The BDC Connection Day: Software + Services Review

It's over, finished, done, happened, ... and I think we can say: it was a success Smile. I had a few attendees that were saying that this was one of the most interesting evening events we ever organized. People were really happy they spared the time to come over .. it was worth it.

At least .. that's what they told me [:/].

We slightly changed the approach this time. In the first "Connection Day", we had simply four concurrent session. There, we noticed that people just tend to go to the session of their product, not a general session. And that's too bad for the general session .. because that should be equally interesting as well.

Now, we decided to go for a general session, followed by three product-specific sessions. This means: still four sessions, but one "keynote" session that everyone could attend.

Keynote Session - Living on the cloud: software and services - Luc Van de Velde

Two words: very interesting. For quite some time now, people (and mainly Microsoft) have been talking about .. "the cloud" or "cloud computing" or ... . But what is it all about? Is it hosting? Is it something else? Is it really putting some servers on higher level (in the clouds) and beam the data down? (ridiculous, I know, but I couldn't resist :-) ). Luc explained it very well. It all comes down on putting stuff (software )on the web and letting people use it when they want (services). And the goal is: people only pay for the usage. If they don't use it, they don't pay for it. Luc talked about the services which are there, the services that are coming .. and what the price model is going to be (paying for usage, kind of services, band with, ... stuff like that). To explain it, Luc used the comparison with a pool:

  • On Premises: you can buy a pool for your own house. But you have to pay for the entire pool, plus maintenance and all that...
  • Shared (like hosting): you can use a pool in the building complex you live in. Many people will use it. Many rules apply. You pay for it, also for the days you don't use it.
  • Cloud: you buy a ticket for a pool when you want to swim. It's available when you want it to be available, and you pay for it when you use it, for the time you use it.

What services do they bring in the cloud? This was a bit unknown for me. They talk about operating systems, development abilities, Windows Azure, SQL Server services, PHP, ... . I strongly suggest you download the PowerPoint when it comes available on the download section of the Belgian Dynamics Community site. You'll see the necessary schema's to understand all the things they are bringing to the cloud .. and you'll realize it's time to put a little bit less time in twittering your Facebook .. and get yourself familiar with "the cloud".

NAV Session - How Dynamics NAV could work together with Dynamics Online - Jesper Lachance Ræbild

Dynamics Online? What's that?
Jesper also receives our newsletter and saw that we were doing an evening about S+S. He volunteered to speak about "Dynamics Online" .. stuff in the cloud that is there, and where Dynamics (NAV, AX, .... doesn't matter) can connect with. Again, for NAV people: very interesting off course.

You could see an online payment platform, provided by Microsoft, and integrated in Dynamics NAV 2009 . The scenario of the demo: we saw that someone (named Eric Wauters Smile) was buying something and wanted to pay with VISA. The complete VISA handling (authorization, balance check, and what-else-does-a-credit-card-payment-has-in-its-standard-flow..-) was done in the cloud, behind the scenes, when you were still just working in NAV, swiping the card, getting the authorisation - it was a "good card" (it was mine, off course it's good ;°) ), posting the invoice, getting the payment confirmation.

May be the fact that it was so "simple" and so "integrated" made people a little bit wondering "is it safe", "is that allowed". Off course. You really think Microsoft is putting something like this out there ... and didn't check that legal requirements??

Very cool demo .. very cool upcoming functionality. Thank you, Jesper, for coming over to Belgium to show that!

NAV Session - How to extend NAV 2009 with Web Services - Eric Wauters

This was my session :-) (yep, I'm Eric). I'm not going to say whether it was good or not, that's for other people to decide (I didn't get any results of the evaluation forms until now either (may be that's a good thing Wink)). But the fact that some high school teachers approached me after the session to ask me whether I wanted to visit their school and do a lecture there about this topic .. made me feel quite confident that it went well :-).

About 9 months ago, I had a session for the Belgian community about web services. Back then, I tried to show the people what could be done. Showing some cool examples. But I didn't show HOW they were built, or what it meant to build something like that.

Exactly THAT was the goal of this evening. I tried to create a technical background session for Web Services. The audience that I was expecting was indeed technical, so that was good ;°). I built some web services complately from scratch on stage to convince the simplicity. I showed different options of building web services(working with XMLPorts, extend with codeunits, pages, ... ) and tried to explain it technically. I explained how Freddy's popular "EditInExcel" application works .. and tried to go a little bit beyond by explaining how to work with the web services from "other technologies" (java, php, javascript,...).

You see, I used Freddy a lot in my presentation .. but let's be honest ... Freddy's blog has become the "Mekka" of Dynamics NAV 2009 Web Services. Why shouldn't I be using it? Thanks, Freddy! Smile.

You'll find pictures and downloads of the presentation soon enough on our site of the BDC. So just watch the site being updated (and if you can't resist ... you can subscribe to the news letter as well Smile).

Enjoy!

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