a RESTful API. Pretty thing, but should already be done for a long time, just like MVC framework! There have been others for years and only now Microsoft got in this web2.0 thing following Rail’s innovation. At least it supports both static and dynamic languages, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see a “IronRails” coming up really soon. Another thing they copied from it was the Scaffolding. Yes, now ASP.NET also has dynamic data controls, the Scaffold from Rails.



There are also real new stuff: you can interact Silverlight controls, that is pretty hard in Flash+other language. Another good thing is the history control so that users don’t blow everything up when using the back button on the browser.




Blogging Panel



Tom Mertens gathered up Clemens Vasters, Patrick Lowendahl, Patrick Tisseghem and Tom Raftery on stage to talk about blogs.



Well, I have been to a few discussion panels about blogs and I don’t ever see the point on discussing it. In the end I don’t learn anything new and everyone agrees on pretty much the same thing. This one was no exception… Maybe their target were developers who don’t blog, but those wouldn’t be there in the first place.




Building Applications using the Identity Metasystem Security Model



Vittorio really knows about this stuff. It was a Q&A session where the audience asked about some problems implementing this kind of security model (and using CardSpace) and some issues it might raise. I really learned a lot about security models on this session. If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of his presentations, don’t miss it!




SOAP/WS-* and REST: Complementary Communication Styles



First there were the WS-* over the SOAP Protocol, and everyone was happy. Then, the RESTafarians came up presenting this new simple way of using webservices over the web using its standard. The beauty of REST stands in the syntax used, that is the HTTP itself. Using HEAD, POST, PUT, GET and DELETE associated with the URI and everything is in place.



Well David Chappel believes that the battle between the two should end and they should be both used when needed. REST guys are more younger and inexperienced in corporate business than he is, and so he defends that a corporate level it’s pretty hard to implement everything in REST, specially synchronization between various services, and SOAP will still be used for more complex systems.