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January, 2010 - Katrien's MSDN Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    TechDays 2010 – Update Three: .NET 4 Pre-conference


    Good news if you are looking for an update on the content for the .NET 4 Pre-conference at TechDays. We’re happy to confirm our speaker for the pre-conference: no less than Matt Milner from Pluralsight will be talking at TechDays.

    120x240Here’s what you can expect: 5 sessions that will give you a jumpstart on the new .NET 4 Framework.

    What’s  new in .NET Framework 4.0
    Every new version of the .NET framework comes with new features, enhancements to core libraries, and some great new libraries.  Learn about the improvements in .NET framework 4 including updates to C# and VB.NET, the introduction of MEF, the Dynamic Language Runtime, and parallel programming extensions.  We will also cover some of those less glamorous, but highly useful additions to classes and libraries you use every day like System.IO and System.Net. 

    What’s new in ASP.NET 4.0
    The web programming framework in .NET has seen a great deal of growth over the past few years.  This session covers the new features for web programming ASP.NET 4 including request routing, MVC 2, updates to Dynamic Data, and improved control over the rendering of controls.  In addition, we will discuss the new features related to search engine optimization (SEO) and deployment in web applications. 

    What’s new in WF 4
    Learn about the completely rewritten Windows Workflow Foundation in .NET 4.  We will cover the programming model, data flow, hosting, and execution of workflows. Learn how you can use workflow to simplify the development of your web and rich client applications. 

    What’s new in WCF 4
    WCF 4 brings with it simplification of service configuration and improvements to the discovery and monitoring of services.  See how these improvements along with the new routing service can address scenarios such as versioning, application routing, and other common requirements that benefit from more decoupling between the client and service.  In addition, we will discuss the improvise to the REST (web) programming model and workflow services.

    Entity Framework / Data Services in .NET 4.0
    Data programming in .NET 4 has undergone a great deal of work based on customer feedback.  This session will cover the improvements made to Entity Framework (EF) to make your data layer more testable, the use of POCO objects and T4 templates for customization of the entities, and more.  In addition, we will cover the improvements to the Data Services programming model including updated support for databinding, query projection, and custom data providers.  

    To register, just one day left to take advantage of the early bird discount:

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    TechDays 2010 – Update Two: sessions listing online


    TechDays 2010 agenda is filling up quite nicely (Antwerp on 30-31st March and April 1st 2010).
    This morning we published more than 80% of all sessions. We’re using a Silverlight application to let you browse and filter through the sessions easily:


    You can identify sessions based on tags filtering, speaker or full text including a combination of all three.
    Check out the sessions for both Developer and IT-Pro content at

    Worth mentioning that we have more than 20 speakers confirmed for the developer tracks! As you will notice a strong focus on .NET Framework 4, Visual Studio 2010, Visual Studio Team System, SharePoint and Office 2010, Silverlight 4 and SQL Server 2010.


    We’ll have four different Pre-conferences on March 30th:

    • .NET 4 Framework Pre-conference.
      This full day workshop will address the latest features of the .NET Framework. We’ll cover language enhancements in C# and VB, ASP.NET 4, Windows Communication Foundation 4 and Windows Workflow 4.
    • SharePoint 2010 for Developers
      Jan Tielens and Scot Hillier are the confirmed speakers for this one day pre-conference on the latest version of SharePoint. Expect sessions like an overview of the new SharePoint 2010 Developer platform, Client Object Model, REST and LINQ  in SharePoint 2010 and Rich Internet Applications with Silverlight 3 and SharePoint 2010.
    • BI with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Office System 2010
      We will examine an end-to-end approach to building and delivering a BI solution using the Microsoft BI platform. We will focus on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Office System 2010, in particular on PowerPivot, SharePoint 2010, and PerformancePoint Services. To make this seminar easier and more pleasant to follow we have structured the first half to focus on the concepts of BI and the knowledge worker and the second half to focus on underlying technologies.
    • Learn Exchange 2010 in Depth
      This Pre-conference for IT Pro’s will be one covering Exchange 2010. During this full day of training you will learn everything you want to know on how to deploy and manage an Exchange 2010 infrastructure. This session will be delivered by Ilse Van Criekinge who was the top speaker at last years event. Next to Ilse we will also have Scott Schnoll who is a well-known speaker and spoken at many events all over the world.

    Early bird offering: don’t forget a special early bird is ending next week on January 31st!

    Don’t hesitate to let us know what you think about the content by reaching us either here or on Twitter: @aralves, @hansver and @katriendg.


  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Get Ready for the ‘MSDN Get Ready’ training events


    Get Ready Sessions are 1 day level 200-300 technical trainings given by top level speakers, generally acknowledged as experts in their field. The sessions are organized by Microsoft Partners, more specifically Certified Partners Learning Solutions (CPLS), warranting a high quality learning experience for the trainees.

    The participating Microsoft Partners are InfoSupport, Ordina and U2U with developer sessions. Below is an overview of the different topics for which each Partner is organizing MSDN Get Ready Sessions in the coming months.

    Silverlight 4 and WPF 4

    In this one-day training, we will give you a guided tour through both Silverlight 4 and WPF 4.

    Microsoft Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform, and cross-device plug-in for rich web application building. Silverlight is the new platform for creating compelling web based internet and business applications, also known as RIAs. Windows Presentation Foundation is the way to build next-generation Windows applications.

    The course consists out of many demos and hands-on material, making you ready to start developing the next big thing!

    SharePoint 2010

    This Get Ready Session by U2U gives you an overview on what is new in SharePoint 2010, for Power Users, Developers and Administrators.

    Visual Studio 2010 (new language features and VSTS 2010 / ALM) + web development

    Development teams can use a range of new tools and frameworks in Visual Studio 2010 for the software development-lifecycle.
    Using Visual Studio 2010 makes it possible to determine: the test impact as a result of changes in the code, plan the test activities, perform the tests and monitor the progress.
    New functionalities of Team Foundation Server in terms of versioning, such as work item tracking, team build and project management will also be shown.

    Visual Studio Team System 2010 (ALM)

    Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2010 is an integrated Application Life-cycle Management (ALM) solution comprising tools, processes, and guidance to help everyone on the development team improve their skills and work more effectively together. VSTS 2010 provides multi-disciplined team members with an integrated set of tools for architecture, design, development, database development, and testing of applications. Team members can continuously collaborate and utilize a complete set of tools and guidance at every step of the application lifecycle. This one-day session is the perfect start for every .NET developer, architect and project manager to learn about the new team system features with Visual Studio 2010 and Team Foundation Server. We’ll highlight all the new features that are available in the most recent release. We will also cover project management with Team Foundation Server (TFS), leveraging TFS source control, and new features such as integration with MOSS, and managing the build process with continuous integration.

    Visual Studio 2010 & .NET Framework 4.0 (new framework features)

    This Get Ready Session by U2U is meant for experienced .NET developers, who want to learn about the new features in .NET 4.0 and Visual Studio 2010. In this in-depth training you will see how C# and VB.NET grow closer together, look at WPF designer improvements with Visual Studio 2010, learn about writing better multi-threaded code, and learn about the improvements in WCF and WF.

    Windows Azure

    Microsoft recently released its technologies to build applications for the cloud ... and it promises to be an exciting platform for developing highly scalable, global reachable and cost effective internet applications. This is a full day of content on cloud computing, how Microsoft looks at it and how to get ready for architecting and developing on the Windows Azure platform. This "get-ready" session is focussed on the business value and the new architectural paradigms of the platform combined with a deep dive in many developing aspects. Based on practical experiences with Azure we explore the concepts and technologies to create cloud applications. You can expect to learn a new development approach and a new vision on software architecture needed for building cloud applications.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    MSDN Azure Roadshow registration open (January 2010)


    Discover Azure Development in this free event, your chance to learn and try out Windows Azure development. If you are still not sure how to place the Azure platform, what the development tools and and such this is a good opportunity to get up to speed.

    The Azure Roadshow are half-day sessions in the following places:

    Follow the link directly to register!

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    The SketchFlow Conversations – Structure of a SketchFlow Project


    Also in this series:

    SketchFlow projects can be either in WPF of Silverlight. Let’s focus on a Silverlight version here and look at the differences of a SkechFlow project between other ‘normal’ Silverlight projects.

    The project on file

    A Silverlight SketchFlow project (solution) consists of two projects on file:

    • A Silverlight application project that loads up the SketchFlow player UI
    • A Silverlight library project with all the screens, compiled into an assembly dll. These screens are loaded by the above application.


    Silverlight project containing the SketchFlow player

    Silverlight library project referenced by the player project

    The SketchFlow player is set as the RootVisual of the Silverlight application (in App.xaml.cs):

    private void Application_Startup(object sender, StartupEventArgs e)
    	this.RootVisual = new Microsoft.Expression.Prototyping.Workspace.PlayerWindow();

    When you add screens, all this is done in the library project since the base Silverlight (SketchFlow) project calls these screens automatically.

    The work area in Expression Blend

    Let’s review the main task panes and elements we use in Expression Blend when working on SketchFlow projects.


    Note: Your own workspace might differ from this one since all task panes can be moved around or hidden as you wish.

    1. The SketchFlow base project with the player.
    2. The Silverlight Library project with all the screens. Notice the file Sketch.Flow corresponds to the SketchFlow map information in pane 6. The SketchStyles.xaml file is already included in the project so that you can use the typical Sketchy styles when inserting content on your screens.
    3. Feedback pane – in this pane you can import SketchFlow Feedback files saved by stakeholders and make them visible on the map and screens (in overlay).
    4. SketFlow Animation pane: you can use this pane to create custom animations which will become available in the player. You can also use actions to call an animation upon a click for example.
    5. Main artboard: the actual screens
    6. SketchFlow Map: probably the most important pane in a SketchFlow project. Here you can create your flow, screens, composition screens and the links between them.

    Feedback files

    A project reviewer or stakeholder can give feedback by adding comments through the SketchFlow player. When importing the feedback into Expression Blend, the feedback file itself is imported into the “Feedback Files” directory in the screens project.
    Using the Feedback pane you can choose which feedback file details to view and whether or not ink feedback should be overlaid on the screens.


    After a few versions of feedback, you might want to clean out feedback files. You can do this by simply deleting the physical file from the Feedback Files directory.

    Packaging a SketchFlow project

    When the application is ready to be shown to the stakeholders you package it and distribute it.

    For a Silverlight application this can be a directory that you host on a web site, making the application available online. Another option is to create a zip file with the package and transfer that to the stakeholders.
    If you .zip the whole directory and send it to end users make sure the full directory contents are unzipped before they run the application.

    To package the application from within Expression Blend choose File > Package SketchFlow project and choose a destination folder. The end user can access the TestPage.html to load the project.

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January, 2010