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Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

MSDN and TechNet Roadshow Dates Announced

February 26, 2008 02:31 by Andrew Westgarth

The dates and venues for the MSDN and TechNet Roadshows for 2008 have been announced.  So register soon to avoid disappointment.

MSDN Roadshow Dates and Venues

TechNet Roadshow Dates and Venues

I'm registered and will be attending the Newcastle MSDN Roadshow so I hope to see some of you there!

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 - Community Activities and Podcasts

November 11, 2007 15:42 by Andrew Westgarth

Throughout the course of the week at Tech Ed Developers there were a number of community events held in the community lounge.  Primarily these were delivered by UK Community members and leaders and brought a great buzz to the hall and the event.  Dave, Rich and John from NxtGenUG hosted the Speaker Idol competition and regularly hosted gameshows for attendees such as Swagilly Fortunes, Who Wants to Be a Swaggionaire and although the participation was hesitant once the swag started flowing attendees were flocking to take part.  The Speaker Idol competition was great and there were some excellent quality speakers and topics.  Each speaker had five minutes to deliver a presentation to an audience with the ultimate prize of presenting a session at next year's Tech Ed Developers.  One of the Judging Panel, Guy Smith-Ferrier has a blog post with a more details - TechEd Europe 2007 Speaker Idol Final

Also the NxtGenUG boys were podcasting daily from Tech Ed and as before I've mentioned their podcasts are excellent and I recommend you listen to them - http://www.nxtgenug.net/Podcasts.aspx Also Tim and I managed to get some more content for VBUG's podcasts and we're hoping to start publishing a number of podcasts this coming week.

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.

Tech Ed Developers 2007 - Day 1 and 2 - Catch Up

November 7, 2007 02:30 by Andrew Westgarth

I've finally managed to take a few minutes and sit in the community lounge and write up some notes from the first two days of Tech Ed Developers 2007.  We've had a couple of very busy days so far and the pace is most definitely not slowing.  On Monday morning a large group of like minded community individuals from all over EMEA went along at a MS Influencers event where various topics and issues that the community face were discussed, such as how to increase numbers, get funding and sponsorship, increase engagement and how to take the benefits of online technologies, such as Live Meeting as we at VBUG use for online meetings.

Soma Somasegar Monday afternoon was the Keynote from Soma Somasegar, Microsoft VP of Developer Division, this was by far a better keynote presentation than we received last year, it was vibrant and upbeat.  Plus although it had an element of marketing to it the key message was that Soma and Microsoft are very, very focussed on involving the Community and enabling everyone to benefit from the power which the community has behind it.  This is a great message to be hearing as a UK Community Leader and reinforces all that I believe in and it's a great boost to hear a senior VP have such passion that myself and the many other great leaders in the UK do.  There were a number of announcements in Soma's keynote, but what I really liked about the way he handled the announcements, was that yes they are important (some very), they were not the reason he was delivering Tech Ed - his other announcements and content was more important to him, it was an excellent way to handle the announcements.

Announcements in Soma's Keynote:

  • Visual Studio 2008 will be available for download by MSDN Subscribers by the end of November 2007 with full retail launch February 27th 2008;
  • Consequently .Net Framework 3.5 will be available for download by the end of November 2007
  • Microsoft Sync Framework CTP -
  • Software and Services Blueprints (The first in a series of blueprints for developing S&S)
  • Changes to Partner Program
    • New open license terms for extending the VS IDE to support any platform
    • VS Premier Partners get access to VS IDE Source Code
  • Popfly - 100K downloads since public beta was opened on October 17th!
  • Popfly explorer plug in for VS released!

Dick Lantim Read Soma's blog post about his Keynote - TechEd Developer in Europe.  Following Soma's keynote I attended a session on Developers and Designers working together delivered by Dick Lantim and Aude Moussett. Aude Moussett I was looking forward to seeing the interoperability between the process flow from Designer and Developer however I was very disappointed with this session.  There seemed to have been very little preparation put in and the speakers seemed extremely nervous and uncomfortable with the language.  I didn't get as much as I'd hoped from this session.  I will review the session on video when the Tech Ed DVDs arrive but I was very disappointed.

Roy Osherove From a disappointing session came a great one.  Next I saw Roy Osherove deliver - Agile Development with Team System.  Roy is a great speaker and I remember hearing about his infamous songs last year on the NxtGenUG podcasts.  Indeed Roy finished his session with a version of The Police's Every Breath You Take - this was amazing and as a Police fan I really enjoyed it.  Roy covered Agile Development, Scrum and TDD and I found this whole session development and whilst Roy showed how we can use Team System for elements of the Agile Process he actually covered the methodology more and explained what it is all about which was great and brought a lot of clarity to Agile Development for me.

Monday finished with the Exhibition Hall Welcome which was a great way of meeting people and socialising with exhibitors and the community.  Also it was the start of the community activities including Speaker Idol and Swaggily Fortunes, we have some pictures on the Tech Ed Facebook group - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2713709966&ref=mf  and they can also be found on my skydrive account for those who don't have a Facebook login - http://cid-f697bcd4bd5a1c5a.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/Tech%20Ed%202007/

Francois Ajenstat Tuesday was another great action packed day and I saw a great session on SQL Server 2008 and the Entity Framework, from Francois Ajenstat.  This was a great introductory session covering elements such as Resource  Francois Ajenstat - Co PresenterGovernance, Intellisense, no longer having a requirement for IIS for Reporting Services and Multi Server Management.  The release date was also cleared up in that there are expected to be at least two more CTPs before a full release in Q2 2008.

Ben Robb Following this session I went to Ben Robb's session on Building Accessible Web Sites using Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and the Accessibility Toolkit for MOSS.  I am currently involved in a large project with MOSS for content managed sites and as I am very interested in Accessibility, and have been for a number of years, this was a must see session.  I'm going to cover this topic better when I get back home and can install the Accessibility Toolkit and have a full look at it and write up my thoughts and experiences.  In the meantime you can find out more about the Accessibility Toolkit at http://aks.hisoftware.com

Shanku Niyogi The Final session I am going to cover from Tuesday (as the last one I saw was part one of a two parter due to finish on Wednesday morning) was Shanku Niyogi covering Developing Data Driven Applications using the New Dynamic Data Controls in ASP.Net.  I was quite intrigued by this session but I was disappointed by the delivery and therefore will follow up on this session also on my return to the UK.  Overall the first two days have been great and full of information, I think I could do with a pensieve though so I can save my thoughts, free some room up and add them back in at the end of the week!

UK MSDN Flash - Keep 18th and 19th March 2008 Free!!!??

November 1, 2007 03:28 by Andrew Westgarth

Yesterday I received the UK MSDN Flash Newsletter edited by Daniel Moth.  In the intro Daniel intimated that something big will be happening on the 18th and 19th March 2008 and it will probably be in London.  I am very intrigued now as I'm sure many of you are too.  So as Daniel says - keep the dates free, you have been warned.

If you don't subscribe to UK MSDN Flash Newsletter, it is released fortnightly and well worth subscribing too - http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-gb/flash/default.aspx

Categories: Microsoft
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VBUG: Daniel Moth Comes to Coventry on Thursday 1st November

October 29, 2007 14:04 by Andrew Westgarth

danielmoth On Thursday 1st November Daniel Moth will be in Coventry covering Visual Studio 2008 for Web Developers so if you are in or based in or around Coventry why not go along on Thursday and listen to Daniel, who is an excellent speaker and this session is well worth attending.  Registration is free and the details are:

Topic: VBUG: Visual Studio 2008 for the web developer” with Daniel Moth

Overview
Visual Studio 2008 (formerly code named “Orcas”) brings with it a host of features for the web developer. In this session, we demonstrate the benefits you can get out of the Visual Studio toolset when working on your existing ASP.NET 2.0 projects as well as for new ASP.NET 3.5 projects. There are many improvements in the IDE so we’ll need to focus on JavaScript Intellisense and debugging improvements, the new designer, CSS enhancements and a few more.

Location: Coventry City Council's Corporate Training Centre, Mill Lane, Coventry. CV1 2LQ

Price: FREE

For more information and to book online go to: http://www.vbug.com/Events/November-2007/VBUG-Visual-Studio-2008-for-the-web-developer-with-Daniel-Moth.aspx

VBUG Newcastle: Developing on the Windows Live Platform with Martin Parry - 1st November 2007

October 23, 2007 15:34 by Andrew Westgarth

MartinParryOur next VBUG event is fast approaching and I am very pleased to announced that we have Martin Parry, from Microsoft's Developer and Platform Evangelism team, speaking about developing on the Windows Live Platform on Thursday 1st November.  We will once again be using a room provided by BT.  We meet from 18:30 and Martin's session will start at 19:00 and finish at 21:00 with a refreshment break half way through.  We will head to a local pub after the meeting to discuss the contents and discuss topics which you would like to see covered in 2008.

The details of the meeting are:

Topic: VBUG: Developing on the Windows Live Platform with Martin Parry

Overview
Windows Live defines a set of services and components that can be used in your web applications, whether or not you use Microsoft's server platform. In this session we look at a selection of Windows Live services and build them into an application. We'll look at the Windows Live Contacts API - really useful for social networking functionality but also a great example of what's possible using the Windows Live Data service. We'll build maps into an application using the Virtual Earth map control. We'll let our users browse their photos using the Windows Live Spaces Photos control, we'll enable authentication in our app using Windows Live ID and we'll show how you can leverage the Windows Live Search functionality too.

If time permits, we'll also look at Silverlight Streaming by Windows Live. We'll take a simple Silverlight application and encode some media content, then host it all with Windows Live.

Location: BT, Unit 7, Room 3, Innovation Place, Delta Bank, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE11 9DJ http://local.live.com/?v=2&sp=Point.t4t652gvtvyw_NE11%209DJ%20(postcode)%2C%20United%20Kingdom___&encType=1

Price: FREE

To register go to : http://www.vbug.com/Events/November-2007/VBUG-Developing-on-the-Windows-Live-Platform-with-Martin-Parry.aspx

Categories: Events | Microsoft | VBUG
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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 http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7341022

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:



MCTS

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Disclaimer

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

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