New Blog Address

You can find my blog at its new home at the following address: http://home.infusionblogs.com/nlandry/default.aspx. The whole post archive has been transferred to this address too, so there is no longer any need to come back here. Note that my main blog URL will soon be redirected to the new location automatically. You will most probably have to refresh your RSS feeds as well. Bear with us as we iron out the kinks during this transition. Thanks!

Blog moving soon...

After 8 months of inactivity due to a busy schedule and also partially due to spammers invading my posts, my blog will soon move to a new engine. All archived posts will be available at the new location and the blog URL will stay the same. I have turned off comments in the meantime. Stay tuned.

MSDN Webcast: Tablet PCs and Smartphones: Working Hand-in-Hand to Enable Your Mobile Workforce

Mobile workers need the right tool to do their job effectively. Finding the right device for any given scenario can be a challenge. Is the user working indoors or outdoors? Does their work require advanced UI interactions? What if they need to receive alerts and status messages while driving? Sometimes, one single device cannot do it all. Thanks to the power and reach of .NET, there is no need to compromise. Give your users the power of a rich Tablet PC application while extending this power with the real-time, mobility and convenience attributes of a handy Smartphone (or any Windows Mobile phone). Tablet PCs provide the power to fully enable mobile smart client applications using rich user interfaces, mobile pen-based input, massive local data storage, online and offline capabilities, field sketching, and more. Smartphones and pocket PC Phones on the other hand can extend mobile applications by providing simple digital photography, 24/7 alerts, status information, online access via Bluetooth, voice notes and more. This session, complete with insightful demonstrations, explores some of the techniques mobile .NET developers can leverage to bring powerful mobile applications to life using a combo of Tablet PC and Windows Mobile phone.

Join me today at 3:00 PM EST for an MSDN Webcast titled Tablet PCs and Smartphones: Working Hand-in-Hand to Enable Your Mobile Workforce. This is a repeat of a very well received session I did at the Microsoft MEDC 2006 at the Venetian in Las Vegas last May. You can register for this Webcast using the link here.

Here are a few notes regarding this session:

  • The final slide deck from MEDC that I am using for this session, as well as the demo code, are already available here on my blog. You can download the PowerPoint presentation directly from here and the complete demo code projects here. The solution includes both the Windows Forms project for the Tablet PC and the .NET Compact Framework project for the Pocket PC. You will need a Tablet PC and a Pocket PC with Bluetooth adapters and the Microsoft stack to use these demo projects. Note that the NETCF UI was optimized to run on a Palm Treo 700w.
  • If you have questions about this topic or others, you can ask them here in a comment, or you can also contact me through my blog here.
  • You can use this blog post to start discussions on the topic.
  • Finally, if you need help in your projects around mobile development and location technologies, feel free to contact me via my blog contact page to see how Infusion can help you with development, training or mentoring.

Tech•Ed 2006 Session Follow-up: DEV212 - Introduction to Visual Studio 2005 for Device Development

Visual Studio 2005 incorporates both Native and Managed Development for Devices. This talk provides a very comprehensive overview of all the pieces of Visual Studio that a device developer show know, along with many tips and tricks to make you more productive with the IDE. This talk is useful for anyone considering a move to the latest device development tools and who wants to get an overview and understand any limitation of the new Development Tools Set. You also get an insight of what is planned for the upcoming tools release and learn how best to communicate and engage with the VSD Product Team.

If you attended my session titled Introduction to Visual Studio 2005 for Device Development (DEV212) at Microsoft Tech•Ed 2006 in Boston, or whether you joined us via simulcast over the Web, thank you! Enterprise mobility is here today and I always enjoy sharing my passion for this amazing field of work.

I want to follow-up on a few items regarding this session:

  • The final slide deck is already posted on the Tech•Ed CommNet. Look for it there if you attended the event. I will post it here on my blog soon for others that did not. You can also access the session demo code here (this is based off an MEDC Hands-On lab).
  • If you have questions or comments, either post a comment under this blog post or you can also contact me through my blog here. You can also look for me at the show as i will be here all week until Friday evening. I usually visit the Windows Mobile Technical Learning Center (green zone) on a regular basis.
  • If you have not already done so, please fill-in your evaluation online via CommNet.
  • You can use this blog post to start discussions on the topic.
  • Finally, if you need help in your projects around mobile development and location technologies, contact me via my blog contact page to see how Infusion can help you with software development, design and architecture consulting, reviews, training or mentoring.

Tech•Ed Birds of a Feather Session Follow-up: BOF02 - Architecture Models, Patterns and Design Approaches in Mobility Scenarios for the Enterprise

This Birds of a Feather session I will be moderating is a discussion on Enterprise Mobility scenarios and how to architect them properly. Mobility implies mobile devices and wireless networks, but behind it all rests an infrastructure very similar to what other software architects are used to. How do you properly design a client application running on a device with less memory, a slower CPU and catering to a different user experience? What rules are changed with the introduction of less efficient, slower, high latency wireless networks? Are Web applications still a viable option? How does this affect your overall design and what are all the variables to consider to bring automation to your mobile workforce? Also, pattern-oriented design and architecture have taken the development world by storm, and the past few years have been witness to a new influx of work in that field. But does that exclude mobile applications? Certainly not! Mobile applications running on smart devices can gain a lot from good design that rely on patterns, and their role in a layered or Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is vital in today's modern enterprise. Which patterns can you use to properly architect your mobile applications? Come discuss the techniques, patterns and technologies you can use to build efficient architecture models mobile solutions.

Thank you for all the attendees who joined us for this great discussion on architecting solutions for mobility. It was very informative for myself as well and I learned a lot on what other mobility designers and architects are doing out there. I also want to thank Ed Jezierski, Lead Architect for Microsoft in the Patterns & Practices group, for joining us in the discussion and taking notes the whole time. Ed is the architect behind the Enterprise Library at P&P, and is just now finishing work on the new Mobile Client Software Factory. You can rest assured that Microsoft is hearing you loud and clear, and gathering feedback for the next release of products, technologies and application blocks.

I want to follow-up on a few items regarding this session:

  • Ed was kind enough to make his notes available to us. The mind map file can be downloaded here and a PNG image file equivalent is also available here. Also look for them on Ed's blog at MSDN. You will need MindJet MindManager software or the free viewer to open the mind map file.
  • If you have questions or comments following this discussion, either post a comment under this blog post or you can also contact me through my blog here. You can also look for me at the show as i will be here all week until Friday evening. I usually visit the Windows Mobile Technical Learning Center (green zone) on a regular basis.
  • You can use this blog post to start discussions on the topic.
  • Finally, if you need help in your projects around mobile development and location technologies, contact me via my blog contact page to see how Infusion can help you with software development, design and architecture consulting, reviews, training or mentoring.

Tech•Ed 2006 Session Follow-up: DEV201 - Windows Mobile Application Security

The mobility field is maturing, as are the tools to build mobile enterprise applications. But maturity implies more than functionality and performance. Integrity, manageability, and above all security, are needed before a technology is "enterprise ready". Are wireless networks like EDGE, EV-DO, or WiFi secure? What messaging security layer should be in your code? How can you call an external Web service securely from Windows Mobile 5.0 applications, and ensure that data integrity is maintained between the server-side and the mobile workforce? Can the sensitive relational data on a device be secured in case it gets lost or stolen? We explore these questions via threat modeling and concrete mitigation options supported by demos based on .NET Compact Framework 2.0, Windows Mobile 5.0, SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition, the Mobile Client Software Factory and more. Unleash the full power of your applications and safely take your data on the road.

If you attended my session titled Windows Mobile Application Security (DEV201) at Microsoft Tech•Ed 2006 in Boston, thank you! Security is not an easy topic for the very first breakout session slot on a Monday morning at 9:00 AM, and I congratulate you for being so security-conscious.

I want to follow-up on a few items regarding this session:

  • The final slide deck is already posted on the Tech•Ed CommNet. Look for it there if you attended the event. I will post it here on my blog soon for others that did not. You can also access the session demo code here. It has also been given to the CommNet folks but I am not sure where these demo ZIPs are posted.
  • If you have questions or comments, either post a comment under this blog post or you can also contact me through my blog here. You can also look for me at the show as i will be here all week until Friday evening. I usually visit the Windows Mobile Technical Learning Center (green zone) on a regular basis.
  • You can use this blog post to start discussions on the topic.
  • Finally, if you need help in your projects around mobile development and location technologies, contact me via my blog contact page to see how Infusion can help you with software development, design and architecture consulting, reviews, training or mentoring.

Meet ActiveNick at Tech•Ed in Boston Next Week!

It's that time once again for the greatest conference of them all: Microsoft Tech•Ed! We are headed to Boston this year, and if you are lucky enough to attend, make sure to look me up. Here is an overview of what I'll be up to this week:

Sunday, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM: MVP Engagement Tour: If you're an MVP, look me up for as I will be attending this all day meeting for MVPs and other Microsoft evangelists.

Monday, 9:00-10:15 AM: Speaking - DEV201 - Windows Mobile Application Security (Room 102 AB): The mobility field is maturing, as are the tools to build mobile enterprise applications. But maturity implies more than functionality and performance. Integrity, manageability, and above all security, are needed before a technology is "enterprise ready". Are wireless networks like EDGE, EV-DO, or WiFi secure? What messaging security layer should be in your code? How can you call an external Web service securely from Windows Mobile 5.0 applications, and ensure that data integrity is maintained between the server-side and the mobile workforce? Can the sensitive relational data on a device be secured in case it gets lost or stolen? We explore these questions via threat modeling and concrete mitigation options supported by demos based on .NET Compact Framework 2.0, Windows Mobile 5.0, SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition, the Mobile Client Software Factory and more. Unleash the full power of your applications and safely take your data on the road.

Monday, 10:15-11:50 AM: Mobility Technical Learning Center (TLC, Green Zone): I'll be available to answer follow-up questions on session DEV201, or any question you might have about enterprise mobility, .NET Compact Framework, Windows Mobile 5.0, the Mobile Client Software Factory, and more. The TLC features Microsoft and MVP experts ready to answer your questions, 6 Hands-on Labs (HOL), 5 presentation theaters, 3 Windows Mobile "Experiences", a device bar, and come get your Windows Mobile baseball hats at the Mobility TLC too! Wear it for a chance to win a Windows Mobile phone!

Monday, 6:00-9:00 PM: Exhibit Hall Reception: Look for me as I'll be walking the expo floor, enjoying free food & booze, and looking for free swag and booth babes.

Tuesday, 1:00-2:15 PM: Hosting - BOF02 - Architecture Models, Patterns and Design Approaches in Mobility Scenarios for the Enterprise: This Birds of a Feather session I will be moderating is a discussion on Enterprise Mobility scenarios and how to architect them properly. Mobility implies mobile devices and wireless networks, but behind it all rests an infrastructure very similar to what other software architects are used to. How do you properly design a client application running on a device with less memory, a slower CPU and catering to a different user experience? What rules are changed with the introduction of less efficient, slower, high latency wireless networks? Are Web applications still a viable option? How does this affect your overall design and what are all the variables to consider to bring automation to your mobile workforce? Also, pattern-oriented design and architecture have taken the development world by storm, and the past few years have been witness to a new influx of work in that field. But does that exclude mobile applications? Certainly not! Mobile applications running on smart devices can gain a lot from good design that rely on patterns, and their role in a layered or Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is vital in today's modern enterprise. Which patterns can you use to properly architect your mobile applications? Come discuss the techniques, patterns and technologies you can use to build efficient architecture models mobile solutions.

Tuesday, 2:45-4:00 PM: Speaking - DEV212 - Introduction to Visual Studio 2005 for Device Development (Room 104 ABC): Visual Studio 2005 incorporates both Native and Managed Development for Devices. This talk provides a very comprehensive overview of all the pieces of Visual Studio that a device developer show know, along with many tips and tricks to make you more productive with the IDE. This talk is useful for anyone considering a move to the latest device development tools and who wants to get an overview and understand any limitation of the new Development Tools Set. You also get an insight of what is planned for the upcoming tools release and learn how best to communicate and engage with the VSD Product Team.

Tuesday, 4:00-6:00 PM: Mobility Technical Learning Center (TLC, Green Zone): I'll be once again available to answer follow-up questions on session DEV212, or any other questions you might have. Come by and chat me up!

Tuesday, 6:30-9:30 PM: Windows Mobile Grand Slam Reception: Swing for the fences with the Windows Mobile speakers and TLC staff at the Windows Mobile Grand Slam Reception (aka “Dogs, Drinks, and Devices”) at the Boston Harbor Hotel Rotunda Room 9. Step up to the plate for ballpark fare such as burgers, hot dogs, and your favorite beer. Round the bases playing baseball on an Xbox 360. Take the field listening to tunes played on a Windows Mobile device. And score one of five Windows Mobile devices, an Xbox 360 with a baseball game, or other giveaways. You must have a ticket to enter and you must be present to win. The Windows Mobile team looks forward to seeing you in Boston. If you happen to be at this RSVP event too, look me up, I'll be there!

Wednesday, 7:00-10:00: Microsoft Influencer Appreciation Party

If you want to meet with me to discuss potential projects, hiring Infusion for mobility work, training, mentoring or just to talk a little, e-mail me through my contact form on this blog and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Or you can simply look me up at one of the locations described above. See you there!

The BlackBerry User’s Perspective on the Motorola Q

By Gregory Brill

Note to readers from ActiveNick: Since I posted on the Motorola Q two days ago, a real flame war erupted on my blog. As I mentioned there, Infusion's CEO, Greg Brill, bought one and started learning it. Despite the lack of Direct Push, he decided to give it a shot. He is an avid BlackBerry user and asked me to post his review of the Q from the perspective of a BlackBerry user, since my blog is a better forum for such a review than his own blog. The words that follow are all Greg's.

It is no BlackBerry Killer, More Along the Lines of BlackBerry Fertilizer; it will, if anything, further grow the Blackberry base as the carriers and the phone manufacturers prove once again that they are unable or unwilling to grasp the concept of real-time email.” –me.

As a BlackBerry user of 5 years but a lover (and implementor) of Microsoft technology, I awaited the Motorola Q with some eagerness: maybe this would be the device that could finally stand-in for my BlackBerry.   I’d always coveted the Microsoft Smartphone's features.  They  just lacked two things I needed:  keyboard and real-time email.   Reading the PR on the Q, it looked the BlackBerry alternative I had been waiting for.

Now, I am in a unique position…as the owner of a consulting firm that actually employs two Microsoft Mobility MVPs, and with the immediate ability to make changes to my infrastructure, I knew I could do a thorough review of the Q.   So I bought one.  And while I still have the BlackBerry 7250, I am leaving it at home and force myself to use the Q.  I’ll have some itemized findings in a bit, but first, here is my general impressions.  (NOTE: I am not especially knoweldgeable about this industry sector…I am a business user, not a mobile technophile.  These are just my comments and impressions and it could be that I am missing a secret button that turns on all the functionality I want…but I doubt it).

Impression 1: Smartphones, no matter how slick,  QUERTY or not, are about PHONES first and NOT about email.   The Q is a phone.  Not an email device.

It has always been my complaint that the Smartphones always treat email like a second class citizen.  But for BlackBerry users, it is the PHONE you can do without.  I am text-centric.  I hate the phone.  Phone is only for immediate communication of something complex where it would take to much time to type.   I know my mother, my sister, friends of mine don’t get this.  But managers of large enterprises understand;  you need a way to codify, forward, retain information and work iteratively with many other people with a sense of history, building corporate memory of the situation as you go.   Phone is my secondary use, email the first.  This is where the business market and general consumer markets are precisely opposite.  For most people, phone is essential, email is nice.  For me, other way around.

Impression 2: Q is for general consumers, not business people.

The presence of the camera says it all.  This is not a business device.  The investment banks I work in certainly don’t want their staff or consultants running around with immediately accessible cameras to capture trade secrets, potential HR violations, and the like.  Right there you’d have issue getting this device into most my clients.  Consumers love this/demand this, but business people don’t want it.  The inclusion of the camera tells me this is for the populace, not the business person.  Keep the frigging camera, give me push email please.

Impression 3: Lack of push means Motorola/Verizon are not serious about the business user.

When I first learned that there wasn’t push for the Q, I called the rep.  “But we have push!  There is the Verizon push application and Good technology does it!”   Well, the Verizon app is out because I am not going to leave my office PC on with some lame agent running…that is just a ridiculous proposition for an enterprise user…especially when machines are purged, reset and updated at night by centeralized IT department to keep them uniform with other computers in the firm.  For my mom who leaves her Gateway running, yeah, fine.  For a business person, you have to be kidding.   In terms of Good Technology…that is a whole enterprise server installation on Exchange and a new client.  Costs $2000 plus $100 per user or something.  My IT guy looked into it and said that the install was a little more complex than he’d like, but doable.  So I’ll try it…nice thing about being a business user is that you can afford that kind of thing, the functionality is worth much more to you than the software cost.  But I resent that I have to do this step to get what the Q should do natively…and what the Windows Mobile 5.0 platform has built in vis-à-vis the AKU2 update.  Curiously absent from the Q’s build.  I’ve heard conspiracy theories on the web that Motorola is trying to push Good.  Don’t know if that is true, but I can see why these theories began.

Anyway, what lack of push tells me is that Motorolla/Verizon see the business market as a “nice to have” with the Q, but they are focusing on general consumer who is happy with polling.  Not having push absolutely *kills* the potential for this device with the BlackBerry market.  It  makes the Q simply another in a long line of clever phone/PDA gadgets.  But a BlackBerry killer?  Hardly a killer…more like BlackBerry fertilizer which will, if anything, further grow the BlackBerry base as the carriers and the phone manufacturers prove once again that they are unable to grasp the concept of real-time email.

SPECIFIC FEATURES BLACKBERRY HAS THAT ARE MISSING ON THE  Q

  1. IntelliText is not as good.  BlackBerry has an autotext that lets you replace any number of words/phrases/acronyms you define with phrases.  Q has something less powerful where you can add and pick from a list of set phrases…but that is not as powerful and it requires you open a menu, look at the phrases, pick one, it inserts it, etc.  It is much easier on the BlackBerry to type a collection of letters and have it instantly translate to a phrase of your making.  Also missing which drives me nuts is the SPACE TO PERIOD feature on the BlackBerry.  When you press space-space on the BlackBerry, it ends your sentence with a period and upper caps your next sentence.  I was so surprised how much I missed that and how much time that saves when composing emails.  There seems to be no way to replicate that on the Q.
  2. Keyboard difficult for BlackBerry users: To be fair to the Q, I have worked on BlackBerrys for half a decade.  As such, I might just be used to it and I will need time to adjust to a Q keyboard.  But I am having a tough time.  The keys are raised much higher than a BlackBerry, so I find thumb typing more difficult to do without inadvertainly pressing additions/wrong keys.  And when you do type the wong keys BlackBerry users will be hugely irritated that THERE IS NO BACKSPACE KEY ON THE KEYBOARD.  To do a backspace, you need to press the <- (i.e. back) button on the top of the keyboard near the screen (it is a Smartphone standard button, not a QUERTY keyboard button).  It is hard to press with a thumb because it is a recessed key and somewhat high, so you end up shifting the phone in your hand to do a backspace.  The result of all these things is that I am probaby only at 30% of the typing speed on the Q than I am on the BlackBerry.  It is a little frustrating but, again, I am giving this time since I might get better at it.
  3. Clip is awkward: Many people will accuse me of being persnickety, but the clip matters.  Let me explain.   The BlackBerry clip is a holster, you slide the device in and out of it.  When you are at a traffic light, in a dull meeting or something like that, you are sitting down.  And you want to easily slide out the device, take a peek at your email, slide it back in.  You don’t want to be fussing with the clip.  With the Q, it is not a holster, you snap/pop the device in and out horizontally.  Damn near impossible to do when sitting down.  So forget about stealing a glance at your email while in a meeting sitting down.  The other people in the room will think you are having a grand mal seizure as you try to pop the thing in and out of the holster.
  4. Battery: With the BlackBerry I can talk, do email all day and I typically keep the phone on my holster until I go to bed at night.  So, probably 12 hours.  Never been a problem, even on an old battery.  Q only made it to about 7-8pm with similar use.  I have adjusted my POLLING EMAIL to 10 minutes instead of 5.  We’ll see if that makes a difference.  I sincerely hope that “push” if they ever have it doesn’t result in a 1hr batterly life.
  5. Screen: The screen of the Q is gorgeous, no complaint there.  I just wish it would turn itself on when I took the device out of the clip.   For a BlackBerry user it is common behaviour to take out the device many times an hour, and glance at the screen to see if you have any email.  Since the BlackBerry has an LCD screen which you can see whether backlit or not, it is always on.  You pop it out of the holster, you can see immediately if you have email.  Cool.  But the Q screen turns itself off.   So, you want to glance at your email, you take the device out, you see a black screen.  How do you get that screen to turn on?  You got to push a key.  Which key? Well, any key but beware that the device is on, so whatever key you press will actually cause an action.  So, if you holstered the device looking at your inbox, and you take the device out later and press the arrow button or something to turn the screen on, you will no longer be on the email application.  I have trained myself to push the ALT key so that the screen turns on where I left it.  I just have to remember to push the ALT key again before I type though.  What a pain.  BlackBerry seems to have a magnetic holster sensor so that when you remove the device, the backlight goes on.  Not the Q, though.  Goes back to what I was saying…to the Q, email is a second class application, something you will run time to time, not the main thing that should be front and center.  Dedicated buttons for phone, nothing for email.  It is not an email device.
  6. Can’t flag email:  well, BlackBerry email client can’t do this either.  But gosh, all I want in life is to set up a follow-up flag on an email on my mobile device so that when I get back to a PC, I can see what requries action.  Best you can do is “Mark as Unread”.  Sigh. Maybe someday when the technology is capable of that kind of sophisticated flag-rendering and inter-flag communications.
  7. Conference Call/Extension Dialer: On BlackBerry , if you have a number in the form xxx-xxx-xxxx ext. yyyy, when you select and dial, the phone will first dial the X part.  Then it will pop up a dialog that says, “DIAL YYYY?”  Can’t tell you how useful that is.  Seems to be missing on the Q/Windows Mobile 5.0.  Sometimes…sniff…it is the simple things you miss most.
  8. Push email:  “Jeez, whats the big deal waiting 5 minutes for an email, can’t you wait 5 minutes?”  Answer.  No.  I can’t .  My mom can.  So can my sisters and young cousins.  You can wait 5 minutes to get an email with a subject line of “wuzzup!”  But if you manage/deal with many people, with many issues ranging in priorities,  you need real-time mobile email to track, remember, triage, reference, forward, and a number of other things.  If you do not or have not managed a good number of people you will not viscerally understand this need.   Email is not AN application.  It is THE application.
    Blackberry is the #1 mobile device used by government and large-scale business people.  All the investment banks (our clients) use it.  The venture capitalists I work with use it.  Why do you think that is?   Do you think 5 minutes matters when Al Gore got a BlackBerry message about giving his concession speech?  (Well, in that case, I guess it didn’t, but you get my point).   Do you think a congressman would like to know and query the immediate status of many situation in a crisis?   There are times when you need to query and receive information asynchonously from many sources, and you simply can’t just line up 15 phone calls with people.

FEATURES Q HAS THAT BLACKBERRY DOESN’T

  1. Great Screen
  2. No Stylus:  Thank the heavens.  I absolutely hate stylus-oriented mobile devices.  If you cant do everything you need to with one hand while driving (I call that “OHWD rated”), it is useless to me. True, the BlackBerry does not have a stylus either, but this is more of comparison with Pocket PCs out there.
  3. Snappier non-Java performance: I always thought BlackBerrys became dog slow after moving to a Java platform from C++ many years ago.   They are still lethargic.
  4. EVDO browser: High bandwidth-browsing, browsing on the BlackBerry is to terrible to even contemplate…it is that slow. Q does a great job of this.
  5. Ability to write applications in .NET:  I own a software development company, so that is very useful to me.  When I need an app, I can write it myself and/or get support from my staff.  .NET is a terrific development environment.  I find Java too cumbersome comparitively.
  6. Supposed future ability to operate as EVDO modem: can’t do it today without a hack, but someday, Verizon promises…
  7. More open Bluetooth: I hear but have not confirmed that this phone opens up Bluetooth to allow the device to do more than just use a wireless headset.  It will share your contacts, expose its file system, etc.  If true, that’s great. I need to test this.  One thing that irritated my about my Verizon blackberry was how limited its Bluetooth was.  I was at a BMW dealership looking at a new car.  A criteria for me is that my phone has to work with the car…I just do so much business in the car that it is important.   The Verizon BlackBerry phone wouldn’t tell my car about my contacts even though the car’s computer has the ability to store these.  Verizon had, apparently, crippled that functionality on purpose.  Or so the salesman told me.
  8. Speakerphone: Very cool, always wanted that.  The Q also feels much nicer in non-speakerphone mode against your year than the BlackBerry which, opposite the Q, is an email device first, phone second.
  9. Voice Commands/voice dialing: Very, very useful, always wanted that in BlackBerry.  
  10. Autocomplete: Q attempts to autocomplete words for you as your type.  Could be a time saver, but I find it irritating.  Again, though, I need to give the Q time…I need to make sure I give it a fair shot given I’ve used bberry for so many years.
  11. Camera:  whoopie.  If I get a sudden urge to coral my clients in a cube while I am on-site and take a shot to send it to my mommy, now I can.   Or if I see a cute doggie on the equities trading floor.  Or if I am ever in the mood to get into corporate espionage.   Or develop a fetish.   Or steal a lawn gnome and travel with it.  I dunno, aside from the reasons I mention I am also reminded of a quote that goes along the lines of, “important people don’t carry keys.”   I kind of feel that “serious business people don’t carry camera phones.”  Maybe I am just a snob.  How about I rip out the camera with a serrated grapefruit spoon, send it to Motorola, and they can send me back AKU2?

So, that’s it.  For other BlackBerry users out there who are thinking of the Q, I hope you find this useful.  My advice: Wait.  Not there yet.

DO NOT BUY THE MOTOROLA Q. If you did, return it and get a refund.

UPDATE: The war is over, Direct Push has been available for the Q for a while now... enjoy your Q... unless you're planning on buying a T-Mobile Dash! (which sounds awfully nice to me...)

Verizon and Motorola need to understand that if they are to release the dream device while missing key features, it should fail utterly in the market. I'm here to do everything I can to make it fail. Why?

The Motorola Q does not have true push e-mail. It does not come out of the box with the Windows Mobile 5.0 AKU2 which features Direct Push technology as part of the Messaging and Security Feature Pack. Direct Push is what allows you to receive e-mail in real-time, kinda like a Blackberry (I say "like" because while the end result is the same, the underlying technology is different), without using polling every few minutes or SMS-based push. Right now the Q only allows polling every 5 minutes. You can also use SMS-based push where Exchange sends a control SMS to your device when you get new mail, and that triggers a sync with the server. The problem is SMS is 97% reliable at best, and in some areas and and at certain times, you can experience serious delays. For example, in NYC at rush hour, SMS messages can sometimes be delayed from 5 to 30 minutes. Motorola publicly said they have an update to AKU2 in the works. When? We have no idea. Various sites say it can be months, others say Q4 2006. Bottom line is there is no official word on when it will come. This is not good enough for me. It should have had it at launch. The update bits has been available from from Microsoft for over 6 months now. Here are a few reviews that support my claims:

  • Wired - Review: Motorola Q software hurts gadget
  • Yahoo - Review: Motorola Q software hurts gadget

Edit: I had initially stated that the Q did not have SMS-push via Exchange, and I just found out today it is there. I updated the post accordingly.

In my eyes, this is the most idiotic move Motorola and Verizon could have made (unless you're also afraid of cell phone radiation... in which case you have two reasons not to buy one). I've been pushing Windows Mobile devices a lot internally to my co-workers at Infusion and to our clients, and now my CEO, Greg Brill, bought one this weekend. He was all happy to show it to me this morning, until I crushed his hopes with this news. He's been a heavy Blackberry user and I've been pushing him to go to windows Mobile for over a year now. He finally did... and now he doesn't want to use it... and rightly so! I had to make sure for myself. This is first-hand experience folks: Less than 30 minutes ago I checked his Q for myself and I can confirm it: no AKU2, no Direct Push... only 5-minute interval (or more) polling, SMS-based notification or the stupid Verizon Wireless Sync software which requires that you have your desktop computer running with Outlook launched to forward e-mail messages to your device. You can also dish-out 2000$ for a GoodLink for Exchange Server license and 5 user licenses (99$ per additional user) if you want to have what my Palm Treo 700w and Exchange Server already do without any extras. Even worse, the Goodlink solution requires a separate e-mail client (Outlook-like as they say, bleh!) on your device, which means you do not even use Outlook Mobile... crap! Next! I have many colleagues who use the Treo and who were ready to upgrade to the Q, including fellow bloggers Kurt Guenther, Alex Yakhnin and Peter Goth. And now? Not until there is Direct Push support. Not gonna happen. If you do not understand the mindset of the BlackBerry user, please read this other post by my CEO... it says it all.

Here is what I say: Kill the Q until Motorola releases an update with AKU2. If you have a blog, please, pick up this story and do as I did. People need to know. If you write for a magazine or newspaper, please, do your part to kill the Q. If you bought one, return it to Verizon and make sure you tell them the only reason you are returning it is because it does not support Direct Push. If you know anyone who bought one, tell them to return it. If you know people considering buying the Q, discourage them from doing so. Make some noise. Kill the Q! Motorola and Verizon need to understand that devices launched with such gimmicks to force us to use a lame alternative or a partner product will not work. Any Windows Mobile 5.0 device shipping from now on without AKU2 deserves to die a shameful death.

Iif anyone from Motorola or Verizon would care to officially comment to me or on a public source on why the AKU2 was not included out of the box, and when it will be available, I will gladly update this post and create a new one with the announcement. And I will be happy to take all my words back when the Q gets the AKU2 update... and Motorola gives me a free one. In the meantime, it's war! Off to Newtonland Mr. Q!

Sessions Follow-up: San Diego .NET user Group Mobile Development Workshop

Last saturday, May 20th, I was speaking at the Mobile Development Workshop organized by the San Diego .NET User Group. This was a great event and I would like to thank everyone who showed up for on this beautiful Saturday and stayed indoors in a windmill (of all places, that was a first for me as a speaker... I'll post a picture soon) to listen to a couple of Canadians yap all day long about mobility. Special thanks to Andrew Karcher and Brian Loesgen for setting up this great event, and also to my fellow MVP Mark Arteaga for sharing speaking duties with me. Here are a few links to the material that I presented that day:

Topic: Introduction to Visual Studio 2005 for Devices

  • Powerpoint slide deck
  • Hands-on lab demo package that I started using for demonstration purposes. You have everything in here to do it yourself at home or at work, including the starter code, setup project and step-by-step instructions document.

Topic: Windows Mobile Application Security

If you have follow-up questions you can post them here in a comment, or if you need help with training, mentoring or development services for your next mobility project, use the contact form on my blog to reach me.

Infusion is hiring folks!!! Do you know anyone who wants a really cool job???

I normally do not use my blog for such announcements, but given that we are desperately looking for top talent, I figured that here is as good a place as any other. We have tons of really cool and awesome work to service and lots and lots of great projects under way and in the horizon. We need top experts to join our team! Are you looking for a better job? Or maybe you know someone looking for a better work environment to use their unique skills? Give us a call, send us your resume, give it a shot! We offer very competitive packages, we can relocate you from anywhere in North America, and you can work at either our New York or Toronto offices, or even at our new Boston office! But above all, working for Infusion means joining a team of some of the best industry experts and working on very cool projects with the latest technologies.

Look for our careers page on our website at http://www.infusiondev.com/careers/hiring.htm. Some of the positions include:

  • Senior Project Manager
  • Many developer positions in either .NET, Java/J2EE, VB/SQL and C++
  • Database developers, mobility developers
  • BizTalk developers/experts and other consultants

And many more! We never stop hiring, and we always listen to good people, whether they have 2 years of experience or 20! Wanna work with ActiveNick? Wanna work with our 5 MVPs on staff? Wanna work for a company that would help you become an MVP yourself? Let us know, we'll talk. There are many reasons why Infusion is a better company than most out there. Read Greg's blog, our CEO, you will feel the difference. Now it's time for you to make a difference... Your move!

MEDC 2006 Session Follow-up: Tablet PCs and Smartphones: Working Hand-in-Hand to Enable Your Mobile Workforce

Mobile workers need the right tool to do their job effectively. Finding the right device for any given scenario can be a challenge. Is the user working indoors or outdoors? Does their work require advanced UI interactions? What if they need to receive alerts and status messages while driving? Sometimes, one single device cannot do it all. Thanks to the power and reach of .NET, there is no need to compromise. Give your users the power of a rich Tablet PC application while extending this power with the real-time, mobility and convenience attributes of a handy Smartphone (or any Windows Mobile phone). Tablet PCs provide the power to fully enable mobile smart client applications using rich user interfaces, mobile pen-based input, massive local data storage, online and offline capabilities, field sketching, and more. Smartphones and pocket PC Phones on the other hand can extend mobile applications by providing simple digital photography, 24/7 alerts, status information, online access via Bluetooth, voice notes and more. This session, complete with insightful demonstrations, explores some of the techniques mobile .NET developers can leverage to bring powerful mobile applications to life using a combo of Tablet PC and Windows Mobile phone.

If you attended my session titled Tablet PCs and Smartphones: Working Hand-in-Hand to Enable Your Mobile Workforce (APP335) at Microsoft MEDC 2006 at the Venetian in Las Vegas, thank you! I was pleased to see so many people show-up for a session on Tablet PC content at a show largely dominated by device and embedded developers. And judging from the feedback I got so far, it seems it was one of the most popular sessions of the whole conference! Thank you for all your great feedback.

I want to follow-up on a few items regarding this session:

  • The final slide deck and the demo code are already posted on the MEDC 2006 COMMNET. Look for them there. You can also download the PowerPoint presentation directly from my blog here and the complete demo code projects here. The solution includes both the Windows Forms project for the Tablet PC and the .NET Compact Framework project for the Pocket PC. You will need a Tablet PC and a Pocket PC with Bluetooth adapters and the Microsoft stack to use these demo projects. Note that the NETCF UI was optimized to run on a Palm Treo 700w.
  • If you have questions about this topic or others, you can ask them here in a comment, or you can also contact me through my blog here.
  • You can use this blog post to start discussions on the topic.
  • Finally, if you need help in your projects around mobile development and location technologies, feel free to look for me at MEDC, or contact me via my blog contact page to see how Infusion can help you with development, training or mentoring.

MEDC 2006 Session Follow-up: Time to Call a CAB: Building Smart Device Deployment Projects in Visual Studio 2005

You have finally completed that perfect mobile application. Now what? Time to get it running on that fleet of devices… but how do you do that? Can Visual Studio help me build a setup package to deploying my .NET Compact Framework 2.0 applications? Yes it can, and this session explores the Smart Device CAB Project template in Visual Studio for Devices. Come learn how you can package your mobile gems in a self-contained CAB, ready for prime time. You’ll learn about detecting mobile application dependencies, understanding deployment project properties, installation variables, project configurations and outputs. Through active demonstrations, we’ll discuss handling exclusions, as well as managing the target machine file system, deployment folders and file registration. Finally, we’ll dive deeper into techniques like working with the Global Assembly Cache (GAC) on mobile devices, compressing and signing CAB files for trustworthy deployments, dealing with device operating system version requirements, redistributing the framework, deploying through ActiveSync, exploring distribution options, testing CAB installations, and more. If you don’t want to deploy your projects using F5 with ActiveSync hundreds of times in a row, then make sure you don’t miss this session!

If you attended my session titled Time to Call a CAB: Building Smart Device Deployment Projects in Visual Studio 2005 (APP321) at Microsoft MEDC 2006 at the Venetian in Las Vegas, thank you! It was really encouraging and exciting to see so many people up and early at 8:00 AM after the attendee party at Tao for a session on building CAB deployment projects.

I want to follow-up on a few items regarding this session:

  • The final PowerPoint slide deck is already posted on the MEDC 2006 COMMNET. Look for it there. You can also download it from my blog here.
  • Since I was mainly demonstrating the Visual Studio for Devices tools, there is no real demo included with this session. The CAB project for IntelliEarth is included in the IntelliEarth demo code package.
  • If you have questions or comments about this topic or others, you can ask them here in a comment, or you can also contact me through my blog here.
  • You can use this blog post to start discussions on the topic.
  • Finally, if you need help in your projects around mobile development and location technologies, feel free to look for me at MEDC, or contact me via my blog contact page to see how Infusion can help you with development, training or mentoring

MEDC 2006 Session Follow-up: Mashing Up Virtual Earth and MapPoint in Mobile Location-Aware Applications

Mobile applications need more than data and connectivity. Field workers need to rely on their location to easily pinpoint key resources around them based on their application context. This data could be maps, addresses, Points of Interest, routes, services and more. Come learn how to create a custom mobile application that integrates Virtual Earth with the MapPoint Web Service, and several other content services. This session provides an overview of location services and Windows Live Local in general, including the MapPoint Web Service (MWS), Virtual Earth (VE) and MapPoint Location Server (MLS). Insightful demonstrations will help you understand how to use your own location data and find POIs in a “Yellow Pages”-type search with Virtual Earth. We’ll also explore how you can write code for Windows Mobile devices and call the MapPoint Web Service, augmented with the Virtual Earth benefits such as getting access to more location data, satellite imagery, bird’s-eye views, a scratch pad, and modifying searches on the fly without server roundtrips. This presentation is jam-packed with all the details, tips, tricks and code you need to get started and make your mobile applications location-aware for a variety of scenarios such as Fleet Management, Asset Tracking, Field Service and Mobile Sales.

If you attended my session titled Mashing Up Virtual Earth and MapPoint in Mobile Location-Aware Applications (APP409) at Microsoft MEDC 2006 at the Venetian in Las Vegas, thank you! That big room was packed and it was a lot of fun.

I want to follow-up on a few items regarding this session:

  • The updated slide deck is already posted on the MEDC2006 COMMNET. Look for it there if you attended the event. You can also download the final PowerPoint deck here and the full demo code from the IntelliEarth sample application here. Make sure you read the Readme and license files included with IntelliEarth before using any portions of the code in your projects.
  • If you have questions or comments, either post a comment under this blog post or you can also contact me through my blog here.
  • You can use this blog post to start discussions on the topic. Also make sure to visit the Infusion MapPoint Team Blog for more details on Virtual Earth and MapPoint technologies. This is also a great place to ask questions and start discussions.
  • Finally, if you need help in your projects around mobile development and location technologies, contact me via my blog contact page to see how Infusion can help you with development, training or mentoring.

MEDC 2006: Infusion and Microsoft Bring You... Mobile Kombat!

Infusion Development partners with Microsoft and MEDC 2006 at The Venetian in Las Vegas, NV, May 8-11 2006, to provide a fun and unique value-added activity for conference attendants – Mobile Kombat! This simple, yet entertaining fighting game, developed specifically for MEDC by Infusion Development, allows conference attendants to engage and interact by challenging each other to play the game using their Windows Mobile devices and sending their scores over the conference’s network.

Mobile Kombat is a game MEDC attendees can play on their Windows Mobile Pocket PC or Smartphone device. attendees simply seek out other Mobile Kombat players at the conference, challenge them to a fight, pick their moves, resolve the fight by synchronizing the devices using infrared, and watch the outcome! Once the fight is over, players synchronize their devices with the server to send scores over wireless or when cradled with a desktop computer, making sure the scores are registered with the Mobile Kombat server. If they win enough fights, they might even make it on the MEDC leader board. if they make it to the top by the end of the contest, they can win a Palm Treo 700w Windows Mobile 5.0 device!

Mobile Kombat was developed as a .NET Compact Framework 1.0 application to maximize the compatibility with the greatest number of devices out there. This means that all Windows Mobile devices that already have .NET Compact Framework 1.0 pre-installed in ROM can start playing the game now!

The source code for Mobile Kombat will be provided once the competition is over and all the prize winners have been picked. Mobile Kombat was designed and built using mobile development best practices for .NET Compact Framework. A game like Mobile Kombat might not seem like it shares anything with mobile business scenarios at first, but Mobile Kombat packs up a wide array of advanced programming techniques such as occasionally-connected smart clients, mobile workflow, data managers, a class framework, object-orientation and many other design patterns, device & resolution awareness, infrared and wireless communications, Web service calls, multithreading, exception handling, multimedia integration, graphic manipulations and simple animations, security and encryption, custom database support, advanced XML manipulation and much more!
Many workflow-enabled mobile applications, such as mobile inspections or warehouse management actually have a lot in common with a game like Mobile Kombat. And Mobile Kombat handles wireless connectivity just like any mobile smart client application for the enterprise that is sometimes online and sometimes offline. You can also learn a lot on how to build mobile applications that run on a wide variety of devices for your employees and mobile workforce. There is a lot to learn from Mobile Kombat and the Infusion mobility developers. Stay tuned on my blog and the MEDC Web site for more details on when and where the Mobile Kombat source code will be made available.

In addition to developing Mobile Kombat for the conference, yours truly is also delivering 3 sessions at the conference:

  • Wednesday, May 10th 2006 at 3:30 PM (local time): APP409 - Mashing Up Virtual Earth and MapPoint in Mobile Location-Aware Applications (Bellini room)
  • Thursday, May 11th 2006 at 8:00 AM (local time): APP321 - Time to Call a CAB: Building Smart Device Deployment Projects in Visual Studio 2005 (Bellini room)
  • Thursday, May 11th 2006 at 11:15 AM (local time): APP335 - Tablet PCs and Smartphones: Working Hand-in-Hand to Enable Your Mobile Workforce (Venetian F room)

Visit the MEDC website at www.medc2006.com for more information and schedule details.

Mobile Development Services and Training
Infusion Development currently employs dozens of top experts in various technologies, including 5 Microsoft MVPs, 2 of them being awarded for mobility and .NET Compact Framework, and 2 on MapPoint and location technologies. Infusion offers a number of services related to the field of enterprise mobility such as mobile solutions development, mentoring, courseware development, technical writing and training. For more information on mobile solutions development or mobile development training and mentoring programs, contact us at .

Mobile Kombat Poster

Direct Push e-mail comes to the Palm Treo 700w Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC Phone

Finally, it has arrived! Real-time e-mail, Direct Push e-mail, "true push" e-mail... call it what you want, Palm has finally released the updater for the Palm Treo 700w Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC Phone, which includes the Windows Mobile 5.0 Messaging and Security Feature Pack. And better yet: it's free! I have not tried it yet due to a lack of time today, but it should be done by the weekend and I'll report back on it after testing it for a few days. My colleague and fellow .NET Compact Framework MVP Alex Yakhnin told me he already updated his Treo and it apparently works well so far. Palm also reports the updater works without having to wipe your device data.

Download the Palm Treo 700w Updater 1.10 here

If anyone has first impressions about it and would like to share their experience with the updater, and more specifically with Direct Push e-mail, feel free to post them here.

Friday Update: Direct Push Upgrade Completed - First Impressions

I just completed the update to AKU2 on my Treo. It went flawlessly and I did not lose any data. After going in ActiveSync and selecting "As items arrive" for both peak and off-hours, I was set for Direct Push (my company is already setup with Exchange 2003 with SP2). Remember to reactivate your phone as instructed on the Palm site using *228 and option 1. I did an initial manual sync in Outlook, and then waited. E-mails started trickling in as they arrived, neat!

I then tested it with a colleague who sent me a test email. Within 10 seconds of the "Send" button being pushed in his desktop Outlook, the little swirly ActiveSync arrows (note that Direct Push seems to bypass activeSync, it just reuses the same title bar icon) kicked in and the mail was being downloaded. I noticed the handshake is lighter than a full ActiveSync server synchronization, but still longer than a BlackBerry. In all, I had the email on my Treo within 30 seconds of it being sent. Although a few minutes later I received another e-mail on my desktop Outlook and the phone did not sync it, somehow. This is bad. Before I knew my phone would check every 10 minutes so I either waited or forced a sync if I expected anything urgent. But now, I do not want to just randomly check in case Direct Push missed something. I'll observe over the next few days to see if this was just a fluke or if this is a common occurence. As Microsoft MVP on mobility, you can bet I'll let Microsoft know loud and clear if this is the case.

I'll keep posting my experiences with Direct Push and the Treo here. Check back later to see updates over the next weeks.

Another Friday Update: 7 hours or so later

Well folks, I am happy. It seems that lost e-mail was a fluke. Hopefully it will not come back. I use my Treo for data only since I have a Smartphone with Cingular for voice. I have been monitoring my e-mails throughout the afternoon and I calculated sending and receiving roughly 80 e-mails (spam not included). Direct Push gave me the proper notifications for each and every one of them without problems. My desktop Oultook checks every minute (which is the minimum setting) and often I would be notified an e-mail arrived on my Treo even before I got it in Outlook. Now *this* is what I've been waiting for! Throughout the whole process, including normal device use with a few applications, Internet browsing and such, my battery took a hit of about 20-25%. Ok, we're still not making RIM sweat here in terms of battery life, but for a Windows Mobile 5.0 device that packs so much more power, this is pretty good.

Stay tuned. I'll post my weekend experiences by Monday or so.

Vote for my Birds of a Feather session at TechEd Boston

Aside from speaking at Tech·Ed this year, I have also submitted a great topic for a Birds of a Feather session:

Architecture Models, Patterns and Design Approaches in Mobility Scenarios for the Enterprise
This Birds of a Feather session is a discussion on Enterprise Mobility scenarios and how to architect them properly. Mobility implies mobile devices and wireless networks, but behind it all rests an infrastructure very similar to what other software architects are used to. How do you properly design a client application running on a device with less memory, a slower CPU and catering to a different user experience? What rules are changed with the introduction of less efficient, slower, high latency wireless networks? Are Web applications still a viable option? How does this affect your overall design and what are all the variables to consider to bring automation to your mobile workforce? Also, pattern-oriented design and architecture have taken the development world by storm, and the past few years have been witness to a new influx of work in that field. But does that exclude mobile applications? Certainly not! Mobile applications running on smart devices can gain a lot from good design that rely on patterns, and their role in a layered or Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is vital in today's modern enterprise. Which patterns can you use to properly architect your mobile applications? Come discuss the techniques, patterns and technologies you can use to build efficient architecture models mobile solutions.
Intended Audience: Developer
Submitted By: Nickolas Landry, Infusion Development Corp.

A Birds of a Feather session is a one-hour open, moderated discussion on any topic of great interest to Tech·Ed conference attendees. Everyone is encouraged to vote for the topics that you’d most like to attend at the conference. Anyone attending the conference can propose a topic. The Birds of a Feather sessions at Tech·Ed 2006 are jointly chaired by Culminis and INETA (International .NET Association), the premier IT Pro and .NET developer user group associations. Each Birds of a Feather session is an opportunity for attendees to continue the technical conversation of the conference, meet with others that have common geographical or industry interests and exchange ideas on a variety of topics. Birds of a Feather sessions are not presentations or panel discussions. There are no speakers and no slides. A microphone and whiteboard will be available, but there will be no projection equipment.

Voting is now open. The sessions with the most votes will be picked as official Birds of a Feather sessions and the person who submitted the idea will be invited as moderator for that session.

We need more great mobility content: Vote for my topic now!

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ActiveNick Does TechEd: June 11-16 2006 in Boston

Well folks... I've done it! I've cracked Tech·Ed! Pack your bags, we're off to Boston! Well... not now, June 11-16 that is... As usual, I'll be there, but this time, I'll be speaking on the following topics in the Developer track:

  • Windows Mobile Application Security
  • Introduction to Visual Studio 2005 for Device Development

Drop me a note if you intend on being there and let's bring the party to Boston! Watch out Sam Adams, ActiveNick is coming to town!

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User Group Session Follow-up: Crash Course on Developing Mobility Solutions

While the rate of personal computer innovation is slowing, the mobility space is exploding with a proliferation of new wireless standards, gadgets and devices of all sizes, shapes and denominations. Similarly, there's no shortage of technologies available from Microsoft when it comes to developing mobile solutions for the enterprise. The obvious question that follows is how do you select among technologies as disparate as Windows Mobile 5.0, .NET Compact Framework 1.0 and 2.0, Windows CE, Pocket PC, Smartphone, SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition, ASP.NET mobile controls and even more? In this rapid-fire session, you will see a broad demo-driven survey of what it is like to develop Smart Client solutions with these different mobility developments options using .NET 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005.

This is a session that I recently presented at the following user groups:

  • Bay.NET User Group in San Francisco, March 8th 2006
  • Philly.NET User Group in Philadelphia, March 15th 2006
  • NYC .NET Developers Group in New York City, March 16th 2006

You can download the PowerPoint slide deck here. Note that the slide deck is huuuge and contains many more slides than those I presented. Most of them are hidden. Also make sure to use the Notes view since many slides have additional notes attached to them.
I do not really have a demo to post since this was just an ad hoc application that I was building from scratch.
You can find the BMIST-J (Battlefield Medical Information System Tactical - Joint) Microsoft case study document here, and the video I showed here.

Thanks to all who showed up for this session. I had a lot of fun and hopefully it was useful to you. Feel free to post comments if you have questions. Use this post as a discussion thread around the topic.

Bay.NET User Group Logo  Philly.NET User Group Logo  NYC .NET UG Banner

New Vice-President of the IASA New York Chapter

I am pleased and honored to announce that I have been elected and appointed as Vice-President of the IASA New York chapter. IASA (International Association of Software Architects) has over 30 local chapters world wide in cities such as Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, and Honk Kong and in regions/countries like Southern California, UK, Sweden, Norway and others. IASA features Working Groups, Topic Communities for Architects by Architects, Blogs, Architecture Repository, Industry Resources, etc. IASA's mission statement is to to be the preeminent association for IT architects by:

  • Networking - providing forums for peer networking
  • Knowledge - alerting members to emerging issues
  • Advocacy - advocating the views of  architects
  • Ethics - promoting ethical conduct

IASA is globally sponsored by IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Business Objects, DataDirect and Murano Software. Many chapters have regional sponsors as well. The IASA New York chapter is led by Bill Zack who recently joined Microsoft Consulting Services. To assist him in his duties as President of IASA-NY, a Board of Directors was formed and I was elected as Vice-President by the members of that board.

The IASA New York chapter meets every 4th Tuesday of the month at the Microsoft office in Manhattan, NY, at 1290 Avenue of the Americas (6th Floor). Each meeting follows the traditional user group format, being very informal with a featured speaker presenting on an architecture topic. Meetings are always very lively and are a great way for anyone interested in architecture to learn more and network with their peers. All are welcome as this caters both to senior architects or developers on the track to architecture. Other meeting formats being explored for New York include:

  • Moderated discussions/debates with user group members asking questions to a panel of architects
  • Vendor sessions where a guest vendor ISV presents a product targeted at architects, including discussions on the usage of such a product in projects
  • Architecture round-table discussions with the whole group with a featured guest from the community who would be a well-known architect acting as discussion leader or moderator

We are also entertaining other formats for future meetings. Feel free to come join us and pitch your ideas. Visit www.iasahome.org for more information or to locate a local chapter in your city. If there is none, you can also get in touch with IASA to start your own. Check the blog post in this link to get the slide deck from my last appearance as speaker at IASA-NY when I discussed Architecture for Mobile Enterprise Scenarios on Tuesday, February 28th 2006.

See you there!

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