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January, 2011 - Katrien's MSDN Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    MIX 2011: register with early bird and vote for Belgian sessions


    In just over two months the biggest Microsoft web and UX conference is taking place in Las Vegas: MIX 2011 from April 12 to 14. We have just announced the keynote speakers, first pre-conference boot camps and opened up registration, so now is the time to register!

    What is MIX 2011?
    MIX is a gathering of developers, designers, UX experts and business professionals creating the most innovative and profitable consumer sites on the web. Sessions range from technical, code-based topics to expert advice on content strategy, usability and design. Explore the future of the standards-based web: join the conversation at MIX11.

    Register today for an early bird discount of $500

    Registration is now open, with a special early bird pricing until February 11th 2011. The current promotion includes a $500 discount for the conference (pre-conference is separate), and a free hotel night at the Mandalay Bay.

    Open call: vote for the Belgian speakers proposing sessions

    Cast Your VoteThe open call contains great session proposals by international speakers. While I encourage you to vote for your favorite sessions I want to make sure we highlight the Belgian selected speakers as well. They will appreciate your vote, please vote before February 4th!
    (All in the order as they appear on the open call page)



    The session where Hello World is forbidden: Advanced Silverlight
    Gill Cleeren
    Byebye 'Hello World'. We've all had the time to play with Silverlight by now so it's time to switch gears. In this advanced Silverlight session, Gill Cleeren will show you advanced topics in Silverlight, such as unit testing, profiling, MEF, security and authentication, advanced printing scenarios, sockets etc... You'll learn stuff that you were afraid to ask about before!
    Level 400 /  Silverlight experience required / Technologies: Silverlight 4

    Building custom controls in Silverlight 4
    Gill Cleeren
    While Silverlight has a rich set of controls on board, sometimes you still need a control that does not exist. In Silverlight, there are more options than you ever considered possible to do this. Varying from templating a control to building a control from scratch, we'll cover it all. We'll also look at building a container from scratch!
    Level 300 / Technologies: Silverlight 4

    Planning is for Dummies; Coordinating Global Communities is for Leaders
    Dries Buytaert
    Project managing tens of thousands of developers scattered around the globe is an insurmountable task - destined for failure. A new approach to leadership & coordination is required to achieve great things, particularly on the Web. In this session, Drupal project lead and Acquia co-founder and CTO Dries Buytaert will share his secrets for building a thriving global community with more than 500,000 members and over 5000 active contributors worldwide. He'll describe the mind set and mechanisms that are essential for large-scale community growth and share insights from both success and shared failures that he's directly experienced while leading the Drupal project. He will discuss how to turn a developer-centric community into a healthy open source ecosystem, which includes designers and developers, as well as some of the largest corporations around the globe.

    Windows Phone 7 Integration; Dynamics CRM, SharePoint, Cloud, On-Premise
    Sandrino Di Mattia
    This session will show how a Windows Phone 7 developer can leverage the Azure AppFabric Service Bus to achieve integration with existing platforms.Be it Dynamics CRM 2011 (Online), SharePoint 2010, Applications running in the Cloud, Applications running On-Premise… each integration scenario can be achieved using the Service Bus.The goal of this session is to prove that the Azure platform provides much more than infrastructure in the cloud, it also allows you to make your current infrastructure part of the cloud.Most of this session will be done in Visual Studio; building a Windows Phone 7 application that interacts with all these platforms.

    Advanced WCF RIA Services
    Gill Cleeren
    Since Silverlight 4, WCF RIA Services has been part of the platform. We all had some time to experiment with RIA Services a bit, didn't we? So now it's time for the serious work. In this session, we won't be creating your basic "Hello RIA Services" application! Instead, we'll take a deeper look at RIA services by answering questions such as:How should we architect our applications around them?What patterns and best practices can be applied? How can RIA Services be used in an MVVM scenario?How can I do validation with RIA services?And much more!
    Level 300Technologies: Silverlight 4, WCF RIA Services

    Fun with ASP.NET MVC 3 and MEF
    Maarten Balliauw
    So you have a team of developers… And a nice architecture to build on… How about making that architecture easy for everyone and getting developers up to speed quickly? Learn all about integrating the managed extensibility framework and ASP.NET MVC for creating loosely coupled, easy to use architectures that anyone can grasp.

    Data access from Windows Phone 7
    Gill Cleeren
    Windows Phone 7 apps need access to data, that's a sure thing. In this session, we'll look at what of our knowledge from Silverlight we can leverage into the Windows Phone platform. We'll look at what we need to keep track of on the service side and what actions we need to do on the phone platform itself.Level 300Technology: Silverlight, Windows Phone 7, Services

    Finding your way around HTML5
    Peter Elst
    This session gives an overview of interesting features available in HTML5 with a particular focus on implementing geolocation in web applications. We'll cover best practices and deconstruct various examples to give an in depth look at the functionality as well as highlight several tips and tricks. You'll walk away knowing everything you need to support geolocation in your own web and mobile applications and what are some good use cases for the technology.

    Silverlight, MVVM & WCF RIA Services: an architectural story
    Kevin Dockx
    At the start of each project, you’ll have to lay out your solution architecture - and it’s very important to “get this right”. Silverlight, MVVM & WCF RIA Services work nicely together, but as with each architecture, the best solution depends on your application requirements. What are your options in this case? What are the pitfalls? How can you tie these technologies together to provide you with a solid foundation for your projects? This is an in-depth session, based on real-life experience.


    Full agenda will be posted online soon, however today you can already review the list of top pre-conference boot camps on Silverlight, HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, Cloud, Windows Phone 7 and more. In-depth and delivered by top speakers.

    Keynote speakers

    As the tradition dictates, Scott Guthrie will again be keynoting this year’s event. He will be joined by Joe Belfiore, who oversees Windows Phone Program Management, and is responsible for the design and software product definition of forthcoming generations of Windows phones and Zune devices.

    Belgian twist: a MIX 2011 keynote live stream event

    Mark your calendar: on April 12th 2011 you will be able to join us in Belgium to attend the keynote live stream and socialize. Keep an eye on MSDN and this blog for more information soon.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Microsoft Webcafe 2 on February 17th: join us at Combell Café


    Update 14 Feb 2011: OrbitOne will join us to talk about Umbraco, Open Source CMS

    Our second edition of Microsoft Webcafe is taking place at Combell in Gent. We are calling it the ‘Combell Café’ for the evening.
    Register for free.


    18h - 18.30h Welcome
    18.30h - 19h Fun
    19h-19.45h 10-minute sessions
    19.45h - 20.15h Fun part 2
    20.15h - 21h 10-minute sessions by partners and Microsoft
    21h - 22.30h Drink & social

    Confirmed speakers and sessions

    Presentations during a Webcafe are short, informative slots of 10 minutes. We’re using a timer so when it runs out, the speaker runs out of time! We have a few confirmed speakers already:

    thijs_pas (2)

    Scaling in the Cloud
    Thijs Feryn

    Evangelist at Combell
    The Cloud is omnipresent and by now everyone knows what the Cloud is about. There are a lot of fancy implementations out there, but the practical use cases don’t get the attention they deserve. Scalability is one of these use cases. During my 10 minute talk I’ll illustrate how scalability is a crucial feature of Cloud hosting setups.
    clip_image001 Tom Crombez, Microsoft
    Life as it is: ‘Discovering interesting people at Microsoft’

    iRail Windows Phone 7 showcase 

    Cedric Vandewoude

    iRail provides mobile public transportation information, through an API, a mobile website, and several native apps. We provide NMBS/SNCB information, but we are working on adding more companies in the near future!

    Appstrakt develops applications for mobile device, tablets, browsers and desktops. They will talk about their Windows Phone 7 app ‘mijnTV’ and how they tackled the project.
    IMG_6850 10 minutes to discover Web Apps and Tools
    Katrien De Graeve, Developer Evangelist Microsoft Belux
    Let’s take top speed to see some great Web Applications in action, using the latest tools released in January.

    Umbraco Open Source CMS
    Joint presentation by Olivier Mangelschots, Rik Helsen and Bart de Jonge (OrbitOne)


    Kinect and prizes

    In between the breaks we’ll have a few Kinect contests with some cool prizes. You are the controller, and maybe now you are the winner?

    What is Microsoft Webcafe?

    Microsoft Webcafe is a new free informal get-together for web and user experience professionals after work hours. The goal is to present a mix of news around Microsoft web related topics and give the opportunity for participants to present a project themselves.
    Check out the pictures of the first Webcafe on Facebook and join us!

    Register for Microsoft Webcafe nr 2, and see you there.
    Follow us on Twitter (mswebcafe) and use tag #mswebcafe.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Slides and links from my ‘HTML5 Today’ talk at Web Camp Belgium


    webcampbeRecorded content from our first Belgian Web Camp will be coming online on Channel9 Web Camp Belgium page. As of right now, the keynote by Scott Hanselman has just been published.
    Update 30 Jan 2011: demos added in this post.

    In the meantime, I wanted to give you early access to the slides from my “HTML5: What about Today?” talk I also did at the event.

    In this session we introduced what HTML5 is all about and the approach Microsoft is taking with Internet Explorer 9. We then moved to looking at a few of the big blocks under the “HTML5 umbrella” and how you can start using them today:

    • HTML5 new markup and semantic tags
    • CSS3 with Transformations and WOFF (fonts)
    • Video and Audio
    • Canvas and SVG
    • ECMAScript 262

    Recommended resources

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    TechDays 2011: Early bird extended and first confirmed speakers


    TechDays 2011 is taking place on April 26 to 28th 2011, again at the Metropolis in Antwerp. April 26th and 27th are the two conference days with six different tracks on Developer and IT-Pro content. On Thursday 28th of April we are organizing a ‘Deep Dives’ day. The Deep Dives are focusing around the following four topics:

    • Application Lifecycle Management with TFS and VSTS. We have a few ALM Rangers join us for the deep dive sessions.
    • Windows Azure: dive into the cloud platform with speakers from Microsoft corp and community covering best practices and technical dives into Windows Azure Platform.
    • Direct Access
    • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

    Early bird extended until February 28th 2011
    We are busy working on content and speakers to give you another great technical event. There is good news if you wish to register: early bird pricing has just been extended for another month, until February 28th 2011. So register now for the conference and post-conference deep dive of your choice. More details can be found on the MSDN Belux blog.

    Why you should not miss this year's TechDays
    TechDays 2011 delivers more than 80 technical sessions presented by top national and international speakers. The 3-day conference covers overview to very technical sessions on .NET language, framework and tools evolutions including C# and Visual Basic futures, WCF, parallel programming, development practices, OData, VSTS, ...; new web and client development techniques and technologies like ASP.NET MVC 3, HTML5, MVVM, Silverlight, Windows Phone 7, XNA, etc; and of course the newest stuff covering the Cloud with the Windows Azure Platform.

    Top speakers

    We are still actively confirming with speakers but a few names can already be confirmed: Vittorio Bertocci, Glenn Block, Brian Keller, Rob Miles, Jeff Prosise, Ingo Rammer, Clemens Vasters, Don Jones, Dan Holme, Jeremy Moskowitz, Dandy Weyn, John Craddock and many more…

    More updates coming soon, in the meantime register and book the dates in your agenda.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Announcing Windows Azure Jump Start Training Videos


    Microsoft Learning hosted the second new and exclusive “Jump Start” virtual training event on December 15-17, 2010. The course was titled “Building Cloud Applications using the Windows Azure Platform” and included 12 hours of expert-led training tailored for application architects and developers interested in leveraging the Cloud.

    We are now pleased to announce that the professional videos recorded during the online class are available on Channel 9.

    Who is the target audience for this training?

    • Application Architects and Developers
    • Customers and partners already building a Windows Azure pilot project or planning to migrate an application to the Windows Azure Platform
    • Companies searching for real-world answers as they consider whether or not the Windows Azure Platform fits their needs.

    What’s the high-level overview?

    • The entire course is 12 hours long.
    • Every section is about an hour length, so it’s easy for you to find just what you need.
    • Every section is led by two of the most respected authorities on Microsoft development technologies, David S. Platt (popular Microsoft Press author from Rolling Thunder Computing ) and Manu Cohen-Yashar (Professor and Senior Consultant, SELA Technical College, Tel Aviv, IS) plus their dialog and banter is quite engaging!


    Once completed you can start building your application on Windows Azure in 3 simple and easy to do steps:

    1. Download the Tools:

    Get Visual Studio Express and the Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio to start building and debugging applications for the Windows Azure Platform If you have already Visual Studio installed you can download the tools directly from

    2. Setup an Account:

    Set up an account and obtain a free subscription for accessing the online portals for Windows Azure, SQL Azure and Windows Azure AppFabric. You can learn more about the accounts or you can sign up directly

    3. Create your First application and Deploy it on the Windows Azure Platform:

    First learn how to create a simple ASP.NET application in Visual Studio for Windows Azure on your local machine Once successfully created, learn how to deploy this application on the Windows Azure Platform

    When all steps are executed successfully you should have running your first application on the Windows Azure Platform!

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Quick tip [link]: Native Extensions 1.0 for Microsoft Silverlight


    As has just been announced on the official Silverlight Team Blog, Native Extensions 1.0 for Microsoft Silverlight (NESL) have just been released.

    What are the native extensions?

    Native Extensions for Silverlight is a toolkit that contains a set of Silverlight libraries that enable Silverlight 4 out-of-browser applications to interact with cool Windows 7 features. The NESL are an effort to incrementally build a library of components that expose select Windows 7 features through COM automation, making them easily available to Silverlight 4 OOB applications running with elevated trust. The current libraries provide access to Windows 7 features like Sensors, Portable Devices, Speech, Taskbar and more.

    Direct link to post:
    Download the toolkit:
    Webcasts: there are already two webcasts planned on the toolkit, be sure to check out the recorded version or attend the next one on January 25th.


    Quick tip’ posts are short, useful posts pointing to content and tricks that might otherwise go lost in a typical 140 chars message on Twitterverse.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Final update: get ready for Web Camp Belgium - 24 January 2011


    We’re almost there: next Monday we are welcoming Scott Hanselman, Drew Robbins and Gill Cleeren for the first Web Camp Belgium.

    The event is fully booked, so praise yourself lucky if you got a seat. If you didn’t, no need to worry, we also have some very good news for anyone who’s not able to make it in person: the whole event can be watched through a live stream.

    Here’s the practical information:

    • Live stream URL, will be live before 9AM on January 24th:
    • In-person event address: Business Faculty, St. Lendriksborre 6 / Font Saint Landry 6, Brussels. Watch your mailbox for your confirmation and more information.
    • On-demand session viewing: expect the sessions to be online before February on Channel 9 Belux
    • Don’t hesitate to use Twitter to mix the offline with the online: put up your pictures, comments and ideas throughout the day. We are using #webcampbe on Twitter.

    Some good resources to prepare for the event:

    Final agenda update



    8:30 - 9:00

    Welcome and registration

    9:00 - 11:00

    Opening Keynote – What’s new in the Microsoft Web Platform (by Scott Hanselman)

    11:00 - 11:30

    Coffee Break

    11:30 - 12:30

    HTML5: How about today? (by Katrien De Graeve)

    12:30 - 13:30


    13:30 - 14:45

    Come in as jQuery zero, go out as jQuery hero (by Gill Cleeren)

    14:45 - 15:15

    Coffee Break

    15:15 - 16:30

    OData: Open Data for the Open Web (by Drew Robbins) Note: Jonathan Carter was foreseen for this session, unfortunately there was a last-minute change and we are happy to have Drew Robbins deliver this session).

    16:30 - 17:30

    Closing drink

    See you all on Monday!

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    ASP.NET MVC 3, NuGet, IIS Express, SQL CE 4, Web Farm Framework, Orchard, WebMatrix released


    Last week, Microsoft released more than six new or upgraded products! All these products enhance developing for the Web, from professional developers with ASP.NET MVC3 and NuGet to novice users with WebMatrix. And the best news: they are all free.

    Learn more: continue directly to the announcement blog post by Scott Guthrie: Announcing release of ASP.NET MVC 3, IIS Express, SQL CE 4, Web Farm Framework, Orchard, WebMatrix

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Silverlight 4 named Best Rich Internet Application (RIA) Platform by InfoWorld


    Some great news to share. Yesterday InfoWorld published “InfoWorld’s 2011 Technology of the Year Awards” in which Silverlight 4 has been named as the “Best Rich Internet Application (RIA) Platform”.

    As InfoWorld writes (excerpt), see full slide here:

    Right now, we favor Silverlight. In the two categories most important to decision makers -- developer tools and design integration -- Silverlight trumps Flash/AIR/Flex. The toolset in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 is demonstrably excellent, and Microsoft Expression Blend bridges the design-development gap much better than Adobe Flash Catalyst. For these reasons, companies like Netflix have chosen Silverlight as their RIA technology. We completely agree.

    More information:

    Congrats to the Silverlight team!

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Web Camp Belgium: join online and breakfast is on us!


    Can’t make it to the Web Camp Belgium in-person (Monday January 24th)? Hurry up and you might get a free breakfast delivered to your company/community to watch the keynote and sessions via live stream.
    We don’t want you to miss anything so get a small group together and enjoy the show!

    How does this work?

    Microsoft is delivering free breakfast to your company so you can watch Scott Hanselman keynote, and follow the rest of the sessions live.

    How to participate?

    It’s easy: register with a minimum of 10 employees to this live stream event (each person should register). Gather the registered addresses and send us a single mail with the names and registered e-mail addresses (Live IDs). If you confirm your information before 10 January 2011 and you are one of the first 15 companies to make the request, breakfast is on us!
    Send e-mail to
    Subject line: Web Camp Belgium Breakfast action
    Mail body: Company name, address and contact person and the Windows Live ID of each 10 registered employees

    Help! I want breakfast but we are just 2 people?

    What is my company does not employ 10 developers or I don’t get to 10 people? You can work together with a company or group  of people close to you and do a single joint e-mail with the 10 names. Be creative but fair, breakfast will actually only be served once and delivered to the location chosen by you.

    Remember, we have just a few baskets left so hurry up to get your group together and sign-up.

    To attend the event in person, you might still find a seat through the in-person registration link.


    Hope to see you then be it online of offline. Join the conversation on Twitter, before, during, and after the event: #webcampbe

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Web Camp Belgium update: new speaker and more of Scott Hanselman!


    On January 24th 2011 we are organizing the first Web Camp Belgium event. Scott Hanselman has confirmed his presence, and now with some changes to other confirmed speakers we will have a full two hour keynote by Scott. The keynote will cover all that is new with the Microsoft Web Platform.
    In addition to more time with Scott we have a new speakers confirmed: Jonathan Carter will be covering OData. Gill Cleeren and Katrien De Graeve will still each do a session as previously announced. Take a look at the adapted agenda below.

    With a few seats left you should hurry up if you want to attend the event in-person.
    Event location: Business FacultySt. Lendriksborre 6 / Font Saint Landry 6
    Brussel - Neder over Heembeek 1120

      > > Register here for`in-person full day event

    Full day event live stream
    The second part of the news is that we are no longer just streaming the opening keynote but actually the whole event. Join us for the opening keynote and stay online to follow the sessions on HTML5, jQuery and OData. If you cannot make it to the event this is the best option for you.

      > > Register here for watching live stream

    Hope to see you there and join the conversation on Twitter, before, during, and after the event: #webcampbe





    Welcome and registration



    Opening Keynote – What’s new in the Microsoft Web Platform

    Scott Hanselman, Principle Program Manager, Microsoft

    Just recently, Microsoft have released a bunch of new products that web developers can use to build websites and web applications.  Scott will take you on a whirlwind tour of what’s new in the Microsoft Web Platform, including ASP.NET MVC 3, NuGet and more.



    Coffee Break



    HTML5: How about today? (Katrien De Graeve)

    What is HTML5? With more and more browsers supporting HTML5, ECMAScript 5 and other web standards, developers now have a strong web platform they can use to create a new class of web application that is more powerful and interactive than ever before.  What's in HTML5 that lets us take our sites to the next level?
    Expect demos and code!






    Come in as jQuery zero, go out as jQuery hero

    (Gill Cleeren)


    jQuery is the web developers’ new favorite. This lightweight JavaScript library has developers writing JavaScript code again, and loving it! What previously needed 20 lines of code can now be done in just 3 lines. Who wouldn’t be enthusiastic? Microsoft showed its love for the library by fully integrating it in Visual Studio. I dare to ask: should you stay behind? In this session, we’ll take a look at jQuery and we’ll teach you what you need to know to get you on your way. More specifically, we’ll look at selectors, attributes, working with WCF, jQuery UI, and much more. You could easily walk out of this session wearing a sticker: “I love jQuery”!



    Coffee Break



    OData: Open Data for the Open Web

    (Jonathan Carter, Senior Technical Evangelist, Microsoft)


    There is no shortage of valuable data being generated by applications, reports, tools, Web sites, etc. Unfortunately, this leaves many of us wishing we could programmatically access the data and logic behind an app, report, or Web site. To break down data silos and increase the shared value of data and its associated business logic through the Web, Microsoft has recently announced the Open Data Protocol which enables exposing any data source as a Web-friendly data feed. Join this session to understand what the Open Data Protocol (OData) is and how it adds end-user and developer value to many of Microsoft's leading products and services (such as SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft Codename "Dallas", Windows Azure, SQL Server Reporting Services, SQL Server PowerPivot for Excel, Visual Studio, .NET, Silverlight, AJAX, etc.), as well as being accessible from a range of platforms such as Java and PHP. "



    Closing drink

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Surface 2.0 Experience unveiled at CES


    Yesterday Steve Ballmer did the keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. During the keynote several Microsoft products were showcased, including new slate forms, next version of Windows running on SOCs, Kinect updates, Windows Phone 7 and more. You can watch the full keynote on demand or choose one of the highlights on the official Press site.

    Another new product that did not go unremarked was the first public unveiling of the next version of Microsoft Surface. The next version is a Samsung device branded “SUR40 with Microsoft Surface”.


    It’s too early for any more technical details or timelines but you can start dreaming about the apps and implementations, just watch this official video:

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Register for the next MSDN Live Meetings in January and February


    On January 18 and February 1 the first two MSDN Live Meetings of 2011 will take place, both focusing on the Windows Azure Platform. Every attendee of either Live Meeting will get a FREE Cloud Power T-shirt.


    Jan. 18, 2011: The Windows Azure Platform: Overview and New Features

    Join this MSDN Live Meeting to learn more about the Windows Azure Platform including an overview of the new features announced at PDC. Learn how the Windows Azure Platform can be used as a flexible cloud computing solution. Learn how to avoid upfront investment and usage of expensive infrastructure. Learn how to pay only for what you use, scale up when you need the capacity and reduce it when you don’t need it anymore.

    All this along with all new features announced (Virtual Machine (VM) Role, support for Elevated Privileges, full IIS and Remote Desktop) and much more, addressed in this session, will bring you up to speed in developing, deploying and running cloud applications.

    Timing: 14:00 - 15:30
    Language: English
    Speaker: Kurt Claeys


    Feb. 1, 2011: Practical Architectural Guidelines in Building Applications on the Windows Azure Platform

    In this session we will dive into some more architecture like topics when it comes to using the Windows Azure Platform for building the next generation of cloud computing based solutions. Some of these guidelines, amongst other, handle dynamic usage load and deployment of your application, managing overall health state of your infrastructure, securing your applications using federated best practices, managing the overall lifecycle of your solution and other Windows Azure Platform best practices.

    This session shows different scenarios where these guidelines are needed while demonstrating the correct way to implement them with many code samples.

    Timing: 14:00 - 15:30
    Language: English
    Speaker: Kurt Claeys

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January, 2011