Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

It's all about community!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Threading just got a whole lot easier with VS2005

    One of the great new components in VS2005 is the BackgroundWorker component, which makes writing threaded applications a whole lot easier. There's a new article up on MSDN that explains its use and shows some sample code.
  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Celebrity Opportunity in Adelaide

    I've spent the last couple of days with the one and only Dave Glover at some Indigo training being run here in the MS Sydney office. Dave's got to miss the final day tomorrow as he's off to Adelaide to MC at the opening of the new Adelaide office of dotNet Solutions, run by the brains (and the brawn) behind the Canberra .NET user group, John and Athena. If you want to see Dave at the top of his form, drop Athena a note and she'll give you all the details.
  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    C# Express Starter Kit Customisation Article Posted


    I've just uploaded an article I wrote about customising one of the starter kits in the C# Express edition of Beta 2 for the July 2005 edition of International Developer Magazine.

    This month was a great month for C# Express exposure with 3 of the top computer mags in the country including it on their cover CD and devoting as many as 4 pages to a walk-through tutorial. Kudos to Finula for making this possible, and extra kudos to International Developer, Atomic and PC Authority for carrying the stories.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    MapPoint Web Services Presentation and Code Posted


    Last week I was in Canberra presenting at the Lunchtime and Late Afternoon sessions of the User Group. Athena's just pinged me to say that she's posted the slides and code here. Enjoy!

    Update - I've also got a detailed walk-through document for the demo I used as part of the presentation.

    BTW, I'll be presenting this stuff in Adelaide on July 13 and in Sydney on July 20th if you're interested in seeing it.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    WORKAROUND - VS2005 Beta2 Keyboard Stops Responding


    I was presenting to the Canberra Avanade .NET developers last Wednesday and was bitten (again) by the Keyboard Stops Responding issue that Peter (note his new blog URL) reported. I've never been able to repro it consistently, but it's bitten me a number of times.

    There was a bloke in the audience (sorry, didn't catch the name) who told me a workaround.

    With the cursor in the code window, press Alt+Enter and BINGO! all's good again.


    Bill pointed out (via his Blog because he couldn't post a comment here for some reason although the new site has been undergoing some pretty heavy maintenance over the last little while, so that may have something to do with it), that I'm about a week late with this post. Bill Vaughn had posted the workaround 7 days before I did.

    Thanks B1 and B2. BTW, on B1's advice, I've now subscribed to B2's blog as well.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    VSTS Webcasts Posted


    I know what I'm going to be doing for the next little while ...

    VSTS Webcast Series


    The following Webcasts were recently recorded be members of the product team and are an excellent resource for exploring VSTS a bit deeper than usual.

    All Webcasts are publicly accessible on MSDN:


    Visual Studio 2005 Team System: Enterprise-Class Version Control

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System (VSTS) provides a completely new, highly scalable and robust version control system. This webcast details the many new features of VSTS version control including shelving, check-in policy and support for distributed development work.

    Presenter: Doug Neumann, Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation


    How and Why Process Guidance Matters in Visual Studio 2005 Team System

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System (VSTS) allows teams to select a process template to shape how the team works together. This session will help you understand key considerations in selecting the template best suited to your team and the project you are working on. Learn how process templates affect the way VSTS works and why it is important for your team to select the appropriate process for your projects. 

    Presenter: Bindia Hallauer, Senior Product Manager, Microsoft Corporation


    Enterprise Project Management and Reporting in Visual Studio 2005 Team System

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System (VSTS) provides all the suite tools to pour data into a central data warehouse. This webcast shows how to use Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services to generate real-time and historical reports on the many facets of your project. We also show many of the ready to run reports built into VSTS. 

    Presenter: Allen Clark, Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation


    Test-Driven Development Using Visual Studio Team System

    Why test-driven development? Although developers have been unit testing their code for years, tests are typically performed after the code is designed and written. As a great number of developers can attest, writing tests after the fact is difficult to do and often omitted when time runs out. Test-driven development attempts to resolve this problem and produce higher quality, well-tested code by putting the cart before the horse and writing the tests before we write the code. This webcast demonstrates how you can use Microsoft Visual Studio Team System to implement test-driven development in your organization.

    Presenter: Jim Newkirk, Development Lead, Microsoft Corporation


    Implementing and Customizing MSF 4.0 Process Guidance within Visual Studio 2005 Team System

    Visual Studio Team System provides a rich environment and integrated support for software development processes. While this new development platform ships with two predefined software development processes, some organizations will choose to incorporate their own "secret sauce" to add competitive advantage. This presentation and demonstration will show you how to make modifications to the existing processes, Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) for Agile Software Development and MSF for Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Process Improvement, as well to incorporate your software development process into Microsoft Visual Studio Team System. 

    Presenter: Randy Miller, Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation


    Managing Work with Visual Studio 2005 Team System (Level 400)

    How does the Microsoft Visual Studio team track and manage their work? This session and explores how various teams at Microsoft use Visual Studio Team System to customize work item types, create queries and set up notifications to facilitate teamwork and visibility. Learn how to use state model transitions to automate workflow throughout the team, and use rich history logging to collaboratively solve problems and communicate progress. See how Team System allows you to analyze and trend historical information to view project progress and track status. 

    Presenter: Kevin Kelly, Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation


  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    VC# Express Beta2 and MapPoint WebService (oh man!)


    I'm currently working on an article introducing C# Express edition for one of the local developer magazines and my plan was to take the ScreenSaver example that ships with the product and extend it a little. In particualr, I wanted to introduce the concept of calling web services. Instead of using a folder with images as the background for the screensaver, I wanted to pull down a map centred on an address that the user entered into the options dialog (and then verified via MapPoint's FindServiceSoap service).

    So, I added a reference to the MapPoint wsdl and away I went. Things started getting strange when I called the service. In particular, I'd get an exception:

    Server did not recognize the value of HTTP Header SOAPAction:­-30/FindAddress. 

    Long story short, what it looks like is happenning is that the WSDL generator that generates reference.cs is not handling the fact that MapPoint has 4 services defined in the WSDL (Common, Find, Render and Route), that is to say, it's kind of recognising the fact in that it generates stubs for all of those services and their methods and data types, it just gets it wrong.

    Each of the services needs a separate URL to call the methods, but the code just seems to use the first one it finds in the WSDL (in this case, the URL for the Common service) . There's only one entry in the Settings where there should be four and the Reference.cs code only uses that one setting.

    To fix this manually, add the following settings to the Settings.Settings (You'll obviously need to change ScreenSaver1 to the name of your project, or call it whatever you want, as long as you reference it correctly in Reference.cs)

    Name Type Scope Value
    ScreenSaver1_net_mappoint_staging_FindService (Web Service URL) Application
    ScreenSaver1_net_mappoint_staging_RouteService (Web Service URL) Application
    ScreenSaver1_net_mappoint_staging_RenderService (Web Service URL) Application

    Now open up Reference.cs (easiest way to do this is to right-click on one of the web service objects and choose Go To Definition) and fix the settings for each of the 3 services

    public RenderServiceSoap() {
       this.Url = ScreenSaver1.Properties.Settings.Default.ScreenSaver1_net_mappoint_staging_CommonService;


    public RenderServiceSoap() {
       this.Url = ScreenSaver1.Properties.Settings.Default.ScreenSaver1_net_mappoint_staging_RenderService;
    public RouteServiceSoap() {
       this.Url = ScreenSaver1.Properties.Settings.Default.ScreenSaver1_net_mappoint_staging_CommonService;


    public RouteServiceSoap() {
       this.Url = ScreenSaver1.Properties.Settings.Default.ScreenSaver1_net_mappoint_staging_RouteService;


    public FindServiceSoap() {
       this.Url = ScreenSaver1.Properties.Settings.Default.ScreenSaver1_net_mappoint_staging_CommonService;


    public FindServiceSoap() {
       this.Url = ScreenSaver1.Properties.Settings.Default.ScreenSaver1_net_mappoint_staging_FindService;

    I'm sure this will be fixed during the Beta process.

    Hope this helps some folk.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    New MSDN Article - Configuring ClickOnce Trusted Publishers


    One of the neat things ClickOnce allows you to do is deploy a ticket with the app that gives it more CAS permissions that would otherwise be the case based on the source of the download. This article gives a bunch of info about how to actually do it.

    ClickOnce security allows you to take advantage of the runtime security protections provided by Code Access Security, while still allowing a dynamic determination of permissions for a particular application at the point where the application is deployed through ClickOnce.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Proposed MDEC Australia Agenda


    We're well into the planning phases for MDEC2005 in Melbourne (June 20) and Sydney (June 22). Here's almost the final agenda for the day. What I'd like is a sanity check. Have I missed anything obvious, is there too much of anything? Feedback apprectaied either via contact me or via the comments engine.

    Time Track 1 Track 2
    8:00 - 9:00 Registration
    9:00 - 10:30 Keynote
    10:30 - 11:10 Break and divide room into 2 tracks
    11:10 - 12:25 A Platform on the Move: The .NET Compact Framework* Introduction to Windows Embedded
    12:25 - 13:15 Lunch with Sponsor sessions
    13:15 - 14:25 Introduction to Managed Development for Devices with Visual Studio 2005* Building Trustworthy Windows XP Embedded Devices
    14:25 - 15:40 Developing High Performance Applications with the .NET Compact Framework What's New with MapPoint Web Service 4.0?*
    15:40 - 16:00 Break
    16:00 - 17:15 New Managed Messaging, State, and Notification APIs in Windows Mobile SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition : The Evolution of SQL Server CE

    * Local speaker

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Why would you go to a User Group?


    Recently I was asked, what is it that developers get out of belonging to a User Group? I listed three things. First is the opportunity to interact with other people with a similar set of interests and skills. Software development is an inherently solitary profession, but smart people (and pretty much all the software developers I've met fall into this category) like to both learn from and impart knowledge to others. Another way of saying this is that developers are vain and boastful and love showing off their stuff. However, it's no fun showing off your latest creation to people who only understand one word in every three you say. Either way, user groups are a great platform for this.

    Secondly, user groups provide excellent technical training, often covering topics that a developer may not have considered exploring on his or her own. Many developers have told me of an "ah-ha!" moment they've had when some obscure connection between the presentation they've been sitting in and a project they've been working on suddenly becomes apparent. User groups are an ideal forum for this cross-pollination.

    Finally (and somewhat related to the previous point), user groups provide a platform for professional networking. Being seen as an expert in a particular field, either by presenting on that topic or by answering questions on it at a user group, can be a great introduction next time someone is looking for such an expert.

    Do you belong to a User Group? If so, have I included the reasons you go along? If not, why not?

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