Quite a few new screencasts and interviews have been added to Chopsticks these last few weeks. Time for an overview of what is new.
Content by Microsoft folks
Last month Thomas Delrue, a Belgian software development engineer at Microsoft Corp visited Belgium and my colleague Philippe Destoop sit down with Thomas for two interviews about the newly announced “Oslo” platform.
Thomas Delrue talks about "Olso" and the "M" modeling language Thomas Delrue, software development engineer at Microsoft Corp, discusses Microsoft's recently announced platform for model driven applications, code named "Oslo" in an interview by Philippe Destoop, Architect Evangelist at Microsoft Belgium & Luxembourg. During the interview they also talk about the "M" modeling language and the "Oslo" Repository, as well as "Quadrant", the tool that allows to build models visually.
“Oslo” demonstration Thomas Delrue demonstrates the "Oslo" repository and the "M" modeling language and "Quadrant". Philippe Destoop, architect evangelist, is the moderator of this interview
Just before leaving for PDC I had the chance to sit down with Craig Spiezle, Director Security and Privacy for Internet Explorer, and discuss the main improvements of IE8.
Interview with Craig Spiezle on IE8 for Developers Craig Spiezle talks about several Internet Explorer 8 innovations of interest to developers related to security and compatibility.
Community created content
Maarten Balliauw, Gill Cleeren and Hans Le Roy submitted new screencasts on ASP.NET MVC, Silverlight 2 controls and IE8.
Using ASP.NET MVC Model Binder This screencast demonstrates how code can be made more maintainable and testable by delegating binding to client data to the ASP.NET MVC model binder architecture.
By Maarten Balliauw
Silverlight Controls Series: Part 1 - Styling Silverlight Controls Since Silverlight controls can be styled to fit any design, it’s vital that you apply styles to your applications in order to keep them maintainable in the long run. In this video, Gill Cleeren explains the best practice to do this.
By Gill Cleeren.
Silverlight Controls Series: Part 2 - Creating Custom Silverlight Controls Apart from styling your controls, Silverlight makes it easy to create custom controls yourself by overriding the entire visual tree of a control. In this video, Gill Cleeren shows you how to do this.
Internet Explorer 8: Qu'est-ce qui est nouveau? (pour utilisateurs) – French only Qu'y at-il de nouveau dans la nouvelle version d'Internet Explorer (IE8)? Nous regardons le nouveau navigateur depuis la persêctive de l'utilisateur. o Aangeraden tagging Internet Explorer 8, barre de commandes, onglets, IE8, accélerateurs .
By Hans Le Roy
Full recordings of the Luxembourg TechDays08 (September 2008)
This September we hosted the Luxembourg TechDays event. A one day event for developers and IT professionals. The six developer sessions are now available for viewing online (note: all content in French).
Trucs et Astuces C# 3.0, VB 2008 au travers de Visual Studio 2008 (TechDays'08 Luxembourg) Cette session commence avec une introduction pas BCEE. Dans le reste de cette session exclusivement orientée code, vous découvrez différentes pistes vous permettant d’augmenter considérablement votre productivité au sein de Visual Studio 2008. Nous construirons pour ce faire, au court de cette session, une application architecturée Software + Service et découvrirons les trucs et astuces disponibles au sein de Visual Studio 2008 tout au long du cycle de vie de développement de l’application phare de cette session. Nous aurons entre autre l’occasion de parcourir : - Customisation de l’IDE Visual Studio 2008 - Multi-Targetting - Overloading d’opérateurs - Codes Snippets, Macros - Éditeur , IntelliSense, Amélioration du débuggeur, ... - LINQ et LINQ to XML - Exploitation des Générics - Windows applications - Web Solution : WCF - ADO.NET data - Refactoring Presented by Gregory Renard
Visual Studio 2008 SP1 - Quoi de neuf? (TechDays'08 Luxembourg) Le SP1 de Visual Studio 2008 et du .NET Framework 3.5 ont été lancés en Aout 2008. Bien plus qu’une simple mise à jour, ces service pack contiennent de nombreuses améliorations et avancées. Plusieurs domaines du .NET Framework sont impactés et seront présentés durant la session; la couche d’accès au données, le développement d’application Windows ainsi que le développement web. Des changements ont également été apportés à l'environnement de développement pour supporter les nouvelles fonctionnalités du .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. Presented by Johan Blais
Le .NET Language Integrated Query (LINQ) Framework (TechDays'08 Luxembourg) Les applications modernes se construisent aujourd'hui sur de nombreux types de sources de données: bases de données relationnelles, documents XML, objets en mémoire, ... Chacun de ces types de sources de données ont des approches très différentes de la sémantique, de leur typologie et capacité, ... tout ceci sans même aborder la complexité de mixage de l'ensemble. Dans cette session, nous aborderons comment Visual Studio 2008 apporte une aide non négligeable au travers d'un modèle de programmation unifié "LINQ". A partir de C# 3.0 ou VB2008, nous observerons comment LINQ nous apporte une modèle fort d'accès aux données de part son Framework et son API (Application Programming Interface) innovante de manipulation des données et requêtes XML. Presented by Gregory Renard
Développer des applications qui combinent WCF, WF et Cardspace en .NET Framework 3.5 (TechDays'08 Luxembourg) « Windows Communication Foundation » (WCF) a été introduit dans .NET 3.0 Framework pour facilité la construction d’applications distribuées. « Workflow Foundation » (WF) pour sa part a également été introduit dans la version 3.0 du .NET Framework pour faciliter l’implémentation des logiques business. Dans la version 3.5 du .NET Framework, de nouvelles perspectives d’intégration entre ces solutions sont possibles ; permettant ainsi une plus grande productivité. Cette session démontrera comment les développeurs peuvent utiliser les puissantes capacités de ses 2 extensions du .NET Framework pour construire des applications orientée service, à long terme et durable, et exposer un workflow comme un service. Cette session expliquera aussi Cardspace, qui fourni une solution basée les standards du marché pour travailler et gérer diverses identités digitales. Presented by Gaëtan Holderbecke and Xavier Pellegrino
Développer des RIAs en Silverlight grâce à Expression Blend et Visual Studio (TechDays'08 Luxembourg) Découvrez comme utiliser Silverlight pour construire de riches applications internet grâce à la puissance des codes .NET et XAML UI. Cette session démontrera, en utilisant le cadre de travail de Silverlight, ses controles, son modèle d’application , son networking stack et ses nouvelles capacités, les atouts de Silverlight pour les cross-browsers et les applications cross-platform de nouvelle génération. Presented by Xavier Vanneste
Développer des Rich Client Applications avec Windows Presentation Foundation (TechDays'08 Luxembourg) Venez découvrir avec quelle facilité il est possible de créer une application business riche en utilisant "Windows Presentation Foundation" (WPF), comment vous pouvez lui donner vie grâce à la puissance ainsi qu’aux capacités étendues de WPF. Et enfin comment on peut ajuster et collaborer autour du contenu, du design, des templates et UI ; Data models, data binding et contrôles (Datagrid, User Control…) s'assemblent pour permettre aux développeurs de créer une interface plus riche et plus dynamique en moins de temps. Presented by Olivier Raulot and Cristovao Figueiredo
In my previous post about the Live Framework and Mesh-enabled apps I described how to create your first project, publish and deploy it to the Mesh and debug using Visual Studio 2008 support tools.
However, that was without taking advantage of any of the Live Framework and Mesh functionalities. In this post that’s exactly what I’ll be doing. The sample application will be storing some data and loading it upon running on the web on or the client (Mesh). To do this we are going to use the Silverlight Toolkit for the Live Framework, this one exists for Silverlight and for client (full) .NET applications. The Live Framework .NET library is one of the toolkits you can use to call the framework, but this is actually a wrapper around the RESTful APIs that can be accessed through HTTP. Because at the base it is all HTTP, any platform can access the framework.
The toolkits that are available today are just extra help so that you do not have to deal with all the HTTP calls. Toolkits that are available today:
Now let’s get to our sample application. To get my data stored and synchronized through the Mesh it is important to get a good look at the Live Framework Resource Model. The base objects in the resource model are MeshObejcts, DataFeeds and DataEntry objects. I must admit I still need to read on further into the SDK documentation and understand correctly when I should use which elements. As I have understood it a MeshObject is the highest element in your application that you would want to share. If my application (instance) can be shared as a whole I will only create one MeshObject. If sub-elements can be shared than each of the sub-elements should be a MeshObject.
For now, I’ll be accessing the DataFeeds property. Nothing more than that for now. So in short, the application will contain a list of Party titles. Yes parties, guess I’m thinking about Christmas wish lists or something :) Please note I have not gone to defining the object model for the application, it shows a simple way how to access the Mesh and feeds directly.
1. First of all since we are using the Silverlight Mesh-enabled web application template in Visual Studio, this contains some base code to load the Mesh application service object.
MeshApplicationService meshApp = Application.Current.GetMeshApplicationService();
// once mesh contents are loaded we get callback
meshApp.LoadCompleted += new EventHandler(meshAppLoaded);
2. The app UI consists of a ListBox, a TextBox and a Button. ListBox is bound to an ObservableCollection of DataEntryResource objects. Each of the Party entries will be stored in a DataEntryResource on the Mesh.
ObservableCollection<DataEntryResource> partyEntries = new ObservableCollection<DataEntryResource>();
3. Upon loading of the Mesh application service object we load the DataFeed in which we store the entries. This DataFeed does not exist upon first call of the application so we create in that case. I’m also inserting a default entry in the list named “My first party”.
private void LoadDataFeed(MeshApplicationService meshApp)
DataFeed partyFeed = meshApp.DataFeeds.Entries.FirstOrDefault (pf => pf.Resource.Type == "Party_DataFeed");
if (partyFeed == null)
//Create the DataFeed
partyFeed = new DataFeed();
partyFeed.Resource.Type = "Party_DataFeed";
DataEntry entry = new DataEntry("My first party");
entry.Resource.Type = "Party_DataEntry";
entry.Resource.Title = "My first party";
//load the collection of DataEntry items
foreach (DataEntry entry1 in partyFeed.DataEntries.Entries)
4. To finish, we create the Button event handler to add an item to the collection of DataEntries.
private void buttonAdd_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
MeshApplicationService meshApp = Application.Current.GetMeshApplicationService();
DataFeed partyFeed = meshApp.DataFeeds.Entries.FirstOrDefault( pf => pf.Resource.Type == "Party_DataFeed");
DataEntry partyEntry = new DataEntry();
partyEntry.Resource.Type = "Party_DataEntry";
partyEntry.Resource.Title = textPartyName.Text;
textPartyName.Text = "";
And that’s it. Data in the Mesh, be it on the client desktop or the web.
The next event for the Belgian Information Worker User Group will take place on December 8th 2008, at the new Microsoft offices in Zaventem.
Sessions for the evening, as announced on the BIWUG site:
Silverlight and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
Microsoft recently released Silverlight 2.0 - it's latest version of the framework to build Rich Internet Applications. This session will start off with looking at how Silverlight works and how you can use it as a developer. In the second part we will explore some examples of how you can integrate SharePoint and Silverlight. Speakers: Gill Cleeren (http://www.snowball.be/) and Joris Poelmans (http://jopx.blogspot.com)
Integrating e-ID and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
More than ever, applications will use eID for securing online transactions, spreading and obtaining information and for the signing of documents. eID will be available for every Belgian citizen in 2009.
In our presentation we will talk about: What is eID? What are the business benefits? What are the pitfalls of eID implementations? How can we integrate eID with SharePoint in an efficient way? Speakers: Michiel Scharpé and Benny Glassée
Register for the event as seating is limited.
After seeing what the new Mesh-enabled web applications can do during the last PDC in Los Angeles I couldn’t wait getting my hands on a token and creating something.
First of all, if you have not yet been using Live Mesh signup for an account here: http://www.mesh.com/. This is the public beta so you can start using the client application and Live Desktop to synchronize and share data.
In this post however, I’m talking about the developer Live Framework CTP which at this stage in on limited access. Read on…
In order to create your first Mesh-enabled project you need to install the Live Framework Tools CTP. You will be able to download this once you get your token.
Silverlight Mesh-enabled web application
1. I started by creating a new project of type “Silverlight Mesh-enabled Web Application”.
2. The Visual Studio template automatically generates two projects for this type of application:
At this moment the development experience is still not a fluent task: in order to debug your project you need to package it into a zip file and upload it to the cloud (manually). Once that is done the XAP file can be uploaded seamlessly by Visual Studio in order to debug remotely. Let’s review the steps to do this.
Publishing the project in order to debug and test
3. Developer portal, create the new project, choose “Mesh-enabled Web application”:
4. Once the project is created, keep the project details page open, you will need to get back to this page to upload the package and get the Application Self-Link further on.
5. Back in Visual Studio, build your project. Building the project will generate a .zip file with the name of your project. The zip file contains the files from the host project (the .meshproj in Visual Studio) as well as the .xap file of the Silverlight project). Check the ProjectDir > Bin > Debug directory to retrieve the .zip file that was generated upon build. An easy way to get to the file system from within Visual Studio is by right-clicking on the project and choosing “Open Folder in Windows Explorer”.
6. Go back to the Developer portal and retrieve the project detail page. Click the Upload Package to upload your .zip file. This will deploy the Mesh-enabled web application and make it available on Live Mesh as well.
Once the package is uploaded you can click “Test Now” to try out your application on the Live Mesh site. Let’s not do that just yet.
7. Uploading .xap file through Visual Studio.
Back in Visual Studio, Press F5 to debug, this will launch the “Mesh publishing tool” from Visual Studio. Note: I’ve no idea if this is really called the Mesh Publishing tool, that’s just the name I’m giving to it. This popup will request you to upload the .zip file to the portal (which we have done in step 6). Copy and paste the “Application Self-Link” which can be found on the project’s properties page.
The XAP file will be published to the Mesh and once all these steps are completed your application will be launched in the browser. You may be required to login again.
8. Test your app and debug. The application will start launching the in on the Live Desktop, I set a breakpoint on the constructor and yes, my breakpoint is hit over the Mesh!
Breakpoint in Visual Studio:
The process of uploading the latest .xap to the Mesh happens at every time you debug the application. This is a good thing because it means you online need to go through the different steps once to upload the initial project. Visual Studio then does the work of uploading and deploying the new .xap file to the server every time you debug.
Note that throughout this post we are addressing the Developer CTP at developer.mesh-ctp.com, not Live Mesh in beta that is currently public.
This post does not yet use any Live Framework APIs or access any resources. That’s for another post where I will be saving some information to the Mesh and getting the offline and online experience.
How can you get started?
At his moment the CTP is limited, attendees of the PDC are one of the first to get tokens. But… I do have two tokens that I will give to the first two people replying on this post. Be quick and you might be able to start your own Live Fx & Mesh developments.
And if you want to get ideas on all that’s possible with the Live Framework, there are several sessions worth watching from PDC: http://www.microsoftpdc.com/
Back from Tech-Ed EMEA developers, running from 10 to 14 November 2008 in Barcelona. It was a very interesting week in turns of content but also in terms of meeting up with lots of interesting people. And proud to be a Belgian at this conference: besides Hans Verbeeck as the business owner we had a Belgian winner at the Speaker’s Idol: Kurt Claeys.
Congratulations to Kurt, looking forward to his first session at TechEd next year in Berlin!
This year it was my first time at the Silverlight “Ask the Experts” booth where I had the pleasure to meet with some peers of mine, and MVPs that were ready to answer questions from attendants. Having booth duty did not prevent me from following some of the sessions. I especially enjoyed getting even more PDC content like Angus Logan’s session on Mesh enabled web apps, Windows 7, and David Chappell’s session on Geneva (codename for Microsoft’s identity and claims based framework). Non-PDC content like Bob Beauchemin’s sessions on SQL Server 2008 or Stephen Forte’s interactive session on data access were some of the other sessions I followed.
Opening keynote was presented by Pierre Liautaud, Vice-president Western Europe for Microsoft and Jason Zander was the overall keynote speaker.
Taking place just one week after the Professional Developer’s Conference (PDC) in L.A., it’s not an easy task to bring more new stuff to the event. However, without leaving behind the importance of PDC the keynote did present us with quite some new information on VS2010.
Jason Zander did a great overview of some of the new things to be found in Visual Studio 2010, and included lots of demos which is really what any developer wants to see!
Visual Studio 2010 highlights:
Check it out: download the Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 CTP here.
In addition to VS2010 goodness, PDC content was not forgotten. The event had a special PDC Highlights track bringing the best of PDC to Barcelona. I thought this was a very useful decision to bring the PDC content to TechEd. Waiting one year would create too large a knowledge gap. This track included sessions on Windows Azure, Oslo, Live Framework and Windows 7.
Finally, having the possibility to meet up with a lot of Belgian developers and exchanging views and ideas was another highlight for me. Thanks all for joining the conference and hope to see you around at another event in Belgium or at TechEd in Berlin next year!
After a jetlag, a few days of e-mail immersion and inbox cleaning, finally some time to get into the real stuff and get you a summary of the event. For some non-technical experiences about the event, scroll to the bottom.
First things first, getting into the PDC information is really easy: you can follow ALL sessions online on Microsoft PDC site: https://sessions.microsoftpdc.com/public/timeline.aspx. There are downloads to the PPT presentations, some have mp4 downloads and all of them can be watched online on Channel9. This is an extremely good resource to keep close.
Tip: Greg Duncan has put together the list of all sessions on a single page, with links to each of the video formats and PPT. All in one page, really handy! Thanks Daniel for this tip.
A second tip for a more Belgian insight into the conference is to check out the blogs of Gregory Renard (French) and Gill Cleeren (English), both Regional Directors. They were blogging quite a lot before, during and after the conference.
Hereunder you can find the links to the most important downloads and info pages related to PDC 2008.
The Azure Services Platform was announced during the opening keynote, this is Microsoft’s cloud computing and services platform. Now announced as a CTP you can already download the SDKs and play with the technology locally on your own computer. At this stage the number of developer accounts is restricted though. Sign-up at the Azure site and you might get lucky.
If you are using Java or Ruby you can also start experimenting with Azure as we have released alpha versions for:
On a funny note, I know people are wondering how to pronounce Azure. Even after watching this I still don’t know :-)
Windows 7 has been unveiled at PDC, however this does not mean it’s available for end-users. This is a first preview and at this stage pre-beta bits were given to the PDC attendees. Windows 7 Developer Guide available at MSDN Code Gallery
We saw Surface tables all over the conference. I think this was the first “coming out” of the Surface team as they are preparing for wider commercial launch. The SDK is currently not widely available. In the meantime, check out there two sessions:
CTP for the next version of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework was also announced.
And I’m forgetting lots of other stuff that was released during the PDC week… should update this post as I see them.
On a non-technical level, I had the pleasure to meet with lots of people during PDC, many of them Belgian. We had a drink at the Hard Rock Café with about 30 Belgians at PDC. I would like to thank U2U for sponsoring this drink together with us. It was a perfect time to meet Belgian peers at the also at the conference.
The party at Universal Studios on Tuesday was also lots of fun. The whole park was reserved for the PDC attendees, so no lines anywhere! I had lots of fun in the Simpsons ride (don’t remember the actual name of the ride).
And of course, weather in Los Angeles was just wonderful: 30 to 35 degrees Celsius. Almost too hot but as we didn’t see much of the daylight just great for a few moments outside between sessions.
See you next year for PDC 2009.
Peter Himschoot and Gill Cleeren, Regional Directors, both share their thoughts on what PDC 2008 is for them: from the main announcement around the new cloud platform to Windows 7 to new features in C# and .NET 4.0.
Watch the video we shot on location during the PDC conference and learn what you should be doing today to be up to date with the latest developments on the Microsoft platform.
Be sure to check out their blogs: Peter Himschoot, and Gill Cleeren who has basically all the information you need to get synced on all the PDC stuff.
Note: this video is in Dutch.
After a very exciting week in Los Angeles to attend PDC where Microsoft has announced its new Software + Services Platform, Windows 7 pre-beta, Live Framework and much more, I’ve uploaded a video with Regional Director Gregory Renard.
Want to know why Gregory thinks this PDC is his best PDC ever? Tune in to the Chopsticks video interview where Gregory shares his passion for the announcement and how he thinks this will impact you in the future as a developer. Let me tell you, it’s all good!
Note: The recording is availalbe in French.
Also check out Gregory’s posts on PDC 2008, he has a ton of very interesting information on the whole event.