Archives / 2006 / June
  • ASP.NET Sandbox Projects

    Ambrose posted about the ASP.NET Sandbox yesterday (which I saw in my daily DotNetSlackers new email), which prompted me to have another look at it.  Read Ambrose’s post first – he gives a nice overview of what’s there. The list includes some projects that have had big press, like Web Application Projects and Web Deployment Projects, but there are also some less-well-known projects in the works including BLINQ, which ScottGu demo’d at TechEd, and a nice Table Profile Provider that stores user profile data in a more accessible manner than the default SqlProfileProvider.  I haven’t had a chance to get either of these working myself but I’ve … more

  • TechSmith at TechEd

    I love TechSmith - they have some extremely cool tools including my favorite, Camtasia, which is the de facto standard for creating screencasts and coding/presentation videos (like the Atlas videos now on  I finally got a chance to meet up with TechSmith Chief Evangelist Betsy Weber, whom I’ve worked with via email for years, and she posted a picture of us on Flickr:  Incidentally, Betsy and TechSmith are great when it comes to community support.  If you’re a user group leader or presenter, you should check out their offers of free stuff for your group/audience, here. more

  • TechEd Boston - What's Up With All the Cows?

    So, all week at Boston I’ve seen these cows all over the city, and have been wondering what, if any, significance they have.  I finally broke down and did some searching and found this: more

  • Caching Birds of a Feather

    I hosted a Caching Best Practices Birds of a Feather today at Tech Ed.  The attendance was not quite as great as I’d hoped but wasn’t terrible - about 15–20 people came.  Overall I think it went reasonably well, with a number of people having questions and plenty of others with good experience to share.  I talked about some of my favorite caching tips, tricks, and less-well-known ASP.NET caching features, and I hope everyone who came got some value from the session.  Given the low-ish attendance numbers, I probably won’t submit it as a BOF for future TechEd/PDC events, though. If you didn’t make it or you were there and don’t have the … more

  • Atlas, IIS7, and BLINQ

    Scott Guthrie presented on Atlas and BLINQ this afternoon at TechEd.  The latest Atlas bits seem to be coming along very nicely, allowing standard ASP.NET controls to be decorated with functionality without the need to replace or modify the original controls.  One nice concequence of this “add on” nature of the tool is that it can be used to correct deficiencies that were present when ASP.NET 2.0 shipped.  For instance, drag-and-drop of SharePoint Web Parts for FireFox did not make it in the November 2005 RTM, but with a reference to the Atlas library on the SharePoint page, this is corrected. Microsoft is working on an Atlas Control Toolkit, with community … more

  • Tech Ed 2006 Summary

    I haven’t posted in a bit, so let me summarize what I’ve been doing the last few days, apart from going to various parties and staying out late. Monday I went to several Regional Director connect meetings with various Microsoft teams – didn’t make it to any sessions.  I spent about an hour with SoftArtisans learning about how their OfficeWriter product integrates with Microsoft SQL Reporting Services, which has really got me excited about he potential of that product (both SoftArtisans’ product and SSRS).  I still haven’t written my first SSRS report, but I have a feeling I will by the end of next week.  And OfficeWriter is a … more

  • Keynote Notes For Developers

    In the latter half of the keynote there was one small piece for developers, showing off Expression Interactive Designer (which integrates nicely with ASP.NET and VS.NET) and the new Visual Studio 2005 Team System For Database Professionals, which they have about 4,000 cds with the first CTP bits on them that will be handed out later today.  The v1 story for VSTO:DB is going to include SchemaCompare, DataCompare, Unit Testing, an improved SQL Editor for Visual Studio, and Database Source Control.  It will not include Intellisense, but I’ve grown to like SqlPrompt from Red Gate (and you can’t beat the price – it’s free for a limited time).  Another tool … more

  • TechEd Keynote

    Choloe O’Brien from 24 has been the highlight of the keynote so far.  There’ve been several 4–minute videos following the 24 format (dubbed “4”) which were pretty humorous.  The main gist of the keynote so far as been security and availability via server systems.  As a developer, I haven’t seen much yet, although they did talk a bit about Windows Live Authentication and how it will hopefully become Federated such that businesses can participate in this authentication process.  Hopefully this Passport redux will do better as a member of Live than it did as the Forefront of Hailstorm. Speaking of Forefronts, another major product being … more

  • Google Spreadsheets Announced

    From Online Media Daily: Google Unveils Spreadsheet App by Shankar Gupta, Wednesday, Jun 7, 2006 6:00 AM ET IN A MOVE THAT GIVES consumers another reason to use Google for more than just Web searches, the company Tuesday released a spreadsheet program into a closed beta test. The new Google application not only allows users to post data to a Web-based spreadsheet, but also enables users to share the data with each other online, and to chat using Google Talk while editing the document. Users can then save the edits to a Google-hosted spreadsheet, or export them into an Excel format. Users can also upload spreadsheets in the Excel format to Google Spreadsheets, and … more

  • Al-Zarqawi Eliminated

    Great news for Iraq – Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in a raid north of Baghdad recently.  His own organization has confirmed the news (of course vowing to continue killing innocent Iraqis, etc. etc.). More from MSNBC: Al-Zarqawi and seven aides, including spiritual adviser Sheik Abdul Rahman, were killed Wednesday evening in a remote area 30 miles northeast of Baghdad in the volatile province of Diyala, just east of the provincial capital of Baqouba, officials said. Baqouba is not far from where I was stationed, and Diyala was the province we covered while we were there.  I wonder how far from the little town of Balad Ruz this would be, since that would be just east of … more

  • Atlas Charting Goodness

    I really love charts and statistics.  Give me a decent reporting application and I can spend all kinds of time analyzing data this way and that, looking for trends.  The problem is, usually you have to have a separate reporting interface, away from your main application, which limits its usability.  One reason for this is that charts take up a lot of room, and so you don’t want to detract from your app’s limited UI space with charts unless the user is looking for charts (in which case you expect them head for the reports area).  But, let’s face it, we users are a lazy bunch, so often times we won’t check reports as often as we ought unless … more

  • Debugging Tips and VS 2005 Code Snippets

    Last week I published two new articles on Visual Studio Debugging Tips and Tricks – which shows how to use some attributes to make your debugging experience much easier with Visual Studio. Using Visual Studio 2005 Code Snippets to Write Better Code Faster – which demonstrates the new code snippets features in VS 2005, which allows simple keywords to be used to generate code, from the simple to the complex.  At the very least, you should check these out for properties — type “prop” inside a class and tab (twice in C#, once in VB).  Nice, eh?  Read the whole article for more, and check out for a bunch of … more

  • Adobe, PDF, Microsoft, and Office

    Office 2007 won’t include Save As PDF by default, but you can still get it as a free download.  More information here – I’ll save the analysis for others. more

  • Announcing Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals

    This morning (09:00 PST, Wednesday May 31st 2006) the Visual Studio Team System team announced the availability of a brand product in the Team System family.   Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals delivers a market-shifting database development product designed to manage database change, improve software quality through database testing and bring the benefits of Visual Studio Team System and life cycle development to the database professional. It delivers on Microsoft’s commitment to provide tools that reduce communication barriers and complexity across software development teams and fulfils increasing demand in the market for more advanced database change … more