Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

About me (Hans Verbeeck). About my work (Partner Evangelist for Microsoft Belgium). Think big, start smal
Der deutsche Education Blog

  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    Naked Conversations


    <a href="http://technorati.com/claim/2gur57qfb"> Technorati Profile</a>


    David Boschmans and I had a conversation about Naked Conversations. Hence I'm exploring some other blogosphere tools now like Technorati.

    I'm not sure why I would use these unless I want to conquer the world. Hmmm, that's a thought.

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    MIX06 annoucements


    Conferences in Las Vegas, what can you say? Vegas is like Disney for Adults, 36/7.

    The MIX conference is going really well. It's smaller (1500-2000 people) than many other conferences I've been to but still large enough to have a real buzz about this.

    There have been many highlights like Tim O'Reilly's interview with Bill Gates, some great sessions on WPF and the Expression Web Designer, IE...

    Besides that some interesting announcements like the Live developer center on MSDN http://msdn.microsoft.com/live (but for now keep checking out http://msdn.microsoft.com/msn as well), June CTP for the Web Designer.

    Today also the Office Developer Conference kicks off and also there there's some big news like the Open XML Formats Developer Group (www.openxmldeveloper.org.).

    It's a good day.  


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    Moppie, where is my floppie...


    In dutch it is: Moppie waar is mijn floppie...

    After driving for 2:30 from Antwerp to Amsterdam, I was completely exhausted when I arrived around 9am in the RAI to present at the Developer Days 2006 in Holland. Soon I was going to be in a happy mood. The dutch guys (Arie Leeuwensteijn) had hired this fantastic hoempapa type of guy to host the event with silly songs etc... I love it. I watched the guy for a couple of minutes and couldn't stop smiling anymore while preparing for the talk. Here he is with some volunteers.

    Unfortunately the tune he was singing stuck in my mind. Oh no, it's back. Moppie waar is mijn floppie...

    The Office 2007 UI session was nice. I like the Dutch audience very much, they are a good crowd happy to participate and to laugh when you tell something funny. Again, I could see the new UI really made sense to them. Many folks want to get their hands on the beta. Please register on the Beta Experience for that: http://www.microsoft.com/betaexperience/default.aspx

    Apparently one guy liked my picture from Zurich I have as a background enough to ask me to send it, so here it is:

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    Live.com and Office 2007 UI


    I wonder how long after my keynote demo at DevDays Belgium the changes to www.live.com went live. Jeez, it's even nicer now than before. Here you can find out what changed.


    Also, I'm happy that some pictures on the new UI for Word, Powerpoint, Excel and Access 2007 can be seen here: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/2007office/default.mspx and here: http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/uioverview.mspx

    The changes to the UI feel so right. I always get that feeling when I show them to people and discuss why these changes where made. People really get it. If you are as passionate about this as I am, then Jensen Harris' blog is a must read for you:



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    2006 Developer and IT Pro Days Belgium & DevDays Netherlands are over…


    thank God!!!! Both events were fantastic but also a lot of work!

    Developer & IT Pro Days Belgium

    I signed up to deliver a Vista and Windows Live demo during the keynote as well as a session on Office 12 (Office 2007) UI Development opportunities.  If you wonder which is more work: 25 minutes of demo during the keynote or  a regular 1:15 session? I can tell you, it’s the keynote demos that are more work. By far.

    I started a couple of weeks ago installing Vista December CTP and looking for some nice demo applications. The Active Directory 3D application was nice but needed some work. I got some help from Corp and made some changes myself so I felt quite comfortable about that one from early on. It was the ITPro demos that caused me more headache. Probably because I have a developer background. 

    So about a week ago, I started to work from the Belgian office  and got great support from both David Boschmans  (Developer Evangelist) and  Arlindo Alves (IT Pro Evangelist). These guys really do everything they possibly can to put together a great event.

    David (left) and Arlindo

    If you need to find out about available Dev demos on the latest technologies, David knows to find them all. I have a feeling he reads every MS Blog and is on all of the technical aliases.  Arlindo was just fantastic in supporting me getting to understand the things about Vista that really matter to IT Pros. I’m convinced that next year no one will bother asking me again for the keynote demos as Arlindo will be doing them himself.

    Even though, those guys had to deal with things like last minute cancellations from speakers, dry runs for the regular sessions, etc… they were always ready to help out with getting the demos ready.

    At the same, there were many meetings with Wilfried Grommen, the keynote speaker, where we would agree on what we would demo and which would be the speaking points. The goal was to keep this keynote as low on marketing as possible and I hope we succeeded in that. Here you see Ritchie Houtmeyers (left with Wilfried Grommen). Very likely they’re debating which would be the next slide to cut.


    On Friday morning  of the week before the keynote, we started downloading a new build – the February CTP with some preinstalled demos. By the time we had downloaded the gigabytes of goodness, it was 15:00 on the Friday. We kept working on an earlier build but knew that our weekend would be spent installing the newest on the Acer Ferrari’s we had on loan.


    Then Monday evening, T-12 hours. We arrived at the venue and entered hell for a couple of hours. Putting machines on a projector has been painful before but this time,  it was hell.  I guess this is normal because the video card producers aren’t really keeping up with their drivers for every Vista build we might use. Arlindo was fantastic, he got all of our machines working.

    While we were struggling Ritchie and Tom Mertens were prepping their bit - you can see them shine:


    At 23:00 we left the  ICC and headed for the hotel in the center of Ghent. I looked out my Window took a picture of the Vista outside my window and ran through my demos back to back for the first time. Obviously, I wouldn't normally stay in  a hotel in Ghent since I leave only 45 minutes away (by car). The hotel was nice and located right in the center.  


    After I went through the demos, I spend some time at the bar with David, Arlindo, Lut, Ritchie and Tom and that was it. It was past 1:00 by the time I got to bed. Only to get up again at 5:30.

    By 7:00 we were again in the keynote room and Arlindo was once more getting our machines to project properly . Can you tell those guys didn’t sleep much either?


    When keynote time was there, things went without a glitch and I hope that people appreciated our efforts to keep the keynote heavy on demos and light on slides.

    In the afternoon, I had a session on Office 2007 UI. Thank God I had Jan Tielens to assist me with the developer demos.  He really knows that stuff. I already read one good review about that session which really makes me happy and gives me the feeling that all those efforts were well worth it.

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    TechEd Europe: Developers 2006 - Building the tracks


    Deciding  which tracks we have is non-trivial but really important. Our  first goal isn't to please Microsoft product groups or marketing folks, we want to have tracks that make sense to the attendee.


    But what is that? Really, I'm asking! Do we create tracks aligned with the way see the Microsoft Platform? Or do we take a more product centric approach? As usually, there's good and bad about both of the approaches.


    Taking the platform route

    When creating tracks that follow the platform route, we come up with something like displayed in the image below. This is not final or complete but gives you a good idea.


     Although this option is quite nice to display, there are some difficult choices to make. For instance, IIS, do we put in the Server track or the ASP.NET track? My guess is that most developers will look for these sessions in the ASP.NET track. Then the Office System with Sharepoint Server, Excel Server and Forms Server, do we put this in the Office track or the Server track. Biztalk could go in the Connected Systems track and you potentially end up with only WSS and Infocard in the Server track.
    Also, do 'smart client' or 'Connected Systems' have any meaning at all to the developer? Let me know.


    The Products route

    This way we get a create tracks based on products. Isn't that the way most developers think? I need to build this solution and I need products x,y and z for that.


    These would be possible tracks:

    • Office System
    • Tools & Languages
    • Architecture & Connected Systems & PAG & Security (we need a name here)
    • SQL Server
    • Web
    • User Experience
    • Servers
    • Business Applications

    Still this is not complete because we might need a seperate track for building windows clients. We could also group all client dev stuff having one client developer track containing: ASP.NET, Atlas, WinForms, Avalon.


    As you can see. A LOT of ways to slice and dice the content. I'll have the track owners debate this but thought also putting this online in case any attendees out there would like to express their preference too. Please share your thoughts and help us build an event that's structured the way you think.

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    Haunted by XBox

    Surely enough when I got into the Microsoft Technology Center in Vedbaek (Denmark), first thing I saw was an XBox 360. PG3 DVD in the system, using a projector as a screen. I have a feeling it's going to me or the XBox...
  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    XBox Live (tag Hans VB)


    Now I know. Xbox Live gaming is seriously addictive. I've always been a fan of racing games and it happened before that a game would start consuming more time than it probably should have. But at least before I got Project Gotham Racing 3 with Live racing, the games had an end.
    I usually played the game so I would first finish all races first in easy and then would re-race all of the tracks in medium and finally hard mode. That was phase one. I would then switch from automatic to manual shifting and kept playing until I would be able to win every race in hard mode. So yes, I spent my fair share of hours gaming.
    But now there's Live. Say goodbye to wife, children and friends because this game never ends. There will always be someone who is faster (at the moment I should say 79.845 people faster). What a wonderful nightmare! Why would anyone build something so devilishly delicious! PG3 racing is hard but it is so rewarding if you find yourself getting more skilled and able to kick some serious burn some serious rubber on the track.
    Live is just awesome the way it is and compare that to the money you pay in the Arcade halls (in Belgium we used to call them Lunaparks :-) ) and you know it's dirt cheap. I mean if you got money to spend on gaming, then this is a cheap way to get
    What I've learned so far is that it's much harder to race real opponents than it is to race the computer. People are much much meaner and will 360° you car just like that. Some people play nice but most like to keep it 'nice and dirty'. Racing real people really tests your cool. I therefore suggest starting with automatic shift. The track and the opponents are enough to worry about.
    Another thing I learned is that you really need the right car for the job. Just look at the cars the others are using and go for that one. It's a bit of a pitty the game does seem to favor Ferraris in most categories. I wonder whether Ferraris are the better cars in real too.
    You can find on XBOX Live by my gamertag HansVB but I won't be there much this week and I believe it's a good thing I travel a lot for work. This way I'm forced to detox once in while.

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    TechEd Europe 2006: moved and reformatted



    Although the rumor has been spreading for a while now, the official announcement has been made today. TechEd Europe has been reformatted and moved to November.


    The format

    Without a doubt, the biggest change is the event’s format. Instead of having one event where content and audience was spread evenly on Developers and IT Pros, we’ll have two separate technical events moving forward.

    • Tech Ed: Developers (week November 6th, CCIB Barcelona, Spain)
    • Tech Ed: IT Forum (week November 13th, CCIB Barcelona, Spain)


    Being the overall technical content owner for TechEd, I can’t be but happy with that. First reason is that we’ve been consistently hearing from attendees that they want more and deeper content. We can’t stay stuck at the 200-300 level sessions but need to move more towards the 400 (deeply technical) level. With the format we had so far, this simply wasn’t possible. We had far too many topics to cover across both audiences. The track owner meetings where I had to tell track owners to cut there sessions by x numbers are still burned into my mind. They remind me of a Visual Basic Team meeting I once attended where the PUM (Product Unit Manager) told the PM’s (Program Managers) they had to cut 20% of the priority 1 features for the release VS2003. It’s the type of meeting that no one leaves happy.


    By separating the events, we’ll have more timeslots available for deeper, audience specific content. We will definitely use this opportunity to include more 400 level sessions in the event. Also I would love to take this opportunity to make the agenda less heavy on the attendees. Do we really need sessions running until 19:00? Sure there can be some sort activities running later but regular sessions, should be kept within normal hours so people can enjoy the conference, the side activities and the city to the full extent. Also this is based on attendee feedback. For those of you interested in both topics, we will offer promotional packages for people wanting to attend both events.  


    If you want to stay tuned to what’s happening with the content for TechEd: Developers, subscribe to my RSS feed and I’ll keep you up to date.


    Time and Location

    Moving the event to November offers many opportunities. Firstly we believe this will allow us to attract more high profile keynote speakers as opposed to an event in the week of the 4th of July. Did you know that TechEd Europe was never able to get BillG to keynote? Now, to be clear, I’m not saying we will this year but I sure will try to get Bill to keynote the event for one of the next editions! Also PR-wise it makes so much more sense to spread TechEd US and TechEd Europe out over the year as it provides to clear opportunities to launch products. So yes, I’m expecting more launch activity at TechEd Europe and yes, I’m hopeful that this will bring more swag to the event!


    Staying away from that date also automatically means that we’re moving away from the start of the 2 month European holiday season. I know quite a few people who haven’t been able to attend because they were on holiday. I understand this differs from country to country but I guess we all agree that because of the complex European holiday map, it makes good sense to stay away from July and August.


    Also this will be easier for other speakers. We try to attract the best speakers from the product teams to speak at our events. Some of these guys really want to be home around the 4th of July. In November the pool of speakers from the product team will be bigger.  


    We also changed the location to Barcelona. Originally we were heading for Amsterdam for one more year. Now it’s Barcelona. I’m sure I don’t need to sell Barcelona to you. And although Amsterdam is a very nice city too, Barcelona still is cheaper for hotels, food, taxi’s, etc… I didn’t do a poll but where do you want to be in November?


    Anyway, please comment whether you like this or not and let me know what your wishes are regarding content since that’s my main concern and the bit I have most influence on.



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    Beta Experience: Call for content


    We are running a Beta Experience Campaign on Vista and Office 12. You can register (http://www.microsoft.com/emea/msdn/betaexperience/) and then you will get notification when Beta 2 of the products comes available and a 6 weekly newsletter containing technical content for developers interested in Office 12 and WinFx.

    One of the things I wanted to do was to put a face on the product teams. A bit like what Channel 9 does. So I arranged two interviews with Corporate VP's from the Office team. Dave Webster in over in Redmond interviewing Richard McAniff and Antoine Leblond. Richard owns Excel Server, Excel and Access while Antoine focusses on common UI (Ribbon, etc...) and the new file format. If you're interested in hearing a 15 minute talk with these people about the why's and how's, then go ahead and register. Alhough mostof the content will be technical I was really eager to add this type of content too. If you like or really dislike the idea, please let me know.

    If you feel you've got great content (code, article, small video) to share with tens of thousands of people, feel free to contact me.



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    Marketeer of the Year 2006: Robert Scobe


    My blog is still here (http://hansvb.officeisp.net/default.aspx) but since there's no use rewarding people if they never find out about it, I thought b-posting here too. Happy holidays!

    End of the year is here and it's about time I start my charts.
    First one to get rewarded is Robert Scoble. In my opinion, he is Microsoft's uber-Marketeer. And I don't mean that in a negative way. Not at all.
    Robert has become a real celebraty travelling around the world talking to employees from Microsoft's friends and foes. He's been having Geekdinners with anywhere between 10 and 200 people attending and very very often you hear signals that Microsoft's image improves even with those people who really dislike Microsoft.
    Scobles blog is far from classical marketing. It's a mix of corporate and ego marketing and the balance is very fine.
    I also would like to suggets a new verb to indicate exercising this type of blogging. 'To Scoble'.
    I like to think that I'm scobling myself with this blog although I'm not nearly as talented at it and dedicated to it as Mr. Scoble himself.
    Congrats Robert you won my first award of 2006.



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    A new day, a new blog


    I recently found out about the office team allowing us – Microsoft FTE’s - to have an external facing sharepoint site with 200MB of storage.


    That’s nice I thought, this is where I will post slides and demos from my presentations. Something people have been asking for a lot.


    The site was serviced last night and with a few clicks I had my site: http://hansvb.officeisp.net/default.aspx.


    I quickly wanted to achieve two things:

    - sharing my documents with the public

    - blogging from the sharepoint site


    The first one was ease: I enabled anonymous access on the web site and then I added a document library to which everyone has at least view access.


    The second one wasn’t too difficult either. The Sharepoint discussion webpart is perfectly suited for blogging. I configured it as follows:

    1. Enabled anonymous access. Everyone can view and add content.
    2. Configured the list so that content needs to be approved.


    Now a blog ain’t a blog if the thing isn’t exposed through RSS. vNext of Sharepoint will enable this out of the box but for the current version you need to use a tool built by Microsoft partners.


    I saw to good solutions:

    1. http://www.u2u.net/software.aspx. I would love to use this tool from my fellow country men but it requires installation on the server something I won’t even bother asking.
    2. The alternative is to use a webpart solution. The Syndication Generator from Bluedog Limited http://www.bluedoglimited.com/default.aspx does the trick very nicely. Installed and configured it in 15 minutes. I won’t be exposing my documents library through RSS. I think the Sharepoint alerts will be more appropriate for that.


    (Read this article if you want to find out more about Sharepoint RSS readers and writers.)


    Anyway, I’m thinking about only blogging through my portal from now on. It does seem easier to have a site all for yourself including storage for documents, images and so on.  


    Hopefully people will know where to find me after a while!


    Hans Verbeeck 

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    Office 12 Open XML File Formats


    For the last couple of months, I‘ve been focusing on Office 12.


    One of the really cool new features is the new Office Open XML File Formats. When you save a Word Document, it gets saved by default to a file with a docx extension. One can rename this to .zip and then open the package to see all the components out of which the document is composed together with the document properties etcetera. The specifications are open and free for anyone to use (more here and here). And yes, we’ll make sure that you can work with them in a (some) pre-Office 12 versions.


    These new file formats are a really important innovation from a technological perspective as well as from the perspective of Microsoft playing an important role in the IT industry where we need to compete and act responsibly at the same time.


    The technological aspect is the one that I’m most passionate about. There are many advantages to having this new file format ranging from decreased possibility for documents to get corrupted to enabling applications to easily manipulate documents without needing to automate Word, Excel or Powerpoint. I’ve built a small sample application to manipulate some Word documents and at the appropriate time, when Office 12 is sufficiently public, I’ll post that on this site.


    I’m a big believer that as long as we make the right technological choices, the market will continue to see Microsoft Office as the productivity suite of choice. There’s plenty of evidence that that is actually the case today. Some of the evidence comes from the small country I call home: https://members.microsoft.com/customerevidence/search/EvidenceDetails.aspx?EvidenceID=13214&LanguageID=1&PFT=Microsoft%20Office%202003&TaxID=20153


    Hans Verbeeck


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    From www.start.com to www.live.com


    Looks like www.start.com is a preview to www.live.com – which is currently in Beta. At least that’s my early interpretation of the news we released yesterday. I need to read some more faq’s before I can 100% confirm that. Anyway, I migrated my start.com page to live.com today.


    I had quite a few RSS feeds added to my start.com page. Fortunately, start.com allows you to export your feeds to an OPML file (click on add feeds and gadgets, then advanced and then you see the link). This OPML file can then be imported in live.com (add content/advanced/import OPML file).


    There are some differences in the way gadgets behave in both sites but the experience is largely the same. I definitely like the gadget that shows the emails in your Hotmail or Windows Live account although one can see that not all the potential of that one has been realized.


    Now who is going to build me a gadget that just displays hyperlinks (no RSS feeds or anything like that, just plain hyperlinks)? J





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    From VS2005 & SQL2005 to Vista and Office 12


    It is so exciting to be at Microsoft at the moment. We are about to launch VS2005, VSTS, SQL2005 and Biztalk and at the same time we are taking steps to keep people up to date on the progress we are making on Office 12 and Vista.  


    Register here if you want to be receiving information and beta bits (starting from beta 2) http://www.microsoft.com/emea/msdn/betaexperience/.


    (Oh and in the meantime MS will ship XBOX 360, I already pre-order mine! And yes, in case you were wondering we pay full price at Microsoft too!)

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    RSS in Outlook


    These companies offer RSS in Outlook:





    Hans Verbeeck



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    My Dealing with RSS


    I’m a late adopter of RSS, I admit. What kept me from using it was that I needed yet another tool. I already had my favorite portal, I already subscribed to one newsgroup too many and I wasn’t up for more information. Now I recently learned how to deal with RSS, I started to adore it. Here’s what I do.


    I installed an addin to Outlook which allows me to subscribe to feeds, post to my blog and much more. This is the tool I use to suscribe to rss feeds I don’t want to miss a single entry from. It’s like email. I scan all messages I get and read those important to me.


    Apart from that tool, I started using http://www.start.com. This is now my new start page. On this page I subscribe to those feeds I scan frequently but it doesn’t hurt if I miss an entry. Mostly these are feeds from IT news sites like Infoworld, ZDNet, Slashdot…. Instead of scanning the actual sites one by one I easily get an overview of the headlines.


    RSS, I’m loving it.


    Hans Verbeeck

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    RSS Changed the way I deal with information


    And this is (should be) the first proof.


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    Get the Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 DVD's and more :-)


    You want to start working with Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 or SQL Server 2005 April CTP (Community Technology Preview)?

    You need training on Whidbey Beta 2 or Yukon April CTP?

    You want to run VSTS Beta 2 to get started with those awesome new tools?


    Well, if you’re living in Europe, Middle East or Africa, we will ship the bits to you. Except if you are living in Germany, you will actually get the DVD’s for free. This is part of the Beta Experience program.

    So even those people who have to deal with low bandwidths and those that don’t enjoy the early access MSDN subscribers do, will be able to enjoy working with VS 2005 Beta 2 and SQL Server 2005 Beta 2.

    Check out the link below, register and you’ll get the bits and a 6 weekly newsletter with more technical information. Not a bad deal is you ask me. (I’m sure you won’t ask.)


    There will be links on local Microsoft  sites too.


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    SQL CLR User Defined Types and Operator Overloading


    Just talked with Shaun Hayward. Someone who onviously very passionate about coding. A (long) while ago he asked me for my opinion on Operator Overloading for User Defined types in SQL Server 2005.


          Good day 

          I came across your blog while looking for Yukon UDT info. 
          I've found that I can't deploy an assembly if any of my UDT's have overloaded the = operator. 
          I think this is strange since the SQL code would make a lot of sense: 

          SELECT MyTable.PlaceName FROM MyTable 
          WHERE MyTable.GPSCoordinateField='49.25,17.36' 

          Just wondering if you have any thoughts. 
          - Shaun


       I just found this email underneath whole lot of others. I’m really sorry for the really late reply.

       What you suggest would definitely make the code more esthetic. I’m not sure whether there are any other benefits since all can be achieved by writing a method on the UDT or by actually instantiating a    second    object and comparing them. In any case I can understand why the product chose not to invest in Operator Overloading. 

       Also, Operator Overloading does seem to be more challenging in an environment where you would use .NET code to overload a SQL operator. The ‘=’ in this statement is still a SQL Operator, agree?

    Shaun :-)

    Hi Hans 

    Thanks for the reply.

    We could get into a big philosophical debate about whether or not the “=” is really a SQL operator. I mean, what is an operator but a shortcut for calling a function? I could be wrong, but my guess is that .NET compiles = in VB.NET to one of those funky “op_” methods. Most operators seem to do this.  

    After all, everything (property, method, constructor, operator, or event) is just a method call in disguise. For that matter, .NET in general should be able to support custom operator defining. But I digress…

    The problem is that SQL Server has certain expectations for its operators. How can you ensure that hack developers actually do the right thing with an operator? What if they toss code into an endless loop? What if they call unmanaged code and throw an IPF or GPF? 

    So I fully appreciate why SQL Server cannot support them at this time. I suspect, however, that future incarnations will come up with ways to handle all of these problems and an operator will be neither a .NET operator nor a SQL Operator. .NET is blurring these lines, much to the praise of developers – myself included.

    For now, there is a work around by my philosophy of idealism remains much the same :-) 

    Once we have full operator control in SQL Server next then my next task shall be to elect an honest politician!


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    One last way to get your session into TechEd Europe 2005


    Surely, by now you have reviewed all sessions we've got lined up for TechEd Europe at our 80% list complete point. (http://www.mseventseurope.com/TechEd/05/Pre/Content/sessionsearch.aspx)

    Now let's say you really want to see another topic covered but you know that we closed the call for papers site on the 11th of March. What can you do?

    Like last year we are again having a room where we don't schedule the sessions but 'the community' does.

    For developer related topics 'the community' is INETA and the enthusiast managing the session list for that room is Damir Tomicic. He is looking forward to getting your ideas as you can read here: http://tomicic.de/PermaLink.aspx?guid=5566ef11-3237-446d-8c90-08673ef50d41

    The sessions 'the community' schedules are called Birds Of  Feather sessions. Allthough I don't really get that Bird thing, the sessions are really cool! They are allabout having a discussion around a specific topic. People flock together and share opinions and experiences. They are way more interactive than the regular TechEd sessions where most interaction is defered to the end.
    I'm hoping to see many great ideas coming from you, 'the community'.




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    New SQL Server 2005 webcasts for developers


    With these, I won't have to travel around anymore talking about Yukon :-) It's a win win!


    Discover how Microsoft SQL Server 2005 offers database developers the optimal combination of a tightly integrated development and data management platform. The rich and flexible programming environment in SQL Server 2005 allows you to leverage your existing skills and utilize familiar tools to build robust, secure, scalable applications.

    Register today to learn how the integration of the .NET Framework in SQL Server 2005 provides several major benefits, such as an enhanced programming model, enhanced safety and security, user defined types and aggregates, and a common development environment that integrates database development into the Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 development environment. In this series, we cover:

    • .NET Framework Integration: Learn how you can now take full advantage of the Microsoft .NET Framework class library and modern programming languages to implement functionality within the server.
    • Transact-SQL and Managed Code: Find out how to decide between using traditional Transact-SQL or a programming language that is compatible with the .NET Framework, such as Visual Basic .NET or C#. Understand where each method provides benefits and how to design for this in the beginning.
    • Web Services: See how to develop XML Web services in the database tier, making SQL Server an HTTP listener.
    • XML: SQL Server 2005 contains deep native support for XML. Learn how this can significantly help as you develop applications that make use of XML.
    • Data Access: Discover how ADO.NET 2.0 not only supports all of the new SQL Server 2005 features but also enables productivity and performance gains for all developers.

    Register for the SQL Server 2005 webcast series to learn more.

    Bonus: Attend a webcast in this MSDN series and complete an evaluation to receive the most current version of SQL Server 2005 Beta software on CD. Attend at least three MSDN webcasts in this SQL Server 2005 webcast series and submit evaluations and you will receive a SQL Server 2005 T-shirt*. And by attending a live webcast in this series and submitting an evaluation, you will qualify to win a Portable Media Center (official rules) pre-loaded with our best webcasts!

    Registration link:


  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    The C++ Product Team comes to Europe


    I'm excited to announce the C++ Product Team will be coming to EMEA from the 21st of April until the 13th of May. We undertand C++ is a topic that get's little attention at most MS events which is why I see this tour as major opportunity to strengthen our ties with the C++ community again.

    At the locations below they will deliver a one day event open to everyone plus a porting lab for selected customers.

    Attendees will learn about improvements to developer productivity in the Whidbey (2005) release, ways to make their application more secure, increase performance, mix native and managed code, and upgrade from prior versions of the Visual C++ compiler.  They will gain a clear understanding of Microsoft’s direction and ongoing commitment to provide the best tools for C++ developers.

    These are the dates and locations. Some of the locations just have one day; at those locations only the event will be held.

    I don't have the registration URL's yet so at this momentjust bug your local MS office about more details (after checking their site of course). Once we have a central page about this tour, I will post the URL.




    United Kingdom





    25/04/2005 - 26/04/2005



    28/04/2005 - 29/04/2005



    2/05/2005 - 3/05/2005









    5/05/2005 - 5/06/2005


    Tel Aviv

    9/05/2005 - 10/5/2005




  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    Sharepoint sessions at TechEd Europe


    Juts had some feedback about last year’s sessions on Sharepoint at TechEd. The feedback was that last year’s sessions weren’t in-depth enough.

    That type of feedback is always welcomed. I pass it on directly to the relevant track owners – in this case Eric Van Bever who owns the Portals and Collaboration track. Indeed, this year’s TechEd features a separate Portals track with all sessions on Sharepoint, Content Management Server and Live Communication Server.  


    At this moment, we are at the 60% point. This means we are having titles for about 60% of the total session slots. The Sharepoint sessions selected thus far – and these are subject to change – are listed below.


    We are definately adding sessions to tis list in the coming weeks so please let us know whether there are topics you would like to see covered that aren’t listed here. Thx!  


    • SharePoint Products and Technologies: 20 ISV Enhancements
    • SharePoint Performance and Capacity Planning Best Practices and Lessons Learned
    • Getting Back to Normal: SharePoint Backup and Disaster Recovery
    • SharePoint Portal Server 2003: Best Practices for an Implementation
    • Developing Sites Definitions and Templates for Windows SharePoint Services
    • Project: Collaboration with the Microsoft Office Enterprise Project Management Solution and Windows SharePoint Services
    • Maximizing SAP with SharePoint and Other Microsoft Technologies
    • Project Server 2003 and SharePoint Portal Server 2003: Integrating with Line of Business Solutions
    • Deploying, Administering and Updating SharePoint Sites and Portals
    • SharePoint Search Technologies
  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    10 more (working) days left to submit papers for TechEd Europe 2005


    Call for papers site closes on the 11th of March. If you are intending to submit a post then please read my previous email on this.



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