Well I am back at home, back to normal work life after attending a great AXUG Summit down in Orlando. There was so many great sessions, topics, connections and sharing. It seemed as those this years theme for AXUG was "Get the most out of AX, Extend AX and the Future version on the horizon".

The whole thing started off with a keynote speech from Major General Visot. HOOAH! It was a great speech, and what a wonderful person to meet. It will always stand out to me, one of the beliefs he lives by is that every human being we meet has value. This is a thought, a phrase, that every single one of us should carry around and keep with us at all times.

After the keynote is when AXUG Summit kicked into high gear. There were all kinds, of great sessions, and during that next time block, I attended a great AX performance tips and tricks session. This session made sure to really touch on where performance lives in an AX implementation, and that is around SQL Server, and AX interacting with the SQL Relational Database. After that, I actually headed up a session, EXE02 - "Cloud computing, what is it and is my company ready?"

This session was well attended, and geared at the executive level dive into what cloud computing is today, what's not cloud computing, and getting companies to think about if their company is ready for cloud computing or not. The details of this session will be a part of a webinar soon from AXUG, and also you can get the presentation I created at the AXUG.com site. The high level, I broke the cloud into the four real segments.: SaaS, IaaS, PaaS and Personal Cloud Services (PCS). Some great comments, questions, and good to see the interest level in this.

After this there was time at the Expo, and myself working the Sunrise booth some, meeting with our existing customers and some prospects to become Sunrise customers. This lead right into drinks and Sunrise Customer event. We actually had a lot of customers attend AXUG and also the customer dinner at Trade winds. If your down at Sea World, it's a great place to eat. The service was great, and all the customers had a great time. At this point, we basically concluded Tues. I will mention though, and this is one of the things that makes AXUG great, is that I was walking back to my room. In doing so, I had to cross the central bar area, and plenty of AXUG people were attending. I sat with Kris and others from Dent Supply, and went over the presentation he was doing the next day on Role Centers with AX 2009. Having the chance to randomally meet, share and talk is what makes AXUG such a great event.

Of course, there is always plenty of ways to meet without taking a chance with the random encounter. Still goes to show the value of being there, and interacting, which is still a great value!

So next we had Wed at AXUG, and after breakfeast, I had an early session, TECH05 - "The Technical side of cloud computing". It took a little bit to get everyone awake, but after doing so that also turned into a great session. There is for sure real interest in cloud computing, a lot around the formely called Microsoft BPOS, which is not called Office 365. Also some interest in Azure Development, though most companies were still roughly 12 months out of doing anything with it. One of the points I made in this presentation, and ther EXE02 one, is the fact that American companies have a culture issue around not trusting the cloud. it's a false reality, that their data is more safe in their data center, than the datacenters that Microsoft has built and is building for Azure. Companies will come around, most just don't like being first.

After this session, it was time to listen in on an Upgrade Tips and Tricks for AX 2009. This was well attended by some of our customers, and actually one that most likely I will be helping them with their upgrade. It was a good session, had good questions, and mostly open actually. I think most everyone that walked into that session, walked away with knowledge and information to help them out. One thing I did notice, is that most companies were on AX 4, and wondering if they should wait until AX 6. 

This was covered good, but the reality is ROI for the company. That is what should be used to determine if AX 2009 or AX 6 (wait) is the best for them. People have to keep in mind tha AX 2009 is a mature product, with service packs, and many bugs fixed. Were as AX 6 is still a beta level. This is a big consideration, even more so now that the new came out AX 6 RTM date has been pushed offically into Q3.

After this session, I lead another session, in the same room on AX and the iPad. This was actually the biggest session I had, with the room totally packed out, and some standing. I covered the iPad and why business' are wanting to use it. Form factor, ease of use, battery life. I also got into RDP access to a Dynamics AX instance, from the iPad. Most everyone in the room that had an iPad was already doing this. Then I showed off Sunrise axPad Sales app. This is an iPad application wrote in Objective-C, native to the iPad that connects and extends Dyanmics AX through SOA approach. After showing this off and fielding questions, we also talked on HTML5, and using web applications for iPad, iPhone and even Driod based devices.   

This ended as a great session, with a lot of interest in native apps running on the iPad and connecting / extending Dynamics AX with. Finally it was off to more expo time, and spending time with customers and ISV. We actually spent a good amount of Time with DynamcisAnywhere. I have interviewed and posted about them before on my blog, dynamics-ax.blogspot.com. They are an ISV that works specifically with VAR Partners to help solve the mobile warehouse needs of customers, with a framework that lives and is configured with Dynamics AX itself.

Finally, I did have to say good bye to everyone and head back home to get back to real work and real life. It was a great summit, and I highly recommend anyone that is not a part of AXUG, or have not attending an AXUG summit, that next year you make sure to. It will be in Las Vegas at the Ceaser Palace! Should be lots of fun, and hopefully I will see some of you there!

I will end with this, it was great seeing the Dynamics Community team there, helping spread the word on what a great resource this site is. The new 2.0 version brings so much to make this the portal Dynamics Customers, Partners and even Microsoft should be making use of. Also, Catherine McDade and others from the Microsoft support team were on site, and attending. I was so glad to see that kind of support from Microsoft!

That's all for right now. Check back, as next month I will continue my posting here on my guest column.

-Brandon