I hope everyone had a great time yesterday during the Microsoft Partner Conference and enjoyed all the sessions you’ve attended and all the opportunities to talk to each other.
As I was giving a presentation on Windows Server AppFabric (not the cloudy one) to the developers. 45 minutes – is too small period of time to cover all the features and usage patterns good enough, so I have tried to bring the main ideas so that you can look after them later.
As a follow up, I’ve decided to put a list of reference materials available on the web so you can read those at your pace in comfort of whatever environment you like
Windows Server AppFabric:
- Starting page – basically you can reach all of the rest information from here
- AppFabric architecture overview that includes caching, service hosting and deployment scenarios
- AppFabric features and capabilities related to service hosting
- PDC video about building Workflow services and hosting on AppFabric
- AppFabric installation guide on a web farm
- Info about AppFabric persistence and workflow management service
- AppFabric monitoring architecture
- Starting page to AppFabric IIS Manager Extensions
- Note that you can monitor AppFabric using SCOM as well
- Programming model of AppFabric caching on the client side
- AppFabric Cache based session state provider for ASP.Net
Other things I’ve mentioned during the presentation:
- Web Platform Installer – use this one to setup AppFabric quickly on your machine
- Web Farm Framework (beta) – used to deploy and configure solution to single machine and then scale to the other ones. @ScottGu has a nice blog post about it.
- More info on Web Deployment tool and blog post on deployment using Visual Studio with config transformations (which is very, very, very cool if you think)
Yesterday, I’ve heard some comments that AppFabric is a complex beast and I must agree that it’s true in some way, but taking the other angle – it takes a lot of concerns regarding persistence, correlation, monitoring (incl. via SCOM) diagnostics, scalability, caching, management, tracking from developers head and makes it almost “out-of-the-box experience”. And from personal experience I know that developers like to talk about implementing business features, but hate even to think about “diagnostics” or “management”.
So, to sum up: consider Windows Server AppFabric as an “application server” that certainly requires attention and effort in understanding, setting up and configuration, but in return in can give a lot of “infrastructure” services like scale-out, persistence, management, monitoring, diagnostics, etc. for your services.