Patrick\’s Bytes

29, April 2008

Windows XP Service Pack 3

Filed under: Windows,Windows XP — patrickyong @ 4:25 pm

Was testing the beta some time ago. Today its released to public via website and Windows Update.

I didn’t feel any performance improvement as speculated by some, but its worthwhile to note that SP3 has need security features (which helps verify you are indeed connected to the intended computer) for you to remote connect to Windows Server 2008 and also Vista.

For developers WinXP SP3 comes with Microsoft Management Console (MMC) 3.0 which you can create .NET based plugin to.

Download it directly.

PC Magazine’s review

More info from Microsoft

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26, April 2008

Using LINQ to SQL as data contract for WCF/ Web Service

Filed under: .NET Programming,LINQ,Visual Studio 2008 — patrickyong @ 8:27 am

LINQ to SQL greatly enhance our coding productivity but when it comes to serialization of the object (means using LINQ to SQL Object as data contract) for used in WCF as data contracts, its a headache as it does not really support binary or XML serialization out of the box.

The immediate solution is to create your own data contract and copy the data from your LINQ to SQL object to properties in the data contract. This approach is good as a quick fix but it is counter productive of retyping everything. On the mean time I think there us overhead of doing so as well.

So the solution is write a native helper class to take care of the serialization using reflection (I bet you will complain there is overhead using reflection as well!) but it up to you as I found somewhere in Code Project the solution to do this is published.

http://www.codeproject.com/KB/dotnet/linqsqlserialization.aspx

24, April 2008

BizTalk 2006 R3 details released

Filed under: Biztalk,Workflow — patrickyong @ 2:04 pm

Steven Martin posted on his blog that the next version of BizTalk Server will be BizTalk 2006 R3. You can get more info from his blog. But it doesn’t seem like the BizTalk vNext that people talk about with integration of Windows Workflow Foundation. That could just maybe happen in Oslo timeframe?

http://blogs.msdn.com/stevemar/default.aspx

Will be released in calendar year 2009 and since it will support .NET Framework 3.5 I guess development will be done on Visual Studio 2008.

Those keen to check out how latest version of BizTalk helps to realize the SOA vision can apply for beta testing at http://connect.microsoft.com

18, April 2008

OpenXML Software Developer Kits Beta released

Filed under: OpenXML — patrickyong @ 6:34 am

Now that OpenXML got accepted as an ISO standard, the next thing for developers is how they can build application using the file format. There are tons of samples out there showing how to do it with any ZIP APIs (such as .NET System.IO.Packaging) and XML APIs but it is not so productive for this approach.

The better way would be someone (not just Microsoft) to come out with APIs or namely SDKs to give developers an easy way to manipulate the file format. Long awaited ones is  the .NET and Java SDK for OpenXML and they have released refreshed version of their SDKs.

The .NET based OpenXML Format SDK is developed by Microsoft and has LINQ for XML capabilities; which make it very productive. You can check out Erika’s blog post for more information. This SDK will have a version 1.0 RTM somewhere around May, and then follow up by works on version 2.0.

Then the second one is the open sources OpenXML4J APIs. This Java based SDK is a community effort (some blog even mentioned the involvement of developers from the POI project). It was in Alpha stage for sometime until I worry about it not moving forward anymore, but on 10 Apr 2008, they released the Beta version. Best of all they have came out with a roadmap.

16, April 2008

ASP.NET 3.5 Extension Training Kit Download

Filed under: Ajax,ASP.NET,ASP.NET 3.5 Extension,MVC Framework — patrickyong @ 2:54 pm

Build on top of the popular Visual Studio 2008 Training Kit, ASP.NET 3.5 Extension was released a few days ago.

ASP.NET 3.5 Extension will be part of .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 and it covers the following technologies:

  1. ASP.NET MVC (Model-View-Controller) – Think Java Struts
  2. ASP.NET Dynamic Data – Think about Rails scaffolding ability and this could be the bullet train. 🙂
  3. ASP.NET Control for Silverlight
  4. ADO.NET Entity Framework
  5. ADO.NET Data Services
  6. and more ASP.NET AJAX stuffs

Download the Training Kit here and the SDK here.

You can also go here for the landing page with more info and links to forums.

S+S with Outlook 2003

Filed under: Outlook,Visual Studio 2008,VSTO — patrickyong @ 12:01 am

While I am helping Tang to do a S+S Outlook addin, his customer is looking at integration with a back end database and also simple workflow.

Developing such an addin for Outlook 2007 would have easy with the Outlook 2007 S+S blueprint but the customer still running Outlook 2003. Late last night I managed to dig thru MSDN and found an article showing me just how to do it with Outlook 2003 and Visual Studio Tools for Office. http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa537181.aspx

image 

As per screenshot above, it shows you how to add a custom command bar into Outlook, and also how to trigger Windows Form from Outlook. But the cool thing here is the sample showing you how to create a custom folder under Inbox showing your own set of data. While not as slick as what you can do in Outlook 2007, it is good enough for most people out there. 🙂

15, April 2008

Community Server 2008 launched [w/SharePoint integration?]

Filed under: CommunityServer,Sharepoint — patrickyong @ 11:53 pm

Community Server is a portal server with forums, blogs and wikis built on .NET platform. The latest 2008 version just came out and is available for download. One of the features mentioned in the release note is integration with Exchange, Active Directory and SharePoint. There is a disclaimer though that SharePoint integration will come later. But it is rather interesting what kind of integration work they plan to have in CS with MOSS.

TechEd South East Asia 2008

Filed under: Tech.Ed 2008 SEA — patrickyong @ 8:37 am

Mother of all geek’s conference, Tech.Ed is back to KLCC Convention Centre again this year on 11-14 August. There is an early bird ticket of RM699 and to buy just click on the banner above.

With waves of products launch this year (i.e. Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008, Windows Mobile 6.1, Silverlight) it is guaranteed there will be tonnes of contents from our “ang mor” speakers from US and Australia. Of course don’t just come for ang mor, but also catch what our local speakers share about. Some of them whom are MVPs still at MVP Summit in US so I also hope they will bring back cool stuff to share about.

14, April 2008

First Impression: SharePoint Products & Technologies Protocols Documentation

Filed under: .NET Programming,ASP.NET,Interop,Sharepoint,Silverlight,Windows — patrickyong @ 12:13 pm

I just started reading the SharePoint Products and Technologies Protocol Documentation today, quite interesting and profound to found out the level of details released under this document. All the specification of protocols (sometimes I would like to call it APIs) used by SharePoint from system behaviors, WSDL, XML Schemas, managed (and/or unmanaged) APIs as well as Stored Procedures used by SharePoint. Technologies from CAML, SharePoint list, view, search, workflow, administration all the way to the user interface is pretty well covered in this set of documents.

For Microsoft partners it opens up a whole new opportunities for them to build applications on top of SharePoint. (Almost) gone are the time when we try to figure out why SharePoint behave a certain way and there are no official documents to look at. Most of the time we resort to word by word advices from fellows developers in the forum. Imagine now it is possible for developers to write application (esp. those with different client platform) to works seamlessly with Microsoft SharePoint platform.

https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=5e94ad07-902c-422f-aadd-ff2bba9e540a&DisplayLang=en

Besides SharePoint technologies, Microsoft also release Protocol documentations for Windows(incl. .NET Framework), Office and Exchange and also XAML (the markup language for Windows Presentation Foundation and Silverlight); all of these fall under the so called High Volume Products from Microsoft.

11, April 2008

Disposing resources for SharePoint developers

Filed under: Sharepoint — patrickyong @ 4:07 am

Although SharePoint 3.0/ 2007 (MOSS and WSS) is built on top of ASP.NET 2.0, there are still connection to unmanaged COM+ codes inside. Whenever you programmably playing around with SharePoint APIs, remember to dispose the SharePoint object instance.

Roger Lamb’s blog post here has very details explanation on this subject even it has been mentioned again and again before.

http://blogs.msdn.com/rogerla/archive/2008/02/12/sharepoint-2007-and-wss-3-0-dispose-patterns-by-example.aspx

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