Countdown to Impact – a historic perspective

The Impact conference starts in 10 days in Las Vegas. For the speakers that means we need to finish up writing presentations, although that seems to happen later and later at each event.

Many conference regulars will be there: myself, Lyn, Morag, Ralph as well as executives and some others who aren’t allowed out in public so often, and  the marketing people. As always, this is a busy week not only for the public talking but also the stream of meetings that we participate in. Going to Vegas is not a jolly, and there’s often attempts to NOT be sent.

There used to be a much stricter deadline for finalised presentations, as material was only distributed in physical formats. So it had to be submitted several weeks in advance.For some subjects that was fine, but it made it harder to deal with late-breaking changes, such as if an expected product announcement was cancelled or a new feature altered its implementation.

I was digging through my cupboard a few weeks ago and found the book of presentations from the 1998 MQSeries Technical Conference in Washington DC – properly published and bound. Very nice, but heavy and for those of us who try to fly with only hand-luggage a bit awkward. Back then, we also often used boxes of real acetate foils, carefully separated and hopefully kept in order; there was no guarantee of projection systems even if we had laptops with us. (That DC event has special memories for me, though it’s not why I kept the book.)

It’s interesting looking back at that old material. Features of MQ that were considered interesting or exciting but which are no longer used; and the converse, features that are still critical to customers. Here is the MQSeries V5.0 presentation from 1997/1998 as an example. The “web admin” feature is long gone in that form, as is the DCE Directory Service support. But transaction coordination is still very heavily used.

Although we try to predict which features are going to have a long-term value when planning new releases of MQ, these “What’s New” presentations do show where we got it right and where we didn’t.

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