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Vendors snuggle up for Microsoft PDC

Just a short train ride from Hollywood, the great and good of the software development industry are buddying up with Microsoft this week to celebrate PDC (Professional Developers Conference) 2008.I attended the 2005 event and it was a good gig for sure.

Just a short train ride from Hollywood, the great and good of the software development industry are buddying up with Microsoft this week to celebrate PDC (Professional Developers Conference) 2008.

I attended the 2005 event and it was a good gig for sure. Aside from getting loosened up with the “Developer & Tools” gang over hotdogs and MGDs, the highlight was a very funny keynote video featuring Bill Gates and Napoleon Dynamite, oops sorry… there was lots of good tech-talk too.

Anyway, this year I’m watching the news from rather nearer to Cricklewood than Hollywood. The only clear advantage I think I can boast is a lack of jet lag and an early sniff of show news from Compuware, who has used the event to punt out its DevPartner Studio 9.0 code-quality product that purports to be of use when looking at security vulnerabilities, defects and performance problems.

Microsoft is clearly pleased to see its so-called partners save up their pennies to roll out technologies that “support” its own Visual Studio 2008 offering with additional testing functionality. Presumably Parasoft will be making similar noises this coming week for the SOA space, or perhaps not.

Judging by the PDC event web site on pre-show day, parallelism seems to be a popular theme. There also appears to be a whole stream dedicated to robots – this could be down to influence from the UK as British Microsoft evangelist Paul Foster is a keen robot developer and I’ve worked on various features with him on this subject in the past. Cloud computing and virtualisation will no doubt be favourites for this coming week too of course.

I digress, Compuware’s proposition is (I would like argue quite sensibly) based upon the fact that code quality is of particular importance right now as web applications become richer (in the form of RIAs) and more prevalent in day to day usage – and that without a consciencious approach to code quality, the possibility of security attacks on those apps can only increase.

The company says that, “DevPartner Studio 9.0 scans Microsoft ASP.NET application source code to find security problems before they become deeply embedded in the code base. By scanning application source code at compile time, DevPartner Studio can pinpoint unsafe coding practices to the exact method and line of code.”

Oh – and apparently they’ve catered for 32-bit application development on Windows x64 platforms as well as a number of new .NET technologies and legacy environments too.

Knowing the expected work load from my attendance at the last event, I have managed to find one extra benefit of looking at all this news from the UK. Will the Brit press corps be sat by the pool on the Sunday so that they can gently work off their jet lag? Oh no, Microsoft takes the pre-show (or day zero) programme pretty darn seriously and there won’t a moment’s rest if the PR gang have anything to do with it. Enjoy gentlemen ☺

STOP PRESS: according to Twitter Tweets from Tim Anderson late last night: this is the first PDC not to have sold out! Thanks for the news Tim. Apparently there’s still 6500 attendees there though.