Microsoft MVP Summit 2008: Day One

I’m in Seattle at the Microsoft MVP Summit. If you’re here and want to grab coffee, drop me an email using the contact link in the right navigation.

Today was a series of open sessions, with topics suggested by the MVPs over the past few months (using a private Wiki, no less, which was pretty cool). Open sessions had minimal structure and were intended to get everyone to participate. The handful I attended went off well, aside from the occasional person who felt he needed to spontaneously demonstrate his mad teaching skills.

I have to admit, I tend to view people with skepticism when they grab the mic in a session and sound just a little too authoritative. I felt a little guilty about this and asked around after one session and found out I wasn’t alone. Whew…guilt assuaged.

Sessions I attended include:

  • ASP.NET MVC Framework – the code behind feature
  • So, You Want to Be a Writer?
  • Data Strategies – ORMs and How They Compare.

Tomorrow we start the formal sessions. I’ve spoken to a few colleagues and have some compliments and gripes to bring to Microsoft – if you have any send them over.

[tags]microsoft, asp.net, mvp summit, mvp[/tags]

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2 comments ↓

#1 Alvaro on 04.15.08 at 10:24 am

I’d love to read your comments on the “Data Strategies – ORMs and How They Compare” session. I’m currently working on an alternative data access strategy and I’d like to know as much as possible on current trends an alternatives.

#2 Rob on 04.17.08 at 4:30 pm

@Alvaro – It was an open discussion, so it came down to a lot of MVPs voicing their opinions on their preferred ORM tool (or lack thereof), which was informative, as you can imagine.

My sense of the space based on my own research and criteria (mature, ongoing support, ease of use, performance), is that NHibernate is an excellent choice. In addition, you can use Castle Project’s ActiveRecord on top of NHibernate if you don’t like NHibernate’s config files.

SubSonic is a simple tool that works well, but it’s young and I would not make an enterprise bet on it for another 12+ months. If you are going for speed and “web 2.0 agility,” I would consider it.

Linq to Entities (aka the Entity Framework), due out later this year, is going to be a good choice since it will be supported by Microsoft. Linq to SQL is a good choice right now, although I would argue that it’s not a full-fledged ORM tool.

That’s what I gleaned from the session, and the research I’ve done over the past several months. On my own projects I will be using either NHibernate or Linq to SQL.