This was the last user group meeting for the year, so I made sure to extra pizza to get me through to next year ;-)

Tonight's presentations were "Back to Basics .NET 3.0" and covered the four pillars of .NET 3.0 : Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Work Flow, and the much unloved and redundant Windows Card Space.

The guys did a great job of putting together this last minute presentation after apparently organized speakers had pulled out. In fact Mahesh asked for volunteers for future presentations which is worth thinking about.

I've been to many WPF/WCF presentations this year and also had the opportunity to do a bit of production code using these technologies so I didn't really get too much out of these high level sessions, but as far as presentations go they were very well done.

David Burela covered both WPF and Work Flow.

For me the highlights were the XAMLPadX utility which is a great tool for developing WPF/Silverlight and the demonstration some cool things you could do with WPF by showing Kevin's Bag-o-Tricks samples.

There is an absolute treasure trove of goodies related to WPF at http://windowsclient.net/learn/

I was looking forward to the Workflow presentation and although David had prepared a great demo of the some of the Workflow capabilities (with his hamburger builder code) I was unconvinced by what Workflow could give me. I need to do some further investigation!

If you want slightly more in depth of Work Flow check out Rob Conery's MVC screencasts #19 and #20, I found these to be quite useful.

Also, as expected, some more goodness can be found at Microsoft here.

Mahesh Krishnan looked at an overview of WCF which I have been really getting into lately after having scratched the surface with one of my projects this year. He gave a good historic description of how we got to WCF from OOP, Component Modeling, to SOA, and spent a bit of time discussing the benefits of the SOA model.

I've got this book on order which looks to be a cracker...

Also download the Windows .NET 3.5 SDK code samples which have some great code to churn over as well.

They gave away a copy of Vista Ultimate ... but I didn't get none ;-( next time perhaps :)

See you there next year!

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