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February, 2008 - Katrien's MSDN Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    VISUG session by Juval Lowy - Demonstrating WCF – Beyond the Endpoints


    The Visual Studio User Group Belgium is hosting an event with Juval Löwy on Thursday 3rd April 2008: Demonstrating WCF – Beyond the Endpoints.

    Abstract from VISUG:

    "WCF is more than just the next generation platform for building connected systems. In many respects, WCF is the next development platform for Windows applications, providing system features that are presently crafted by hand on top of .NET and Windows. This session shares the power and productivity of WCF, demonstrating it as a 'Better .NET'. The sessions will focus on the on the key system features of WCF, enabling you to make educated decisions on aligning your product roadmap with WCF, and assess its benefits and advantages. The session starts with a brief overview of what is WCF and the WCF architecture, and then proceeds to demonstrates multiple aspects such as data contract tolerance, instance management, one-way calls, transaction propagation, automatic synchronization, queued calls and automatic security."

    Juval Lowy is a famous software architect and the principal of IDesign, specializing in .NET 3.0 architecture consulting and advanced .NET 3.0 training.

    Be quick to register as places are limited.




  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Web Service Software Factory: Modeling Edition For Visual Studio 2008


    The Microsoft patterns & practices is really keeping busy: after a new release of the Web Client Software Factory they have now announced a new addition to the p&p library, the Web Service Software Factory: Modeling Edition for Visual Studio 2008.

    The Service Factory contains automation and guidance integrated into Visual Studio 2008 for building Web services. The core of the automation components is a Web services domain model. This domain model contains elements such as service contracts, operations, messages, and data contracts. This domain model manifests itself in the form of three integrated domain-specific languages (DSLs) that are used to model services: Service Contract Model, Data Contract Model, and the Host Model. The Service Contract Model is illustrated in the following screenshot.

    A community site is available at CodePlex, the site contains hands-on labs, demonstration videos, issues and roadmap information.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    New Web Client Software Factory 2.0 Release (February 2008)


    The Microsoft patterns & practices team has just released a new version of the Web Client Software Factory (WCSF).

    The Web Client Software Factory (WCSF) provides a set of guidance for architects and developers building enterprise Web applications, with includes samples, reusable code and a guidance package to automate tasks in Visual Studio. There is also support for ASP.NET Ajax.

    New In This Release

    The February 2008 release of the Web Client Software Factory has the following improvements to the June 2007 release.

    • Full support for Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5
    • Added ASP.NET AJAX extenders for Context Sensitive Autocomplete, AJAX Validation, and Real Time Search that can be used in existing ASP.NET sites and ASP.NET sites built using the Composite Web Application Block.
    • Added UI Composition capability through extending our dependency injection mechanism to support Pages, User Controls and Master Pages.
    • Added Dependency Injection on ASMX Web Services and JSON services.
    • Added a new set of Quickstarts and How-To topics on MVP, Modularity and the new AJAX extenders
    • Added a new Order Entry Reference application that demonstrates all of the new functionality.

    In addition, this release of WCSF has the following community issues and fixes:

    • 42 Workitems closed including the top-voted items on CodePlex
    • Add ASP.NET AJAX Support (97 votes)
    • Web Client Software Factory Support for Enterprise Library 3.1 (62 votes)
    • Services through configuration (32 votes)
    • Support for using the Validation Application Block (16 votes)
    • Recipe support for Visual Basic .NET (20 votes)
    • Added Presenter support for Master Pages (11 votes)

    There is also a community site available: http://www/

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    VISUG wants you to tell them how they're doing


    The Visual Studio User Group Belgium is holding a survey amongst members: tell them how they're doing and there might be something in it for you. 
    There is a chance to win an interesting prize if you submit your answer before March 4th: a free ticket to the TechDays. Might be your chance to still get an entry to the otherwise very sold out TechDays event.

    VISUG now exists since 2 years and they are listening to the members to find out how they can evolve further in their activities.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    My academic session on Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5


    It was fun doing the sessions at some colleges in Belgium the last two weeks. The session gives an overview on all the new cool features in the IDE but also on language features, LINQ(of course!), WCF, WF, WPF, OBA.

    I visited three schools:

    If you are looking for the powerpoint presentation you can download it from my SkyDrive (see below).


  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Getting ready for MIX08



    My MIX08 countdown sidebar gadget says it: 7 days to go!

    Just one week away I can’t wait to be at MIX08. So much coming, so little time!

    After Scott Guthrie’s post about the new Silverlight 2 features, I’m hoping we all can get working on our Silverlight 2 applications. Scott gives a glimpse of what is expected but I’m sure much more will be shown at the keynote.

    If you are planning to go I hope you have your ticket because since last week everything is sold out.
    But, the good news if you are not able to join us in Las Vegas: the opening keynote will be streamed live on March 5th at 9:30 AM PST (that’s 5:30 PM in if you’re in Belgium). Add a reminder to your agenda and point your browser to to get all the news live. It will be a 2:30 hour session packed with the latest news on Microsoft’s web technologies and tools. I’m expecting quite a few announcements so the 2:30 hours will be time well spent.

    The keynote will be kicked off by Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie, Vice President of the .NET Developer Platform Scott Guthrie and Internet Explorer General Manager Dean Hachamovitch. In addition to news on Silverlight 2 there will be Internet Explorer news, Expression, Windows Live, ASP.NET and more.

    I’ve been preparing my personal schedule of the MIX sessions I want to attend. It’s hard to choose

    In addition to all the sessions and keynote information I’m sure this will be a great opportunity to network and meet new people.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    ScottGu publishes a tutorial on Silverlight 2 Beta1


    You may have seen it posted on several blogs: Scott Guthrie has published an overview of Silverlight 2 functionality and a complete 8 part tutorial!

    The tutorial is step-by-step guide on building a sample Silverlight 2 Beta1 application that reads stories from The sample uses REST, cross-domain access, LINQ to SQL, Silverlight UI and more.

    Well worth reading today so that you get a headstart once the Beta1 comes out.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    TechDays 2008 agenda is finalized


    It’s great to see our agenda for the TechDays getting finalized. If you have not yet registered there is some good news and some bad news: registration for the launch event on the 11th is closed. Registration for TechDays is still open at the time of writing.

    Since my previous post some changes have been made, new speakers added, some sessions have adapted. Please do take the time to look at the scheduling as some changes there have been made as well. 

     Before going into detail on some of the changes I would like to take the time to thank my colleagues. All the credit for this goes out to:

    • Gill Cleeren, now a new Regional Director and MVP (congrats Gill!). Gill was working on the agenda before I joined the team and did a great job at preparing the agenda and reaching the speakers.
    • Arlindo Alves, IT Pro Evangelist in the same team as I work. Arlindo did a great job getting the top speakers here.
    • Tom Mertens: thanks for all the help and time answering all my questions.

    And now, let’s get to the news. First of all we have a wonderful keynote speaker on the 12th of March (first day of the TechDays event): Rafal Lukawiecki. Rafal is a regular speaker at big events such as TechEd Barcelona. Rafal is not only going to do the keynote but will also be presenting some sessions.

    In addition to our keynote speaker, here is a list of sessions that have been added.

    Building Applications with Silverlight 2.0 (Nikhil Kothari)
    Learn how to use Silverlight for building your rich internet applications using the power of managed code, .NET and XAML UI on the client. This session will demonstrates using the Silverlight presentation framework including controls, the application model, the networking stack and other new capabilities that Silverlight brings to browsers for the next-generation of cross-browser and cross-platform applications.

    10 Things to Love in .NET 3.5 (Roy Osherove) – this session is a replacement
    In this talk we'll explore 10 things every developer should know about and find valueble in the .NET 3.5 framework and extensions. From LINQ and Lambdas to WF and WCF, this talk will be a quick overview of each of the major cool stuff in .NET 3.5.

    What's new for developers in SQL Server 2008? (Dandy Weyn)
    As a developer you want to understand the new features in SQL Server 2008.
    In this session you will learn how to work with the new data/time datatypes as well as implementing new T-SQL Features such as the MERGE statement.
    You will learn how to enable a database for change data capture and track changes in data throughout an ETL data process.
    You will also see on how to implement geospatial data and work with FILESTREAM objects.
    This session is focusing on database developer SQL Server side topics.

    Applied Service Oriented Architecture (Steven Wilssens)
    During this session we will have a look at what the most recent buzzword in the IT industry means for one of the product teams at Microsoft. Although it is still in beta, Popfly was recently chosen as one of the 25 most innovative products by PC World. See how SOA, short for Service Oriented Architecture, works for a product that was build using a variety of Microsoft services, what the team has learned from this experience, and how this approach can work for you.

    Domain Specific Development with Visual Studio Domain Specific Language (DSL) Tools (Jelle Druyts)
    As one of the pillars of the Software Factories initiative, Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) provide a way to describe your business domain in a language closer to the actual problem than using traditional programming code.
    The Visual Studio Domain Specific Language Tools allow developers to create their own graphical designers and code generation tools – much like the ones you can find in Visual Studio today, such as the Class Designer.
    In this session, you will learn how to develop your own DSLs inside Visual Studio and see an example of a real-world DSL that simplifies your life as a developer: the Configuration Section Designer.

    Running externalized Business Rules in any .Net application (including Sharepoint) with the Workflow Foundation Rules Engine (Serge Luca)
    As an important subsystem of the .Net Framework 3.0 and 3.5, Windows Workflow Foundation provides 2 engines: a Workflow Engine and a Rules Engine. The Rules Engine is a very interesting way to isolate the Business Rules from the other parts of the application which will be therefore much easier to maintain; the Rules Engine also manages interaction between rules thanks to its forward chaining feature; another benefit is that a business analyst or a power user can modify the business rules without having to recompile the application.
    In this session, we will have an overview of the Rules Engine , you will see how to store business rules in a repository , how to use rules without workflow , how to organize the code  and how to use the Rules engine in any application. We will take the case of Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services 3 or MOSS 2007 web parts.

    Matt Gibbs is also giving a lunch session on ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions (previously known as ASP.NET Futures).

    See you there!

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Guidance Automation Extensions (GAT) and Guidance Automation Toolkit (GAX): Final Release February 2008


    Microsoft patterns & practices has announced the February 2008 release of the GAT and GAX.

    This new release includes support for Visual Studio 2008 as many were waiting for.
    The main improvements to the July 2007 CTP release are the following:

    • Support for Visual Studio 2005 and/or Visual Studio 2008. This version of GAX will run on either version of Visual Studio. If you don’t have GAX installed, you can install GAX to support Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Studio 2008 or both. The installer will automatically determine which versions of Visual Studio you have installed.
    • Updating GAX.
    • Visual Studio side-by-side support
    • Improved Uninstaller

    Read all the details in Grigori Melnik’s blog post


  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Visual Studio User Group meeting - Building Services with the Service Factory: Modeling Edition, on 21 February 2008


    Olaf Conijn is coming to the next Belgian Visual Studio User Group (VISUG) for a session on “Building Services with the Service Factory: Modeling Edition”. The meeting takes place on February 21st 2008 at 6:30PM.

    If you are looking into Software Factories to develop your next software project go over to the VISUG site and register. Places are limited to 50 so don’t wait and register now.

    Abstract of the session can be found below, as posted on Gill’s blog:
    Being an extremely useful tool for architects and developers, the next release of the Service Factory adds one of the most often requested features: a graphical tool for designing message contracts and service interfaces based on the Visual Studio SDK, DSL Toolkit and Guidance Automation Toolkit. There are clear advantages of using a modeling environment when building services. The development team has more flexibility when the modeling environment includes logical models that don’t force platform and language decisions too early in the project. When this environment has a great deal of extensibility, the capabilities are only limited by imagination. The Web Service Software Factory: Modeling Edition provides this type of modeling environment. Attend this demo-heavy session to see how the Service Factory can be used and extended by your service development team.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    New Belgian User Group: XNA-Bug


    The website for the new XNA Belgian User Group is live.

    The user group is geared towards all people interested in game development in Belgium, but clearly if you have no technical skills you can join in as well.  Join the meetings to learn more and share your own knowledge.

    XNA-BUG is an initiative of Brecht Kets and Riemer Grootjans, both are MVP in Windows – DirectX/XNA.

    XNA-BUG Launch Contest

    For their launch the user group is organizing a game development contest where 2 Xbox consoles can be won. Check out the details here:

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Channel9 video: Scott Guthrie: What's Coming for Mix, Part 2: Windows, Web, and RIA, Silverlight 2.0


    Check out the second and last part of the interview with Scott Guthrie over on Channel9. After talking about II7 in part 1, the second part is a much longer interview (46 minutes!) with lots of new info on ASP.NET Extensions but also on Silverlight 2.0.

    Scott does give some very nice hints at what we can expect on this new release, really worth checking out: new UI controls, Expression enhancements like templating, cross domain network access, and more...

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February, 2008