What we've been doing with Microsoft
In and amongst business as usual we've delivering Microsoft training around the globe, developing training materials and working with Microsoft Corporate on behind the scenes projects.
This event is held yearly in Las Vegas, the city synonymous with conspicuous consumption, although it’s fair to say the city has been humbled by recent economic events around the world. For the second year running, Intergen spent the past few months building up a great sample application to launch at MIX. Last year it was TextGlow, our Word document renderer for Silverlight. This year we announced ButtercupReader, a fully featured talking book reader for people with visual disabilities.
We’ve written Buttercup using Microsoft Silverlight as a showcase of how to do truly accessible applications on the web. We officially launched Buttercup during a breakout session at MIX09 (see page 6 for more information). I also presented a one-hour session this year on building SharePoint themes. If you’re still using one of the out-of-the-box SharePoint themes on your intranet or extranet,then I encourage you to watch the video of my session at http:/sessions.visitmix.com/MIX09/C20F to learn just how easy it is to get a great looking SharePoint site.
Our Intergen designers have been hard at work designing a set of ten SharePoint themes for Microsoft, now openly available to SharePoint designers and developers worldwide (see opposite page). I also used this session to announce a new version of a key development tool for SharePoint (see opposite page). If you’d like to discuss how Silverlight can boost the accessibility of your website, please contact Intergen’s Lead Solution Architect, Andrew Tokeley firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d like some help theming your SharePoint site then please get in touch with Portals, Content and Collaboration Practice Principal, Mark Orange email@example.com.
“ButtercupReader shows us a future where web applications can rival the interactivity and usability of desktop applications and still be accessible to a wide audience.” Andrew Tokeley, Lead Solution Architect and Buttercup Team Lead.
Working with Microsoft
At Intergen we’re unashamedly ‘mad about Microsoft.’ They’re our biggest business partner and we work with Microsoft people both here in New Zealand and around the globe each and every day to deliver fantastic solutions to our clients. Microsoft is also one of our largest customers – it’s really an extension of the whole concept of partnership: working together for mutual benefit. We’re proud of the breadth of our Microsoft practice at Intergen and that breadth really shines through in the work we do with Microsoft themselves. We obviously can’t talkabout all the work we do publicly – for many of our projects strict ‘Chinese walls’ limit awareness even within Intergen. But, we’ve put together a sample of some of the things we’ve done over the past few months to give you an idea of what we’ve been up to.
Training the World
The Intergen team has been travelling the world training other partners in Microsoft technologies. The focus for the first few months of 2009 has been the new Azure Services platform and the more established Dynamics CRM platform. In both cases Intergen has been delivering events from Bangalore to Beijing and every latitude in between. We’ve delivered content not only in English but also Mandarin Chinese.
“It’s a fascinating opportunity and experience to travel to my home country and share our expertise of the Dynamics CRM platform with my fellow country men and women.” Jian Sun Dynamics CRM Developer and Trainer.
Be sure to come along to my upcoming Twilight session on Cloud Computing Platforms and Mark Orange’s session covering the latest Microsoft Technologies. See www.intergen.co.nz/thinkevent
Conjuring CRM Content
For the past few months our Dynamics Practice has been working hard on a new two-day training course on Dynamics CRM. Designed to showcase the power of Dynamics CRM as an application development platform, this intensive two-day course, including presentations and labs, is presented in cities around the world from April to June.
“At Intergen we’re keen proponents of XRM, the idea that CRM can be used to build Line of Business applications. The course we’ve developed is really an embodiment of that vision.”
Rex Wessels, CRM Developer and Project Lead.
Faced with a difficult challenge or an unknown problem, most developers will turn to the web for answers. Often answers can be found in online community sites but what is the catalyst that helps drive those sites? Over the past few months, Intergen has been working to build and support the community of expertise around the Office Open XML file formats. This has involved not only building out interesting content and samples that demonstrate the use of the technology but also dealing with the softer side of managing a community of thousands of developers from around the world.
“I’m excited about taking what we’ve learnt from running the Office Open XML communities and sharing it with our customers around the country who are looking to run their own community sites.” Jennifer Wray, Consultant, Management Consulting Practice and site Community Manager.
For developers building applications for Microsoft SharePoint, a tool called the Visual Studio Extensions for Windows SharePoint Services (VSeWSS) is an invaluable aid. Late last year we began working with Microsoft to build a new version of this tool, incorporating feedback from developers around the world. While the final release will not be available for another month or so, the Community Technical Preview has been released.
“It’s pretty exciting to work on building a tool that you know will be used by thousands of your fellow developers around the world.” Clive Vermeulen, VSeWSS v1.3 Lead Developer.