Microsoft Ireland Team Blog

April, 2008

  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Free Unified Communications (development) Training for ISVs


    Microsoft Western Europe are running some free training in May and June on developing with the UC platform.


    Microsoft Innovation Center Barneveld

    Nijverheidsplein 21a

    3771 MR Barneveld

    The Netherlands

    Date: May 8th-9th, 2008



    Microsoft Italy Conference Center

    Centro Direzionale San Felice (Palazzo A)

    Via Rivoltana, 13

    20090 - Segrate (Milano)


    Date: June 4th – 5th, 2008


    Event Overview

    This two day event is your opportunity to get hands-on experience on the Unified Communications Platform SDKs, OCS 2007, OCS 2007 Speech Server, Exchange Server 2007 and OC 2007. Sessions will be a combination of instructor-led training with proctored, hands-on labs, designed to give you first-hand experience developing with the Unified Communications Platform.



    This event offers an end-to-end view of the Unified Communications Platform.

    ·         Overview

    o   Building Software on the Unified Communications Platform

    o   Unified Communications: Behind the Scenes with OCS 2007, OC 2007 and Exchange 2007

    ·         Building Communications Into Custom Clients

    o   Driving Contextual Collaboration with OC 2007

    o   Building Contextual Collaboration Clients for the Web using the UC AJAX SDK

    o   Building Asynchronous Contextual Collaboration with Exchange Web Services

    ·         Building Services

    o   Business Process Communication with the UCMA, Part 1.

    o   Business Process Communication with the UCMA, Part 2.

    o   Anywhere Information Access with OCS 2007 Speech Server


    Attendee Prerequisites

    This is a fast-paced, two day event designed for experienced software developers and solution architects. Familiarity with VS 2005 and .NET Framework 2.0 is required. If you work for an ISV based in Ireland or Northern Ireland,  please contact me for more info on pre-requisites and how to register. Cross posted from ronan's blog

  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Combining Information Rights Management with Watermarking via an Outlook 2007 add-in


    VSTO 3.0 with Visual Studio 2008 makes it incredibly easy to extend the office ribbon, and write managed code to add new functionality. A good proof of this from my recent experience was a simple add-in I wrote which combined Information Rights Management in the 2007 Office System with watermarking for a POC. The idea is that you compose a new email as normal, add some attachments, restrict permissions (for the email and attachments) via IRM and then use the add-in which sends a personalised email to all recipients, where the permissions are restricted as you set out, but attachments are also individually watermarked with the name of the recipient:

    watermarked document

    In theory this should help mitigate the risk of a recipient taking a digital photograph of restricted content displayed on their screen. Have a look and let me know what you think! It is a little rough around the edges (doesn't clean up temp files at the moment) but not bad for ~60 lines of VSTO code (plus another 50 or so for applying the watermark to the individual documents, which was based on code from a post on Paul Stubbs' blog).


    (Double-click for full-screen).

    I've attached the code, so you can download via the link below (disclaimer : this is a POC, not production code and is unsupported :-))

    Cross posted from ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Microsoft Ireland Podcast: Episode 3 - SharePoint Server with Tom Nugent



    In our third episode of our weekly podcast, Tom Nugent discusses SharePoint Server and how it's being used in Ireland today.

    Thanks to t r y ^ d for the use of their music.

    Resources for further information:

    Technet SharePoint Server 2007 Website:

    Microsoft SharePoint Briefing - Dublin:

    Microsoft SharePoint Briefing - Belfast:

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    SQL Server 2008 for ISV Developers - Classroom Training May 15th 2008


    I mentioned this previously, and now the date has been finalised - it's 15th May 2008, in Microsoft Ireland. I've included the agenda below, for more details of the exact location, time and how to register, please contact me directly (and let me know your feedback on the agenda).


    Please note that this run of the course is specifically for ISV developers in Ireland / Northern Ireland...I'll be publishing details of other dates soon, so watch this space!


    Overview of SQL Server 2008 for Developers

    Duration: 1 Day

    Audience: Developers

    Presentation / Demo

    Module 01 – TSQL Improvements and Data Types

    · New Date and Time Data Types

    · Table-Valued Parameters

    · T-SQL Assign and Increment Operators

    · Row Constructors

    · Grouping Sets

    · MERGE statement

    · Dependency Views

    · Performance Enhancements

    Module 02 – Beyond Relational

    · Spatial Data

    · Filestream Data Storage

    · XML Data and Query

    · Hierarchies and HierarchyID

    · Sparse Data Designs

    Module 03 – Client Programmability

    · Native Client Programming

    · ODBC and OLE DB

    · ADO.NET Programming with SqlClient

    · JDBC Programming

    · LINQ to SQL

    Module 04 – Microsoft ® Business Intelligence Strategy Overview

    · Defining Business Intelligence

    · Introducing the Microsoft BI Platform

    · Introducing the BI Developer’s Toolset

    · Introducing the Adventure Works Cycles Company

    Module 05 – Introduction to Reporting Services

    · Introduction to SSRS

    · Publishing and Accessing Reports with SSRS and Office Cross posted from ronan's blog

  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Imagine Cup Ireland Video!


    I was really lucky to get to go to the Ireland Imagine Cup Championships last week here in Sandyford.  There were some great projects shown off, all with the idea of improving the environment.

    Microsoft Student Partner Alan Spillane did a great job of not only filming the various projects, he also interviewed teams and edited all the footage for us to enjoy.  See a copy of that video below!

    Nice work Alan - thanks very much for that!

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    OpenCoffee Club Dublin Tomorrow


    OpenCoffee Club Dublin has been a bit quiet lately.  Too quiet.image

    It's time to shake it up again.

    At the very fun & first ever Monthly Open Wine Tasting last night (many thanks to Lar Veale!), a lot of people were talking about how much they had missed OpenCoffee in the past month.  So tomorrow's OpenCoffee Club Dublin should be expecting a lot of attendees, both new and old.

    It would be cool if people go to the OpenCoffee Club Dublin website & leave a comment if they're attending, just so people know who will be there.  Unless of course, you're me, in which case it generally is better if I leave a comment that I *won't* be there, so that more people turn up. Just kidding.

    See you tomorrow!

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    .NET 3.5 SP1 - .NET 3.5 Enhancements Training Kit (ASP.NET MVC, Data Services, Silverlight controls etc.)


    You can now download the .NET 3.5 Enhancements Training Kit which covers the technologies in the .NET 3.5 SP1 release and the out of band releases that are a part of the same wave, namely ASP.NET MVC and the ASP.NET Silverlight controls. Currently, the training kit contains six hands-on labs, made up of the following technologies:

    1) ADO.NET Data Services

    2) ADO.NET Entity Framework

    3) ASP.NET AJAX History

    4) ASP.NET Dynamic Data

    5) ASP.NET MVC

    6) ASP.NET Silverlight controls

    For more info see

    Cross posted from ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    What Are You Doing on Saturday May 3rd...?


    I know I'll be in Galway for the Developer Developer Developer event!  Thanks a million to Ben Sykes for his amazing work in creating the gorgeous above flyer for the event.  Check out for more information - see you in Galway!

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Gadgets to help you keep up to date with latest technical content


    Check out this set of Windows Vista Sidebar Gadgets for keeping up to date with the latest content on Channel 8, Channel 9, Channel 10, TechNet Edge, and Mix Online.


    · Automatic rotation of latest articles on the site allows you to quickly see what’s new and keep up to date without opening a browser

    · Read articles and view videos right on your desktop or navigate directly to the post

    · Gadgets works with both Silverlight 1.0 as well as the SL 2 beta

    These gadgets are available to the public on the Windows Live Gallery:

    · Channel 9

    · Channel 10

    · TechNet Edge

    · Channel 8

    · Mix Online


    Cross posted from ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Microsoft Ireland Podcast: Episode 2 - User Account Control with Jorge Leitão


    In our second episode of our weekly podcast, Jorge Leitão talks to us about User Account Control feature in Windows Vista.

    Thanks to t r y ^ d for the use of their music.

    Resources for further information:

    Microsoft Ireland Consulting Services Blog:

    Microsoft TechNet overview of User Account Control: 

    Windows Vista Application Compatibility – for ITPros and developers:

    Applications that have earned the "Certified for Windows Vista" logo or the "Works with Windows Vista" logo: Cross posted from Martha's Blog

  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Video - benefits of multi-targeting in VS 2008


    Zoran Jovanovic, Technical Lead with Dell in Ireland was one of our local VS 2008 launch heroes. Watch the below video to hear Zoran talk about the benefits of multi-targeting in VS 2008.




    BTW, the video was recorded at the end of February 2008... Cross posted from ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Video - Dell Global Build Automation Team on migration to TFS 2008


    Frederic Meyer, Team Lead with Dell's Global Build Automation Team was one of our local VS 2008 launch heroes. Watch the below video to hear Frederic talk about the experience in migrating from TFS 2005 to TFS 2008, and his favourite feature in TFS 2008 (same as mine, Continuous Integration...)



    BTW, the video was recorded at the end of February 2008...

    Cross posted from ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Video - DeCare Systems Ireland talk about testing Java and .NET with VS 2008 Test Edition


    Peter Buckley, Test Team Lead with DeCare Systems Ireland was one of our local VS 2008 launch heroes. Watch the video below to hear Peter talk about how his team use VS 2008 Test Edition to test both Java and .NET web applications within DeCare. If you'd like read more about check out the following post on the DeCare Systems Ireland blog.

    Double click the video for full-screen.

    Cross posted from ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    VS 2008 / SSIS packages


    I recently received a question about opening SQL 2005 SSIS packages in VS 2008. So the situation is that for SSIS you use BIDS (Business Intelligence Dev Studio) which is based on Visual Studio - what it provides is a subset of the VS functionality. If you install VS 2005 before installing SQL Server 2005 the environments are one and the same, but it’s with BIDS that you get the project types that are specific to SQL Server 2005 Business intelligence. The situation is that to open SSIS projects in VS 2008 you need SSIS 2008. According to the below blog post, since VS 2008 can target .NET 2.0 you can then use it to develop for SSIS 2005.

    Here is a link from the Microsoft BI team which I think explains things in more detail:




    Cross posted from ronan's blog


  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Developer Developer Developer Ireland - get yourself signed up!


    DDDLogo Phew! We are just over the IMTC, but there is no rest for the wicked (or at least the MS Tech Community in Ireland). Next up on the agenda is the Developer Developer Developer (or DDD) event happening down in Galway on the May bank holiday weekend.


    So, why should you go along?

    Well, apart from the impressive agenda - 5 tracks with top notch speakers - there are promises of amazing swag giveaways, and great events (like podcasts from the pub on the Aran Islands - the most westerly point in Ireland, and one of the most spectacular spots to visit on the island) happening around the main event itself. There's even talk of a visit to Craggy Island's parochial house (apparantly there are some Fr. Ted fans among the speakers! ;)

    DDD events have been running over in the UK for quite some time and are incredibly popular over there. This is our first one in Ireland, but we're hoping it's the first of many!! Check out this video if you want a feel of what it's all about.

    Best of all, this event is totally free - you just have to get yourself there!

    Here is a list of the sessions you can choose from - but you should check out the agenda page for full details of each session, timings and even some into videos for the sessions.

    Cross-posted from Clare's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Another great IMTC - thanks to everyone involved!


    Well, IMTC is over for another year - and a big thanks to everyone who made it such a success - congratulations to Barry, Patricia (from Irishdev) and all the speakers in particular! It was fantastic to meet so many great people over the three days.

    Thanks aswell to Chuck, Simon, Craig, Dave and Martha who were kept very busy filming all the sessions. We are hoping to have some of those published online over the next few weeks - in case you were unlucky enough to miss out on the event itself... so keep your eyes peeled for them! :)

    Cross-posted from Clare's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Ireland Girl Geek Dinners featured on RTÉ Six One News


    Philip Bromwell of RTÉ Six One News was kind enough to send me a DVD of the clip he filmed and produced for their news show.  He was wonderful to work with and did an amazing job putting this small, two-minute video together for the general public to get a feel for what we are doing.

    Thanks Philip!


    Cross posted from Martha's Blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    IMTC 2008: Day Two Review


    On Friday, April 4th, I attended Day Two of the 3rd annual Irish Microsoft Technology Conference.  It was another jam-packed day with lots of well-known speakers who are experts in their fields.

    Ben Sykes kicked off the first session on Friday with a discussion called "What Species is YOUR User?" about the fundamentals of interactivity and memory, and how these principles can and should affect your web creations.  I really enjoy hearing about the psychology side of the web as I know very little about it.  Ben gave some great practical examples as well to demonstrate his points.

    Another really different and entertaining talk I saw was an overview of Mix 08 by Phil Winstanley.  Phil did a nice job timing his slides and presentation so the flow was great.  He pointed out the highlights of the sessions and keynotes (and bars/clubs/Stratosphere), along with the important new technology announcements from Mix, and succeeded in making me very jealous of those who went.  Most critical, there was a strong presence of lolcats, and I am a sucker for lolcats, so I give Phil's talk two thumbs up.

    After lunch I listened to Gary Short talk about using the Web Client Software Factory.  Even if you had no interest in WCSF, you would sit and listen to Gary because he is a wonderful speaker with such a fantastic accent.  But as it happens, WCSF is actually really cool and useful, which is even better.  I confess I knew nothing about WCSF before I saw Gary's session but was very impressed with the modularity enabled by it as well as all the baked-in capabilities.  It seems very cool and I'm glad Gary showed it off - I will definitely be taking a deeper look into WCSF in the near future.

    The last session I saw on Friday was Doug Seven's talk on how to Reach End Users with Next Generation Web Applications.  Doug is a Senior Product Manager for Microsoft Visual Studio Team System, and he is amazing because this was his *fourth* talk of the conference.  He flew over from Redmond, Washington especially for the IMTC.  He did a great job showing off support for developers and IT pros with VS 2008 and even handled a database corruption incredibly well.  I'm looking forward to watching the videos of some of his other talks, including Breakthrough Development Challenges with WS & Improving Team Development with Microsoft VSTS.

    I didn't get to see anything else on Friday because my session was the last one of the day.  I couldn't believe that over 70 people stayed until the last session on the last day!  Very impressed with the IMTC crowd!  I went over some of the new features of Silverlight 2 including Deep Zoom, demonstrated examples of managed code and script communicating, and also showed off the new beta versions of Expression Encoder and Expression Blend and some of their new features.  Like Doug, I also ran into a couple of demo woes right at the beginning, but thankfully I had a great audience who helped me out and got me past being flustered, especially after having gone through them 9327548917414 times before the session started.  Thanks everyone!

    I hope all the attendees and speakers enjoyed their time at the IMTC.  This is the first time the event has ever been two full days, and it was incredibly successful, so we'll likely do two days again next year.

    If you are looking for more tech talks, or you missed some of the speakers, you have some options.  I mentioned in my last IMTC post about DDD Ireland, which is taking place the first weekend of May in Galway at GMIT.  It's a full day of Microsoft MVP speakers talking about the technology they love, and several of the speakers from the IMTC will be there, including Dave McMahon, Oliver Sturm, Phil Winstanley, Gary Short, and Richard Costall.  Oh yeah, and it's *free*.  Register now, as registrations are filling up and spaces are limited.  The DVDs of the IMTC will also be available in about a month, so if you registered for the IMTC, you should be receiving them about a month from now.

    If you have any feedback about the event, questions, concerns or suggestions for next year, please feel free to either leave a comment below or e-mail me at martharo [at]  Thanks for your participation!

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Ireland Girl Geek Dinners: Go vote for your date preference


    A poll is open on for the next dinner IrelandGirlGeekLogo_Brownin Cork.  I had several people comment that they wanted different days, some prefer weekends, some weeknights, so this time around you all can vote.

    Once the date is set, registration will open on Tuesday, April 15th.

    Looking forward to seeing you in Cork!

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Clare Dillon Interview with Chris Dalby


    Check out Clare’s video with Chris Dalby of Yellow Park from last week's IMTC.  Chris is not only a Microsoft MVP and the founder and Director of Yellow Park, but also the genius behind the "Chinposin'" phenomenon that has taken Twitter/Flickr by storm.  (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you should check out:

    Here's the link to the video interview on

    Clare and Chris talk about the IMTC & the events surrounding it, along with the Ireland Microsoft user groups. She also talks with Chris about Live Meeting & Roundtable.

    Nice work Clare and Chris!!

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Microsoft Ireland Podcast: Episode 1 - Silverlight


    For the first episode of our weekly podcast, I answer frequently asked questions about Silverlight technology.

    Thanks to t r y ^ d for the use of their music.

    Resources for further information:

    Silverlight Base for all things:

    Getting Started with Silverlight:

    Check out community samples (often with free shared code!): 

    See fantastic released sites built on top of Silverlight:

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    New Feature: Microsoft Ireland Weekly Podcasts


    That's right - now you get to hear my lovely voice every week.  Each week I'll be bringing you interviews with IT Pros and Developers about new technology, features and questions that we get here at Microsoft Ireland.

    But I need your help.  If there are topics of interest to you, questions you have about Microsoft technology, or concerns you have with features, please let us know and we can address them weekly on the show! 

    If you want something featured on the weekly podcast, please e-mail me at martharo [at] and I will try to address your question in an upcoming recording.

    Thanks for your help and participation, and I look forward to hearing your feedback. 

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    IMTC 2008: Day One Review


    I am still trying to recover from the 3rd annual Irish Microsoft Technology Conference.  Literally, because I completely lost my voice sometime Friday evening (luckily after my talk) and still don't have it back.  My phone also disappeared during the conference.  Hmm, no phone and no voice...I get the feeling someone is trying to tell me something... ;-)

    The conference was a blast.  We brought over speakers from the UK and the US, along with a US film crew for live streaming the events (thanks to Chuck Boyce).  The four tracks covered a wide variety of Microsoft technology including IT Pro and Developer focused sessions.  I had the opportunity to catch quite a few sessions, too, and I learned a lot of new things.

    One of the best sessions I've se en in a long time was Richard Costall's talk on Silverlight.  Richard gave the first talk of the day on Thursday to a pretty packed theatre.  His talk was completely interactive...with himself.  Rich created a Silverlight app that had a video viewer built-in and used media markers to cue himself to interact, ask questions, point out tips and even pimp his own book!  It was really entertaining and well-done.  Thanks Richard!!

    For interactiveness, Chris Dalby's talk on eStorming and Live Meeting was very cool.  Chris not only set up the session as a Live Meeting itself, he also had someone from Microsoft Ireland in Sandyford log in to the Live Meeting session and demo Roundtable for us, which was very cool!  Ireland is really lucky in that Roundtable is not available in many places yet, but it is available here as of February.  Nice talk on Live Meeting - I did not know much about before and I really learned a lot.

    I listened to Chris Seary talk about "Securing Communications using WCF."  He discussed WS-Security and WCF and how and when to use them.  Chris gave several very nice demos, too, including examining the WCF Service Library and various methods of protecting communications.  There was a lot of great technical detail in Chris' talk and it was quite well done.

    Randy Henne has just moved to Ireland.  His talk, "Experiment for Optimising Customer Experience", explained a lot about experiments performed on websites, such as, to find out how customers react to small changes and how different UI affects their behavior and thinking.  I found it to be fascinating.  Randy moved here to set up the Experimentation Platform Team at Microsoft's European Development Centre, so I look forward to seeing more about him and his group's work.

    Oliver Sturm talked about LINQ and changing the way you code.  Oliver is a very relaxed and easy-going speaker who is incredibly knowledgeable in all areas of .Net.  His code and demonstrations were very straightforward and easy to follow.  I didn't get to see his other talk on Functional Programming in C#3, so I'm looking forward to getting the video of that.  Or I can wait and see it in a month at DDD Ireland.  Oliver is also talking about WPF and the end of Windows Forms at DDD Ireland.

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Last chance to register for the Irish Microsoft Technology Conference 2008!


    Looking forward to heading along to the opening of the Irish Microsoft Technology Conference later on this evening - maybe I'll see you there. But if you haven't already registered - there is still time... just head along to!

    Here are a couple of more tasters from the folks presenting over the next few days... enjoy! :)


    Cross-posted from Clare's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Community Launch Kits - in the post!


    The vast majority of the Community Launch 2008 kits were sent out in the last two weeks. We have about 10 or 12 left to send out (folks that confirmed postal address in the last week or so) - but most of you should have yours by now. Hope you are having fun with them! :)

    If you haven't got yours through some postal mishap - just mail your local user group lead and we'll get you sorted!

    We will be announcing some additional free training for developers shortly as part of the Launch Experience - so keep your eyes peeled for that!

    Cross-posted from Clare's blog
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