Microsoft #reIMAGINE 2014 Conference - Day 1

November 10, 2014

After my pleasant trip to Fargo on the previous day, it was time to check in and complete the registration process with the lovely ladies from Dynamic Communities. It helps to have a reputation in the community as my badge was handed to me without showing an ID.

Registration Desk
After registration and catching up the Dynamics Community folks I was off to get some breakfast. I quickly caught up with some of the most special people who have a big hand in making these events happen.

Amy Alley, Shanna Hensch, Andy Hafer
After grabbing some food and making it to my table, I caught up with my co-presenter David Musgrave, with whom I would be reviewing and fine-tuning the last bits of our presentations. The 11,000 miles separating us do not always cooperate with making things smooth from a delivery perspective. At the table, I also had a chance to catch up with MVPs Belinda Allen and Leslie Vail, while also sharing some stories with Sheila Jefferson-Ross and Jen Kuntz. Pam Misialek popped in before her conference opening session and it was all downhill from there. The opening session was animated by Jesse Byam who did an excellent job at keeping the room animated before the opening session.

From left to right: Pam Misialek, Belinda Allen, David Musgrave, Jennifer Kuntz, Sheila Jefferson-Ross, Leslie Vail
The General Session offered a unique opportunity to view some of the cool new functionality to be released in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015, while revisiting the Microsoft Dynamics GP product roadmap and the different milestones for each 6 month release cadence.
Pam Misialek kicks off the General Session
Joe Carroll with Dynamics Communities joined Pam on stage to welcome everyone to Stampede to Fargo - ehem, reIMAGINE 2014! Joe sported on of his first Stampede to Fargo outfits and went on to reminisce about the past while offering insights into how far we have come as a community standing behind the Microsoft Dynamics GP product.

Pam Misialek and Joe Carrol
Next on were Jeff Trosen and Errol Schoenfish to demo the brand new cross-platform Business Analyzer application on the Apple iPad. Errol and Jeff reiterated Microsoft's commitment to develop applications that can be used across any platform on any device while taking advantage of the recent investments of the new service-based architecture components. Business Analyzer can now be downloaded from the Apple Store (via iTunes), Google Play, and the Windows Store.

Jeff Trosen and Errol Schoenfish
Next up were Jen Ranz and Chad Sogge. Jen and Chad did a role playing scenario where they were both wife and husband running a small business company taking advantage of the new service based architecture components via Office 365 and Yammer.
Jennifer Ranz and Chad Sogge
Following Jen and Chad's presentation, Jodi Christiansen and Brian Meier took the stage to talk about the more than 120 new features being incorporated into Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015. The truth is, there are so many of these that it's easier to refer you to the Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP blog site, maintained by the Product Management team for a day-by-day look into the new features.
Jodi Christiansen and Brian Maier
Next up were Errol Schoenfish and Kevin Racer to show off Errol's development skills. Kevin referred to Errol as "the least technically inclined individual on the Product Management team" and it sure made for a great intro, as Errol would move into creating a quick Windows 8.1 application with Microsoft's Project Siena development tool.

Errol Schoenfish and Kevin Racer

After the General Session, it was time for me to finally attend some sessions for once in the last 5 years at a conference and I was determined this would be it. First on my list was the Service Based Architecture Overview session with Kevin Racer and Chris Rudolph. { I'm finally convinced that Chris Rudolph's IQ is off the charts, but that's besides the point and probably not a subject for this blog, though I'll try to interview him soon for this blog! } - did I just use a Dexterity comment brace? Chris and Kevin delivered a very concise session on the SBA platform architecture components and how each component relates to each other: The GP Service, the Dex Service Controller and the different Dex processes that are spun up as a result of consuming the services.

My next stop would be the Enhanced .NET Interop session with Alice Newsam and Rob Anderson. Alice and Rob explained the Dexterity IDE enhancements to support .NET interop, as the basis for the new service architecture. Their session included various demos showing a host of possibilities, including a random line generator on a .NET instantiated WinForm, a Slideshow app, which, once given a path to some pictures, it's able to cycle these on screen, and finally a Speech generator, which uses the speech library to synthetize some text.

Next up was Michael Hammond and Yuri Mikeev to talk about Building Multi-device Mobile and Companion Apps. This session mainly focused on the development tools and components available in today's market to assist with mobile and companion applications development that would allow developers to take advantage of the current service architecture components. The guys conducted a review on tools such as Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova,

I finally soaked in the Service-Based Architecture: Deploying and Managing session with Crash Collison and Chris Rudolph. This session focused on the tools available to administer the service components, including the Microsoft Dynamics GP Security Tasks window and the new Management Console (formerly Web Management Console).

As you can imagine, by now (5:00 PM) my brain was cooked, so after all this SBA stuff it was time to find me some food and a party. So what better to head to the evening reception down at the Microsoft Campus. After some good food and some drinks, the party would continue at Shotgun Sally's courtesy of eOne Business Solutions. The name of the party? Smartner Party. If you missed the promotional video, here it is:

The band invited to carry us long into the night was Pop Rocks, which is a costume band with a high energy, high energy show. These guys really know how to keep the party going with all the flair on display during their show.

A little partying with the eOne team
The following is the group's promo video:

I highly encourage anyone to hire these guys for their next corporate party.
Final note: No pictures of this event were posted to protect the identity of the not so innocent.

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP
Intelligent Partnerships, LLC


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