Microsoft bills its upcoming Professional Developers Conference as a gathering of developers and architects and a chance to understand the future of Microsoft's platform.
From this backdrop, the Los Angeles conference, which begins on October 26, is set to feature insights into a host of technologies ranging from model-driven software development to cloud computing and the Windows OS.
Highlights include a Community Technology Preview of Microsoft's "Oslo" software modeling platform, as well as sessions on the company's "Dublin" application server extensions for Windows. Microsoft's planned cloud OS, dubbed "Red Dog," is also expected to draw a lot of attention.
In some cases, technologies from different spaces will mesh together at the conference, such as during a session entitled, " 'Dublin' and .Net Services: Extending On-Premise Applications to the Cloud."
Developers will have an opportunity to delve into specifics of the Oslo platform, including the planned M language set to anchor Oslo. "The 'Oslo' language, at the heart of the Oslo modeling platform, allows developers to quickly and efficiently express domain models that power declarative systems, such as Windows Workflow Foundation and 'Dublin,'" one session description reads.
For cloud computing, sessions are featured on cloud service development and problems being solved by cloud computing. Microsoft will present a cloud services road map for the next few years.
Windows 7 will be highlighted from various perspectives, including audio communications applications, design principles, designing background processes and developing multitouch applications. Extension of battery life with Windows 7 is another topic covered at a PDC session.
Microsoft's Silverlight rich Internet application technology will be covered, including from a mobile application development angle. A road map also will be laid out for the 4.0 version of ASP.Net, Microsoft's technology for building Web sites. F#, Microsoft's functional programming language for the .Net Framework, will be pondered at PDC as well.
Other sessions tout agile and Web development with the Visual Studio platform as well as Microsoft's Surface SDK for touch-based computing interaction. Development of supercomputer applications will also be covered in a session pertaining to Windows HPC (High Performance Computing) Server 2008.
Microsoft's Live Services platform also is covered in detail, ranging from mesh services to programming services.
Another hot topic at PDC is virtualization. "Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V), formerly known as Microsoft Softgrid Application Virtualization, allows companies to create and customize 'virtual packages' of desktop applications that can be streamed over the web providing a SAAS experience without a costly rewrite of the application," according to the conference Web site.
Project Velocity, Microsoft's distributed in-memory cache, will be detailed at PDC also, as will the future of the C# platform.
Common Language Runtime features of the .Net Framework will be examined. "Hear about support for in-process side-by-side CLR version support. Get a look at development improvements including code contracts and tools, mini dump debugging in Visual Studio, and enhanced base class libraries including BigInteger, tuples, and trees," the session agenda states.
Other topics to be covered include:
-- A road map for Microsoft's Windows Presentation Foundation, including improvements planned for graphics, data visualization, performance and line of business application development.
-- Microsoft Sync Framework, with the next version intended to make it easier to synchronize distributed copies of data across different types of systems and services.
-- Mono, which puts the .Net Framework on platforms such as Linux.
-- SQL Server 2008, featuring details on storing and querying semi-structured data.
-- Geneva server and framework, for identity management.
-- Oomph, a microformat toolkit for Web developers and designers.