December 2010 Entries
Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 Beta Released!

Just thought I’d pass on the word that the Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 Beta is now available to download. VS2010 SP1 Beta ships with a go live license which means you can start using it for production work though I’m not sure I’m going to be that brave until I check it out a bit first.

Jason Zanders has a blog post outlining the new features/fixes included in the beta.

Here are a couple BREAKING news items you’ll want to TakeNote of…

VS2010 SP1 Beta BREAKS ASP.NET MVC 3 RC Razor IntelliSense. A new ASP.NET MVC 3 RC2 installer will be released very soon that will allow you to upgrade in-place.

VS2010 SP1 Beta BREAKS the Visual Studio Async CTP. A work around is being worked on but for now if you’re working with the Async CTP then stick with VS2010 RTM.

Have a day. Disappointed smile

Posted On Thursday, December 9, 2010 9:17 PM | Comments (0)
Windows Azure Training Kit (November 2010 Release Update)–Fantastic Azure training resource

At PDC 2010 in October Microsoft announced a number of new enhancements/features for Windows Azure. In case you missed it, these new enhancements/features have been released in the new Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio November release (v1.3). The Windows Azure team blog is an excellent resource for information about the new release.

Along with the new release the Azure team has also updated the Windows Azure Platform Training Kit. What is the Windows Azure Platform Training Kit you ask? It is a comprehensive set of hands-on training labs and videos designed to help you quickly get up to speed with Windows Azure, SQL Azure, and the Windows Azure AppFabric.

The training kit contains updated labs including a couple I would suggest you hit first.

Introduction to Windows Azure - updated to use the new Windows Azure platform Portal

Introduction to SQL Azure - updated to use the new Windows Azure platform Portal

The training kit contains a number of new labs as well including:

Advanced Web and Worker Role – shows how to use admin mode and startup tasks

Connecting Apps With Windows Azure Connect – shows how to use Project Sydney

Virtual Machine Role – shows how to get started with VM Role by creating and deploying a VHD

Windows Azure CDN – simple introduction to the CDN

Introduction to the Windows Azure AppFabric Service Bus Futures – shows how to use the new Service Bus features in the AppFabric labs environment

Building Windows Azure Apps with Caching Service – shows how to use the new Windows Azure AppFabric Caching service

Introduction to the AppFabric Access Control Service V2 – shows how to build a simple web application that supports multiple identity providers

Ok, that’s enough reading, go start learning!

Have a day. Disappointed smile

Posted On Wednesday, December 8, 2010 12:36 PM | Comments (0)
Free eBooks from Microsoft–We like free!

In a recent blog post I mentioned the availability of the Programming Windows Phone 7 ebook by Charles Petzold. Well I have good news, there are a number of additional FREE ebooks available from Microsoft to help you continue honing your tech skills.

Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010

Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

Own Your Future: Update Your Skills with Resources and Career Ideas from Microsoft

Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions (Second Edition)

First Look Microsoft Office 2010

Windows 7 troubleshooting tips

Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2

Deploying Windows 7, Essential Guidance

I, for one, appreciate Microsoft making these resources available for free. I think it demonstrates their interest making sure we as developers and I.T. professionals have the resources we need to effectively solve the business problems we encounter.

Have a day. Disappointed smile

Posted On Tuesday, December 7, 2010 9:03 AM | Comments (0)
Beginners Guide to Visual Studio LightSwitch makes it easy to take a closer look

Following up on my most recent post about LightSwitch I thought I’d keep you in the loop on a valuable LightSwitch resource. The Beginners Guide to Visual Studio LightSwitch provides a jump start to get you and the department-level-typical-Access-application-developing-power-user rolling with LightSwitch in no time. The guide is broken down into 4 easy to follow parts.

Beginners Guide to Visual Studio LightSwitch (Part – 1) – Working with New Data Entry Screen

Beginners Guide to Visual Studio LightSwitch (Part – 2) – Working with Search Screen

Beginners Guide to Visual Studio LightSwitch (Part – 3) – Working with Editable DataGrid Screen

Beginners Guide to Visual Studio LightSwitch (Part – 4) – Working with List and Details Screen

I mentioned it in my prior post but don’t forget to check out Beth Massi’s blog for additional information on Visual Studio LightSwitch.

Have a day. Disappointed smile

Posted On Tuesday, December 7, 2010 9:01 AM | Comments (1)
Visual Studio LightSwitch: Yes, these are the droids you’re looking for

With all the news and focus on the new features coming in Silverlight 5 I thought I’d take a few minutes to remind folks about the work that Microsoft has done on LightSwitch since the applications created by LightSwitch are Silverlight applications. LightSwitch makes it easier for non-coders to build business applications and easier for coders to maintain them.

For those not familiar with LightSwitch, it is a new tool that provides a easier and quicker way for coder and non-coder types alike to create line-of-business applications for the desktop, the web, and the cloud. The target audience for this tool are those power-user types who create Access applications for their organization. While those Access applications fill an immediate need, they typically aren’t very scalable, extendable and/or maintainable by the development staff of the organization. LightSwitch creates applications based on technologies built into Visual Studio thus making it easier for corporate developers to extend and maintain them.

LightSwitch is currently in beta but it will ultimately become a new addition to the Visual Studio line of products. Go ahead and download the beta to get a better idea of what the product can do for your organization.

The LightSwitch Developer Center contains

  • links to download the beta
  • links to instructional videos
  • links to tutorials
  • links to the LightSwitch Training Kit

Another quality resource for LightSwitch information is the Visual Studio LightSwitch Team Blog. My good friend Beth Massi is on the LightSwitch team and has additional valuable content on her blog.

Have a day. Disappointed smile

Posted On Monday, December 6, 2010 8:48 AM | Comments (2)
Silverlight Firestarter 2010 Keynote with Scott Guthrie: Silverlight has a bright future!

If you didn’t get chance to watch the Silverlight Firestart event live during the webcast it is available online to view now. If you’re a Silverlight developer or perhaps a shop actively planning on developing a Silverlight application then you’re going to want to watch this video.

The Silverlight 5 feature set unveiled during the keynote is fantastic! I particularly like Scott’s approach and comments on the future of Silverlight. I appreciated his open and direct acknowledgment that there has “been a lot of angst on this topic in the last few weeks” and he took the bull by the horns and stated “Let me say up front that there is a Silverlight future, and we think it’s going to be a very bright one.” That comment drew applause from the local audience and in our local viewing event held in Raleigh, NC.

Of course my first question was when can we get our grubby little hands on Silverlight 5 and start working with it. The answer unfortunately wasn’t “right now” but they did announce the Silverlight 5 beta will be available in the first half of 2011. Of course the following is pure speculation on my part but I wouldn’t be surprised if they made it available at a certain event in April 2011.

Additional information about the Silverlight 5 announcement is available on Scott’s blog.

Have a day. Disappointed smile

Posted On Saturday, December 4, 2010 10:38 AM | Comments (0)
Silverlight Firestarter Today!! Local viewing event in Research Triangle Park!

What is the Silverlight Firestarter is all about?

It is a one day, global, live streamed and on demand event keynoted by Scott Guthrie. It begins at 9am Pacific time. Yes, that noon for us east coasters here in the U.S.

It provides new self-paced labs and walk through videos.

It is interactive and you can ask the Silverlight product team questions during the event.

To me the really interesting part is going to be the opening keynote by Scott Guthrie.

Keynote : The Future of Silverlight

Be first to hear the official news about what’s coming up next for Silverlight from Scott Guthrie, Microsoft Corporate Vice President.

FYI… If you’re in the Research Triangle area and want to watch we some fellow nerds, we’re hosting a Firestarter viewing event this afternoon.

The Future of Silverlight Starts Now!
Come join Microsoft Regional Developer Jim Duffy and Microsoft MVP Rob Zelt as they host this free community event .

Thursday afternoon, December 2nd noon-5pm
Come interact with other local .NET developers and share your thoughts as we watch what Microsoft bigshots Scott Guthrie, Jesse Liberty, Yavor Georgiev, Dan Wahlin, John Papa, Tim Heuer, Mike Cook & Jossef Goldberg, Jaime Rodriguez present on the future of Silverlight.
For more info about the LIVE Streaming event please visit the Silverlight Firestarter site...

Corporate Software Training
One Copley Parkway
Suite 400 <------ 4th Floor
Durham, NC 27560

Posted On Thursday, December 2, 2010 10:29 AM | Comments (0)
Silverlight Nugget: TextBlock TextTrimming property

There are times when the amount of text to be displayed in a TextBlock just doesn’t fit and only the initial text that fits is displayed. Usually the user can detect this because they realize, based on the content, that something got chopped off but that isn’t always the case. For example, the following text could fit in a fairly narrow TextBlock:

“Never comment your code”

Unfortunately the rest of the sample sentence ,“Never comment your code if you want to keep your job”, doesn’t display and the user has no way of logically knowing they’re missing anything.

This is where the TextTrimming property comes in handy. Setting the TextTrimming property to WordEllipis will cause a “…” to appear at the end of the text.

XAML: <TextBlock Name="textBlock1" TextTrimming="WordEllipsis" />
Code: textBlock1.TextTrimming = TextTrimming.WordEllipsis;

The result is “Never comment your …” which visually indicates there is more text available than meets the eye.

Have a day. Disappointed smile

Posted On Wednesday, December 1, 2010 4:35 PM | Comments (0)