Wow what a first day!

The Ignite experience couldn’t get any better, being surrounded by 23,000 Microsoft geeks ultimately with one goal in mind – returning to our employers with a head full of new knowledge on how to solve real business problems with the latest Microsoft technology with no regards for whether the solution is in production release from Microsoft, or the costs of implementation. If it’s new is cool – that’s the geek motto I like best.

So what are highlights from day one? I wish there was an ability to have an out of body experience, or as Scott Hansleman eloquently described to be able to ‘port’ into many of the conference sessions at same time. The amount of information seems at times too much to handle, so here are my own highlights.

Scott Guthrie, the brain child of .Net opened the conference in the Philips arena by restating Microsoft’s long term commitment to all things cloud. Cloud is the compute engine of our future infrastructure whether we like it or not. It’s time to say goodbye to the days of managing disks and hello to the days of managing scale with slider bars. Scott Hansleman had to scale his Azure session demo site due to performance issues half way through his session because everyone was connecting to his demo site! He did this without stress, in just a few seconds he moved his web application from a single server to a web farm. This is Microsoft’s message. The cloud scales – focus on solving real business problems not on disks! Well, that’s true unless you are the cloud innovation team who showed off their new server cloud behind this scaling ability and how it computes at 100 times the speed of a typical server, that is undeniably fast.

The new features coming to Azure include; Azure functions, Flow, and PowerApps will create a functional no code backbone for all Microsoft cloud applications like SharePoint, Dynamics CRM, Dynamics 365, and Dynamics AX. This includes the Azure Stack which is now launched into RC2, bringing cloud functionality on premise for large organizations. Who wouldn’t want that kind of management for their on-premise infrastructure?

For SharePoint the new team site interface including news stories with mobile apps for Google and iOS are the big stories. There is a SharePoint roadmap that will provide customers the capability to plan 5 years out. This roadmap has heavy integration with the services and computing power of Azure.

For mobile development, Xamarin, Xamarin test cloud, and Xamarin forms seem to be the future for mobile development. In fact, Microsoft are clear that even if you don’t develop in Xamarin you can use the Xamarin test cloud with your other mobile frameworks. This is now heavily integrated with Visual Studio, allowing you to enter form data in one interface when testing, and Visual Studio will complete the forms in all other test instances, meaning you could test the iOS, Windows, and Android interfaces of your application all at the same time.

To summarize day one, the message from Microsoft is Innovate.

I’m looking forward to hearing more from; SQL, BI, and even more within Azure as the week rolls on. Stay up to date by following me on twitter.