Why was it different this year (TDS2017)? And why should I go next year?
This year, as ever, was a festival of information packed presentations with lots of opportunities to network with developers and some customers too. Not only that – Content Bloom were theÂ Diamond Sponsors so it was great toÂ have a strong contingent from our various offices across the globe (includingÂ Nova Scotia, New Orleans, Belgium, UK, India, Czech Republic, Ukraine).
So what’s new.
Well, SDL Web 8.5 is new, Translation monitoring for in-workflow items is new, and a whole heap of other stuff was new – see the AgendaÂ for a full list of the presentations (with more videos to follow shortly).
The thing I found quite notable was, what seems to me, a shift in approach. There seemed less of the pure technical presentations showing how to implement something specific and flashing beautiful code on the screen to wow the technical audience.
There seemed to be more discussion on challenges encountered and novel ways of overcoming them – and more importantly – the opportunity to then discuss with peers and the like “was there a better way” and to discuss with representatives from SDL “should we make a better way for the future”.
Technical, of course.
Of course, deep technical dives are still a very important part of the TDS – it’s specifically aimed at technical folks and we’re told they love to see the nuts and bolts of the solutions. Stanislav Kroshchenko from SDL presented a great introduction to a new DXA Forms Module (read moreÂ on Mukesh’s blog).
See here for the TDS video; here are time breaks for the different lightning talks:
- 00:00:00 – 00:12:40 – Siawash Shibani delivered a lightning talk about G4TM (GUI for Topology Manager), “the first alternative UI for SDL Webâ€™s Topology Manager”.
- 00:14:30 – 00:34:30 – Guus Beltman continued the acronym generation with a very interesting presentation on CG4T (Code Generation 4 Tridion) and also provided a tool for Visual Studio)
- 00:35:45 – 01:04:00 – Atila Sos, Exlrt, helps those with the situation that they have content mismatches between CM and CD status in “Orphan Delete“
- 01:05:00 – 01:31:00 – Ivan Milosevic, Exlrt, Load Balancing SDL Microservices in Azure
For the second set of lightning talks – here are more time breaks:
00:00:00 – 00:11:30 – Â Robert Stevenson Legget presented some insightful experiences from “Using Docker with SDL Tridion/Web”
00:12:50 – 00:31:00Â – Michael Mannhardt from Acrolinx, TDS Drink Sponsors present how their software can be used to automate the creation of content – something they are likely to be looking into more in the future with SDL Languages
For the more design oriented.
Nicholas Whetmore’s presentation and walk-through on “Theming using the theme zip file functionality” went down well. For something that was designed to be quick and easy but hasn’t been received so intuitively once you really want to delve deep into design changes – in addition to being informative, it brought challenges from the crowd with other approaches/issues that they’ve seen.
For the editors.
Damian Jewett provided a great presentationÂ aimed and showing how the technical folks could – with great ease – make the editorial teams’ day to day working with the CMS more pleasurable through the addition of new tools (quickly and easily installed through the Alchemy Framework).
Also, in “An author-centric approach to SDL Web 8“, Chris Summers and Justin Fansler presented some custom interfaces they had worked on and explained how this approach is now much better facilitated with a task-oriented Web API layer exposing the core SDL functionalities.
For those working with clients.
Paul Russell provided a great opportunity for participants to understand what it really takes to work with a client with “Large Scale Releases in Enterprise Environments“. In addition to the expected blood, sweat and tears, he highlighted improving and refining communications; thinking out of the box for some tools, and automating many steps being key.
For those looking to architect new solutions.
The presentation “Where did the servers go?” from Nuno Linhares and Julian Wraith will prove interesting, giving a highlight of the move from physical servers to the cloud environment now to what arising in terms of serverless computing. With this was the obligatory “Web 8.5 – What’s New” which is well documented out there but a great addition here was the lightning talks that showed on extensions for the likes of easier Taxonomy setup or management.
Something coming up is the SDL Unified Delivery Platform (UDP). Discussed in the presentation below, by Ben Middleton, it’s something Content Bloom, with our interest andÂ collaboration in Knowledge Center, have been evaluatingÂ with our knowledge center clients! Watch this space!
Translation and workflow both made their way in with a presentation from Jan Horsman and a lightning talk from Mario van der Hoeven-Riesebos. Interestingly, the ensuing discussion from Jan resulted in the agreed creation of the SDL Idea to improve error logging!
Next year – why go again?
Well, it’s the same question anyone’s boss will ask “what’s the benefit for the Company”?
Directly – you’ll be happier, more informed. It’s possible you could even bring back new connections to help your ongoing development or sales and help you stay on top of your game.
Indirectly – you’ll be happier and more informed. The connections you make can be great introductions to start new ideas, seek or offer help for you or your colleagues; the discussions around new and forming technologies can also help ensure your Company as a whole stays aware and relevant.
Perhaps ask your boss why you shouldn’t go, I mean, what’s more important than knowing who’s who, what they’ve done and what they are doing – in your domain?!