Yesterday the Israeli .NET architect group met at HP(Raanana) for a lecture about GAT and LINQ which was presented by Roy Osherove.
If you haven’t heard about GAT & LINQ before, here is a (really) terse summary about them and my comments about the presentations:
- Guidance Automation Toolkit (aka GAT): this is Microsoft way to take a piece from the “automation” utilities cake. See, MS finally got the idea that there are too many folks out there using CodeSmith, O/R Mappers, RapTier etc; Now they’re integrating a tool in the Visual Studio which will able us to automate everything directly through the studio itself. With GAT, you can build packages, or as I like to call them – “well defined and well presented(GUI) processes”, to automate for example a build of an entity(\data) class based on a given table in the DB, just like you can do it today with 3rd party softwares. But you can do much more with this tool basically because it’s so well integrated with the studio. Now, creating full controlled wizards straight out from the VS.NET which will able you to automate creating VS.NET solutions\projects\items is even easier than developing an Add-in for the VS.NET 2005. The main reason I don’t think this will take off immediately is the GAT lack of easy configuration, but this will be fixed in the following year, and then, man, I think that the current Code Generators and O\R Mappers softwares will have to really take the next step and start running after MS (like we used to). Roy’s presentation was nice, but I think he made a mistake by given us some general info & demos without really pointing the real deal – integration, integration, integration and Microsoft money & time = something we’ll use later on, one way or another.
Presentation TIP: IMHO, the first slide in every technical presentation should contain the phrase:
“At the end of my presentation you will all know ____” or something like it.
I would start with something like: “hey folks, we’re going to talk about GAT, and before I’ll begin, let me assure you, each and every one of you will use this tool one way or another, not tomorrow, but in the next 6-10 months so pay attention to MS new baby; Good, now that I have your attention, this tool is not quite ready for immediate use, and that’s why I’ve told you 6-10 months, BUT, let me give you some general info about the new product and some demos, (after all, every presenter must challenge the “god of demos”) and at the end of my presentation I promise you’ll all understand the big step Microsoft did to ease our life’s as architects. Please keep in mind that this is only a 1 hour presentation so I rather show you the big picture and the why-you-should-use-it instead of getting deeper into the code, does it sound right to you ? (everybody will node anyway)”
After that said, I would concentrate more on the amazing integration with the VS.NET, the ability to use wizards to build wizards, the ability to control everything you need in the studio while using the studio itself rather than talking about the recipes\actions and “deep level” demos. If In 1 hour presentation you can’t really teach me how to create a working Guidance Automation wizard, don’t start to and stop in the middle after you see the material is to complex for such a short time limit, concentrate on the big picture and give me a list of links to read later on. The most important thing is to let the audience know the main goal of your lecture and what will they gain from it straight from the beginning, so at the end of it, they’ll be really able to tell you if you did a good job.
- Language Integrated Query (aka LINQ): This is one of the coolest shit you’ll ever see, I promise you that, but it will be released only with C# 3.0 so I won’t elaborate much on it now and just say that this technology ables you to run queries on collection. I won’t even give samples, there are plenty right here. This presentation by Roy was much better because it was clearly understood that the presentation will be focused on the new abilities LINQ will give us – pure “introduction” presentation (and to extract some “wowwww”,”aaahh”, “hhooo” comments which is great to have in any presentation ;-)).
So, it was a nice meeting and I even got the chance to see some folks from the army I haven’t seen for a lot of time (Effie, Gabi and the rest of the team) so I’m glad I went.
Oh, Two things before I’m out of here –
- I’ve registered to Microsoft Sql Server 2005 convention in November, will I see you there ?
- A very good friend of mine, Amir Markowitz, has turned 32 yesterday (sorry for the late post Markowitz!) so happy birthday dude !