Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

It's all about community!

August, 2005

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    MapPoint Web Service COM wrapper and VFP Sample


    I've been talking about this for a while, and I've finally uploaded a COM wrapper around the MapPoint Web Service and a sample VFP form that shows the Find and Render services. You can grab them both from Darren's most excellent ProjectDistributor site.

    To use them, you'll need a MapPoint WS eval account, or, if you're an MSDN subscriber Sign up for a MapPoint Web Service Developer Account. If you want to explore the SDK, you can get it here.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Free MCP Testing at TechEd Australia


    I only found out today (yes, maybe I have been living under a rock) that you’ll be able to do Free MCP exams at TechEd Australia.

    I’d suggest the approach I took a couple of weeks ago at our internal training conference in Seattle, TechReady. Sign up now (with the attitude “well, it costs nothing, so I may as well sit the exam”) and then as the date approaches, spend more and more of your waking hours studying for the exam. It’s amazing how much you learn, even about topics you might think you’re pretty familiar with. (I passed 70–305 BTW).

    There are 100 spots available in total, so sign up today!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    HP 6365 in the USA - another blonde moment.


    Susan is not the only one to have a blond moment with a phone recently.

    I brought my iPAQ 6365 Pocket PC Smart Phone to TechReady here in Seattle and ducked into the local T-Mobile shop for a pre-paid SIM (as a company policy, we don’t do global roaming). All good so far. The blurb said that the number takes 15 minutes to 24 hours to activate but the salesperson said that was closer to 5 minutes so I had the SIM in and was waiting for it to find the network. 4 hours later it was still not finding the network. I tested the SIM in Dave’s phone and it worked, so back to the shop and the salesperson. She futzed around with the phone for a while and then decided it needed to be escalated. I got the number for T-Mobile’s HP Data Support (even though pre-paid plans don’t come with data) and I rang them today at lunchtime. I spent 30 minutes on hold, got escalated again and then the epiphany! My quad-band phone is actually a dual-dual-band phone. I hadn’t seen this screen before, but Start|Settings|Phone Band gives you two radio buttons.

    O North America (850/1900) 
    O Europe, Asia (900/1800)

    Of course, my phone was on the Europe/Asia setting. Flicking it to North America made all the difference!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    My session at TechEds NZ and Australia


    I'm speaking in Auckland and on the Gold Coast next week at TechEds. I’m doing a SQL2005 demo in the keynote in Auckland (but that’s only 5–10 minutes worth). My real session is on Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the Microsoft Office System (or VSTO2k5 for short).

    VSTO is such a great concept. There are some things that really resonate with me from my time as a full-time developer. One is leveraging existing, well-understood applications like the Office suite to build additional functionality for a business. I'm sure that, like me, many developers have struggled with the options that have been available up to now. On one hand do you use a scripting approach with VBA? This gives great integration with the host application but leads to issues with extensibility, maintainability and security. Next, you could create COM components and call them from buttons or macros in the document or toolbar. This doesn't give the optimum integration experience and leaves you with that COM deployment headache. Finally, you could create a separate application that accesses the data in the Office app through automation. This gives you the maximum flexibility and security, but compromises on user experience because there needs to be a separate application running and context switches made by the user. Enter Visual Studio Tools for Office! Allowing a developer to build applications with the full power of the .NET framework and hosted within an Office document (or application, in the case of Outlook) means the best of both worlds. This is one of those technologies that has really made me nod my head and say "yes, I can see how that would work" and has had the same effect on all those to whom I've presented it.

    In Auckland, this session is called "DSK312 - Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the Office System: Building Office Solutions Using Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office" and will be on Wednesday, 31/08/2005 9:00:00 a.m. in Crowne Plaza Ballroom 2 (which holds up to 230). I am competing with Steve Riley for people at this session, so you may be able to find a seat.

    On the Gold Coast, the session is called "CLI310 Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the Office System: Building Office Solutions Using Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office - Andrew Coates" and will be on on Friday 2 September 10:45am - 12 pm. Note that this conflicts with Darren Neimke's IBF session (which is kind of a shame), but fear not. Darren's session will be repeated at lunchtime on Friday as it's already way over-subscribed. My recommendation is that you come to my session at 10:45 and get to Darren’s at lunchtime.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Great new secure development resource from the Patterns and Pracrices group.


    This just in from Brian Goldfarb:

    J.D. Meier and team have been busy at work building awesome ASP.NET 2.0 security content -- I posted some links earlier on my blog (, but here is an excellent "Security Practices at a Glance." 

    Specifically worth checking out is the "Index of Practices" which has all the links of solved problems. Bookmark it, learn it, love it :) and share it with everyone you know!


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