OK, let’s get this blog started.


i spent most of today writing up draft descriptions for the May/June cycle of our MSDN Event developer seminars. after writing the extended long-play version, i’m informed that what i wrote is unusable – all that is wanted are brief descriptions for each topic that we’ll be presenting.


for those who are interested in the original – this may be the only place where it will be published…


Faster, smarter, better. We’ve re-designed the next series of MSDN (Live) events according to what we heard back from developers like you. We have expanded our coverage to feature more topics and reduced the presentation slides to focus on the demonstrations instead. The result will be an afternoon that is faster moving and more to the point. This is smarter for us to make these changes and will make the MSDN (Live) event a better use of your time.


As developers, we’re always looking for sources of well-written code that can be reliably and easily integrated into our own projects to reduce the amount of custom code that we would otherwise have to write ourselves. We’ll begin by letting you in on one of our favorite such sources – application blocks from Microsoft’s patterns and practices library, reusable code components for common programming tasks that are developed by Microsoft and independent experts to encapsulate best practices and real-world requirements. In particular, we will be highlighting usage of the Exception Management, Configuration Management and Updater Application Blocks within your own applications.


“Whidbey” is the provisional name for the next major version of Visual Studio .NET and rapid application development is one of its main areas of improvements, as well as the next topic that we will be examining. Here, we will be looking at improvements to the Whidbey IDE (integrated development environment), the new code snippet (IntelliTask) feature, namespace shortcuts, and language enhancements.


In the second half of the afternoon, we’re going to begin with a preview of the XML and .NET features of Microsoft SQL Server “Yukon”, the major new version of SQL Server that will be forthcoming next year. We’ll introduce the significant new XML features of Yukon with its native full-fledged XML data type (that can even be indexed), support for the XML Query (XQuery) and XML Schema Definition (XSD) language standards, and the graphical XQuery Designer tool. We will also examine how Yukon will host the .NET Framework common language runtime (CLR) and thus enable stored procedures, triggers and user-defined functions (UDFs), written in Visual Basic .NET and C#, to be run in its memory managed, type-safe and secure execution environment.


Finally, we’ll conclude with a look at the recently released SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services, a powerful and versatile new interactive reporting tool now available for download and installation by current licensees of SQL Server 2000. You’ll see how Reporting Services integrates with Visual Studio .NET, learn how you can create and customize your own reports, and lastly, manage and schedule delivery of updated reports in the Report Manager.


Faster, smarter, better. Did we forget to mention that attendance is free too? With this stimulating selection of developer topics, registration for the next series of MSDN (Live) events will fill up quickly. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to attend at a location near you. Register now at http://www.connect-ms.com/msdn.


i have a lot more to get written tonight so i better get back to it now...



Currently on the turntable: Bill Nelson/On a Blue Wing – I’ve been a long-time fan of Bill Nelson (composer, guitar, vocals, multi-instruments). I probably have a few dozen different albums of his music. On a Blue Wing is the U.S. edition of Getting the Holy Ghost Across, issued when he was briefly signed to a major label again (CBS/Portrait which probably explains the different song selection, even different album covers between the U.S. and U.K. versions). It is one of my favorite of his song albums, distinct from his instrumental and soundtrack albums.