M. Rajesh's Blogs...

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Mobile and Developer Conference.

I happened to visit the Mobile and Embedded DevCon 2004 in Bangalore from 9th to 11th December 2004. This was the first of its kind in India and had a good attendance from all companies. I had volunteered to proctor the hands on labs as well as be part of the Community Booth to spread the awareness of the MVP Program and community related activities.

Day 1. (Keynote and Presentations)
The event opened with the Keynote by Mr. Sanjay Parthasarathy (Corporate Vice President - .NET Platform Stragedy). He spoke on the vision of the future of the mobile Platform and Microsoft's plans for the future of the mobile world. It was an interesting one and also included demos by Kevin Lisota (Product Manager - Mobile and Embedded Devices Group) and Kevin Collins (Senior Director, Developer Tools). The demos included developement of a master-detail report without any coding on Visual Studio .nET 2005 and then deploying it to the pocket pc device. It was very cool to see the great improvement in Visual Studio .nET.

The day's session included various topics on the .NET Compact Framework, .NET Compact Framework Performance Tips and Tricks, Windows CE Internals, Advanced debugging Technique for Windows Mobile and Windows Embedded Devices.

I was also managing the Community Booth, speaking of the MVP Program, the benefits of the user groups, guiding the attendees how to become part of the community, giving demos on the Tablet PC and how Ink support works on Tablet PC. We had a Infopath form deployed on the Tablet PC to enable attendees to nominate themselves for Community Chats.

The best moment was demonstrating the ink support on Tablet PC. Now that Windows XP SP2 has provided full support for ink in all applications the features like ink support in notepad and Word drew gasps and excitement from the attendees. I also happened to meet some of my fellow MVPs Pooran Prasad, Suresh Behera and my MVP Lead Abhishek Kant and MVP Community Co-ordinator Ms. Subhashini Simha.

Some leading companies like Motorala, Compaq, Krome, Oswin had showcased their pocket pc devices and embedded products and it was very cool to see the latest devices with full support like a desktop computer. The best of all was O2 which demonstrated their Black XDA II. XDA II now comes with a sliding panel at the back which extends as a keyboard.

In the evening there was a cultural program called Smackdown hosted by Kevin Lisota, Ed Kaim and Kevin Collins. They showed various features of mobile devices and it was a cool program.

Day 2. (Presentations)
Cognizant Technologies showcased their two products for the Pocket PC. They were "Yardelligent" and "Buy your way". Both were terrific applications which showed that the capability of applications for high end servers and desktops can also be extended to the mobile device. The Buy Your way featured a bar code scanner which enabled capturing of data through bar code readers.

Sessions like Smart Device Development on VS.nET 2005, SQL Mobile 2005, Windows CE 5.0, Windows Mobile Development Tips and Tricks drew heavy crowd and most of the attendees had to stand through the entire session. The best session was on Windows CE and Debugging Mobile Applications by Doug Boling. He did the presentation in a very interesting way and also had a bit of humour in the sessions.

I continued my initiatives about the MVP Program and Community initiatives in the Community Booth. The demos on the Tablet PC evoked interest on the second day and definitely a presentation has to be taken to spread the awareness of Tablet PC in India.

Later in the evening there was a contest called Developer IDOL and it included all the speakers at MDC. Questions were posted by the audience and the contestants had to answer them or get eliminated. The contest was won by Doug Boling and he was presented with a paper crown. The program had its share of laughter and humour by the speakers and the attendees.

Also, an exclusive roundtable was arranged for the MVPs, Community Stars and INETA volunteers post the sessions.

Day 3. (Hands on Labs)
The entire day was devoted to hands on labs on various topics like SQL Mobile 2005, .NET Compact Framework and Windows CE 5.0. The labs were proctored by Kevin Collins and Doug Boling and the labs involved using Publishers and subscribers in SQL Mobile, developing an application for the smart device using SQL Mobile and Visual Studio .nET 2005. Also labs were done on developing Windows CE 5.0 applications using Platform Builder and developing a mobile application using the .NET Compact Framework. Since I had volunteered as a proctor for the labs, I had to iron out problems faced by the attendees on the work stations. It went on well except for some hiccups.
There was also a hands on lab on Tablet PC. The lab included developing an ink aware control using Visual Studio .NET on a Tablet PC and it was indeed cool to see the support for Ink in Visual Studio .NET. A book on "Developing Tablet PC Applications" and a CD were given to the attendees who attended this lab.

And that was the end of the Mobile and Embedded DevCon 2004 and it was one of the best event organized here.