The New Zealand Dot Net Users group hit the road this month, touring the country and delivering hands-on demonstrations of Microsoft’s latest development and server products.
Jeremy Boyd, director of Wellington-based development shop Mindscape and one of the presenters on the tour, says he expects to have addressed around 1,000 people over the trip’s 11 scheduled events.
Boyd says quite a few infrastructure people are coming to the events and showing a lot of interest in Windows Server 2008. The crew, also featuring Chris Auld of Intergen and Microsoft’s Darryl Burling, are demonstrating live web development featuring Windows Server 08, Internet Information Server and Visual Studio.
He says he’s seeing a lot of interest in Server 08, IIS and also in SQL Server 08, the release of which has now been delayed until later this year. Boyd says he has encountered a lot of users that haven’t upgraded to SQL 2005 and are thinking of jumping a generation to the 08 version when it arrives.
Boyd says the virtualisation features in Windows Server 08 are the “hottest thing”, attracting attention from a lot of workshop participants.
He also rates the server’s new applications platform as a winner, incorporating new technologies such as .Net 3.0 and allowing the easy deployment of next generation applications.
Finally, he says, new management tools that deliver eased remote management are also attracting user attention. He cites PowerShell, a command-line scripting environment that allows many administration functions to be automated, as one example.
“Previously management was a bit of a hassle,” he says.
Boyd says upgrades to the kernel and the fact Server 08 is from the same code family as Vista are also good things, as security and reliability have been boosted.
Boyd is a Microsoft MVP (most valuable professional) and as such has been involved in a lot of discussion with Microsoft over features and performance of Windows Server 08 before its release. He says the views of MVPs were actively pursued during the server’s development, through surveys, early release trials and other mechanisms.
“They talked through what they were trying to achieve,” he says. “There was a big effort to engage with the community this time.”
The Road Trip started in Auckland on February 4 and finishes in Invercargill on February 19.