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  • Blog Post: How To Send HTML Email from a LightSwitch Application

    A while back Paul Patterson wrote an awesome step-by-step blog post based on a forum question on how to send an automated email using System.Net.Mail from LightSwitch . If you missed it here it is: Microsoft LightSwitch – Send an Email from LightSwitch This is a great solution if you want...
  • Blog Post: Using Microsoft Word to Create Reports For LightSwitch (or Silverlight)

    Note: This post has been updated for Beta 2 on 3/24/2011 LightSwitch has a really nice feature on data grids that allow you to export them to Excel if running as a Desktop application (out of browser). This gives you a basic way of getting data out of the system to create reports or do further...
  • Blog Post: Open XML SDK 2.0 Released!

    Many programs that need to process documents often require manipulation of the file formats directly and doing that through the Office component object model (COM) won’t scale very well. It also requires that Microsoft Office be installed to run. A better route in a lot of these cases is to use the Open...
  • Blog Post: Using Projections with Data Services in Visual Studio 2010

    Starting in Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1, you can create ADO.NET Data Services to easily expose data models via RESTful web services. So if you are building a remote CRUD data access layer then this is a technology that you're probably using or are looking into. I’ve written a lot about about data...
  • Blog Post: Silicon Valley Code Camp Oct. 3-4 : Schedule is up!

    As I mentioned before , I’ll be speaking this weekend at Silicon Valley Code Camp ( http://siliconvalley-codecamp.com/ ). This is a FREE event at at Foothill College and it’s not just Microsoft technologies. A lot of great speakers will be there too. The schedule is up so check it out and mark the ones...
  • Blog Post: Merging Text & Photos into a Word Document using Open XML SDK

    Yesterday I posted about how we could create a letter generator (mail merge) that took data from a database to create a Word 2007 document using the System.IO.Packaging class. I showed how to take data from Northwind using a single LINQ query to create XDocument objects representing letters to customers...
  • Blog Post: Mail Merging Into a Single Word Document Using XML Literals

    With the release of Microsoft Office 2007 we can work with a much simpler, standard, XML format called Open XML which opens the door for many types of applications that cannot work via COM. What if you needed to build a scalable web service that processes many documents in high volume? What if you wanted...
  • Blog Post: DevProConnections Article: Taking Advantage of LINQ and XML in Microsoft Office 2007

    This month I have an article on DevProConnections: Taking Advantage of LINQ and XML in Microsoft Office 2007 In this article, I talk about how a lot of applications that need to take advantage of Microsoft Office can do so without going through COM. Many programs that need to process documents...
  • Blog Post: Channel 9 Interview: LINQ Language Deep Dive with Visual Studio 2008

    Ever wonder what really happens when you write a simple LINQ query? Dim query = From row In db.Customers _ Where row.Country = "Canada" _ Select row A lot of new language features went into the compilers in Visual Studio 2008 to make even this simple LINQ query work. In this interview...
  • Blog Post: Filtering Entity Framework Collections in Master-Detail Forms

    Last post I talked about how to get WPF data binding to work with master-detail entity collections. I had a couple readers ask me how they could filter the child collection instead of bringing them all down so in this post I’d like to show how you could do that. It’s actually pretty easy. Customer (Master...
  • Blog Post: Good Times at DevTeach, Vancouver

    Last week I spoke at DevTeach in Vancouver which was held at the beautiful Four Seasons in downtown. I love this Canadian conference because the attendees are great – super friendly and social, and ask a lot of great questions. I mostly interacted with folks building applications for the government or...
  • Blog Post: Using the WPF ObservableCollection with EF Entities

    The ObservableCollection is a special WPF collection that provides proper notifications to the UI when items are added, removed, or the list is refreshed because it implements INotifyCollectionChanged . It’s common to use this collection (or inherit from it) to contain your business objects you want...
  • Blog Post: Data Binding WPF Lookup Combobox Values to EF Entities

    It’s extremely common to have to hook up lookup tables on your data entry forms in order to populate foreign keys in a database. I’ve talked about how to do this in Winforms and WPF with Datasets and LINQ to SQL before: How Do I: Create a Lookup Combobox in WPF? How Do I: Create a Master-Detail Data...
  • Blog Post: Tally Rows in a DataSet that Match a Condition

    Today I got a question that comes up often in data application programming about how to count rows in a DataSet that matched a condition. The DataSet may be bound to a DataGridView or other list control and it’s tempting to start looking at the control to see if you can coax it into returning what you...
  • Blog Post: dnrTV: More Fun with Office and XML Literals

    Yesterday Carl posted another dnrTV show with yours truly. This is a follow up from the last show where I went over the Open XML SDK and LINQ to XML in order to manipulate and query Office documents. Last show focused on CustomXML parts and Word content controls. In this show I demonstrate how to create...
  • Blog Post: ADO.NET Data Services - Intercepting Queries and Adding Validation

    Last few posts I've been building a WPF client against ADO.NET Data Services, if you missed them: Using ADO.NET Data Services ADO.NET Data Services - Building a WPF Client ADO.NET Data Services - Enforcing FK Associations and a Fix for Deleting Entities Today I want to show you how we...
  • Blog Post: Community Article: Scaling ADO.NET DataTables

    We just released a new community article onto the Visual Basic Developer Center by one of our MVPs, Jeff Certain , called Scaling ADO.NET DataTables . In this article Jeff shows shows us how to query and aggregate data using the built in DataTable methods as well as LINQ to DataSets. He compares the...
  • Blog Post: I'm Speaking at Silicon Valley Code Camp on Saturday Nov. 8th

    There are over 1100 people registered for the Silicon Valley code camp this year! Wow! That's a couple hundred more than last year. This is a free event people, so there's no excuse not to come out to Foothill college this year. And it's not all Microsoft technologies (of course not --we're in Silicon...
  • Blog Post: Editing Data from Two Tables in a Single DataGridView

    I've had a lot of questions lately on how to display data from two separate tables in the database into a single DataGridView for editing. It sure would be nice if all our data was in a single table, but in reality most of the time it's not. Basically the problem is that we want one single table (entity...
  • Blog Post: SDN Conference Day 2

    Today I woke up at the crack of dawn because I had an 8:30 AM session. Okay maybe not quite the crack, but for me it was early . Especially after a night of socializing. That's a really cool thing about conferences here, the attendees love to go out with you after dinner and uh.. socialize. ;-) There...
  • Blog Post: First Day at SDN Conference

    I'm here in the Netherlands in a town called Noordwijkerhout near Amsterdam at the SDN Conference with a lot of great speakers and sessions . I took these shots while the attendees were in session. There's good food, great vendors and lots of entertainment -- XBoxes, bowling, pin-pong, and lots...
  • Blog Post: MSDN Magazine - Dynamic Data Entry With XML Literals

    Check out the latest news on the VB Dev Center . I'm finally headlining myself ;-) I'm in the October issue of MSDN Magazine . I've been managing the content for the Basic Instincts column for a little over a year now where we rotate writers from the VB Team. This month is my birthday month so I decided...
  • Blog Post: Data on the Smart Client Talk at Bay.NET UG

    Last night I spoke to SF Bay.NET user's group on Data Binding in Winforms and WPF, focusing on Line-of-Business (LOB) application scenarios. I showed how you can use the same data sources with Winforms and WPF, walking through binding scenarios with DataSets, custom object collections and some LINQ to...
  • Blog Post: Channel 9 Interview: XML Schema Explorer in Visual Studio 2008 SP1

    I just posted an interview on Channel 9 with Yang Xiao , a tester on the VB IDE. In this interview Yang shows us the new XML Schema Explorer in Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 . This new window is invoked when you right-click on an XML literal element or namespace and select "Show in XML Schema...
  • Blog Post: Accessing Open XML Document Parts with the Open XML SDK

    About a month ago the Open XML SDK 1.0 (June 08 update) was released . The SDK provides strongly typed document part access to Word 2007, Excel 2007 and PowerPoint 2007 documents. The SDK has been a CTP for a while, but last month version 1.0 was finally released. So I installed this baby last week and...
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