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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: 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: Using Windows Presentation Foundation in Office Clients

    I was cleaning up my desk today and in the piles of mail and gobs of paper I found the SDN Magazine “Women in Technology” issue 101 that featured an article I wrote that was released in print back in May. Well, I just noticed today that near the end of June they made most of the articles available online...
  • Blog Post: OBA Part 3 - Storing and Reading Data in Word Documents

    In my last few posts we've been building a simple Office Business Application (OBA) for the new Northwind Traders. If you missed them: OBA Part 1 - Exposing Line-of-Business Data OBA Part 2 - Building and Outlook Client against LOB Data In this post I'm going to talk about how we can create a purchase...
  • 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: 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...
  • Blog Post: Article: Sharpening Your Axis with Visual Basic 9

    In the July/August issue of CoDe Magazine there's an article I wrote with Avner Aharoni (the Program Manager on XML literals) called Sharpening Your Axis with Visual Basic 9 . (They just opened up online access to even non-subscribers today!) I highly recommend this article which shows you from the beginning...
  • Blog Post: Dynamic Data Entry with WPF and LINQ

    In my last post on this subject I explored creating WPF UI's dynamically using XML literals. The one part that bugged me a bit was that even though the UI was dynamic, we were using a fixed object model of our customer (using LINQ to SQL classes). I wanted to augment this code a bit more so that we could...
  • Blog Post: Dynamic UI with WPF and LINQ

    Lately I've been getting my hands deep into WPF with my line-of-business (LOB)/data-based application mind set. I'm taking a different approach to the technology resisting the urge to put on my amateur-designer hat and instead purely focus on data, data-binding, formatting controls, and some basic layout...
  • Blog Post: Quickly Changing Values of XML Elements Using LINQ

    I've had many questions lately on how you can query for a specific node in an XML document (or fragment) and change it's value using LINQ. (This must mean that people are really starting to use this stuff so I'm pretty excited.) This is really easy to do because you can modify the values of the selected...
  • Blog Post: Querying HTML with LINQ to XML

    Often times we need to parse HTML for data. Sure in a perfect world everything would have a nice service or API wrapped around it but as we all know this is not always the case. Many times we're left with parsing files or "screen scraping" to get the data we need from other applications. Sure this is...
  • Blog Post: Mail Merging with Word, LINQ and XML Literals in VB

    I've mentioned before that you can use XML literals in VB 9 to do text merging so I figured it should be pretty easy to do some mail merging in Word the same way. Word 2007 (and Excel, etc) now uses a standard XML format called Office Open XML to describe documents so I thought this would be the perfect...
  • Blog Post: Northwind Meets Virtual Earth - Generate VE Maps with LINQ

    With Visual Basic 9 and LINQ you can easily create XML from multiple data sources including relational data, other XML sources or any other queryable object. Since most modern systems interact with each other in some form of XML the possibilities are endless. SOAP, XAML, HTML, RSS can all be created...
  • Blog Post: Visual Studio Tip of the Day Browser

    I'm sitting here with writer's block on an article I'm supposed to be writing so in order to coax the technical writing muse I decided to write an application I've been meaning to do for over a month. If you didn't know, on Sara's blog she has a category called Visual Studio Tip of the Day where she...
  • Blog Post: Quickly Import and Export Excel Data with LINQ to XML

    One really handy thing to do with relational data is to import and export it to Excel. This can be a total snap using LINQ to XML in Visual Basic 2008. For example, let's say I want to import data from an Excel spreadsheet into a local database file like SQL Compact Edition. I also want to be able to...
  • Blog Post: Embed Code and Avoid Underscores in Your Multiline Strings

    One of the things I most dearly missed from FoxPro when I moved to VB.NET was the ability to easily dump a bunch of text (multi-line string literals) into the editor easily and embed code (text-merge). FoxPro has a keyword TEXT...ENDTEXT for this and I used to use it all the time. In VB it gets pretty...
  • Blog Post: Getting Started with LINQ to XML

    As Rob points out (I actually noticed his post on the Dev Center today!) there are some How-Do-I videos available for Visual Studio 2008 . One of the videos is an overview of LINQ to XML (sorry I can't give you a direct link to the video as they are wrapped up into some nifty Silverlight control -- just...
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