Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

It's all about community!

March, 2006

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Managing SQL Server Express


    I showed off integrating SQL Express with VFP at OzFox Lite last weekend, and as part of the presentation (515 KB), everyone got a copy of SQL Express (as well as all of the other Express products). I did mention it at the time, but a couple of people have asked me again. SQL Express doesn't ship with any management tools, so if you don't have a copy of SQL Server Management Studio you need to grab the SQL Server Management Studio Express tool.

    Update: Fixed the link to the PPT - Thanks Franklin
  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    How do I add rules to FxCop?


    At the Security Summit in Perth yesterday, I was asked about adding rules to FxCop. Coincidentally, the folks over at the FxCop blog have recently answered this very question.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    TFS MSSCCI Provider Update


    Brian Harry's posted an update about the availability of the next drop of the MSSCCI provider for TFS (should be some time in the week of April 3). This will allow you to use the TFS source control features from IDEs other than VS2005. The IDEs they've tested against so far are

    • Visual Studio .NET 2003
    • Visual C++ 6 SP6
    • Visual Visual Basic 6 SP6
    • Visual FoxPro 9 SP1
    • Microsoft Access 2003 SP2
    • SQL Server Management Studio 2005

    Many more IDEs than this support MSSCCI for integrated source control operations. Brian's asking users of those IDEs to check it out and let us know that (or whether) your favourite IDE works.

    Beyond features, we would like to have this MSSCCI provider work in as many hosts as possible.  We don't have the resources to go test each of the many dozens of hosts that support MSSCCI.  We're hoping that you, the community, will help us with this effort.  We'd really appreciate it if you would try out the TFS MSSCCI provider in as many IDEs as you can and let us know what you find.  Please report success or failure and any bugs that you find.  Also let us know what version of the IDE you have tested it against.  We're going to add a web page to our Developer Center that lists all of the IDEs that have been confirmed to work.  Help the community out and report your experiences!  You can do this by sending mail to  This email address should be active within 24 hours from the time of this posting.

     I certainly think it's worth taking Brian up on his challenge.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Analogy for explaining memory to computer novices


    My wife's in the process of revising a couple of her music theory workbooks at the moment. Her workhorse machine isn't really up to the task of running InDesign, Sibelius, Acrobat, Outlook and Word with its half GB of memory. Her system is paging a bunch of things on and off the HDD. I explained to her that even though she has 50+ GB free on her hard drive, she's run out of RAM. Of course, a glazed look greeted this mumbo-jumbo and I was forced to reassess my approach.

    I told her that the RAM was like her brain, she could only remember so much at any one time. If she wanted to remember other things, she could write them down in a book and put that book on a shelf. In this case, the shelf is the hard drive. To remember that thing, she'd need to go to the shelf and read the book, which takes much longer than just recalling it.

    She was pretty chuffed when I told her that by adding more RAM, we're going to increase the number of things she can remember without having to write them down.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    2-Day VSTS Training available in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane


    Frederique Dennison, the Microsoft Australia Partner Readiness Manager (until next week, that is) sent me a note about some VSTS training being delivered by local expert Anthony Borton (of Ready! tour fame). This is a great way to get up to speed fast with the new features of Team System and Team Foundation Server.

    Visual Studio 2005 Team System – KickStart 2 day workshop This fast-paced two day course provides partners with a solid overview of Visual Studio Team System 2005 and Team Foundation Server. The course combines instructor led sessions with hands-on exercises designed around real-world scenarios to ensure that participants are able to get up and running with VSTS rapidly.


    Register now



    I would like to ensure you are across the 2 day workshop we are currently offering as apart of partner readiness. This subsidised 2 day workshop ($715 inc GST) will be delivered by Anthony Borton and is scheduled in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane over the next few weeks.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Internet Safety for Kids


    Last night I presented to parents at my kids' school on the topic of "Internet Safety for Kids". This follows on from Jeff's great TechEd presentation last year, which in turn derives from the materials on Laura Chappell's great site. We had a great discussion afterwards and as promised, I've posted the presentation deck here.

    Please feel free to use this material (acknowledging Laura's work please) if you have a local group you think would benefit from this presentation.


    Here are the points I raised at the end of the presentation as the
    Bottom Line

    • Talk to your kids
      • Stranger Danger on the web
      • "We’re around and will look after you"
      • Use the online resources
    • Keep internet access in public location
      • Watch out for signs of hiding things
    • Don’t be afraid of the technology
    • Don’t rely on the technology alone

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    VFP Sedna March CTP Now Online


    Milind Lee has posted that the March CTP of Sedna, the add-on for VFP, is now available.

    We have released the first CTP (Community Technology Preview) of Sedna. This March 2006 CTP includes the latest build of NET4COM — a library of COM wrappers around a selected subset of the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0. We will release other CTPs periodically. Each CTP will have incrementally increasing functionality and latest builds of Sedna until we release a full public beta later this year.

     This is VERY cool stuff. not just for VFP aficionados (like me), but for anyone who is developing in a non-.NET environment from which you can call COM objects. Apparently there are a few that meet this description, for example, VB6 and VBA (not to stray too far from the stable). This approach is the same one I took when I wrapped the MapPoint Web Service functionality in a COM wrapper to make it easy to call from VFP.

    If you're still doing COM-based development, keep an eye on Sedna. While you're at it, you should also check out the complimentary community project, SednaX

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    OzFox Lite Rocks the house!


    Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend OzFox Lite, a Code-Camp-like event for VFP developers organised by the indefatigable Craig Bailey. 40 VFP aficionados from as far afield as Adelaide, Perth and even New Zealand descended on the MS HQ in Sydney for 2 days of sessions on VFP and other things. There was a special video keynote from Craig Boyd. Special guest speakers included Adam Cogan and Greg Low, Australia's two Microsoft Regional Directors, plus nearly a dozen other members of the community. Sunny Chandra was especially passionate and popular.

    It wasn't all tech talk of course, 20 of us went out to dinner on Saturday night and some hardy souls came back after that to play on the one X-Box 360 that MS didn't have down in Melbourne for hospitality at the Commonwealth Games.

    Great geek weekend and huge kudos to Craig.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Security Interchange in Brisbane - the word is YES!


    After kicking off at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday, we continued the sporting theme last night and had version II of the Security Interchange event at Ballymore in Brisbane.

    We had a great evening - highlights being Steve's famous "How do you know when you're done" question, Jamie's education of the audience (the word is "YES!") and some guy who was accused of being an amazing marketeer just because he was telling folks about the Security eForum website ( - I tell you, that hurt. Note that we'll be posting recording of all of the security Seminar (all day) sessions up on the eForum site after the last event in Auckland.

    These events have proved very popular with attendees - they're a very informal, interactive and a lot of fun. Questions from the audience, short (think 10 minutes) presentations as well as a great opportunity for networking and interaction during the dinner break.

    I promised that I'd post the blog addresses of the speakers (those that have 'em), so here they are:

    Don't forget that we'll be hosting some on-line chats with the Speakers over the next few weeks. Login and ask questions, or just hang out.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    2-Day BI Workshops. Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Adelaide


    Hot on the heels of the VSTS workshops, Frederique Dennison has mailed me about a series of BI workshops to be held in cities around Australia. These will be presented by Peter Myers (also of Ready! tour fame). Get 'em while they're hot!

    Jumpstart to Microsoft Business Intelligence – 2 day workshop

    This two day instructor-led workshop has been specifically designed to demonstrate how Business Intelligence can assist organizations to extract knowledge from data. With this knowledge, businesses can expect to make better, more informed, business decisions.

    Written and delivered by industry experts, this intensive workshop introduces common design methodologies together with lessons, demonstrations and student exercises that leverage the SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence platform. $650+GST 

    Register now=



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