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

    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

    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

    Fantasy Soccer - Part 2 - an overview of the rules

    • 1 Comments
    Yes, yes I know the real name of Soccer is Football , but I don't want there to be any confusion for any Americans, Australians or New Zealanders who might be reading this ;) So what are the basic rules of Fantasy Soccer? The Basic idea is that...
  • 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

    Fantasy Soccer - Part 4 - Architectural Overview

    • 1 Comments
    Okay this Fantasy Soccer thing has got me thinking. What is this thing going to look like from about 100,000 feet? I.e. what are the big bits? Well being a pure geek, I really want to play with new shiny stuff (i.e. the new ASP.NET MVC Framework ) but...
  • Meta-Me

    Andrew Peters joining the EF team

    • 1 Comments
    Just a short one today, but a good one. Andrew Peters is on his way to Vancouver soon to join the Entity Framework team. He will bring the Kiwi contingent to three. Sahil, Andrew and I. See what Andrew has to say about it here .
  • 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

    Tip 48 – How to host a Data Service in WCF

    • 1 Comments
    Every wonder if you can host an Astoria Data Service in WCF? Well turns out the answer is yes, in fact once you’ve got your references set up etc it is pretty easy. Step 1 – Setting up your project Here is what my working project looks like: In this example...
  • Meta-Me

    Tip 46 – How to exclude a property using Code-Only

    • 1 Comments
    This time a real simple one prompted by this question on StackOverflow. Problem: If you tell the Entity Framework about this class using Code-Only, by default every property becomes part of Entity, and as a result stored in the database. Usually this...
  • Meta-Me

    Tip 39 – How to set overlapping Relationships – EF 4.0 only

    • 1 Comments
    Scenario: In EF 4 we have FK relationships , available for the first time in .NET 4.0 Beta 2, so it is now possible to have a model something like this: public class Division { public int DivisionID {get;set} // Primary Key public string Name {get;set;...
  • Meta-Me

    Tip 29 – How to avoid LazyLoad or Load() reader issues

    • 1 Comments
    If you have code that looks like this: var results = from c in ctx.Customers where c.SalesPerson.EmailAddress == “…” select c; foreach(var customer in results) { Console.WriteLine(customer.Name); if (IsInteresting(customer)) { customer.Orders.Load...
  • 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

    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

    Software Development Meme

    • 1 Comments
    So thanks Danny for giving me a ping... it's been a while since I participated in one of these blog chain letters. Funny really because now I am a Program Manager, I'm not a real developer anymore ;) How old were you when you first started programming...
  • Meta-Me

    Symbols Models and Inhibitory Control

    • 1 Comments
    One of the things I find fascinating about US TV is the educational channels etc. Every now and then I stumble across something which sucks me in for a couple of hours. On Monday (I was sick... better now though, thanks for asking) I started watching...
  • 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

    Wrapping Providers

    • 1 Comments
    For well over a year now I've been talking about how it is possible with EF to write a provider that sits between the EF and the native database provider. There are lots of reasons why you might do this. Here are some examples, you could write a: Tracing...
  • Meta-Me

    Why even try?

    • 0 Comments
    You know you've met a visionary when they start talking about solving problems others think are too hard. It is super easy to throw up all sort of reasons why some grand vision won't happen, here are but a few of the classic excuses: Its too...
  • Meta-Me

    Tip 32 – How to create a database from SSDL – EF 4 only

    • 0 Comments
    We recently released a CTP that extends EF 4 Beta 1 which included Code Only. You can read more about Code Only here , here and here . If you look at the walkthroughs for Code Only you will see code that looks something like this: // Create a builder...
  • Meta-Me

    The problem with Function Signatures

    • 0 Comments
    So I was reading Stefan Tilkov’s latest post, about link and self . Good stuff. Now the bit that prompted this post was his discussion of the possibility of having different representations of the same thing. For example you could easily get three representations...
  • Meta-Me

    Tip 38 – How to use CodeOnly with Astoria

    • 0 Comments
    The normal way that you create an ADO.NET Data Services (aka Astoria) Service is by creating a class that derives from DataService<T>. public class BloggingService : DataService<BloggingEntities> And if you want to use Entity Framework...
  • Meta-Me

    Tip 43 – How to authenticate against a Data Service

    • 0 Comments
    Problem: When writing code against a Data Service, like say SharePoint , the client application must provide a valid set of credentials, or you will see a dreaded “401 Unathorized” response. For Silverlight applications hosted on the same site as...
  • Meta-Me

    Virtuoso – Entity Framework compatible ADO.NET provider

    • 0 Comments
    Now this is worth a mention. Kingsley has produced a ADO.NET provider for their virtuoso product which is Entity Framework compatible. Which means in theory access to SQL, XML and RDF data via the Entity Framework. It also supports a raft of third party...
  • Meta-Me

    And while you are at it… why can’t I compose REST calls?

    • 0 Comments
    In my last post I asked why you can’t compose SOA method calls efficiently. With REST services like ADO.NET Data Services having nice uniform URLs too, and a model (aka EDM) why can’t I compose those with my SOA methods too: i.e. expounding on my...
  • Meta-Me

    LINQ… the board game

    • 0 Comments
    About a week ago I was wandering through Crossroads mall in Bellevue, and with my wife’s new camera in hand, I spotted this: Now I’m sure at least one of you have actually played this, but I’d never even heard of it. If you know me, you know I’m vertically...
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