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Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

VBUG/SUGUK September with Spencer Harbar - Meeting Slides and Resources

September 20, 2007 16:05 by Andrew Westgarth

Spencer Harbar has now uploaded the slides and materials from the VBUG/SUGUK Meeting held in Newcastle on 10th September 2007.

Spencer has also posted a link on the SUGUK website to the end user materials and these can be found at customizable-everyday-productivity-education-epe-content-developed-by-microsoft-it-for-end-user-

Developer Developer Developer 6 - Date Announced

September 19, 2007 00:06 by Andrew Westgarth

Yes that's right folks, there's a load of new content on my blog, and plenty more coming.  One of the most important dates for your diary is the next Developer Developer Developer Day conference which has been announced for Saturday 24th November 2007 at the usual venue of Microsoft TVP in Reading, UK.  I've been looking forward to this event since the last event in June.  Make sure you put the date into your diaries and keep an eye on the Developer Day site for more news.

VBUG Newcastle 1st October: Guy Smith-Ferrier - 4 User Groups in 4 Days

September 19, 2007 00:05 by Andrew Westgarth

On Monday 1st October 2007 we have the pleasure of Guy Smith-Ferrier, author of .Net Internationalization: The Developer's Guide to Building Global Windows & Web Applications, and One very nice Chap from Blighty, who will be speaking to the VBUG Newcastle User Group as part of his 4 User Groups In 4 Days tour.

Guy will be visiting VBUG Newcastlethe North East Scotland .Net User Group in Dundee, Scottish Developers in Glasgow, and finally VBUG Manchester.  Guy is an excellent speaker and has been on the speaker circuit for a number of years and will also be speaking at the forthcoming VBUG Conference and also at TechEd Developers in Barcelona in November.  I am very pleased to be able to have Guy visit VBUG in Newcastle as I know he is based in the South West of England as as such for him to be able to be this far north is rare.  All of the Community Leaders he is visiting are very excited about the sessions.

Guy will be covering Microsoft Codename "Astoria" and VS2005 Tips and Tricks.  I use VS2005 daily so I am looking forward to picking up more tips on how to increase my productivity.  I know nothing about Astoria and am really keen to find out more.

Here are Guy's session abstracts for the two sessions:

Microsoft Codename "Astoria" -

The emergence of Web 2.0 technologies has brought new opportunities and caused us to solve old problems in new ways. AJAX and SilverLight applications need read/write access to data and business objects without performing full page refreshes and without dumbing down the data so much we are just left with primitives. Microsoft?s answer to this problem is Microsoft Codename "Astoria". In short "Astoria" is a data access layer for client-size technologies such as AJAX and SilverLight. This session shows how it works, how you can write "Astoria" data servers and how you can customize "Astoria" to your applications requirements.

Visual Studio 2005 IDE Tips and Tricks -

Visual Studio is a treasure trove of functionality and productivity. The problem is that many developers don?t know what's there. In this session we will cover some simple and not so simple tips and tricks and improve your productivity and enjoyment of Visual Studio 2005.

The meeting in Newcastle is being kindly hosted by BT at their offices.  The address is BT, Unit 7, Room 3, Innovation Place, Delta Bank, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE11 9DJ - map link - -v=2&sp=Point.t4t652gvtvyw_NE11%209DJ%20(postcode)%2C%20United%20Kingdom___&encType=1  To register for the event please go to the VBUG website -

VBUG Conference 17th & 18th October 2007

September 19, 2007 00:05 by Administrator

The details and agenda for the forthcoming VBUG Conference, at Microsoft TVP Reading, have been published and the brochure can be viewed at  There is an excellent line up scheduled for this our 10th Annual Conference, the speaker list is great and includes great UK Speakers such as Mike Taulty, Dave McMahon, Alex Homer, Guy Smith-Ferrier, Barry Dorrans and Gary Short.  Oh! and I'll be doing a session, but please don't let that put you off.  There are an excellent range of topics covering new technology, current technology, introductory and best practice sessions.  Something for all and of relevance to many.

There is currently an Early Bird rate available of ?199 + VAT for VBUG Members and ?299 + VAT for Non Members, representing excellent value for money for a two day conference.  Register now to avoid disappointment -

This is the first conference for Tim and I as Vice Chairman and Chairman and we look forward to meeting many of you and catching up with as many of you as we can.  We hope to see you soon.

Categories: Events | IIS | VBUG
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Apress Book Review - Microsoft SharePoint: Building Office 2007 Solutions in C# 2005

September 19, 2007 00:03 by Andrew Westgarth

My colleague Aidan Garnish has written a great review of the Scott Hillier's book, Microsoft SharePoint: Building Office 2007 Solutions in C# 2005.  It appears that this is a great book to get a good overview and grounding in the main concepts relating to Application Development using Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.  Check out Aidan's review at and you can get the book at Computer Manuals -

Aidan's blog is a great resource too for anyone getting into developing on MOSS2007.  Aidan has a lot of experience with SharePoint 2003 and is now along with the rest of the team working with MOSS 2007 to develop Internet Content Managed Sites.

VBUG and SUGUK Newcastle Meeting

September 12, 2007 00:00 by Andrew Westgarth

Last night saw the first SUGUK meeting in Newcastle and the first cooperative event between VBUG and SUGUK in the North East of England.  The attendance for the event was great we had in the region of 35+ attendees and the meeting went down very well.  We had the pleasure of having Spencer Harbar, MOSS MVP,  present two topics - MOSS Server Farm Architecture and Design; Top 10 Tips for your SharePoint Development Environment.  Both topics were extremely interesting and provoked some interesting discussions both at the refreshment break and after the meeting.  Indeed my colleagues are looking already to use many of the 10 tips as we develop on MOSS for our latest project.  We also had an impromptu, quickfire chalk and talk session from John Timney, ASP.Net MVP, and his colleagues on how BT were implementing MOSS at an Enterprise Level.  This sparked lots of questions and discussion during the break also.

Here are a few pictures from the event.  Hopefully there will be more similar events in Newcastle in the future - keep an eye on the VBUG and SUGUK Web sites for more info.


Picture from VBUG and SUGUK MeetingPicture from VBUG and SUGUK Meeting

Picture from VBUG and SUGUK Meeting Picture from VBUG and SUGUK Meeting

Picture from VBUG and SUGUK Meeting Picture from VBUG and SUGUK Meeting

Forthcoming MSDN Events

September 5, 2007 15:14 by Andrew Westgarth

I've just received an email detailing a number of technical events from the MSDN DPE Team (Mike Taulty, Mike Ormond, Daniel Moth & Martin Parry) at Microsoft.  They are to be held at various locations and times in September and October.  Subjects to be covered include Silverlight, Visual Studio 2008, .Net Framework 3.5, Web & Smart Client Development.

To find out more about these and all future MSDN events go to

SharePoint User Group and VBUG North East Meeting - September 10th 2007!! - Updated

September 3, 2007 16:53 by Andrew Westgarth

Yes, thats right the next VBUG meeting in Newcastle, is a joint venture by both VBUG and the SharePoint User Group and is being held on Monday the 10th September 2007.  We are very pleased to be having Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 MVP - Spencer Harbar - presenting two topics for us.  The topics Spencer will be covering are:

  • Server Farm Architecture and Design (Key Influencers, models etc) Update: This session introduces the fundamentals of MOSS Farm design including server roles, topology constraints and design goals which are paramount for delivery of a secure, available and scalable MOSS hosting platform. Each server roles? unique characteristics will be covered with their associated trade-offs. In addition, three common models will be presented with a discussion of their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Top 10 Tips for a SharePoint Development Environment (Tools, Utilities, etc) Updated: This session will present 10 essential tips, tricks, tweaks or utilities for making your SharePoint Development easier and quicker. All tips can be used equally in a Virtual Machine or on a ?real? server. Many of the tips are also useful for systems administrators working with SharePoint 2007

The meeting is being held at the BT offices, Unit 7, Room 3, Innovation Place, Delta Bank, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE11 9DJ - for a map go to

To register for the event please go to the VBUG website - SUGUK & VBUG- 'Sharepoint' with Spencer Harbar

If you are a SharePoint Administrator, Developer or just want to find out more about MOSS, please come along all are welcome.

SQL Bits! - DDD Eye for the SQL Guy

September 3, 2007 16:45 by Andrew Westgarth

The SQL Community are having their first Community conference on Saturday 6th October 2007 at Microsoft's Reading Campus.  There will be 20 sessions in 4 tracks (BI, DBA, Development and Katmai) all at a cost of £0.00 - yes thats right, nothing - it's FREE!!  Registration is open now however registration is filling quickly and there's only room for 350 people.

Register on the SQL Bits site and then select 10 sessions you would most like to see, Tim Leung, VBUG Vice Chairman has a session proposed - "Getting Started with SQL Server Reporting Services".  There are many great sessions there so if SQL is your bag, get yourself registered and get along to what looks to be a great event.  By voting you are helping to shape the conference agenda.  After voting you will receive the conference registration URL.  To register go to

Windows Vista SP1 Beta Announced

August 30, 2007 10:38 by Andrew Westgarth

Yesterday, the Windows Vista Team, announced on their Blog, the forthcoming release of a beta of Windows Vista Service Pack 1.  The release of the beta is expected to be in the next few weeks, with the team working on a full release for the first quarter of 2008.

For more information check out the following:


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