InfoPath really needs pitching properly

I figured that while I was here, I really ought to visit some
sessions explaining stuff I could go away and start really working
with in a real sense almost immediately. The sessions on InfoPath
seemed to fit the bill since InfoPath is out there now, and we’ll
be getting all the VS.NET integration soon too.

I was a bit disappointed with the InfoPath session on Monday by
Claudio Caldato because the demos were pretty much preproduced but
on the positive side, Claudio did show some of the new integration
with .NET using VS.NET and he talked about the different security
models.

The session today was supposed to be Architecting End-to-End
Enterprise Solutions: InfoPath with BizTalk 2004, SQL Server,
“Indigo”, WSE and Line-of-Business Applications
. I’m afraid to
say this was the most disappointing session of PDC for me (aside
from not being able to get into Don Box’s Indigo Part 2, which at
least will be

repeated
). The speaker, Kamaljit Bath, had a monotonous
delivery and tried to include too much information too quickly
without really making a solid point. To make matters worse, most of
the presentation was identical to the Monday session, but
surprisingly with less detail.

I think someone at Microsoft needs to really think hard about
how they are pitching InfoPath. It seems at times like a great
product looking for a solution. Perhaps I’m being a bit slow, but I
need someone to take me aside and explain how I go about
architecting a solution that takes advantage of InfoPath in the
best way, how to organise what InfoPath talks to, and who designs
and develops the InfoPath bits. As a tool, it’s currently presented
as a Jack of all trades, but turns out to be a master of none.