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IMTC 2008 Review - IIS7 For ASP.Net Developers - Slides, Demos and Feedback

April 16, 2008 04:59 by Andrew Westgarth

Irish Microsoft Technology Conference 2008 A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be able to attend and speak at the Irish Microsoft Technology Conference in Dublin.  This was and enjoyable experience and further lessons were learned and experience gained in the delivery of my session. I have forwarded my slide deck and demos onto the organisers at IrishDev but if you would like to get to them now, please find them listed on my Slides and Resources Page on this blog.  There you can find the slide deck and an archive file of the extensibility example which I demoed.  One warning with the example however is that there are a couple of practices employed in the handler and module which are no longer considered best practice.  For this reason, due to feedback received in regards to the demos and in light of the fact that I was far from happy with the deliverance of my demos I do intend to screen cast this element of my session at a later date - hopefully sooner rather than later :).

www.iis.net - the new IIS Community Portal

I also mentioned in my session that I would be starting a page on my Blog dedicated to IIS resources - as the list of resources on my slides could have been about six slides long at a minimum.  Essentially the best resource and one stop shop will continue to be the IIS Community Site - www.iis.net but I will also be listing any articles which I feel are of particular relevance and also a listing of the blogs which I read on IIS and IIS7 in particular, this is made up of IIS Team members and MVPs.

Finally I would like to thank the delegates and organisers of IMTC 2008 for the opportunity to attend and speak at the conference, it was great to meet you all and spend some time with you.  I hope to see you at other events in the future.

Categories: Events | IIS
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IMTC 2008 - IIS 7 for ASP.Net Developers Teaser

April 2, 2008 08:11 by Andrew Westgarth

Here is a brief introduction to my session IIS 7 for ASP.net Developers which I will be presenting at IMTC 2008 in Dublin on Friday 4th April 2008 at 11:30.

Categories: ASP.Net | Events | IIS
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The Code Monkey is coming to Ireland - IMTC 2008

March 11, 2008 03:20 by Andrew Westgarth

imtc The Irish Microsoft Technology Conference (IMTC) 2008 is a three day conference running from 7pm on Wednesday 2nd April till Friday 4th April, in Dublin.  Full details of the agenda can be found at http://imtc.firstport.ie/agenda.aspx, and it looks pretty impressive, with 8 tracks and 40 sessions of great technical content with some excellent speakers.

I'll be there to deliver a session on Internet Information Services 7 for ASP.Net Developers, and this will be my first ever visit to Ireland, so I'm really looking forward to going over and having another opportunity to speak on a topic which I have great passion for. 

There is a great offer for the first 300 people who complete their registration for IMTC as they will receive a personal copy of the IMTC 2008 DVD showing ALL 40 Sessions, interviews and Keynotes - so go on now - get yourself booked in for what looks to be an excellent conference and excellent value for money.

Categories: Events | IIS
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Book Review: Professional IIS 7 And ASP.NET Integrated Programming

March 3, 2008 15:38 by Andrew Westgarth

Professional IIS 7 and ASP.NET Integrated Programming by Dr. Shahram Khosravi - Book Cover

I managed to get hold of this book a few months ago, about the time I flew out to Tech Ed in Barcelona.  Unfortunately it's taken me till now to write up my impressions and views on this book.  Initially I was a little apprehensive about reading this book due to two particular reasons: firstly I don't generally get along with Wrox Press books and in the past have found them difficult to read compared to other titles from other publishing houses; secondly this book is a considerable size - totaling 670 pages!!  I was however eager to read it, as I am any new titles that appear on the subject of IIS 7.  This one had particularly grabbed my attention due to it's initial indications of specific relevance of how to exploit the power of IIS 7 in ASP.NET Applications and Programming.

In essence I would say that this book is a must have on the bookshelf of any serious ASP.NET developer who is looking to exploit and use the full power of IIS 7 in their applications.  As opposed to a previous title I reviewed - Book Review: IIS7 Implementation and Administration - this book is most definitely aimed at the Developer.  There are only 12 chapters in this title however they are very detailed chapters and really go into great detail.  Topics covered include using the integrated configuration system (<system.webserver>), how to extend the configuration system, extending the management interface, extending the request pipeline and it even has a great chapter on the integration of WCF in IIS 7 - something which I've been looking for good sources of information on.

What is great about this book is how in each element Dr. Khosravi has gone into immense detail and broke down each part of the object model and configuration model, explaining the effects of each option and the affect that can have on your application and the web server itself.  This is a feature which I and I would imagine many others will turn to over and over again as new requirements appear in my/their projects.  Although initially the content of this book can be daunting to a beginner in time they will grow in knowledge along side this book, and it is a title which can be constantly revisited and digested at the reader's own pace, this is a must for any IIS/ASP.NET Developer's bookshelf.

In response to my initial two concerns about this title, I've been convinced.  I enjoyed reading this book and possibly my reading style and ability has improved/changed since I last read a Wrox title, but I didn't have a lot of problems reading this book, although the content can be quite heavy going as it is so detailed, which I've already identified as a strength.  The size of the book is also of no problem and indeed is vindicated in the quality of the content.

Book Details:

Title: Professional IIS 7 and ASP.NET Integrated Programming

Author: Dr. Shahram Khosravi

Publisher: Wrox

Link to purchase on Computer Manuals : http://www.compman.co.uk/scripts/browse.asp?ref=852426

Blog Now Running on IIS7! - Thanks Discount ASP.Net

March 3, 2008 02:03 by Andrew Westgarth

Good Morning All,  I am very pleased to announce that I have now migrated my package with Discount ASP.Net to a Windows Server 2008 and IIS7 Hosting Platform.  This blog is now running in integrated mode as will all of my future deployments.   I'm very pleased with the service I've received from Discount ASP.Net.  I put in the request for migration about 21:30 (GMT) last night and by the time I awoke this morning I had a mail telling me everything had been migrated.  A couple of tweaks with configuration later and here we are my Blog running on IIS7 - Cool!!

For more information on Windows 2008 and IIS7 Hosting see the Discount ASP.Net Website for more details.

Categories: IIS
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Windows Server 2008 has RTM'd!!

February 4, 2008 06:59 by Andrew Westgarth

Great news and well done to all the teams involved with Windows Server 2008 - Earlier today it was announced that Windows Server 2008 has RTM'd

- http://blogs.technet.com/windowsserver/archive/2008/02/04/windows-server-2008-rtm.aspx  Now all I need is for discountasp.net to upgrade their servers and I can get my blog moved to IIS7!!

Also check out a video of Alex Hinrichs talking about shipping Windows Server 2008 on Channel 9 - http://channel9.msdn.com/showpost.aspx?postid=379688 and there is also an interview with Carlos Aguilar Mares, Development Lead on the IIS team, which I recorded for VBUG whilst out at Tech Ed - http://www.vbug.com/MP3-Interviews/Podcast-5-Carlos-Aguilar-Mares.aspx

Tech Ed Developers - Days 3-5

November 11, 2007 15:30 by Andrew Westgarth

Carlos Aguilar Mares Now to cover days 3-5 (Wednesday to Friday) of Tech Ed Developers.  On Wednesday morning I saw the final part of Carlos Aguilar Mares' session on Extending the IIS 7.0 Pipeline.  This was a great session and covered numerous ways in which Developers can extend the IIS7 pipeline using managed code covering elements such as Modules, Handlers, Configuration and Debugging - Carlos has posted the slides and examples on his blog - , also Carlos very kindly agreed to be interviewed for a forthcoming VBUG Podcast, look forward to publishing that soon.

Other sessions which I attended included a Virtual Earth Deep Dive, a session which I was looking forward to and hoping to get a lot from, but I left severely disappointed.  We didn't see a demo of Virtual Earth until forty minutes into the session and even then it was a very consumer related session.  This was a level 300 session and the high content of 'marketing' was very, very disappointing.  I was hoping as I assume were the many other developers in the room to see a lot more examples and information on the API and how developers can make best use of it.  In fact I saw a session on the whole of the Live platform last year at Tech Ed and felt I got more from that multi-facetted session than this supposedly specialised session.

Steve Maine I attended sessions on WCF and the Web, from Steve Maine, which was of a good high quality and showed how the platform is maturing with AJAX, REST and Syndication Services.  I also attended a very interesting session Vittorio Bertoccifrom Vittorio Bertocci on Securing ASP.Net and WCF Applications using Cardspace.  This session was very interesting and showed how easy it WILL be to implement Cardspace into applications, however there is one big flaw, the server controls and tools are currently not available and all that was said is they are coming 'soon'.  The session did however complement some of the knowledge I have of Cardspace and I will be looking into this further.  

Matt Gibbs Matt Gibbs, delivered a session showing ASP.Net Developers what is coming in the next version of ASP.Net, and by next I don't mean ASP.Net 3.5, Matt covered features coming in ASP.Net vNext which we should see sometime next year.  These new features included improved standardisation and adherence to standards, the session also covered in more detail Silverlight vNext, Astoria, new Data Controls and the MVC Framework.

 

The last session which I saw at Tech Ed Developers was on the topic of Avoiding Pitfalls with Windows Workflow Foundation in ASP.Net Applications presented by Gyorgy Balassy.  This was an excellent session but it was held on Friday morning and it was a level 400 session.  I was glad I was at the session as it was full of great content although as the presenter appreciated first thing in the morning this was a little heavy.  I'm looking forward to reviewing it again and writing up detailed notes on it.

Book Review: IIS7 Implementation and Administration

November 1, 2007 04:15 by Andrew Westgarth

IIS7ImplementationAndAdministration This year I made my first steps on to the speaker circuit with a presentation on IIS7 for ASP.Net Developers.  IIS (Internet Information Server) is used the world over by many web developers on which to host their applications.  I have been dealing with IIS for a number of years, in both a Developer role but also as Administrator of a number of web servers and web farms.  This is where my interest in IIS has come from over the years.  IIS is a very stable platform and with IIS7 we know have, what Microsoft term as the most significant release of IIS since version 1.0, and I have to agree.

I recently got hold of a copy of this book: IIS7 Implementation and Administration written by John Paul Mueller.  This title appears to be very popular, and after speaking to Martin from Computer Manuals it would appear that is flying off the shelves. 

As stated earlier I am able to attack a review of this title from both an Administrators point of view and that of a developer.  The book is well structured and  at just over 360 pages in length it slotted nicely into my laptop backpack for carrying around with me on my recent engagements.  Split into three sections - Using IIS7; Configuring Older Applications; and Configuring Application Security  - the book is a great starting guide to using IIS7.  The first section gets the reader to grips with the basics of working with files and the new UI within IIS7 and gives enough information and detail with which to get up and running with IIS7.  In the Configuring Older Applications section, John Paul, guides the reader through working with ASP, IIS6 Manager and other application types such as PHP and ColdFusion.  This a key section for those looking to upgrade to IIS7 and take advantage of the new features and integrated pipeline but still running ASP/PHP/ColdFusion etc applications in addition/instead of ASP.Net Applications.

The final section of the book primarily covers Application Security, but also covers connecting to databases, globalization, application performance and application configuration.  This final section is goes into quite a high level of detail and although I have covered .Net Roles and Profiles quite extensively I still found this section very very useful.  In my presentations I cover the ApplicationHost.Config and Administration.Config files and this section covers the structure of the configuration files well and covers the question of administration delegation well and highlights the associated risks and benefits.

This book was a joy to read and I think that is suitable for beginners and experienced developers and administrators alike.  The book covers a lot of the new features which many developers are aware of, but now they are integrated into the pipeline, administrators can now read about and understand to help communicate with developers on an more level plain.  This book is a great guide to IIS7 and I would recommend it to anyone who has either previous experience with IIS or who are just getting into it and want to know more about IIS7 as a development and hosting platform.

Book Details:

Title: IIS7 Implementation and Administration

Author: John Paul Mueller

Publisher: Sybex

Link to purchase on Computer Manuals : http://www.compman.co.uk/scripts/browse.asp?ref=859158

Updated Blog - New Engine and New Hoster

October 22, 2007 06:13 by Andrew Westgarth

 

I've finally moved to a new Blogging Engine, I've been taking a look at the various options available for a while now, and have finally taken the plunge and I'm trying BlogEngine.Net.  I had looked at Subtext and DasBlog but I've been trying BlogEngine.Net for a couple of months while I tested functionality and decided that I would give this one a try and so far I have been impressed.  BlogEngine.Net is a CodePlex Project and is regularly updated and the team behind it have a very impressive roadmap and vision for the engine.  No sooner had they released the recent v1.2 build than they are already looking at v1.3.  My only gripe so far has been with the Blog Import tool, but I managed to find a way round it by importing my blog into the v1.1 release then upgrading to v1.2 and then published the blog.  I'll give a full run down of features in a future post.

My reason for moving to an engine was that I didn't have time to constantly tweak and develop my self created blog and even at some points the time it was taking to prepare a post and actually publish the post was prohibitive.  By using an engine which is being worked on by the community the work is shared and a lot of the functionality which I wanted to develop is already here.  Also I can now use, and am currently with this post, Windows Live Writer to prepare posts and post directly from any PC, I'm also going to be taking a look at blogging direct from Microsoft Office Word 2007.  Hopefully with a better engine behind my blog I'll be able to blog a lot more frequently, so expect to see lots of new content.

I have also moved to a new hosting package with Discount ASP.Net.  Discount ASP.Net are a well known Award Winning Web Hosting provider and are always ahead of the game in providing functionality for ASP.Net developers to take advantage of.  For example Discount ASP.Net are currently offering a free Beta Account with ASP.Net 3.5 and IIS7 Hosting together, showing there commitment to innovation and industry leading services.  I've not been happy with the lack of speed with which 1and1 move as regards to providing there customers with new features, especially with the high end shared hosting package like I was on, such as AJAX and SQL Server 2005 Support (both still not provided), plus with the costs and pricing plan that Discount ASP.Net employ I will also be making a significant cost saving.  My experience so far with set up and facilities provided my Discount ASP.Net has been excellent and I would fully recommend their services.

Discount ASP.Net Hosting Packages

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 http://www.vbug.com/Conference/2007/PDF-Brochure.aspx  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 - http://www.vbug.net

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

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