Blog - About

About Meta-Me

Hi,

My name is Alex James, a Program Manager working on the Data Services team at Microsoft.

My current focus is OData and improving the usability of Data Services, both client and server side.

Previously I worked on the Entity Framework team where I helped create EF 4.0, and CodeOnly.

I'm also really passionate about Metadata, hence the name Meta-me.

Cheers
Alex

I waffle and twitter as adjames

  • Meta-Me

    Tip 52 – How to re-use Types with the Data Services client

    • 2 Comments
    By default when you add a Data Service Service Reference you get automatic code-generation, which produces a strongly typed DataServiceContext and classes for all your ResourceTypes. You can have a look at this generated code if you ‘show all files...
  • Meta-Me

    Tip 17 – How to do one step updates with AttachAsModified(..)

    • 2 Comments
    Background: In Tip 13 - How to Attach the easy way I showed you how to ‘establish’ the EntitySet for a particular CLR Type so you could Attach it. But in all the tips so far the same basic pattern is used: Attach the original version of the Entity Modify...
  • Meta-Me

    Tip 31 – How to compose L2O and L2E queries

    • 2 Comments
    Imagine you want to write a query like this: var possibleBuyers= from p in ctx.People where p.Address.City == “Sammamish” && InMarketForAHouse(p) select p; Now theoretically this is possible so long as there is a SQL translation for InMarketForAHouse...
  • Meta-Me

    Some comments on efficient SOA method composition

    • 2 Comments
    A couple of posts back I started talking about composing SOAPY operations efficiently, by shipping intent to the service. An interesting debate ensued in my comments: Kristofer (the guy behind the Huagati tools for DBML and EDMX , and it seems a man after...
  • Meta-Me

    Julie Lerman talks to DotNetRocks about the Entity Framework

    • 2 Comments
    So if you don't already know Julie is a hugely respected member of the EF community. She does mentoring and heaps of training and presentations about the EF, so she knows what she is talking about. Anyway I just finished listening to her interview...
  • Meta-Me

    Metadata, Objects and Values

    • 2 Comments
    One of the things I am doing at the moment is writing a bunch of Entity Framework code with one common theme, leveraging metadata. In the spirit of transparency here is what I have learnt (just this, nothing else at all...) When working with the...
  • Meta-Me

    Compiled Queries and the EntityFramework

    • 2 Comments
    For a while LINQ to SQL has had compiled Queries... and now in Beta3 of the Entity Framework, due out soon, we have them too. The idea behind compiled queries is that you don't want to re-process the same LINQ expression every time it is encountered...
  • Meta-Me

    DefiningQuery versus QueryView

    • 2 Comments
    Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 ...
  • Meta-Me

    Opinionated Software and the Paradox of Choice

    • 2 Comments
    In my last post I briefly mentioned the Paradox of Choice . The alert amongst you will have noticed a lot of unapologetic talk about Opinionated Software recently out in the blogosphere. Anyway it got me wondering whether the two are in some way related...
  • Meta-Me

    Tip 4 - Conceptual Schema Definition Language Rules

    • 2 Comments
    The first version of the Entity Framework was released a while back ago now with .NET 3.5 SP1. One of the most glaring holes in the Entity Framework documentation was the lack of a formal document describing the Conceptual Schema Definition Language...
  • Meta-Me

    Parsing OData Paths, $select and $expand using the ODataUriParser

    • 2 Comments
    UPDATE : This post was updated on May 29th 2013 to reflect changes to simplify the SelectExpandClause API between 5.5 beta and 5.5 RTM Release, the biggest change involved merging Select and Expand into SelectedItems. The ODataUriParser is continuing...
  • Meta-Me

    Composable Services

    • 1 Comments
    Dru Sellers just used a term I haven’t heard before, Composable Services . For me it the very timely term, because it succinctly describes a whole lot of Astronaut Architect dreaming I’ve been doing for the last 2 years. I recently started twittering...
  • Meta-Me

    Tip 2 - Entity Framework Books

    • 1 Comments
    Question: Where do I find in depth books on the Entity Framework? Answer: One of the benefits of being on a product team a Microsoft is you get authors who want you to review their books. So far to date I've have had 3 different authors send...
  • Meta-Me

    Alt.NET Seattle

    • 1 Comments
    I went to Alt.NET Seattle on the weekend. Being from the Entity Framework team, I was a little nervous about how I'd be received. Well I definitely shouldn't have worried... everyone was very civil. In the broader sense I wasn't sure what to expect...
  • Meta-Me

    Blogging database scripts

    • 1 Comments
    For a while now I've been using a blogging database for demos, presentations, videos etc. For example I used my little blogging database for the Getting Started with the Entity Framework video I did. Every time I do something with this database...
  • Meta-Me

    Video on Entity Framework’s Model First in .NET 4.0

    • 1 Comments
    How did I miss this ? Jonathan Carter (aka LostInTangent ) has done a Channel 9 video on our upcoming Model First experience. Model first was announced a while back here .
  • Meta-Me

    Corrected Tip 15 - How to avoid loading unnecessary properties

    • 1 Comments
    I've made a few important corrections to Tip 15 . I've corrected the bit that said the UPDATE SQL includes original values of Updated Properties in the WHERE clause. At the time I was consciously attempting to simplify things a little, but as Tanveer...
  • Meta-Me

    Self-Tracking Entities

    • 1 Comments
    Some of the feedback we got on the EF design blog about our early N-Tier plans , highlighted that lots of people just want the whole "tier thing" to just work out of the box. Fortunately now that we have adopted T4 to generate our entities we have...
  • Meta-Me

    EntityConnectionStringBuilder

    • 1 Comments
    In my last Metadata post I suggested using a string template to create an EntityConnection connection string. Well it turns out there is a better way... Enter the EntityConnectionStringBuilder class. The only thing it is missing is the ability to specify...
  • Meta-Me

    Dude where is my query going to run?

    • 1 Comments
    One of the key decisions with LINQ to Entities (L2E) is that all predicates in an L2E expression must be converted into store expressions, so that the store does all the heavy lifting. This means for example if you try the following: var matches...
  • Meta-Me

    Introductions

    • 1 Comments
    Seeing as this is my first post on this blog, a few things about me are in order. My name is Alex James, a new Microsoft employee, based in Redmond. My family and I have moved to Seattle from NZ just so I could take this job. Now NZ is a pretty nice...
  • Meta-Me

    Sharepoint tricks

    • 1 Comments
    So Alex Henderson , who took over running the Auckland Architecture chats from me, has been busy recently compiling a wiki full of SharePoint Hacks . Hopefully this will grow overtime, but even as it is it is a useful resource. Asad, who has been...
  • Meta-Me

    Hydrating a DataTable from an EntityDataReader - Part 2

    • 1 Comments
    See yesterday's post for some context... So we can't rely on EntityDataReader . GetSchemaTable() and a DataAdapter to do the filling of our DataTable for us. We have to do it ourselves. As with any problem the first step is to define the steps:...
  • Meta-Me

    Colin Meek talks about his EF Extensions

    • 1 Comments
    Colin is a super smart colleague of mine, who works as a developer on the Entity Framework. So it is great to see him start a blog . His first post is super cool, because he discusses a set of extensions he put together that get around some of mapping...
  • Meta-Me

    Lazy-loading and the Entity Framework

    • 1 Comments
    Most of you probably know that the Entity Framework architects made a very conscious decision to make all trips to the database explicit. The result is that this: Person mother = person.Mother; will return null, even if the person has a Mother, unless...
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