A Report from Directions USA 2010

This year Directions USA is held in San Diego California. You’d expect sunny weather but no, it is foggy and rainy. I hope we are not adopting the EMEA rain events.

You might remember the days when I and Waldo did a lot of blogging when we went to events like this and wonder why this is not that active anymore. I have been thinking about that and my guess is that the content is not as hot as it was one or two years ago.

Back then we had a lot of cool new stuff like RTC, webservices, RDLC reports etc. This has all been long released in most of the countries and most sessions here are repeating and more deep diving into the same stuff we saw as being new two years ago.

A good example I guess is that at this very moment I am in Waldo’s session about Webservices. Nothing new you’d think, but wait. It’s in the implementer track, so for functional people. This means that webservices is moving from a hot techies topic to a functional area where real world customers are working with it.

So what is new this year? Basically it is all about the cloud. MSFT will release 2009 R2 in some months and all new features are cloud features and integrations features.

With R2 you will be able to run the application as a App-v application over the WAN. This means that the service tier and the SQL box don’t have to be on your premise anymore. It also eliminates the use of citrix and/or terminal services. Isn’t that cool.

Another new feature that I was happy to hear is that .net interop will be included into R2. This feature was originally planned for v7 and has moved forward to R2. With this feature C/AL developers can use any .net dll and start coding against it directly rather than making com wrappers around it. COOL.

So what did I do this year. My session was about Tools/Tricks that make Development Easier and more Organized. It sounds easy but was more difficult than I expected. It was the first session of the developer track and I was happy to see over 50 attendees at 8am. The feedback I had was very positive and if you are curious, have a look at the slides I have uploaded here.

The other cool thing I did was signing my book during the expo. I will be posting pictures about that and it was nice to hear the compliments from people who are in the Dynamics NAV community for a long time.

So what remains is the party tonight with the C/Siders band. Looking very much forward to that.

Cheers.

/Mark

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