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Developing Web Applications using Visual Studio 2005 and IIS7

June 21, 2007 10:39 by Andrew Westgarth

I got into work this morning and checked my feeds and noticed this post - Solution/Hotfix: Developing web applications using Visual Studio 2005 and IIS7 from the Web Development Tools Team.

A hotfix has been released for Visual Studio 2005 to aid F5 debugging with Visual Studio 2005 and it also enables debugging with Vista Home Versions! Check it out now!

FrontPage Server Extensions for IIS7

June 12, 2007 15:14 by Andrew Westgarth

A query I had at the VBUG Leeds meeting last Wednesday was on the subject of FrontPage Server Extensions(FPSE) for IIS7. There is a beta of these available currently and they will work with Windows Vista and Longhorn Server Beta 3 (or should that now be Windows Server 2008 Beta 3?). To download them use this link: http://www.iis.net/downloads/default.aspx?tabid=34&g=6&i=1460

For further information on the reason why FPSE were not included with Windows Vista and Longhorn Server Beta 3 see Robert McMurray's Blog where he has two detailed posts about the FPSE for IIS7:

Bill Staples also has the details on his Blog, which is another blog worth reading for information on IIS7
Categories: ASP.Net | Events | How To | IIS | VBUG
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Slides and Demos from IIS 7 Talks in Newcastle and Leeds

June 12, 2007 14:54 by Andrew Westgarth

First off, my sincere apologies to both groups for not having posted these earlier, things have been a bit manic and I've had major issues with an update I made to the Blog on Sunday which forced me to rollback :-(.

On Thursday 31st May I presented this topic, IIS7 for ASP.Net Developers, at VBUG Newcastle. This was my first experience of presenting a non-launch event on my own. This was daunting and requires lots of hard work - more than even I imagined! The presentation went well, I thought, although I had a lot of issues with my demos, thanks to all who attended for being so understanding.

Last Wednesday, I ventured down to Leeds, to deliver the same session for VBUG Leeds. After driving down to Leeds after work, a couple of phonecalls and wishing I still had Sat NAV in my car I managed to arrive at the venue! The session went well with lots of questions, interaction and feedback from all attendees. I tried a new method of structuring my Demos and this went a lot better than in Newcastle. My thanks to Andy Marshall, VBUG Leeds Coordinator and his group for an enjoyable evening.

This has been a great learning experience for me and very rewarding and is helping me to shape the talk as I receive feedback and learn from my experiences. Thanks to all attendees for listening to me and thanks for your feedback, this is a very useful feature of the meetings and one I actively encourage as a coordinator and even more so now as a speaker.

The slides are available as a pdf and the demos are available in a zip file format, any questions please let me know.

Dinis Cruz Security Training - Two New Courses!

June 5, 2007 10:37 by Andrew Westgarth

Dave McMahon has just sent me an email this morning to tell me of some new Security Training from Dinis Cruz. The first is a course that Dinis is running with Ounce Labs and the second is a course with NextGenUG. Here are the details of both courses:

Dinis Cruz is running a Source Code Security Training Course with Ounce Labs on the 12th and 13th June 2007, in London at the Thistle Marble Arch. The course covers topics such as Performing Source Code Reviews, Identifying Vulnerabilities in Code and Writing Exploits. This course is aimed at Security Consultants and Senior Developers and full details are at http://www.ouncelabs.com/securityexperts/, it looks pretty good!

NextGenUG are running a Security Training For ASP.Net Developers course with Dinis Cruz on the 17th and 18th July 2007 in Leamington Spa, full details are at http://www.nextgenug.net/Course.aspx?CourseID=4. This course is similar to a successful one run by NextGenUG in March 2007, but this has more of an accent on Code Scanning. NextGenUG had some great feedback from the attendees, and one of the attendees, Andy Jacks, has written a review of the course which you can read at http://www.nxtgenug.net/Article.aspx?ArticleID=166. Dave says this course is definitely great!

I haven't attended any of Dinis' training although from hearing him speak and seeing the enthusiasm and knowledge he has, and want to pass on to developers, he is certainly a guy to be listened to and indeed learn from. The amount myself and other developers learned in just one of his DDD sessions is immense so just think of how much you could learn by working with him for two whole days!

DDD5 Agenda Up and Registration Open

June 1, 2007 00:05 by Andrew Westgarth

The agenda for DDD5 on Saturday 30th June has now bee published and registration is now open for further details go to www.developerday.co.uk.

I will be delivering my IIS7 for ASP.Net Developers session, thanks to those who voted for me, looking forward to the event.

VS Orcas Beta 1 and Longhorn Server Beta 3 Released this Week!

April 26, 2007 10:30 by Andrew Westgarth

Phew, what a busy week on Monday we had the announcement that Visual Studio Orcas Beta 1 had shipped. The ISO images of this are available to MSDN Subscribers currently but they will be made available soon. There are also VS Orcas Team Suite Edition and there is a VS Orcas Team Suite Edition with Team Server (Which I'm downloading now - boy it's huge!). To get these downloads and to keep an eye out for the release of ISO images got to this link - http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/aa700831.aspx

If that wasn't enough, I arrive at work at 6:30 this morning to find an email telling me Longhorn Server Beta 3 had shipped! I'm currently downloading this too! Can't wait to take a look at it! To download it go to http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/bb383572.aspx also why not take a look at the coverage on Channel 9.

Upcoming VBUG North East Meetings

March 23, 2007 14:54 by Andrew Westgarth

We have a number of events planned for VBUG in the North East of England over the coming months, indeed we have a meeting a week on Tuesday. Here are the details of the forthcoming events. For the events in May, July and beyond further information will be available soon.

Tuesday April 3rd 2007 - Creating Rich User Experiences with Expression, WPF and "WPF/E" with Mark Johnston

Mark Johnston, Developer & Platform at Microsoft UK, will introduce ?WPF/E? and Expression. ?WPF/E? is the codename for a new rich internet technology that allows developers & designers to create very rich applications that are delivered cross-browser & cross-platform. He will introduce the technology, show some sample apps & create an app using Expression & Visual Studio tools. Expression is a range of tools aimed at designers wanting to create rich user experiences on the desktop & on the web.

Venue: - Northumbria University, Ellison Place, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 8ST - Virtual Earth Map

Time: 18:30 - 21:00 (19:00 Start)

To book email emma@vbug.com or call 01753 649680

Thursday May 31st 2007 - IIS 7 For ASP.Net Developers with me, Andy Westgarth!

With the launch of Windows Vista came Internet Information Server 7.0. IIS7 is the latest release of Microsofts Web Server which will form part of the forthcoming Windows Longhorn Server. With this release comes a new extensibility model which gives us more options than ever before. During the session we will investigate the new model, look at extending IIS7, configuring IIS 7, develop new modules for IIS and take a look at the new UI for managing IIS7.

Venue: - Newcastle Full details to be confirmed

Time: 18:30 - 21:00 (19:00 Start)

To book email emma@vbug.com or call 01753 649680

Wednesday July 11th 2007 - Ruby On Rails with Dave Verwer

This session gives a first look at Ruby on Rails as both a language (Ruby) & a web development framework (Rails). With all of the buzz & hype around this new technology, this session will give a view of it from the perspective of somone familiar with Microsoft .NET development tools and technologies. It will cover some of the basics of Ruby as a language & will then show some of what can be done with Ruby on Rails.

Venue: - Newcastle Full details to be confirmed

Time: 18:30 - 21:00 (19:00 Start)

To book email emma@vbug.com or call 01753 649680

For information all events running across the country at various venues go to the VBUG Events Page and take a look, or why not subscribe to the VBUG Events RSS feed?

Hope to see you at an event soon!

MSDN Roadshow 2007 Harrogate

March 14, 2007 00:05 by Andrew Westgarth

Today, I attended the MSDN Roadshow in Harrogate. The community was well represented with myself and Phil Winstanley in attendance on hand to answer questions and queries about how the community can assist developers. Phil is the Regional Coordinator for Manchester VBUG and is also involved with the organisation of DDD and he is one of the principal organisers of WebDD. On top of all that Phil is an ASP.net MVP and ASP Insider.

The day was split into five sessions, each comprising of 60 minutes on the following topics plus 10 minutes on Office 2007.

The sessions were very interesting and I saw some new content on LINQ and through Daniel and Mike's sessions I have been able to see how it can be used in Real World Applications as previously the sessions I've seen on LINQ have left me wondering if it can actually be used in an enterprise environment, but now I have the initial threads of interest to go and look into it further to look at how it could be implemented. Mike Ormond's session on AJAX development showed how to extend ASP.Net 2.0 applications to take advantage of the AJAX for ASP.Net 2.0 Library and how to begin to optimise AJAX enabled pages. I have been using AJAX for quite a while now, approximately 12 months (Betas, Release Candidates etc) and after this session I realised there are still some things I can learn.

Mark Johnston covered WPF and WPF/E and took delegates through developing applications for both using Expression Blend, Design and Visual Studio 2005. Mark also showed some interesting examples of how WPF is being used. Martin Parry finished off the day by exploring the Windows Live platform. This includes Live Messenger, Live Search, Live Expo, Live Spaces, Live Contacts, for more information on what's available visit the Live Developer Centre. As mentioned previously I saw a session of Windows Live at Tech Ed and it is certainly a very interesting platform to work from. It is expected there will be further detail on the platform at the upcoming MIX 07 Conference. Martin demoed building apps to make use of the SDKs for developing apps against Virtual Earth, Live Search and Live Contacts.

All in all it was a very useful and interesting day and well worth attending. I recommend the MSDN Roadshow events to anyone who can attend, they are usually very well attended and full of lots of useful information and thought provoking sessions. Keep an eye on MSDN Events for future events and why not sign up for the MSDN Flash Newsletter, which is sent out by the MSDN team fortnightly with some interesting articles and details of both Microsoft and Community events around the country.

For all of the slides and additional resources from the MSDN Roadshow go to http://www.roadshowresources.com

Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Update for Windows Vista

March 8, 2007 01:55 by Andrew Westgarth

Wow no posts for a while then three come along at once, sorry they've come at once been a little busy.

Just released is the Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Update for Windows Vista. This release had previously been available as a beta but has now been fully released and can be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center at the following link: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=90e2942d-3ad1-4873-a2ee-4acc0aace5b6&displaylang=en

DevWeek 2007 - Days 2 And 3 (27th/28th Feb 2007)

March 8, 2007 01:54 by Andrew Westgarth

Apologies for the delay in writing this post things have been extremely manic since my return from DevWeek. As intimated in my previous post I had the pleasure of attending the first three days of DevWeek 2007. Day 1 is covered in my blog post entitled DevWeek 2007. I was attending and representing VBUG during my breaks and spare time, we had a stand at DevWeek, and we were on hand to sign up new members, offer support and answer any questions delegates had about VBUG and the UK Community.

Day 2 - 27th February 2007

My second day at Devweek, the first day of the conference proper, started with a keynote from Jeff Prosise who took a lighthearted, informative and very enjoyable (albeit in a very hot auditorium) look at the development of Web Applications over the last decade, ranging from pre ASP apps, using ISAPI filters and VB applications through to the current ASP.Net and AJAX enabled applications. Jeff also highlighted the emergence of WPF/E. I then attended a session by Keith Brown on Securing ASP.Net 2.0 Applications. This covered standard exploits such as filtering input, sql injection, cross site scripting and methods for abaiting the issues with these problems. Keith also highlighted the resources from Microsoft Patterns and Practices, these can be found under the following guide from MSDN - Improving Web Application Security: Threats and Countermeasures.

In the afternoon I attended two sessions from Jeff Prosise - one on development of Custom Providers for ASP.Net 2.0 and the other on Asynchronous ASP.Net Programming. These were both extremely interesting sessions and in the first session Jeff spoke about how the Provider model which exists within ASP.Net 2.0 can be extended and that you can write your own providers quite easily, for example if you already have a membership database and do not want to port this to say the SQLMemberShipProvider Default store, for example, then you could quite easily write your own provider to communicate with your Membership data store. For further guidance and example code download the Provider Toolkit from the ASP.Net Section on MSDN.

In the early evening there was a drinks reception for all delegates to chat to other delegates and to chat to all the exhibitors and to take part in the prize trail. The prize trail required delegates to answer questions about each of the exhibitors and in return their answers were entered into a prize draw to win a number of prizes. This was a great element of the conference and I met and spoke to some very interesting people from various locations within EMEA who were attending DevWeek.

Day 3 - 28th February 2007

Day 3, my final day at the conference, as exhibitors were only exhibiting on the 27th and 28th. I attended sessions by Dino Esposito, Dominick Baier, Keith Brown and ritz Onion.

Session One was Dino Esposito's Architecture session on building Real World Business and Data Layers using Design Patterns. In this session Dino covered the terminology involved, defined a BL and DAL and gave clear indicators on how each should be architected and how pattens can be used to produce desire goals, he also relayed that information on to how it is used in practice to give delegates clear ideas on how to move forward with their solutions.

Session two was the turn of Dominick Baier to cover IIS7 for ASP.Net Developers. This was a session I had been eagerly awaiting and it was clear by the numbers crammed into a very small room that this was a topic which provoked lots of interest. As previously mentioned on this blog, IIS7 is something which has captured a lot of my interest of the past few months and will command a lot of my time and research over the coming months as I prepare my sessions for VBUG North East and VBUG Leeds which are being delivered at the end of May and early June. Dominick highlighted new areas which I hadn't seen covered at Tech Ed and increased my knowledge and gave me new areas to investigate. The new architecture of IIS7 was covered in detail and especially the integration of ASP.Net within IIS7, Dominick also covered a number of security aspects and also Windows Activation Services, which enables the hosting of WCF within IIS7. This was a great session and you can expect to see more blog posts about IIS7 in the coming weeks and months.

Session three saw Keith Brown cover Migrating ASMX and COM+ to WCF. This session covered the migration process to move existing Web Services and COM+ services to WCF services. Keith demonstrated the interoperability and integration arguments and possibilities. Essentially standard ASMX can be integrated and migrated fairly easily, the recommend ed guide for handling ASMX with WSE 2.0 is to upgrade to WSE 3.0 and then migrate or integrate.

At session four I saw Fritz Onion cover CSS Control Adapters for ASP.Net 2.0. These are a set of Control Adapters which have been developed to enable the built in controls within ASP.Net 2.0 such as Menu, TreeView, GridView and Datalist to output CSS Compliant code replacing, for example with the Menu Control, table structures with Unorder Lists (UL) and ListItems (LI) enabling more compliant and accessible code, and these enable the separation of styling from the code. Fritz also covered the development of browser files and developing controls to take advantage of the adapters.

Review

All in all my attendance at DevWeek was a worthwhile experience as it allowed me to meet with a new section of the community and to cover topics which I haven't had chance to cover on a detailed basis. However I am unsure as to it's value compared to my attendance at Tech Ed last November. In DevWeek's favour it is the only week long Microsoft based conference in the UK and for developers who do not have the opportunity to travel and get to events such as Tech Ed then it represents a good investment in their time. Speaking to other delegates however, it seems there has been some overlap of sessions from last year, which is disappointing. I would also recommend that the sessions are cut to one hour long as I believe ninety minute sessions are too long and along with comments from other delegates felt myself switching off after 60 minutes. I think this length of sessions has been prved to work at DDD, WebDD and the VBUG Conference. I would also recommend more cutting edge sessions which focus on new and emerging technologies, whilst it is good to have a balance, it is also useful to be exposed to new technology and developments, especially if delegates don't have much chance to see these in their day to day lives. I would also suggest that the layout of the exhibition hall with all the tables and chairs isn't great for encouraging delegates to mingle and communicate with each other.



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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

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