Recently I was at the Microsoft workshop. Certain participants made really good presentations on some hot topics such as Silverlight 4 development. Some updates have been mentioned, such as that after installing Silverlight you can run Silverlight desktop applications offline without the need for an Internet connection, which is really good in the case of any security policy within an organization. Microsoft apparently do not want other organizations to distribute Silverlight distribution files with the custom application installation files due to security reasons – they want users to download all the files from their corporate Web site. Of course, it can be discussed with Microsoft and such a thing can be allowed – I think in some cases it is rather good to have those files at hand, because, in this case, a customer does not have to visit the Microsoft Web site and download the Silverlight files, yet the Silverlight plug-in will be installed automatically in the process of custom application installation.
We have been shown some parts of Microsoft Expression Studio. This is a really impressive thing. Together with Microsoft Expression Blend 4 and SketchFlow application a product manager is provided with very useful tools for application prototyping I have got more input about some tools for application design as well, which are available for trying at the Microsoft Web site Microsoft Windows Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone Beta, which is a very neat tool for mobile application user interface and user interaction design tool, has been released and is free so far.
We have briefly gone through using SQL Azure solution for the cloud. So, the idea behind the use of databases in the cloud is that one can connect to a database which is hosted on one of the Microsoft servers from a local computer’s Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio. The information about using ESRI ArcGIS suite in the Amazon EC2 cloud might be relevant to this Microsoft product as well.
To conclude, the workshop was extremely fruitful, thanks go to Microsoft Technical Evangelists Danwei Tran (@danweitran) and Robert Folkensson. Thanks guys, well done!