This is my second time to this conference. I honestly have to say that last time I went some one else signed me up and I didnt even catch that the name was dog food till I attended this one. The premise is the variety is like dogfood. Now since they had multiple bags of differnt kinds of dog food I can imagine they mean that there are so many and lots of choices. I was hoping they were not refering to the conference as what makes up dog food. The sessions apparently can be done as tracks, but again I did not catch that till I attended my final session of the day and the second session of a track and the speaker mentioned it.
Since I did not do a specific track. I started with the CRM as a development environment. I was looking forward to this one. I just happened to have an oppotunity to talk to Kirsten Kiester the speaker for this session before to plug my CRMUG for Central Ohio. It was a very inforamtive session. She did a great job of explaining of how robust and customizable for meeting just about any business need this software is. I think I was the only one in the room who uses CRM though. A lot of the people in the room were curios or maybe thinking of implementing it. Perfect people for the user group. We like to share case studies and implementation and that is the perfect audience. She let me sharemy insights a little during her session. I learn some very use full things too. Sometimes developers over look the easy way. I already a have list of ideas for some of the current projects that I have been doing that may be much easier by using some of the customizable functionality offer through CRM and XRM.
Afterwards we all had lunch. Hoggy’s is always a good choice and there was a vegetarian selection as well. I did manage to meet back up with Kirsten in the Dell room. They had some hardware to play with and information on the “services” dell has. They are way more than just computers now, acquiring companies
that have the skills to offer services that work in perfect Harmony with the hardware systems they provide.
I did slip into the second half of Jeff Blankenburg’s Windows Phone 7 dive deep development session for the second time. Both times I have managed to catch the second half. The first time was at Code Camp a couple of weeks back. Good thing he is presenting again tomorrow. This time I plan on seeing the first half.
I am sure I will stay to see the second half. Now I REALLY want a new Wins 7 phone!
My final session worth mentioning was the SQL Data Analysis with Amy Uttendorf . That was another really good speaker. I should have picked up on the perquisites for really using the data analysis feature SQL prior to this session. All in all what I took back from this was the data warehouse is not just for really large companies anymore. If you think about any company that has been around for a few years, the amount of data that can be accumulated is enormous and you have legacy systems to contend with that could run on old software that still talks to old database structures. Where the data warehouse can be place in between
those reports and inquiry only activity and the databases that run those apps. This allows reporting against the data that limits the performance impact to the actual applications. These SQL data analysis tools then allow you to take create data cubes that can then can be used to create elaborate reports with drill downs and charts pretty much out of the box. I can see a number of uses for this and really look forward to adding getting a warehouse up on my list of things to do. In the meantime, I was assured you can create cubes off of anything. Although the data really needs to be formatted in a star schema, relational normalized databases will work. Thus the need for the data warehouse. Like I said some light bulbs went off during the session. The demo was great and had amazing bells and whistles that make “the business” love IT.
Impromptu conversations of enlightenment happen all day. This may sound cliche, but these types of conferences help us all see what else is out there. Challenges and solutions seem to partner up as you learn and take in new innovative ideas.
With all of that I am really looking forward to tomorrow and spending another day doing the things that make being in IT a great profession!!! Although geek conferences may not be fun for everyone, I love them and I kind of feeling like I played hookie from work all day.