PDC on your Windows Phone 7

Date : October 27, 2010

PDCnowVertigo Software just released their PDC10 Windows Phone 7 app.  That’s going to make it a lot easier to follow along this year.  If you have a WP7 device go download it now.

This year we’ll be broadcasting pretty much every minute of the PDC.  As part of building out the infrastructure and in an effort to extend that even farther out, we worked with Vertigo to ensure that both attendees and remote participants had on-the-go access to both live and on-demand viewing of the PDC event.

So for folks that can’t make it to Redmond the keynote will be available “live” on the device.  Pre-recorded session content will be available once the conference starts.  All other sessions will be available on-demand soon after the session is over (we’re shooting for within 24 hours).

Technical Details

SessionDetaiAs I mentioned, Vertigo Software built this app.  They did it in about 3 weeks with a pretty small team.  Here are a few technical details for the Windows Phone geeks curious about how this was built:

  • The entire user experience was designed and developed using Blend 4 for Windows Phone (well, of course, what else would they use   )
  • The application was architected using the MVVM design pattern and they used MVVM Light for Windows Phone as their MVVM framework
  • The video experience was powered by the Silverlight Media Framework for Windows Phone and the Smooth Streaming Media Element
  • Content is delivered using Microsoft’s Smooth Streaming media format, specially formatted for Windows Phone.
  • The content will contain multiple camera angles (speaker and presentation) and the PDC10 player allows the user to switch between these two views.

Get the app now

The app is now live in the marketplace and available to download


The Power of Possibilities Perfectly Presented to Partners

Date : February 25, 2009

Microsoft Convergence 2009 Try to say that 10 times fast. 

The theme for Convergence this year is the Power of Possibilities.  I’ll be presenting in a few sessions this year and may get to show a demo or two in a keynote.  I’ll be in ST05 with some great support by Shan McArthur of ADXSTUDIO.  I’ll also be supporting Matt Valentine from our Application Platform team and Jim Steger of Sonoma Partners in session ST06.  The conference site doesn’t appear to allow deep-linking to the session info so I’ve provided more details below:

ST05 Self-Service Sites: Proactive and Effective

Shan McArthur, Ben Riga

Tue 3/10 | 5:00 PM-6:00 PM | Auditorium A
Repeat Session: ST05R | Wed 3/11 | 1:00 PM-2:00 PM | Room 334

More than ever, applications built for the web connect customers directly to systems running behind the firewall. In this session, explore how building on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform and taking advantage of Windows Azure, Live Services, and SQL Data Services provide a great platform for building proactive self-service web sites that effectively manage the end-user experience.

ST06 The Benefits of Microsoft Dynamics on a Dynamic Application Platform

Ben Riga, Jim Steger, Matt Valentine

Wed 3/11 | 4:00 PM-5:00 PM | Room 276
Repeat Session: ST06R | Thu 3/12 | 11:00 AM-12:00 PM | Room 276

For businesses to stay competitive and keep up with changing needs, a flexible and responsive IT infrastructure is needed. Microsoft Dynamics and the Microsoft Application platform provide powerful capabilities for delivering applications that power your business and enable your people to do their best work. Learn how organizations using Microsoft Dynamics benefit from the Microsoft Application Platform, including Visual Studio, SQL Server and BizTalk Server.


Hot Deals

;) BTW, if you haven’t signed up yet, It’s not too late.  The economy may be causing you to pause when it comes to conferences.  We’ve announced a few deals on product to help make it even more appealing.  These offers are available exclusively to Convergence attendees. On the ERP side: Microsoft Dynamics AX, GP, NAV, and SL customers who attend Convergence 2009 are eligible to receive up to a 20% discount. Terms and conditions available here (requires PartnerSource access). And on the CRM side: Save 75% on Dynamics CRM Online—$9.99/user for six months. Terms and conditions available here (requires PartnerSource access).


The best MIX deal

Category : MIX
Date : December 15, 2008

MIX09 The MIX team just let me know about a promotion they’re running for MIX registrations.  If you’re thinking about going to MIX’09 this is certainly what I would categorize as a screamin’ deal…

Act Now! Limited Number of MIX09 Conference Passes Available for $795

It’s the holiday season – time for family and friends, good cheer, and PRESENTS!  Plus, we also understand that budgets are tight these days, so in the spirit of the holiday season, we’re offering discount MIX09 conference passes at $795 USD (that’s over 40% off the full price) to the first 200 people to register.  To take advantage of this offer, go to registration and select the "Register for the event using an RSVP Code" option.  Enter the RSVP code MIXspecial2 to receive your discounted conference pass.  This is a real, live, bona fide MIX09 conference pass that allows you access to keynotes, sessions, the party, the food, the lounges and much more! 

Act now – this limited release of discounted passes is sure to sell out FAST.

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Date : September 12, 2008

Experience the Future of the Microsoft Platform I finally got myself registered for PDC last week. 

I noticed that we’ve now published a few Dynamics sessions.  These look to be really interesting.  Since PDC is the conference where we talk about the future of the Microsoft platform, I’m anxious to hear what Andy Bybee and Humberto Lezama Guadarrama have to say on the future of Dynamics CRM.

I also noticed that Adam Wilson and Matt Humphrey will be talking about the Dynamics Online Commerce and Payment API.  That one sounds interesting.

The Dynamics products sit at the very top of the Microsoft stack so that there are, of course, a ton of other sessions related to the future of technologies that are currently built in or soon will be  .

I would love to get together with others while in LA; especially ISVs and VARs that are developing on Dynamics or thinking about it.  If you’re going to be at PDC and would like to get together to chat about Dynamics, CRM or anything else drop me a line via the email link above. 


ISVs gaining access to PartnerSource

Date : July 30, 2008

Microsoft Dynamics ISV Developer Registration Agreement I posted the link to the Dynamics CRM Statement of Direction a short while ago.  It is located on PartnerSource which requires registration.  Typically this is for partners that resell a Microsoft Dynamics product.

I recently discovered a way for ISVs who do not resell Dynamics products to gain access to this resource.

The Microsoft Dynamics ISV Developer Registration Agreement provides ISVs that do not resell or intend to resell Microsoft Dynamics® products directly to end customers with access to PartnerSource and to the development and demonstration licenses and registration keys for their choice of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics Entrepreneur Solution, or Microsoft C5.

For Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics Entrepreneur Solution: you also need to sign the ISV Developer Registration Add-on addendum for your region.

For Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Licenses and SDKs for are available at the MSDN Premium Subscription level. Use this agreement only to obtain access to PartnerSource.

If you resell or intend to resell Microsoft Dynamics products directly to end customers, do not use this form. You need to sign the Solution Provider Agreement and related Product Addendum.

I wish there was a little less friction to get this sort of material.  I know we’re working on that.  I hope this helps a few ISVs out in the meantime.

Download details: Microsoft Dynamics ISV Developer Registration Agreement


WPC: ISV Pre-Day Track

Date : July 7, 2008

This year the ISV team set up a special pre-day this year at WPC.  Having sat through a couple of sessions so far I think this is a great idea.  It’s been fantastic to have all the content focused in the same room on the same day.  This is much better than having sessions spread out throughout the conference.

Mark Bates of RDT I was particularly impressed with the inclusion of partners throughout all the sessions.  Erik Weiss from the same Platform Evangelism team I’m on brought in a Dynamics CRM ISV partner to help out in his session.  Mark Bates from RDT did a fabulous job of describing his experiences around early adoption (the good and the bad).  There was not much new in the session for me.  It’s all stuff that we talk about about quite often.  What I loved was that it was just so much more credible coming from Mark.  He did a great job of talking about it from an ISVs perspective.  I really liked the real life story he told about how the benefits of early adoption helped him to pull in a real deal. 

Thanks Mark.  Great Job.

BTW, we did a video of Mark talking about CRM 4.0 a little while back (while it was still in beta). Have a look here.


A Dynamics Map to your Success

Category : Dynamics, Microsoft
Date : June 27, 2008

wpc08_288x67 While on the topic of WPC, I thought I’d pass along the agenda the Dynamics team has put together for Dynamics partners.  This document lists all the various keynotes, breakouts, parties and pretty much anything else you’d want to know about WPC if you’re high on Dynamics (this is legal in Houston, BTW :)).

You’ll find this in PartnerSource which requires a log in. The PDF document is here.


Meet me in Houston?

Category : Microsoft
Date : June 27, 2008

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference I’ll be attending this year’s Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Houston in a couple of weeks.  With my focus being on the ISV, I’d love to meet as many ISVs as possible while at the conference.  I’m particularly interested in meeting with ISVs that are building on the Dynamics CRM and Dynamics AX platforms.  So if you’ll be in Houston for WPC hit the “EMAIL” link in the top left hand side of this page and drop me a note.  Don’t be shy.  Go ahead and click.  I may even bring my video camera and get a few ISVs on video.


Dynamics CRM platform at PDC

Date : June 10, 2008

Bling3 The PDC team have been slowly releasing details of some of the sessions for the upcoming conference. Lo and behold there’s session up there for CRM.  It looks like we might have something to say at PDC about the next release.  Now would probably be a good time to register for PDC as it usually gets sold out pretty early.

CRM/Dynamics: Developing Business Applications

Developers will learn how to build business applications that integrate with Office applications, Windows Workflow Foundation, and SQL Server analytics through the Microsoft Dynamics CRM application foundation. This session will show developers how to develop business applications and package them to run as a service or on a customer’s server.

PDC2008 Sessions Overview

Streaming Hot Silverlight

Date : June 4, 2008

SL_pwrd_v_rgb_RI’m nothing if not persistent! :)  You may have noticed that the Office Developers Conference was in February and I only just managed to post the video of my demo today.  There’s a story there.

There are a lot of reasons for it taking that long.  Mostly it just took a couple of months to track down the video and it get cleared to post.  But when I got it in April it occurred to me that I had no idea how I was going to show the demo video on my blog.  It wasn’t really technical enough to be putting up on Channel 9. And putting it on MSN Soapbox didn’t seem right to me as the quality of the screen shots would have been lost. 

This was the right time to figure out how to take advantage of Silverlight Streaming.  It would give me the opportunity to post the video in pretty close to original quality and size.  It would also give me a chance to play with some of the Expression line of design tools.  Well long story short I ran into a few problems with a beta version of Expression Encoder.  I hit a bug where videos encoded with Expression Encoder could not get uploaded to Silverlight Streaming.  Tim Heuer finally came to rescue yesterday and that pushed me to try again.  With the help of Jaime (a Silverlight demigod and all round mensch) I was able to get the darn thing uploaded.

So anyway in case you were wondering and also so that when I hit the issue again I know where to look to fix it  that’s why it took me 4 months to make my ODC keynote demo video available.

So lessons learned:

  1. Silverlight Streaming frickin’ rocks as a streaming video platform.  If you have videos you want to get out there and Soapbox or that other site  don’t do it for you, Silverlight Streaming is a fantastic alternative.  In fact, even if you are happy with those other sites you owe it to yourself to try out Silverlight Streaming.  You’ll love it.  Sign up for a free 10GB account now.  That’s right 10GB and it’s free!
  2. Expression Encoder frickin’ rocks as an encoding tool.  I was able to get my video encoded the way I wanted with a cool animated video player template, chapter markers, and thumbnails all without having any clue about video production.  A little more knowledge and I’d be dangerous.  I also found that it’s great at encoding videos for filling up my Zune.

BTW, a little known fact is that Silverlight Streaming supports WebDAV.  To get that to work all you have to do is map a network drive to https://silverlight.services.live.com/ using your Silverlight Streaming Account ID as the user name and your Account Key as the password.  You’ll find the Account ID and Account Key on the Manage Account page when you’re logged in to Silverlight Streaming.