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Great Article on Developing Modules and Handlers for IIS7 using .Net

August 16, 2007 14:44 by Andrew Westgarth

Mike Volodarsky, a Program Manager on Microsoft's IIS Team, has published a great Blog Post on developing modules and handlers for IIS7 using .Net.  The post goes through how to decide which to develop, which tools you need and how to develop modules and handlers and deploy them to an IIS7 server.  This posting is well worth looking at if you are interested in IIS7 Development, http://mvolo.com/blogs/serverside/archive/2007/08/15/Developing-IIS7-web-server-features-with-the-.NET-framework.aspx.

This is the start of an IIS7 .Net Developer series, so keep an eye on Mike's blog for more content coming soon.

Categories: ASP.Net | How To | IIS
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NxtGenUG Podcasts - How To and DDD5

July 17, 2007 01:06 by Andrew Westgarth

Recently Richard Costall and Dave McMahon gave a presentation at Community Leaders Day - an event for Community Leaders at Microsoft TVP, UK - on the subject of Podcasting. Indeed they even recorded a Podcast, showed us how to publish it and edit it Live in the session. They have made the podcast available to all and if it's something you are interested in I recommend a listen - http://www.nxtgenug.net/Podcasts.aspx?PodcastID=35.

While at DDD5 Dave McMahon caught up with me for an interview on IIS7 and my experiences of starting to speak on the circuit at national and local events. This podcast also contains interviews with attendees, speakers and organisers of DDD5, excellent work once again - to listen to the DDD5 podcast use this link - http://www.nxtgenug.net/Podcasts.aspx?PodcastID=36 also why you're there why not check out their other podcasts

No Power!

July 17, 2007 00:41 by Andrew Westgarth

The reason why it's been so long since I posted on my blog, and why there are so many posts together is that I left my Power Pack at MS UK after delivering my session at DDD5. We haven't been located and so I've had to replace it :-(. After driving 300 miles home on the Saturday I didn't realise I didn't have it till I went to charge my laptop on the Sunday morning! It was like having my right arm cut off. I managed to do some work at home, but I desperately need to tidy up my office (My loft) so I can get some work done up there too! I've managed to get one now and I'm back up and running!

New Dell Powerpack

DDD5 - A Great Day, A Surge and an Outage

July 17, 2007 00:30 by Andrew Westgarth

You may look at the title of this post and wonder what on earth I'm on about! Well this is my first post since DDD5 and there's a story behind why.

DDD5 was a great day and had been eagerly awaited by many including me, as this was biggest speaking engagement so far! I woke up early on the Saturday morning, raring to go only to find that the lady who was due to cook breakfast at the B&B Dave McMahon, Fellow Speaker, and I were staying at, had not turned in (we later found she was not well). So we headed off to DDD to get prepared and briefed. I was on first in Chicago 2! When I first saw the agenda about eight weeks ago, I was surprised to see my session was so popular. This was both very pleasing but daunting too.

I had a good attendance in my session on IIS7 for ASP.Net Developers. The topic seemed well received, some swag, namely the famous Microsoft socks, was distributed to quite an interactive crowd, for 9:30 on a Saturday morning. Lee Dale has a post on his experience in the session and during DDD5 - http://leedale.wordpress.com/2007/07/01/ddd5-at-microsoft-tvp-reading/ and Guy Smith Ferrier also passed on his compliments about my session - http://www.guysmithferrier.com/trackback.aspx?Entry=131. I got a major buzz from speaking at DDD and there in lies the surge behind the title. I didn't realise the adrenalin buzz I got from delivering my session, I was totally wired. I realised this when my body went in to shutdown during Richard Fennell's session on Visual Studio Team System. This was a great session and reminded me of the great features available for project and code management in TFS, this is the first time I'd seen a session on VSTS since the VS2005 launch events. My sincere apologies to Richard if it looked as though I was dropping off on the front row in his session, I was just consumed by a complete drain of energy after my session. Richard your session was great and I really enjoyed it.

The rest of the day was very enjoyable as ever and these events are definitely a must attend ever more evident by the speed in which registration is filled. This year less than 5 days!! I went to a very light and thought provoking session by Dave Sussman on CSS and it was good to see I had been having the same issues as many others but that my knowledge was also better than I thought! I also managed to see an interesting and light session on the SDK that BT have released - a session entitled How to make a Phone Ring with one line of code! - For more details on the SDK visit the BT site - http://web21c.bt.com.

I also managed to see Barry Dorrans' session on Information Card - http://idunno.org/archive/2007/06/30/an-introduction-to-information-card.aspx. This was the first time I've managed to catch this session, and it was very interesting and great to learn more about an area I knew very little about. Barry's sessions are always very informative and he manages to strike a good balance between content and humour and keeps audiences enthralled throughout.

On the Friday before DDD5 myself and numerous other Community Leaders met with Microsoft DPE to discuss the community needs, how we could all work together and learn from each other. These are very useful days and it is worth noting the massive support we are given by the team at Microsoft and indeed throughout the UK Community. By working together we hope to be able to service the needs of developers nationwide.

The slides and demos for my session - IIS 7 for ASP.Net Developers can be downloaded using the following links:

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.

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.

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!

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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