Unified Communications - Day 3

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Today promised to be a day of deep developer interaction on the Microsoft Unified Communications platform at INTERACT2008. The day started with breakfast and then a keynote delivered by Terry Myerson the Corporate VP for Microsoft Exchange. Followed by a day of developer code camps (kinda) and maybe there was a little time left for developer labs?

The Keynote

Today's keynote was very interesting, Terry described the biggest pain points for Microsoft Exchange over the last year or so and introduced the Exchange Labs, which is basically Exchange as a software service, implemented by some schools in the US. Exchange has never really featured in my career, other than as a user via Outlook etc. but it was interesting just the same, I like it.

The Sessions

Today was the for the day for all the developer sessions, by the end of it all I feel I really understand what APIs are available, what technologies and server roles are involved along with the best way to talk to each. In addition I now have a pretty good idea of Microsoft's strategy with regards to UC and the programmability of the platform. All good.

Developer Code Camps

There was some scheduling confusion with the code camp(s) and the was only really one code camp that was supposed to be after the sessions, but in the schedule there were many code camp sessions and they were running in parallel with the sessions, doh! But, once that was all ironed it turns out I could skip the actual code camp as they were just going through the code already shown during the sessions and in the labs. I felt that I had fully groked the sessions before the code camp and therefore didn't feel the need to see the instructor type the code in all over again. We were already running pretty late in the day too by this time, so my head was full and ready for bed.

The Labs

I didn't get to these today, but the sessions did cover most if not all of the content in them, as I have already said. I might take a look at these before I leave tomorrow just to be sure that I don't miss a trick.

Conclusion

Today was a good day at the INTERACT2008 conference on Microsoft Unified Communications, probably the best so far. Yesterday I got the "zen" of UC, today I saw what tools the developer has available and what is really possible. However, the bottom line for me is there is nothing here that will show me how to use the APIs that I might need to write about for my project (if we get the work that is), ho-hum.

Once again, it's time to bring out the same old sob story: it's very late for me (early hours of the morning back in my native GMT) so my bed calls. Night, night.

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