Do you know the Microsoft Customer Advisory Teams? You should.

Posted on August 26, 2010

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For those who live and work with Microsoft application platform technologies, the Microsoft Customer Advisory Teams (CAT) are a great source of real-world info about products and technology.  These are the small, expert-level teams whose sole job is to make sure customers are successful with Microsoft technology.  Last month I had the pleasure of presenting to both the SQL CAT and Server AppFabric CAT teams about blogging and best practices and thought I’d throw a quick plug out for these groups here.

First off, the SQL CAT team (dedicated website here) has a regular blog of best practices, and link to the best whitepapers for SQL admins, architects, and developers.  I’m not remotely a great SQL Server guy, but I love following this team’s work and picking up tidbits that make me slightly more dangerous at work.  If you actually need to engage these guys on a project, contact your Microsoft rep.

As for the Windows Server AppFabric CAT team, they also have a team blog with great expert content.  This team, which contains the artists-formerly-known-as-BizTalk-Rangers, provides deep expertise on BizTalk Server, Windows Server AppFabric, WCF, WF, AppFabric Caching and StreamInsight.  You’ll find a great bunch of architects on this team including Tim Wieman, Mark Simms, Rama Ramani, Paolo Salvatori and more, all led by Suren Machiraju and the delightfully frantic Curt Peterson. They’ve recently produced posts about using BizTalk with the AppFabric Service Bus, material on the Entity Framework,  and a ridiculously big and meaty post from Mark Simms about building StreamInsight apps.

I highly recommend subscribing to both these team blogs and following SQL CAT on twitter (@sqlcat).

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