Yesterday I attended the Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 Launch Events in Boulder even though I have been using both tools since they came out 3 weeks ago. The first event was the SQL Server event and they had a number of technical difficulties with this presentation and ended the presentation an hour early when the power went out. I'm not sure how many of the new SQL Server features I will use, but I do like the new Management Studio interface.
The Visual Studio session was in the afternoon and was the session I was much more interested in. They demonstrated a number of new features of the web designer in ASP.NET 2.0, though Microsoft continues to preach some really remarkably bad web design in the name of rapid development. The next feature that they demonstrated was click-once deployment that allows the developer to automatically deploy the application through the web and to have the application check for updates. This is definitely something I plan on taking advantage of in my Weather Info program. The final chunk dealt with the new design and source control features in the Visual Studio Team Suite which we will be using to improve our testing and bug tracking at work.
The added bonus for the day was 2 fully production licensed copies of Visual Studio 2005 Standard and SQL Server 2005 Standard as well as a couple of DVDs full of extra info about the products and launch events. It was a good day of learning about the next generation of tools and I came away with a number of new features that I know I will use both at work and in some of my personal applications.