Microsoft Interop Days – Bangalore Dec 2009

Microsoft Interop Days was recently held in The Capitol, Bangalore. The event was attended by a large number of programmers, probably more than 200. Around 95% comprised of PHP programmers and the rest .NET programmers. Discussing with participants, I could find a mix of experience ranging from fresher’s to senior level PHP programmers, managers and entrepreneurs.

The first session started at 10:00 am with Nahas Mohammed and Harish Ranganathan from Microsoft explaining about how an end-to-end authentication and authorization model can be built for existing PHP application in less than 30 minutes. It was interesting to know how Microsoft Web Platform Installer 2.0 can help build a secure model for PHP applications.

Lunch was impressive (Did I mention that that was the only thing impressive?) and after lunch you could see half the seats vacant.

The next session was followed by Praveen Srivatsa from AsthraSoft who mentioned about how to access your data exposed from your PHP apps through a RESTful (REpresentational State Transfer) service interface. The session again brought in Microsoft’s new products that can help do these at ease.

After-lunch sessions proceeded with Vinu Thomas, PHP UG Lead and Nahas Mohammed mentioning about how to configure Windows to run your PHP applications.

The last session was from Supreet Singh who spoke about how to create pure CSS based PHP websites. I could hear from guys nearby stating, “Wish this was the first session. We waited so long for this”. Supreet explained the basics of working on DIV and provided sample sites which can be used as a tutorial or as an example. Some of the sites which he showed were amazing. He also went on with Microsoft’s Silver Light and other features which help in uninterrupted caching on various bandwidths.

Overall, though the day was good knowing some really useful products from Microsoft ( for open source developers, however, I would say it wasn’t impressive. Microsoft should have made an impact with their product line or with the knowledge that the presenters had to share.

Though the invitation/agenda looked like an event for PHP programmers to help them know how to make their PHP applications more secure and easier, the program landed up as an awareness program promoting new Microsoft applications for open source programmers. I wouldn’t blame that as Microsoft is a business company and not a charity

Many came with the expectation that they could learn something from Microsoft meet which could enhance their skills. But rather it was a complete day where Microsoft marketed its product to open source developers. Most of the presenters were unprepared or hadn’t prepared well. We could see some presenters struggling and breaking heads before the entire crowd to find out why their simple configuration did not work.

An organizer/presenter was saying that it was the first time that they are doing such a meet and do not know if they have chosen the right topics and if we would like them. Well, I would only expect a fresher to say that statement. NOT a senior guy from Microsoft!