The hype was on for the past few months for the BizTalk Summit 2015 to be held on April 13th & 14th at ExCeL, London. After all the preparations and planning for the event
, we were finally set for the big day. Here’s how the things unfolded over the span of two days –
Welcome Dinner With Drinks
We started off on the eve of the event with a welcome dinner and drinks party at “The Neighbourhood” – a restaurant pretty close by the event venue. This dinner was hosted for the Speakers, Members of the Product Group, and for attendees who purchased their tickets under the “VIP Dinner + Conference
The Big Day
It was a beautiful day here in London as we prepared for the biggest BizTalk Summit. Here’s a look at the event venue –
The registration process commenced well before the actual time in effect of one of our last minute announcements –
The registration team were in full swing registering the attendees one after the other and giving away the ID badges and the additional – bag + pen + brochures + T-shirts = Goodies 🙂
It was almost 9 AM by the time the registration process cooled off and the statistics revealed the attendee count to be 315! Yes, 315 attendees
from over 150 companies from 20 countries! This meant a 50% increase in the number of attendees from the last year’s BizTalk Summit. This pepped us up to get the event rolling. The welcome kit also had a personalized voucher for every individual attendee/corporate company with a 10% discount on the BizTalk360 product
. If you are looking at evaluating BizTalk360 in the near future, a nice opportunity for you to get started with the product right away.
Keynote Turned Straight Into a Technical Session
According to the agenda on the website, the first session was the Keynote from Josh Twist from Microsoft. Unfortunately, Josh had to pull out of the event at the last moment but managed to make sure the event does not get affected due to his absence. He made sure his manager – Karandeep Anand
would do the keynote speech at the BizTalk Summit. Call it coincidence, our new keynote speaker was getting engaged the day before the event. Now call it commitment, he finished his engagement duties, hopped on an airplane the same evening to cross the big pond and was in London for the event the next day morning.
But, with coincidence and commitment came a bit of bad luck that got him late at London Heathrow airport. Being aware of the delay, Saravana Kumar
stepped in and welcomed the gathering. We had set up an online schedule for the event through a third party website where we were updating schedules to accommodate the changes, if any. We swapped the sessions of Dan Rosanova (who was kind enough to do his session as the first one) and Paul Larsen before the keynote.
He also handed over the baton to Dan Rosanova
to start off the proceedings for the day. After an hour of technical overdrive with demos on Durable Task Framework, Paul Larsen from Microsoft took over the proceedings. Paul’s session was focused on using the recently announced API apps to connect to existing on-premise IBM systems via the cloud (of course, with demos). After a 30 minute break, it was finally time for the Keynote speech.
Karandeep started off with Microsoft’s roadmap and the following words from him took note of the audience.
The session continued with the much anticipated demo on Azure App Services. During the course of the session, two major updates were communicated as a part of Microsoft’s roadmap investments –
- Availability of On-premise Azure App Services
- Major version of BizTalk Server will be released in 2016
For both of these updates, no specific date was communicated. So this will remain an expectation at the moment!!!
The keynote also stressed the audience to try out the new offering (Azure App Service) from https://tryappservice.azure.com
and Microsoft being open for community feedback on these features, which is a point to be noted. The session was well received by the audience as this broke the wall that was between Microsoft and the community since the launch of Azure App Services a few months ago. This comment from the current keynote speaker in response to the (to have been) speaker sums it up!
And The Sessions Continued…. Through Some Tasty Lunch In Between
Following the keynote, the sessions dived in deeper to the technical bits of Azure App Service – Logic Apps by Stephen Siliciano, API Apps by Prashant Kumar, and Connectors for Azure App Service by Sameer Chabungbam. Each of these sessions had demos presented by the speakers to showcase the power of each feature in the Azure App Service.
Post Tea Sessions
The third half of Day 1 marked the beginning of sessions from Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs). Saravana Kumar started it off by launching the new product line from BizTalk360
called BizTalk NoS Ultimate
. The product is nicknamed “Your BizTalk Dev Buddy!” – which means all you BizTalk developers out there, you gotta check this product out! This is a BizTalk developer tool
for BizTalk developers to save their time while developing code. The session stressed that BizTalk NoS Ultimate will be made available to public as a BETA in the coming weeks. If you’d like to try out BizTalk NoS Ultimate, please register here
The session also included the agenda of a customer presentation where one of BizTalk360’s customer – HP Technology Consulting (ABB)
– shared their experiences of using the product. Also, a small bit of the session had BizTalk360 giving away their “Partner of the Year” awards to their most valued partner companies.
This session was followed by the (most awaited) session from Michael Stephenson
and Oliver Davy. This session was focused towards how Northumbria University is looking into Integration and their plans to evolve over the next 20 years using the Integration technologies. Michael has been working with them for this and he shared his views on the integration technologies that could suit the vision of Northumbria University (including the recently announced Azure App Services concepts).
The main highlight of this session was the demo where Mike integrated few of the University’s services into the most popular game “Minecraft
“. This entertained the audience and the session was well received and appreciated. Here’s a picture from the session.
The last session of the day belonged to Stephen.W.Thomas. Stephen did a very short and crisp session for about 25 minutes and shared the top 14 integration challenges he has faced over his 14 year experience working with BizTalk. With that concluded the Day 1 of BizTalk Summit. A few tweets from the #BizTalkSummit2015 Twitter timeline summarizing the day’s events.
And… Drinks Followed
We expected the Day 1 to be a packed one and decided to give a chill pill to all the attendees at the end of Day 1 events. The welcome kit (given during registration) entitled the attendees for 1 Alcoholic & 1 Non-Alcoholic Drink. This gave the opportunity for attendees to network with other attendees, companies, and directly with the Microsoft product group. That’s Networking over a Drink, what say??
We arranged a special speaker dinner at the Bollywood Brasserie
restaurant near ExCeL, London.
With that, a goodbye to Day 1 and welcome Day 2. Click here
to see the Day 2 proceedings.
Check out our Facebook Album
for the pictures from Day 1.