Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

It's all about community!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    CodeCampOz Day 0


    What do you get when you add 200 Geeks to a town like Wagga Wagga? CodeCampOz, of course. I got into town on Friday morning and found the local amenities. Then I headed out to meet Irfan, Phillip, Anthony and the rest of the staff at Charles Sturt University. As soon as I got there, I knew we were set for a treat. There were signs up directing people to CodeCamp and even chalk messages and arrows on the footpaths to make sure noone lost their way! Irfan and Phillip made me feel very welcome, with lunch at the staff club and a guided tour of some of the campus. It's a very pleasant place indeed.

    I went back out to the airport to collect Chuck, Greg and anyone else who needed to come back into town. Craig and Castro were on the same flight, as well as a bunch of other folk. We ducked into town and played "spot the geek" -- folks wandering around with branded clothing were easy, but some required a little more work.

    Back out to the Uni again to check that everything was in place. No need to worry though - the CSU team had thought of everything, including setting up WAPs for us so there was enough wireless for even an auditorium full of geeks with 2 devices each. We met Mitch and Darren there, as well as Geoff.

    Back into town and get ready to go out to dinner. About 20 of us ended up at Montezumas which, coincidentally I think, served Mexican food. I had a great chat about things .NET and even managed to slip in a couple of plugs for VFP 9.0.

    I headed back to my room quite early and flaked out in preparation for the mayhem the next day.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Register Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2, get a free online book from MS Press


    Microsoft Learning has partnered with the Visual Studio team to provide developers with additional incentive for registering Beta 2.  Developers who register their copy of Beta 2 will have access to a free developer title from Microsoft Press.  After downloading the Beta they receive an email telling them about the benefit, and encouraging them to register their Beta. When a user completes the registration process they will receive an email with a link to the online books, and an access code.  Each user will have access to one book per code.  Developers who register multiple SKUs of the Beta will receive additional access codes, giving them access to more books.  The offer is available worldwide, books are English-only.

    Register by choosing Register Product from the Help menu.

    Detailed breakdown of free online books available for each VS Beta SKU:

    Visual Studio Beta2 Sku Free online eBooks 
    VWD Express Introducing ASP.NET 2.0, English
    Introducing Microsoft® Visual Basic® 2005, English
    Writing Secure Code, 2nd Edition, English
    VB Express
    J# Express Writing Secure Code, 2nd Edition, English
    C# Express
    C++ Express
    SQL Express
    Visual Studio Standard Introducing ASP.NET 2.0, English
    Introducing Microsoft® Visual Basic® 2005, English
    Writing Secure Code, 2nd Edition, English
    Visual Studio Professional
    Visual Studio Team Suite
    VS Premier Partner Edition

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    SQL Server 2005 Virtual Hands On Labs


    Are you ready to experience SQL Server 2005?

    Announcing the launch of the SQL Server 2005 Virtual Hands on labs. In these labs, you will get to experience many of the new features in SQL Server 2005 including CLR integration, XML support and deep business intelligence integration.

    Just follow the link and experience SQL Server 2005 for yourself

    Registration link:

    Update 11/11/2008 - new links.
    SQL 2005:
    SQL 2008:


  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Visual FoxPro Survey


    I received this note from Ken Levy this morning. 

    The Visual FoxPro Team at Microsoft invites you to participate in our brief survey for Visual FoxPro. This survey only takes a few minutes to complete and you will have the opportunity to win a great prize. This is also a great opportunity for you to provide important information to Microsoft about your needs and usage of Visual FoxPro.
    We encourage you to take a few moments and participate in the new survey at:

    As a thank you for your time, you will be entered in a prize drawing. There will be one prize of a free registration pass to Visual FoxPro DevCon 2005 worth over $1300, one cash prize of $500, and five cash prizes of $100. You must complete the survey by midnight on May 1st, 2005 to be eligible for the drawing. Winners will be notified by e-mail by May 13, 2005.
    Thank you for participating in this survey to assist Microsoft in better serving your needs of Visual FoxPro and other technologies.
    The Visual FoxPro Team
  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    MS eLearning available NOW! Start with 64-bit.


    Are you a busy professional software developer? Do you want to set your own schedule for learning how to use the latest tools? Developer eLearning is all about features and functions – served up specifically for the developer audience. Rich content that targets your applications, your needs.

    The first course available is on 64-bit computing:

    Windows Server: Taking Advantage of 64-Bit Computing

    The Windows Server 2003: Taking Advantage of 64-Bit Computing course provides detailed information for ISVs, customers, and developers seeking to migrate existing applications and functionality from Windows 32-bit to Windows 64-bit.

    What is eLearning?

    eLearning is an effective and efficient system of self-paced personal training, available over the Internet. Microsoft has made courses available in eLearning form to cover several of the important new technologies in Visual Studio 2005, including Connected Systems and Smart Clients, plus Windows Server 2003. More courses are planned for the near future.

    eLearning Frequently Asked Questions

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    SQL Server 2005 Webcasts in April


    Discover how Microsoft SQL Server 2005 offers database developers the optimal combination of a tightly integrated development and data management platform. The rich and flexible programming environment in SQL Server 2005 allows you to leverage your existing skills and utilize familiar tools to build robust, secure, scalable applications.

    Register today to learn how the integration of the .NET Framework in SQL Server 2005 provides several major benefits, such as an enhanced programming model, enhanced safety and security, user defined types and aggregates, and a common development environment that integrates database development into the Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 development environment. In this series, we cover:

    • .NET Framework Integration: Learn how you can now take full advantage of the Microsoft .NET Framework class library and modern programming languages to implement functionality within the server.
    • Transact-SQL and Managed Code: Find out how to decide between using traditional Transact-SQL or a programming language that is compatible with the .NET Framework, such as Visual Basic .NET or C#. Understand where each method provides benefits and how to design for this in the beginning.
    • Web Services: See how to develop XML Web services in the database tier, making SQL Server an HTTP listener.
    • XML: SQL Server 2005 contains deep native support for XML. Learn how this can significantly help as you develop applications that make use of XML.
    • Data Access: Discover how ADO.NET 2.0 not only supports all of the new SQL Server 2005 features but also enables productivity and performance gains for all developers.

    Register for the SQL Server 2005 webcast series to learn more.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Great article on Active Directory, ADAM and System.DirectoryServices


    I got sidetracked today on some Active Directory stuff and came across this great article by Klaus Salchner entitled LDAP, IIS and WinNT Directory Services. It also talks a fair bit about ADAM - Active Directory Application Mode.

    Well worth a read.


    Tristan also just found me a great MSDN article on enumerating the members of a group using System.DirectoryServices. Much nicer than the one I found that uses VBScript.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Enterprise Library Webcasts


    As David Hayden notes in this post, the Patterns and Practices team has a series of webcasts about the recently released Enterprise Library. Some have already happened, some are still to come, but all are or will be available as recordings.

    Note: All Webcast times are Pacific Standard Time (GMT-8:00)
    To get to Australian Eastern Daylight Time (GMT+11), subtract 5 hours and add a day. After that, you're on your own. I have translated the dates into DD/MM/YYYY from the wierd format the yanks use.








    Enterprise Library Overview

    Enterprise Library is the next generation of the patterns & practices Application Blocks. This guidance is designed to assist developers with common enterprise development challenges and will deliver the most widely used blocks into a single integrated package. Our vision is to build a broad community of customers and partners using, sharing and extending their own Application Blocks that are consistent with and integrate into the patterns & practices Enterprise Library.





    Enterprise Library Configuration Application Block

    Configuration data is a constant challenge for application development.  The way in which your application handles configuration data dramatically impacts its manageability.  In this webcast we will discuss the requirements for building a great configuration system and how you can leverage the configuration application block to meet these requirements.





    Enterprise Library Data Access Application Block
    Discover how you can implement the recommended data access architecture using Enterprise Library to quickly build a robust and secure data access layer which supports connectivity to SQL Server, Oracle and DB2.





    Enterprise Library Caching Application Block

    Properly designed caching can make your system more robust and increase performance dramatically, poorly designed caching adds unnecessary overhead and provides little benefit.  Learn how you can make use of the new caching application block to help lessen the demand on your back-end systems while increasing throughput.





    Enterprise Library Logging & Instrumentation Application Block

    Properly instrumented applications are a dream to manage, they tell what is happening and when things are going wrong point you to the source of the problem quickly increasing your mean time to recovery resulting in increased system availability.  In this webcast you will learn how to use the Enterprise Library logging and instrumentation block to consistently and easily build an application that tells you where it hurts.





    Enterprise Library Exception Handling Application Block

    Exceptions happen...the question is what you will do to handle them.  Poorly written applications behave unpredictably when exceptions occur and often this bad behavior results in crashes or security holes.  Learn how you can create exception policies that can be consistently and quickly applied in your application to insure predictability even when things go wrong.





    Enterprise Library Cryptography Application Block

    So you have a secret...what are you going to do with that credit card number, connection string or password?  Stuff in a secret place and hope that no one ever finds it?  Of course not, you want to encrypt it.  But how?  With the Enterprise Library cryptography block you can quickly encrypt and decrypt these secrets allowing you to secure them and sleep better at night.





    Enterprise Library Security Application Block

    Every enterprise needs security and within most large enterprises there are many different security systems.  Discover how Enterprise Library’s security block can help you to put a consistent API in front of many different back end implementations allowing you to use these security systems without having to become an expert in them.





    Enterprise Library - Building your own application block

    So you love application blocks?  You want to create your own and share it with your colleagues, your enterprise...the world?  Great!  We want to help you.  In this session we will walk through a simple application block to consider how you can build a block that integrates with the rest of Enterprise Library.





    Enterprise Library Applied

    You stand at your manager’s door working up the courage to walk in and tell them that you want to use Enterprise Library in your next project.  There are so many questions about support, licensing, maintenance and futures...good thing you listened to this webcast to understand what it means for an enterprise to adopt this library.  As you listen to real examples from enterprises like yours to understand how they are managing the risks and opportunities associated with Enterprise Library



  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Adding Ink Controls to .NET Applications


    Last Friday (Redmond time) there was a Webcast that I really wanted to see on using the InfiNotes Note Taking Framework built by Agilix Labs Inc. as an extension to the Tablet PC SDK and Visual Studio .Net Development environment. From the TabletPC webcasts page:

    Agilix InfiNotes is a collection of .NET controls that add rich ink note-taking functionality to new and existing applications. Simply drag the control from the toolbox and begin adding digital ink to your application immediately! You'll be amazed at how quickly you can develop ink note-taking features in your .NET application. InfiNotes Standard Edition is available free from and should be installed on your development environment along with the Tablet PC SDK, available at (You do not need a Tablet PC to develop Tablet apps, this can be done right from your existing Windows development environment).

    Unfortunately, I missed the live webcast (5am Saturday is only fun if you've not yet been to bed). Fortunately, I'll still be able to watch it (although this isn't apparent from the webcast page). Go to the Live Meeting View Recordings page.

    In the following fields, enter this information:

    • Your Name: (enter your first and last name)
    • Meeting ID: msft031805fg
    • Meeting Key (if required): B3S3TB

    Click View Recording.

    Enter your email address and company name on the next page and click View Recording again.

    You can now view the recording in LiveMeeting Replay format. This is a great format for viewing webcasts as it syncs the slide names (on the left hand side) with the audio and video in a WMP frame on the right. You can view the presentation at 1.4 or 2x speed too (which I like to do) and get the same information in about half the time.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Using MapPoint to implement a Geofence


    Chandu Thota (of BlogMap fame) has a link to an MSDN article on implementing a Geofence with MapPoint Location Server. "What's a Geofence?" I hear you cry. I'm glad someone asked.

    From the article:

    A geofence is a geographical region that you define and use to trigger an event when a user enters the region. For example, you can create an application that sends an Short Message Service (SMS) message about a current sales promotion to provisioned users when they come within a one-mile radius of your store location.

    Map with a Geofence

    Very cool stuff.

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