How NOT to Demo CS2007 (and gain TechEd Infamy)

I figured this would be good for a laugh – especially as I had 90+ in attendance when it happened yesterday – which happened to be THE WORST public speaking experience of my life.

While presenting DEV234 at TechEd Europe Developers here in Barcelona Spain, I was most definitely struck twice by lighting from the demo gods – and received the lowest speaker scores of my entire life. This was the exact same presentation and demonstration I had used at TechEd US in Boston, MA in June 2006 and received the highest speaker scores of my life.

First, slide timings somehow got inserted into my PowerPoint deck. So, throughout the presentation I was constantly having to hit the Back button as my slides advanced automagically before me – and before I was ready for the next slide.

Second, and far worse, was the demo. During the first part – it was unbearably slow. I could not imagine why. It had worked great on the five or so previous run-throughs.

During the second part of the demo, the VPC rebooted right before my eyes – killing the entire remainder of the demonstration.

Why, might you ask? The answer was unfortunately all too simple. Have you ever seen those 3AM Automatic Update default dialogs when installing your system? It just so happens that 3AM Pacific Time equalled 12PM in Barcelona, Spain – in the middle of my presentation. Yes, Windows Update had taken control of my machine, installed a plethora of updates, and rebooted the VPC – right in the middle of my demonstration.

I have now added two must-do checks to my pre-presentation checklist. And I am feeling infinitely more secure, albeit embarassed.

New CS2007 IT Pro Presentation for IT Forum Barcelona Debut

When Commerce Server is presented, the focus is typically on developer capabilities or business value. The operational aspects of concern to the IT Professional are often underplayed when talking about the product and resultant technology.

For the first time ever, Commerce Server will be featured at IT Forum here in Barcelona, Spain next week. And with that comes the first in-depth look at the product purely from an IT professional’s perspective, covering:

  • Deep Dive for Performance and Scale
  • Connectivity and Integration
  • Automated Deployment
  • Usage Reporting
  • Health Monitoring
  • Migration

If you are going to be at the event, be sure to stop by on the 16th to see:

Deploying Enterprise E-Commerce Solutions with Commerce Server 2007 and BizTalk Server 2006 (CSI204)

16 November 2006 Start: 13:30 Finish: 14:45

Hopefully I’ll see you there. Or come pay myself and my colleague Caesar a visit at Station 12 in the Exhibit Hall anytime this week at TechEd Developers or at IT Forum next week as well.

Commerce Server 2007 at TechEd & IT Forum Barcelona During the Next 2 Weeks

Come 4:20AM Saturday morning, I’m going to get to enjoy Star Alliances finest service on my way to Barcelona, Spain for TechEd Europe Developers and TechEd ITForum.

Caesar Samsi and I will be there for both conferences to present:

Developing Enterprise E-Commerce Solutions with Commerce Server 2007 and ASP.NET 2.0 (DEV234)

7 November 2006 Start: 11:30 Finish: 12:45

This session will introduce Commerce Server 2007 (CS2007) and the just-released CS2007 Starter Site, showing developers how you can utilize these technologies to extend the ASP.NET 2.0 platform to build enterprise e-commerce solutions. Learn about the CS2007 Visual Studio 2005 support and Starter Site-enhanced ASP.NET 2.0 integration. E-commerce capabilities will be highlighted, including Catalogs (with a focus on next-generation Virtual Catalogs), Marketing, Profiles, the newly added Inventory system, and the redesigned Order system. Line-of-business integration and B2B interoperability will be discussed utilizing SOA deployments implemented the CS2007 ASMX Web Services and BizTalk Server 2006 Adapters. Finally, the .NET SmartClient tools will be shown for delivering a world-class business user experience for managing day-to-day site operations.

Deploying Enterprise E-Commerce Solutions with Commerce Server 2007 and BizTalk Server 2006 (CSI204)

16 November 2006 Start: 13:30 Finish: 14:45

This session will introduce Commerce Server 2007, showing IT professionals how to plan and deploy high-availability, large-scale e-commerce sites based on the ASP.NET 2.0 platform. BizTalk Server 2006 Adapters will be showcased, demonstrating how to achieve multi-channel, connected deployments integrating Line-of-Business/other retail channel and B2B trading partner data. The new Commerce Server Staging and Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 Management Pack toolsets will be reviewed, covering multi-environment staged deployments; secure replication of configuration, content, code, and site business data; and system health monitoring. Analytics functionality, with SQL Server Reporting Services integration, will be shown for system activity reporting and drill-down. Finally, best practices and core product abilities will be discussed for physical deployment and capacity planning to achieve 99.9%+ availability while processing transaction volumes similar to the largest global retailer’s peak holiday shopping seasons.

Other Stuff:

We will have a booth fully staffed with product group representatives for the duration of both events. Please feel free to stop by and harass us as we’d love to chat!

CD’s of Commerce Server 2007 Developer Edition will be available along with our PowerPoints and product demonstrations.

The good folks from Endeavor Commerce will also be there showing their great SmartCatalog product configuration solution.

The Starter Site Is Out – with a few bonuses…

All, after much ado the Starter Site is now available! Get it now at

The Starter Site brings you a full, production-ready, stress-tested template for deploying B2C sites on CS2007 that can meet the needs of large Retail scenarios (e.g. – 100K orders/day in 11 hours with a typical browse:buy ratio on commodity hardware).

More site goodies…

For those more interested in developing their own solution, the Starter Site brings Commerce Server 2007 it’s own ASP.NET User Control library with full design surfaces for use in Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Web Developer Express.

To help get things ready for production, full set of unit tests are included. These, of course, are fully integrated with Visual Studio 2005 as well.

A complete set of documentation on the Starter Site is also included.  A common ask has been performance-related information. The Performance Guide, which covers performance/scale/stress testing and specific hardware configurations, etc. at the product level is forthcoming in a soon-to-be-released Web download – with all results fully reproducible on this build of the Starter Site.  

And a new community to boot…

And with the release of the Starter Site launches new online team-wide blog community at We have rounded  up the entire team and they are now contributing on a broad scale – starting with the release of the site. Check it out today! This will be THE place for technical resources on Commerce Server 2007 in the world of blogdom.

So with that, Happy Halloween (yes, it still IS October here in Seattle for another 52 minutes) and enjoy all the new resources available immediately.