Standing on the shoulders of giants. RSS 2.0
# Monday, August 11, 2008

Earlier today .NET Framework 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008 SP 1 were released. I wrote about the new features earlier and this still looks like an amazing service pack. Some of the highlights:

  1. The improved performance of the installation of the service pack compared to the vs2005 sp. And the fact that the final sp will install over the beta, no need to uninstall. Update: The final version won't install over the Beta SP, you have to run the "Service Pack Preparation Tool" first.
  2. Inclusion of the Entity Framework, this is no longer a separate download. Some of the fixes in this version of the Entity Framework include support for SQL Server 2008 and improved support for iterative development (the "Update model from database" wizard).
  3. Inclusion of ADO.NET Data Service Framework (Astoria)
  4. Improvements to DataContracts in WCF. The serializer now supports types that aren't annotated with any serialization attributes and better support for object references (and circular references) in DataContracts.

Update: the MSDN Library for Visual Studio 2008 SP1 is also available for download.

Monday, August 11, 2008 10:47:42 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0] - Trackback
Development | Visual Studio 2008
# Thursday, August 07, 2008

Justin Etheredge from CodeThinked is writing a series about learning IronRuby. After showing how to set up IronRuby on your environment and how to run an application, he shows how to create classes, with properties and methods and how to interact with basic collections (arrays and hashes).

While it does not (yet) have the depth of Why's (poignant) guide to ruby, it certainly is a good starting point for any C# developer interested in learning Ruby.

Thursday, August 07, 2008 8:44:20 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0] - Trackback
# Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Last Friday another batch of session for PDC2008 was posted, increasing the count to 84. Still missing are sessions about the next version of Office and MOSS (v14), but there are plenty of other interesting sessions; it will be hard to choose from all the sessions. The highlights of the new sessions (also see this and this earlier post):

Concurrency Runtime Deep Dive: How to Harvest Multicore Computing Resources
Parallel Programming for Managed Developers with the Next Version of Microsoft Visual Studio
With multi-core processors and cloud-computing becoming mainstream, concurrency and parallel computing will become a requirement for more performant software.

Developing Applications Using Data Services

Modeling Data for Efficient Access at Scale
Scalable, Available Storage in the Cloud
SQL Server Data Services: Futures
Storing data in the cloud has a number of unique challenges in availability, security and efficient access.

A Lap around "Oslo"
"Oslo": The Language
There has been a lot of buzz around "Oslo"; it will be interesting to see how the vision translates into a product.

Windows Workflow Foundation: Futures
Extending Windows Workflow Foundation v.Next with Custom Activities
Workflow Services
The future of Windows Workflow Foundation and the ability to run processes in the cloud should be very interesting.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 3:25:09 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0] - Trackback
Conference | PDC2008
# Monday, July 28, 2008

Tom Hollander has a series on how to get MSMQ, WCF and IIS to work in a mulit-server scenario; this is an extension to an earlier post about a pub/sub message bus using WCF and MSMQ.

  1. Part 1: basic setup: no security, no transactions, single server
  2. Part 2: advanced setup: transport security, no transactions, multi-server
  3. Part 3: final setup: transport security, transactional, multi-server

Notice how little you have to change in code, to switch from having your service listen on http to having it listen to a remote MSMQ and supporting transactions. This really shows how robust and powerful WCF is.

Monday, July 28, 2008 7:18:27 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0] - Trackback
# Saturday, July 26, 2008

When you mark a class as obsolete, you should also mark your class with the EditorBrowsable attribute to prevent it from showing up in IntelliSense.

[Obsolete("Old class no longer supported.")]
public class OldClass
Saturday, July 26, 2008 2:32:53 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0] - Trackback
# Thursday, July 17, 2008

Understanding Windows Cardspace This book (Understanding Windows CardSpace by Vittorio Bertocci, Garrett Serack and Caleb Baker) is not a guide how to implement Windows CardSpace in your website or webservice, but this book helps you understand the reasoning behind Windows CardSpace and how it fits in the Identity Metasystem. As such it is a much better book, than a book which just explains how to add a widget to your website to authenticate users, could ever be.

The parts of the book follow a logical structure. Part 1 discusses the problems we face on the Internet: identity theft, phishing and others and a technology independent solution is proposed. Finally in part 2 CardSpace is introduced and the implementation of CardSpace (both managed and self-issued) in websites and webservices is discussed. Part 3 shows the practical and business considerations when working with the Identity Metasystem and Windows CardSpace.

Even if you're a regular reader of Vittorio's blog, and are familiar with the Seven Laws of Identity, this book still has value. If you're not familiar with one or the other, you really should read this book, since it's the first book which really made me understand the problems we face on the Internet today with respect to identity and why and how Windows CardSpace provides a solution.

With the release of Zermatt this book really has proven it's value: Zermatt makes it much easier to implement a Security Token Service and a Relying Party, but it won't help you understand the concepts behind them or why you need to implement them (or not).

Thursday, July 17, 2008 12:29:21 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0] - Trackback
Development | Reading | Security
# Friday, July 11, 2008

16 more sessions have been announced for PDC2008, including some sessions about (the future of) languages:

An Introduction to F#
Learn about Microsoft's new language, F#, a typed functional programming language for the .NET Framework. F# combines functional programming with the runtime support, libraries, tools, and object model of .Net. Understand how F# asynchronous workflows help tame the complexity of parallel and asynchronous I/O programming and how to use F# in conjunction with tools such as Parallel Extensions for .NET.

The Future of C#
In this talk Microsoft Technical fellow and C# Chief Architect Anders Hejlsberg outlines the future of C#. He will describe the many forces that influence and shape the future of programming languages and explain how they fit into C#.

Deep Dive: Dynamic Languages in .NET
The CLR has great support for dynamic languages like IronPython. Learn how the new Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) adds a shared dynamic type system, a standard hosting model, and support for generating fast dynamic code. Hear how these features enable languages that use the DLR to share code with other dynamic and static languages like VB.NET and C#.

And a session about claims-based security:

Claims-Based Identity: A Security Model for Connected Applications
Claims based security is the underpinning of many applications, services, and servers. This model enables security features like: multiple authentication types, stronger authentication on-the-fly, and delegation of user identity between applications. Learn how to use this model in .NET, how it integrates with Active Directory, how it works across platforms, how it works with existing applications, and how we use it at Microsoft.

The complete list can be found on the Microsoft PDC 2008 site.

Friday, July 11, 2008 3:24:55 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0] - Trackback
Conference | PDC2008
# Monday, June 23, 2008

One of my projects from last year was nominated for and won the IWS, Search Partner of the Year award. We received the award for a project we did for the Dutch consultancy company Twynstra Gudde.

We created a system which allows the user to search through many different subsystems using the simplest interface we could design:


Under the surface the system combines the results from all of their back-end systems to give the user a complete view of all the information available relevant to their search query.


The search results are presented in way that allows a user to filter the results and find detailed pages (all red text is a link):

 Result page

I am very proud that I was part of the team to build this solution, which the client is very enthusiastic about and the Microsoft chose to honor with the Search Partner of the Year award!

Microsoft press release

Tam Tam press release

Monday, June 23, 2008 9:05:39 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0] - Trackback
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