Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Oracle .NET Developer Center

Because of positive feedback from the community, we decided to use the Oracle Data Provider instead of the one shipped with .NET. You can download the provider, including a bunch of Visual Studio add-ins from the Oracle .NET Developer Center site.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A guided tour of Windows Presentation Foundation

Since this year's PDC, the graphical subsystem previously referred to as Avalon is now called Windows Presentation Foundation. If you want to know more about what this means for us developers, check out this 30-page article. It provides a comprehensive overview and a lot of code examples on how it can be used best.

C# 3.0 language enhancements in action

While browsing the MSDN site, I ran into this lab that provides a surprisingly detailled hands-on experience with C# 3.0 and LINQ. I read the article, and as far as I understand it, the major features of C# 3.0 include the ability to write less code for the same constructs, and an abstract query language that may potentially elliminate SQL.
Well, you can't blame Microsoft for being slow.... Visual Studio 2005 is not even released yet...

Mono on a Nokia 770

Apparently, one of the developers of Mono (the open-source port of the .NET framework) has managed to run a console-based .NET application on a Nokia 770! Check out this site for more info.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Congratulations to....myself

Well, today is one of those days... I became 32 years old. Happy birthday to myself :-)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Windows Vista at the PDC

If you're into Windows Vista, and you want to prepare yourself for the hundreds of PDC presentations that Microsoft will make available in the coming days (I assume...), check out the article Lighting Up On Windows Vista. It provides an overview of the various new aspects of Vista and the corresponding PDC presentations.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Finding the right reporting solution

Within one of our projects we are in the process of selecting a reporting solution to can match Microsoft Access's reporting functionality. A couple of weeks ago, a Microsoft product manager gave a presentation on Sql Server 2005 and its Reporting Services. Today, a representative of Business Objects, the company that bought Crystal Decisions (known by their infamous Crystal Reports), gave a demonstration of Business Objects XI (pronounced as Ex-Eye). I was quite impressed by their .NET integration. You may have seen the Crystal Reports stuff that you get for free with VS.NET, but they have taken that package to a higher level. They provide a fully documented native .NET object model, a fancy Office 2003-like report designer, support for almost any kind of data source you may need, and various client/server mixtures. I'm eager to find out how those packages deliver their promises in reality. Will be continued....

The PDC as we speak...

Maybe you've missed it, but in case you did, the 2005 Professional Developers Conference is ongoing as we speak. Check out the site and get updated on the latest Visual Studio 2005 and Longhorn articles, webcasts, and announcements. And while you're on it, ensure you assign MSDN Blogs as your start page and read what all those Microsoft developers and architects want to share with the community.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Visual Studio 2005 Release Candidate Available for Download

If you're lucky, and you have an MSDN subscription, then you can now download the release candidate of Visual Studio 2005. It seems that this is the last public release until the final version becomes available.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Attach to process....doesn't work

In one of my customer's VS.NET solutions, we use IIS to host a .NET Remoting object. Somehow, VS.NET fails to attach to IIS when we debug our client application (which in this case is a Windows Forms application). Luckely, James Avery's Visual Studio Hacks pointed me at a macro that allows us to attach to the ASP.NET worker process (e.g. through a keyboard shortcut). However, for me, it doesn't work. At first I got a warning that that process does not contain unmanaged code. But successive attempts did not provide any warning at all....

Visual Studio Hacks

I recently bought the book Visual Studio Hacks by James Avery (published by O'reilly). It is a great collection on tips & tricks on Visual Studio 2003. It even includes a set of tips for the upcoming Visual Studio 2005. I was also happy to see that he recomments most of the 3rd party tools I use as well (e.g. Ghostdoc, Resharper). If you really want to get the most out of your development environment, check out that book.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

.NET Remoting Security and hosting in IIS

In the last couple of days, I've suffered from some frustrating security issues related to a .NET Remoting object hosted in IIS. My current customer uses reasonably locked down development systems, and noone seems to know the real details of the security configuration. Fortunately, the article Building Secure ASP.NET Application shed some light on the .NET/IIS security model allowing me to workaround the issues.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Choosing an interprise integration solution

Microsoft has published the article Understanding Microsoft Integration Technologies. Once in a while I find myself having that creepy feeling when I discover that there is another Microsoft product that I don't know yet. This article provides a nice overview on MS's vision on enterprise integration, including the place of Biztalk 2006, Indigo, and SQL Server 2005.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Enterprise Integration with BizTalk 2004

Maybe you have heard of Enterprise Integration Patterns. It's a pattern language for common solutions for integrating cross-platform application and systems. BizTalk is one of those products dedicating their lives to enterprise integration. This great article written by people from ThoughtWorks provides a nice real-life example of usage of those patterns and possible implementation using BizTalk 2004.

Expensive exceptions or not...

One of things that I've always believed in is that throwing exceptions introduces a significant performance penalty. However, according to the article Performance Implications of Exceptions in .NET, in reality it is not that bad at all. I haven't studied the exact context of the article, so take your own judgement.