I had the pleasure of attending the Microsoft MIX conference this year. It was my first MIX, and I have to say it was very, very useful. When you’re working with the MS technology stack, it’s extremely helpful to get a sense of what MS wants to focus on, what they think is the important stuff. It was a lot easier to sense that in person at this conference than otherwise.

For example, I had completely missed the importance of ADO.Net data services, which went under the radar as something that was useful only for people who wanted a RESTful interface for developering Silverlight apps. It’s far more than that. In particular, it’s Linq to your data over the web. If you already have an EF model, or a Linq to Sql model, or you care to implement something that looks like one (i.e., has IQueryable<T> properties), you can have a fully queryable web interface to that data, in just a few minutes’ time. As in, “Give me all the Foos with Bar greater than 5 and FooDate sometime in the last week,” and so on.

The speakers varied between adequate and excellent, with more excellent than not. The conference was held at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, and it was well organized. It was my first trip to Las Vegas, and on the whole I’d recommend against hosting a conference there in the future. Too expensive, too hard to get around without a taxi. Mine might be a minority opinion, though. More raucous souls seem to have enjoyed the nightlife there.

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