Microsoft Ireland Team Blog

  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Silverlight Superstar Tim Heuer Visits Dublin!


    image I am thrilled that Tim Heuer is coming to visit Dublin to kick off the Dublin Microsoft Technology User Group’s first meeting of 2010!

    As a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft for the Silverlight Team, Tim joins us for a talk about What’s New in Silverlight 4 and Using Silverlight for building Line-of-Business (LOB) Applications.  Tim is a fantastic speaker and a very smart guy, and this event will be really in-depth, so if you are currently working with Silverlight or thinking about building Silverlight applications in the near future, you need to be here.Tim Heuer

    About Tim: Tim helps build the worldwide Silverlight community and loves talking about the platform and technology in general, as well as learning and being inspired how others are using it.  Having over 13 years of experience with Microsoft web technologies, Tim is excited about the opportunities that Silverlight brings for developers and designers and wants to ensure that everyone has the best information and tools available to them for success.

    WHEN: Monday, February 1st at 7:00pm
    WHERE: The Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Golden Lane

    As it’s the first event of 2010, we’ll have drinks afterwards, and we have some attendance prizes too.  Please come along, bring a friend, and let us know what events YOU’D like to see in 2010!

    See you on Monday, February 1st!

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    More XNA News: Dream.Build.Play Registration Ends Today


    The annual XNA competition, Dream.Build.Play, closes its registration at the end of today (January 18th).

    If winning $100,000 sounds pretty good to you and you have a great idea for a killer Xbox 360 game, check out  Today is the last day to register to compete, and games can be submitted starting tomorrow until March 3, 2010.


    This year’s competition is a bit bigger with the addition of the “Microsoft Old Spice Challenge” which is giving away $60,000 in prizes.  The standard Dream.Build.Play challenge is there as always for developers who dream of creating the next huge game, and you can win not just up to $40,000, but also a chance at an Xbox LIVE Arcade publishing contract!

    But don’t hesitate to register.  Get cracking or get your team together and submit a game for one or both challenges.  Let me know if you have any questions about Dream.Build.Play.  Good luck!

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    XNA Creators Club: Developer Talk Series


    Want to learn about some exciting new developments in XNA?  Would you like to hear live from experts?  Starting this month, the Developer Talk Series by the XNA Creators Club hosts monthly discussions with expert developers and people working with XNA technology. 

    Upcoming topics include “Getting Started with Custom Shaders” in January, “First Impressions Matter: How UI Animation can make the Difference” in March, and more in the next few months.

    Check out for the list of upcoming talks and to register.


    Register quickly, as space is limited for the talks.

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Silverlight Jumpstart – Update


    I have received a lot of e-mails about the Silverlight Jumpstart program for January.  While I’m writing back to everyone, I wanted to post an update to let you know what’s going on with it.

    Unfortunately due to resources and time being low on the team (we’ve had some team members shuffling around a bit) I cannot offer the Jumpstart again at this time.  The earliest we’ll be able to do the program again is in June 2010. 

    We will be having some fantastic Silverlight-focused speakers visiting Ireland and Northern Ireland in the next few months, however, so please stay tuned to find out more about that.  And if you’re heading over to MIX10 in Las Vegas in March like me and Clare Dillon, you can attend not only Silverlight talks, but also a variety of intensive, half-day workshops:


    If you have any questions about the Silverlight Jumpstart in June, want to get on the waiting list, or have questions about MIX10, please let me know.  Thanks for your interest.

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    SharePoint 2010 – Ignite Training, Developer Track


    This is a bit last-minute, as I only recently found out about it but I wanted to add it for anyone who is doing SharePoint work.  There is a training event this week from January 11th – January 15th at BT Training Solutions.

    The five day training is targeted towards experienced SharePoint 2007 developers, covering developer topics for SharePoint Server 2010 including SharePoint 2010 Services Architecture, SharePoint Development with VS10, changes to Workflows, External Data in SharePoint, Extending the SharePoint 2010 Search Infrastructure and other relevant topics.

    The training will cover the following topics:

    Course Overview

    • Welcome & Intro to SharePoint 2010
    • Developer Roadmap
    • Development with VS2010
    • Changes in Feature Framework & Solution Packaging Model
    • UI Advancements
    • Designing Lists and Schemas
    • Linq to SharePoint
    • Client Object Model
    • Workflow
    • Services Architecture
    • External Data in SharePoint
    • Enterprise Content Management
    • Extending Search
    • Business Intelligence
    • Sandboxed Solutions
    • Claims Based Authentication
    • Upgrading Custom Code from 2007 to 2010
    • Application Lifecycle Management

    Pre-requisites and Fees:

    As the training is targeted for experienced developers, it is recommended that attendees have passed the following exam - Exam 70-542: TS: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 - Application Development. 

    There is a fee of €300 per person for this course. 


    To register please email Neil Beasley (neil.2.beasley [at]

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    New Year, New Blog


    Not mine, Microsoft’s!


    Microsoft is sporting a shiny new official blog here:  This blog aims to “cover and add context around the top level news from the company and industry.”  I know a lot of people who have been asking for this for a long time, so keep an eye on it and let them know if you have any feedback. 

    Oh, and welcome back from holidays! :)  We have a lot of news and events coming online in the next few months, so I took the opportunity to head home to the US and recharge a bit.  I left snow in the Midwest, found snow in Dublin, and it’s still here.  I think I am in the minority of Dubliners enjoying the snow, though. 

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Web Innovators – It’s Time For MIX


    MIX10 Logo MIX10 is finally open for registration and it’s going to be a fantastic event in Las Vegas this year.  The Gu and Bill Buxton are returning to keynote the conference and new speakers and topics are being added weekly.

    WHEN: March 15-17, 2010
    WHERE: Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nevada, US
    WHO: Developers, Designers, and Anyone Building Innovative Web Experiences

    I know budgets are tight and travel restrictions are tough at the moment.  So I am glad there are some really great discounts available at the moment for everyone.  Register before January 15th and you save almost 50% off of the price of the conference, plus you get a free night in the Mandalay Bay hotel.  If you are interested in a possible free ticket, see the section below on speaking opportunities.
    (By the way, thanks to the weak dollar, as of today there are flights to Las Vegas from Dublin for under €550, so this is actually shaping up to be a bargain of a conference!)

    This year, head over early to be there for the workshops on March 14th.  You can select from Silverlight 4 Bootcamp with John Papa, HTML5 with Molly Holzschlag, Design Tools with Arturo Toledo, Designing for Developers with Robby Ingebretsen, Cloud Services and Azure with Ryan Dunn, ASP.NET MVC with Jon Galloway, or Media Processing with Alex Zambelli.  MIX10

    Lots of sessions have already been announced on the site here:  Topics currently include Silverlight, UX, Windows Azure, AJAX, Open Standards, SharePoint, Embedded and much more.  I can’t think of a talk title more exciting than “Robots at MySpace: Massive Scaling a .NET Website with Microsoft Robotics Studio”, so I’m especially looking forward to that talk by Erik Nelson!  Sessions will continue to be added, so keep an eye on this section. 

    If you have an idea for a speaking session, want to talk about design, development, web innovation or something along those lines, you should think about submitting a session proposal.  Proposals are being accepted from now until December 31st, and voting starts January 5th, 2010.  If you’re submitting a proposal, e-mail me and let me know so we can help support you.

    You can follow MIXEvent on Twitter for more information, updates, speaker mentions and other news.

    For the first time ever, I’m going to MIX in 2010.  I’ve been dying to go every year, so I can’t tell you how excited I am.  Clare Dillon will also be going, and I know of a few people submitting talks and planning to go.  So it looks like we’ll have a fun group of Irish people over in Las Vegas in March, and we’ll make a proper Paddy’s Day out of it, too. If you have any questions at all about MIX, are thinking about heading along or wondering if they’re going to be covering something you’re working on, please e-mail me and let me know.  Hope to see you in Las Vegas!

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Life At Microsoft Part II


    About a year ago, this video was posted which revealed that Microsoft geeks are incredibly competitive and that we love having code-offs.  I love this video & use it all the time in my talks and presentations.

    I was thrilled to find out the same team recently did a follow-up video which is equally hilarious.  Although the weather this week in Ireland has been crazy, the scuba employees are not actually from Cork.  Enjoy!

    Get Microsoft Silverlight

    Caution: iPhone scene may be a bit graphic for some viewers. ;-)

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Catch Up on PDC Videos with MSDN & Channel 9


    Channel 9 I’ve been spending quite a bit of time over the last few days trying to catch up on Microsoft PDC videos, especially all the Silverlight 4 announcements.

    Channel9 has done a great job of connecting with a lot of the PDC speakers and posting short interviews and in-depth conversations about their topics.  You can find things like Joe Stegman (Silverlight Program Manager Director) talking about Out of Browser Silverlight applications, an overview of Rx (Reactive Extension) Applications, new SharePoint Features, and lots more.

    Something else that’s on Channel 9 that you might not be aware of is the courses section here:   There are now up-to-date courses on Silverlight 4, Visual Studio 2010 (beta 2), SharePoint 2010, the Identity Framework, Windows 7, Azure, and everything in between.  The training courses tell you what prerequisites you need and then give you bite-sized chunks of videos and hands-on labs to learn about different features.

    Channel 9 Silverlight 4 Training Course

    So check out the free training courses and get up-to-speed with all the new announcements and developments released last week at Microsoft PDC!

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    PDC – Be There Virtually


    I’m not in Los Angeles this week for the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference.  Which is unfortunate, because yesterday all attendees were given free ASUS multi-touch laptops.  And besides the exciting giveaways, there have been some very exciting new announcements like the availability of both the Surface SDK and the new 4 beta.

    However I’m tuning in each day live at and getting high quality video of the keynotes.  If you’ve missed Ray Ozzie, Scott Guthrie, Steven Sinofsky or anyone else, you can watch the keynote sessions on demand.

    There are also plenty of sessions available online already, like the Windows Touch Deep Dive, Microsoft ASP.NET MVC 2, Extending Silverlight 4’s Sandbox, and much more.  You can get a complete list of the sessions which are already available here: 

    PDC 09

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Surface SDK Available on Microsoft Download Center


    Microsoft Surface

    Perfect timing!  I had a great time talking with people about the Microsoft Surface device last weekend at BarCamp Cork, and now the Surface SDK has been released this week at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference.

    Previously, to design and build applications for the Surface, one needed to purchase a Surface Development unit, which as you might expect has a hefty price tag.  You still need a Surface to deploy your application, but now the SDK Workstation Edition lets you use a PC to develop and a PC-based emulator to test applications with multiple mice & tag simulation tools. has all the links you need to get the Microsoft Surface SDK 1.0 SP1 Workstation Edition, documentation, and everything else you need to build touch-enabled applications.  There are also some UX guidelines, related resources, and a community section to ask your questions.

    Are you doing anything cool with Surface, Silverlight, Windows 7 or other touch-enabled platforms?  I’d love to hear about it – e-mail me at martharo [at] or leave a comment below.

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Upcoming Talks and Events


    November just started and it’s shaping up to be quite a busy month already.

    The Silverlight Jumpstart course I mentioned previously on my blog kicks off its second round this week at the Westbury.  The course is full for both in-person attendees and LiveMeeting attendees, however if you’re interested in a future session, please e-mail me at

    DEFUSE  Design For UseOn Tuesday, November 3rd, the IxDA (Interaction Design Association) is hosting DEFUSE Design for Use at the Sugar Club.  DEFUSE is an evening of Pecha Kucha talks with 13 excellent speakers lined up to talk about various aspects of Interaction Design.  To register for this free event or to find out more, go to



    MTUGAre you a web developer or designer near Shannon?  On Wednesday November 4th, I’ll be at the Midwest Region Microsoft Technology User Group in Shannon talking about “SketchFlow: Building Web and Desktop Applications from Concept to Production.” For more information and to register for this free event, go to


    image Belfast is quite the place to be this week with a lot of activity around the Build Conference.  The conference lineup looks absolutely fantastic!  While the majority of the conference is happening on Thursday November 5th at the Waterfront Studio, other events including a screening of Objectified, several workshops and lectures and a BarCamp are happening this week too.  For more information on any of the Build events, see their schedule here:  Tickets for the conference & workshops can be booked at


    Thursday November 12th is World Usability Day, and to celebrate, the usability experts at iQ Content are launching their gorgeous, brandimage new studio.  You should check out their blog, as it has some lovely pictures of the sparkling new studio, which can be booked for usability tests, focus groups or market research.  And of course they’re having a party to launch the whole thing.  You can find out more information on their blog and RSVP – I hear PowerPoint Karaoke may be involved.


    image Meetforreal events have been really taking off in Dublin and Galway.  On November 18th, find out what would happen if we knew where all of our stuff came from.  At 18:30 in the Science Gallery in Dublin, Fred Pearce (environmental consultant of New Scientist magazine) will tell his tale of discovering the truth about where stuff comes from which took him around the world seven times.  Register for this event and learn more about meetforreal here: 


    imageCork is also a busy city in November, as BarCamp Cork returns for its third year.  19 people have signed up to give talks so far on Saturday November 14th at the Cork International Airport Hotel around a wide variety of topics, so it will be a very fun day.  To register to attend and/or speak at this free event, go to


    imageWith everyone heading down to Cork anyway, we grabbed the opportunity to have the second ever Cork Girl Geeks Dinner the evening before.  Sabrina Dent and Ciara Crossan have organized a fab evening at the Gourmet Burger Bistro in Cork from 8pm on Friday November 13th.  Register to attend at


    Last but not least, if you’re into video games, you do not want to miss Video Games Live at the Nationalimage Concert Hall on Sunday November 29th.  Video Games Live is the largest video game concert in the world.  What is a video game concert?  It’s a concert featuring music from your favourite video games, including Mario, Zelda, Halo, Final Fantasy and much, much more.  There are still some balcony seats available – book now at

    Sign up today for the events that interest you so that you’re not disappointed.  See you there.

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Introducing the Silverlight Jumpstart Program


    Over the last three weeks, I ran a pilot program with nine Dublin developers and designers called Silverlightimage Jumpstart.  This free training program was designed to give developers and designers intensive training in developing rich, interactive applications using Silverlight.  It focuses on understanding the programming model, the feature set, and two separate tools: Expression Studio and Visual Studio.

    The program runs for three weeks and is very time-consuming.  Participants spend two 1/2 days each week in sessions and have a substantial amount of exercises to complete at home as well.  The topics covered include how XAML works, creating Silverlight prototypes, building user interfaces, incorporating data, building controls, styling applications, using media, incorporating DeepZoom and more.  Throughout the course, participants use and become more familiar with both Visual Studio and Expression Studio to build these applications.

    I am opening this program to a larger group for the second session, which runs from November 3rd – November 20th.  I have listed the programs benefits and requirements below, and if this sounds like something you would be interested in, please let me know by e-mailing me at martharo [at]

    If the timing doesn’t work for you at the moment but you’d still be interested, please e-mail me and let me know.  I tentatively have another session scheduled to start in late January, and will do more as long as there is interest.

    Participants in the Silverlight Jumpstart program are required to:

    • Attend at least five out of the six sessions (sessions are held Tues and Fri 9:30-12 at the Westbury – participants not in Dublin can attend via LiveMeeting).
    • Complete homework assignments for each session.
    • Deliver your own original and new Silverlight application by the end of the program (this can be a pet project or a project for a customer, but cannot be a portfolio redesign or brochure website).
    • Provide feedback on your experience learning and using Silverlight & the toolsets

    Participants in the Silverlight Jumpstart program who complete the program requirements will receive:

    • In-depth training, hands-on labs and professional course work for learning Silverlight and related tools
    • A full Microsoft Expression Professional subscription (includes Expression Studio 3, Visual Studio Standard, Office Standard, Office Visio Professional, Windows XP, Windows Vista Business Edition)
    • A Windows Azure token for professional / personal use
    • Opportunities to get involved in early adopter programs, receiving early access to unreleased builds and new applications
    • A new Microsoft Press Book related to Silverlight and web development every month for eight months including Introducing Microsoft Silverlight 3, Microsoft ASP.NET & AJAX: Architecting Web Applications, and more.
    • Additional prizes for the best applications of each session

    This program is only for developers and designers currently in Ireland or Northern Ireland.  If you’re not in Ireland or Northern Ireland, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get you the content after the second session.  Thanks for your interest.

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    WebsiteSpark Launch & Relaunch of TechLudd


    It’s been far too long since the last TechLudd, so we were thrilled to help relaunch TechLudd and at the same time celebrate the arrival of WebsiteSpark in Ireland.

    There is a lot more information on WebsiteSpark in my previous blog post, but the short version is that it’s a program to help give software, support and training to web developers, designers and any folks who build web sites and web applications for other people.

    TechLudd events are free events for people to to meet new folks in the industry, learn a bit about what start-ups and other tech people in Ireland are working on, and have a generally good time.  They are open to anyone who is interested in attending, and they’re always a lot of fun.

    The Guinness Storehouse, Dublin

    7:00pm on Tuesday, October 20th

    Please register here.  See you there!

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Please Welcome WebsiteSpark!


    WebsiteSpark Last year, Microsoft provided a program to help new start-ups get developer tools, discounts and a business network at practically no cost. BizSpark helped over 300 Irish start-ups in the last twelve months.

    This year, the Spark family is extending to include web designers and developers.  WebsiteSpark is launching officially in Ireland on Tuesday, October 20th at the Guinness Storehouse.  WebsiteSpark provides web designers, developers, students, freelancers and anyone else who is interested software licenses, support and business resources to help them grow and succeed.

    There are only two requirements to join the WebsiteSpark program.  A) Your company builds websites and/or web applications for other people (that is, you’re not building a product, you’re providing a service) and B) Your company has < 10 employees.

    WebsiteSpark will provide you the following software licenses for three years.  After enrolling here, you can download & immediately use the software.

    • 3 licenses of Visual Studio 2008 ProfessionalMicrosoft Web Platform
    • 1 license of Expression Studio 3 (including Blend, Sketchflow, Web & Encoder)
    • 2 licenses of Expression Web 3
    • 4 processor licenses of Windows Server 2008 R2 (can be used for development and/or production)
    • 4 processor licenses for SQL Server 2008 Web Edition (can be used for development and/or production)

    Along with the licenses, WebsiteSpark provides a business network to help grow your business, product support and free, online training.

    The WebsiteSpark program allows you all of the above for free for three years.  At the end of the third year, there is a $100 program fee, but other than that there are no additional costs.

    Getting started is easy.  Just go to WebsiteSpark website and sign up.  When you enroll you can either pick a network referral partner (there are five Irish network partners so far, we are signing up more at the moment) or you can enter a referral code which you’ve received at an event or from a Microsoft employee.  If you need a referral code, please e-mail me and I’ll take care of it for you.

    More information on WebsiteSpark as well as the software included with it is located at  If you have any questions on the program or are interested in being a network partner, just let me know.

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Azure Academy Module 1, Dublin Oct 22nd 2009


    Microsoft Ireland and the National Digital Research Centre present Azure Academy, a series of FREE Level 300 Technical training seminars for a select group of invite-only customers and partners.

    Half-day instructor-led training seminars will be run on a bimonthly basis, giving attendees exclusive and early access to technical training delivered by the best of local and international subject matter experts.

    Register for the first module here, and Module 2, Module 3 and Module 4

    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Great Technical Speakers in Ireland &amp; Northern Ireland


    Thanks to the over 200 of you who showed up to meet Scott Guthrie and hear him talk.  Judging by the questions people were asking yesterday, people are very excited about ASP.NET MVC and ASP.NET 4/VS2010!  In fact there were so many questions, Scott had to skip the Silverlight talk. 

    Not to worry – he’s offered to do a LiveMeeting event with developers to go over the Silverlight content.  I’ll be sure to keep you updated on that when it’s scheduled.

    We want to keep bringing great speakers to you around Ireland and Northern Ireland, whether you’re a developer, a web designer, a technology architect, a student or an IT Pro.  So my question to you in the community is who else would you like to see?  What technology are you evaluating?  Who are the experts in the areas you’re passionate about?

    I’m taking suggestions for user group speakers as well as event speakers (we have a couple of larger tech events coming up in January and May).  If there’s someone you’re interested in hearing and learning from, please either leave me a comment or e-mail me at martharo [at]

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Can’t Get Enough Scott: “Gu And A” Scheduled for Sunday September 27th


    Scott GuthrieThe Scott Guthrie event on Monday, September 28th filled up in three days.  We have a waitlist for the event at the moment.

    So for those of you who would still like to see Scott, he has graciously agreed to host a second event on Sunday evening.  We’ll be at the Radisson Blu Royal hotel (formerly the Radisson SAS) on Golden Lane in Dublin city centre from 7:30pm.

    You’re invited to come along & learn about ASP.NET MVC with Scott.  Stick around for some great giveaways, super swag, and the exclusive “Gu And A” with Scott, where you can have the chance to ask Scott your own questions about Microsoft’s latest web technology and development tools.

    You can register below or go to for more details.

    See you on Sunday!

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    NDRC calls for proposals under 3 newly launched programs


    This looks v. interesting. Drill down into each of the links to get details of the funding available etc. (in some cases funding of up to 100% is available!)

    The NDRC is currently calling for project proposals under three newly launched programmes:

    1. Entrepreneurial Internships Programme 
    2. CTR Feasibility Programme 
    3. Collaborative Translational Research Programme

    1. Entrepreneurial Internships: This programme is designed to develop small scale projects with aspiring entrepreneurs to produce commercially focused applications in the web and mobile space. This investment programme is an avenue for individuals or small teams with links to a third level institution to pursue potential opportunities from idea to application in a supportive environment and among a set of peers. For more information about our Entrepreneurial Internship programme visit this page.

    2. CTR Feasibility projects: We are investing in a programme to develop projects with established academics and companies that are potential collaborative translational research projects, but would benefit from upfront problem-solution and market validation. The focus of projects within the programme will be in the areas of health, education, entertainment and the environment. For more information about our CTR Feasibility programme visit this page.

    3. Collaborative Translational Research projects: Having built a portfolio of collaborative translational research projects, the National Digital Research Centre is embarking on a second investment phase in further collaborative translational research.  As such, the NDRC is seeking to facilitate further collaborations between established academics and industry partners to develop commercially-focused research projects in the application areas of health, education, entertainment and the environment. 

    In this specific call, the NDRC is particularly interested in receiving proposals for environmental technologies – specifically targeted at energy efficiency as distinct from green energy generation – in a digital context. We are not, however, excluding good ideas in other digital application areas. For more information about our Collaborative Translational Research programme visit this page.

    To register and access online forms for all of these programmes visit this page.

    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    SketchFlow &amp; SuperPreview Talk Overview &amp; Slides


    At Future of Web Design Belfast & last week in Dublin, I gave an overview of SketchFlow & SuperPreview.  I promised to share my talk notes & slides & demos with folks, so here they are. 

    This covered a lot of information, so if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. 

    I’m going to break up this blog post into five sections: a) overview & getting started with SketchFlow (this post), b) adding behaviors and interactions demos, c) 3D transforms & sample data demos, d) external tools demos, and e) SuperPreview overview.

    In this post, you will find my slides and information on how to get started.



    If you’ve never used SketchFlow or any of the Expression tools, you’ll need to download some things.

    • Go to:
    • If you don’t already have Silverlight installed on your computer, you’ll need to install that using Step 1. 
    • Next install Expression Blend 3 + SketchFlow trial (it’s a 60 day trial).

    That’s it!  You’re ready to start making great prototypes very quickly!



    We’re just going to make a quick demo application. 

    1) Launch Expression Blend 3 + SketchFlow.  Go to “File –> New Project”, and you should get a window that looks like this:


    Select “Silverlight 3 SketchFlow Application”, give it a name & location & click “OK.”

    2) You’ll have a default application created for you.  If you want, you can actually hit F5 to build the SketchFlow player, and it will launch for you in your browser. 

    3) Lets add some navigation.

    If you don’t see the SketchFlow Map in the User Interface, you can press Shift + F12 to show that window.  To keep it in view all the time, click the pushpin icon and it will stay where it is.


    Hover your mouse over the “Screen 1” button, and you’ll get options to create new screens.  The first one with a plus sign creates a connected screen.  Click that and you’ll get “Screen 2” showing up in your SketchFlow Map.

    Lets make a very simple, log in & fail / succeed application.

    Double click on “Screen 2” and rename it to “Succeeded.” 

    Then create another screen from “Screen 1” and rename that to “Failed.”

    Rename “Screen 1” to “Log On.”  

    Right click on “Failed” and select “Visual Tag-> Red” to show that this is an error case.  Now your SketchFlow Map should look like this:


    With me so far?  You can hit F5 again to launch it in the browser if you want to make sure everything navigates as you expect.

    4) Now lets add some controls & some content.

    The SketchFlow Wiggly Style allows you to add some controls that are styled especially to look like they aren’t a finished project, so your customers won’t think your prototype is a complete application!

    Open the “Assets” window if it’s not there already (click on “Window->Assets”). 

    Select Styles, and click on “SketchStyles” to see the different control options in that style.  If you can’t find the control you want, you have a search box to search for particular controls.


    Select “BasicTextBox-Sketch” and draw one on your “Log On” canvas.  Do the same with a “PasswordBox-Sketch” control.  Add a couple of buttons & name them “Okay” and “Cancel.” 

    Once you have the controls you want on the page, select the black arrow icon again image  so that you can rename & adjust the controls.  Feel free to customise the properties, add additional controls, and so on.

    You should have something that looks more or less like this:



    5) Time to try giving some feedback on the application.

    Hit F5 to launch the SketchFlow player in your browser. 

    See how you can click on the different pages (“Failed”, “Succeeded”) to navigate to them.

    Notice the “Feedback” box in the bottom left corner.  Use the pen or highlighter there to add some feedback.


    Leave some feedback on some of the pages, and when you’re finished, click on the folder icon to export your feedback.  Save the file somewhere where you will remember.

    When you’re finished, close the browser and return to Expression Blend.

    Click on the Feedback tab, and use the “+” icon to import the feedback you just saved.


    Click on the lightbulb to turn it on and off and see the feedback showing up inside Expression Blend.


    What do you think?  Easy, right?  You now have the basics for creating a prototype in SketchFlow.

    In the next post, I’ll cover adding behaviors & interactions to your controls.  If you have any questions or run into any issues, please leave me a comment or e-mail me at

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    The. Red. Polo.


    I just realized that a red polo means something different in Ireland than it does in the US, doesn’t it?  We may have to temporarily rename Scott Guthrie’s red polo while he’s here in Dublin in two weeks.

    I loved this video that Scott created of his talk preparations for MIX 09 this year.  If you haven’t seen it, take a look and learn about what goes into each and every one of Scott’s talks.

    Get Microsoft Silverlight

    Now I have to go find a bear for him to wrestle.  See you on the 28th! 

    (Register here if you haven’t yet:

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog



    I couldn’t help but laugh at the Manchester GUATHON event registration page for Scott Guthrie.  Scott is dropping by Manchester after his visit to Dublin, and they did a great job compiling a list of “things you might not know about Scott Guthrie” which includes such gems as:

    When Scott Guthrie throws exceptions, it’s across the room.
    Scott Guthrie writes code that optimizes itself.
    Scott Guthrie doesn’t need garbage collection because he doesn’t call .Dispose(), he calls .DropKick().
    Scott Guthrie’s first program was kill -9.
    Scott Guthrie can write infinite recursion functions ... and have them return.
    “It works on my machine” always holds true for Scott Guthrie. 

    Did they miss anything?  What do you think?

    For more facts about Scott or to register for the Manchester event (Guathon 2009), click here.

    To register for the Dublin event on Monday September 28th, click here.

    See you at the Westbury on Monday.

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog



    This is HUGE news  – Scott Guthrie is coming to Dublin to do an afternoon with .NET developers in Dublin city centre!  I couldn’t be more excited!

    You can register here:

    Who: THE GU!
    What: A full afternoon workshop covering ASP.NET MVC, .NET 4, Visual Studio 2010, Silverlight and more
    Where: The Westbury Hotel, Dublin city centreclip_image001
    When: Monday, September 28th from 12:00 – 18:00
    What:  Developers in Dublin are lucky to have Scott Guthrie, Microsoft Corporate Vice President and .NET guru visit us for an intensive afternoon workshop. Scott will be walking through ASP.NET MVC, .NET 4/Visual Studio 2010, Silverlight and more. This is a do not miss event being held from 1pm-6pm at the Westbury Hotel in Dublin city centre. More details to come shortly.

    BIO: Scott Guthrie is corporate vice president of Microsoft's .NET Developer Platform, where he runs the development teams responsible for delivering Microsoft Visual Studio developer tools and Microsoft .NET Framework technologies for building client and Web applications. A founding member of the .NET project, Guthrie has played a key role in the design and development of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework since 1999. Guthrie is also responsible for Microsoft's Web server platform and development tools teams. He has also more recently driven the development of Silverlight – a cross browser, cross platform plug-in for delivering next generation media experiences and rich internet applications for the Web. Today, Guthrie directly manages the development teams that build the Common Language Runtime (CLR), ASP.NET, Silverlight, Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), IIS, Commerce Server and the Visual Studio Tools for Web, Client and Silverlight development. Guthrie graduated with a degree in computer science from Duke University. Scott blogs at

    12pm – 1pm - Registration & Lite Lunch
    1pm - 3:15pm - Session 1: ASP.NET MVC, .NET 4 & Visual Studio 2010
    3:15pm - 3:45pm - tea/coffee break
    3:45pm - 6:00pm - ASP.NET & Silverlight 3

    Register now at as places are limited.

    imageI’m really looking forward to this event and I know that seeing Scott Guthrie speak and demo is a highlight for lots of other developers as well. 

    I get lots of requests from user groups all over Ireland and Northern Ireland for MVC talks, so now is your chance! 

    More on this event as things get confirmed, but I wanted to get this out and into people’s diaries for now!  See you on the Monday.

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Reminder: Silverlight 3, SketchFlow &amp; SuperPreview Talk at MTUG Dublin


    image Just as a reminder and for those of you who are not MTUG members, Microsoft Technology User Group Dublin is running a free event tomorrow evening with me in the Morrison Hotel from 7:30pm.


    Here’s a summary of the talk I’m giving:

    SketchFlow: Building Web and Desktop Applications from Concept to ProductionSilverlight Vertical Logo

    With the interoperability between the tools in Expression Studio and Visual Studio, Microsoft is enabling designers and developers to work together and in parallel in much more efficient ways than in the past, without losing either creativity or productivity. In this session Martha will discuss and demonstrate options and tools to help you and your company succeed, faster and with better quality.

    Learn how to use Expression Blend with SketchFlow to design great user experiences, from concept to production, with Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Silverlight. See how Expression Blend makes design workflow faster, easier and richer, and explore how designers can lead the interactive experience throughout the design process.

    Also get a short overview of a new feature in Expression Web: SuperPreview.  SuperPreview does quick snapshots of your sites in a variety of browser rendering engine to help you ensure your site looks great wherever it’s viewed.

    I did a [very, very] condensed version of this talk last week in Belfast at FOWD.  This is the full version of that talk plus a lot more demos and feature previews.  Many people have asked me for slides and demo code, and I mentioned that I would put the complete set up after the MTUG event, so these will be up later this week.

    If you haven’t registered yet, you can still do so by clicking here.

    See you tomorrow night in town.

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    BizSpark DC event, Dublin Sept 24th


    I’m delighted to announce that we are hosting a BizSpark event on the day of our Dublin Data Centre opening which will  include a tour of the new facility on September 24th 2009. The Data Centre is not normally open to visitors, therefore this is a very limited opportunity and I’m especially pleased to be able to make this opportunity available to those of you on the BizSpark program.

    This exclusive event for BizSpark startups in Ireland and Northern Ireland will provide you with a unique opportunity to hear from the President of Microsoft International Jean-Philippe Courtois and the General Manager of Microsoft Ireland Paul Rellis in relation to Microsoft’s Strategy and Vision for Software + Services.

    Here are the essentials:

    - The event is for startups  enrolled on the BizSpark program in Ireland/Northern Ireland

    - Aim to set aside hours of 10am - 4pm on Sept 24th – agenda will be communicated to attendees

    - Availability is extremely limited so a lottery system will apply.

    - Please register your interest by contacting me via ASAP, preferably by COB Friday 11th Sept.

    - Because of security regulations, we will not be able to admit anyone who has not officially registered and been approved to attend in advance

    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
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