TechDays 2011 on April 25 to 28th will bring more than 25 different developer track speakers to Belgium. While most of the sessions can be viewed through filtering in the Sessions tools on the website, I’d thought it might be useful to have them in a list form as well. I’ve mentioned (Deep Dive Post Conference) to the ones that occur on April 28th which is our Deep Dives day. Don’t forget: early bird discount ends February 28th 2011!
Note: also take a look at the IT-Professional sessions update that my colleague Arlindo blogged about.
Introducing Agile Into The Enterprise - Phil Japikse Scrum and XP have found a strong following in the development community. But most non-development groups (such as Web Administrators, Production Support, Security, Testing, and Users/Stake Holders) inside the enterprise are far from agile, nor are they trying to move to be more agile. This session starts with a refresher on Scrum, and then uses real experiences from large enterprise development projects to show how to effectively work with those teams. Instead of trying to "convert" them, we discuss strategies to adapt to their needs while remaining agile in the development realm.
Silverlight, Windows Phone 7, Windows Azure, jQuery, OData and RIA Services. Shaken, not stirred - Maarten Balliauw and Kevin Dockx Have you ever been jealous of James Bond and his gadgets? Don’t be: as a .NET developer you have plenty of cool gadgets at hand. If you are interested in how our .NET gadgets can be mixed together, let Kevin and Maarten guide you along the path of building a live event feedback application that leverages Silverlight, Windows Phone 7, Windows Azure, jQuery, OData and RIA Services. This is the perfect session to give you an update on the newest technologies to build web, Silverlight, client and phone applications.
Switch on the LightSwitch - Gill Cleeren Microsoft LightSwitch is a new part of the Visual Studio family and makes it possible to more easily create create professional-quality business applications for the desktop, the web, and the cloud. The big question of course: Is LightSwitch something for you? In this session, you’ll get the answer! We'll show how you can build professional LOB applications quickly using LightSwitch. We will cover why you should look at LightSwitch, binding to data, and building out the user interface. LightSwitch is however more than just some predefined screens: developers will love it for its extensibility, which we’ll cover deeply. Note: LightSwitch is currently still in Beta.
To OData or Not to OData - Chris Eargle The Open Data Protocol is an open, RESTful protocol that utilizes existing standards such as HTTP, AtomPub, XML, and JSON. A service using OData is resource-oriented by its nature, contrasting it with the operation-based, RPC-styled services typified by SOAP. There is a movement toward RESTful services, but care must be taken to identify whether a service should be designed resource or operation oriented. Participants will also learn the advantages of the OData protocol and other RESTful technologies.
WCF Web APIs, HTTP your way - Glenn Block Are you building Web APIs for reaching any device, enabling mash-ups, or providing highly connected Web experiences? Then come to this session and learn how to build Web APIs your way with Windows Communication Foundation. We put you in control of patterns (REST, pub/sub, RPC, Hypertext) and formats (XML, JSON, URIs, Atom, OData) and enable you to leverage new technologies to build Web APIs exactly the way you want them.
ASP.NET MVC 3 - Deep Dive - Hadi Hariri In this talk we’ll discuss the internals of ASP.NET MVC 3. We’ll see what extensibility points it offers us, how we can change things and where the pain points continue to be despite its third incarnation. This is a deep-dive coding session.
Rock Hard: C++ Evolving - Boris Jabes From Kinect to capacitive touch devices, users increasingly demand immersive experiences with amazing responsiveness and performance. With a new standard (C++0x) almost finalized, the largest in over a decade, C++ is poised for renewed importance. C++0x brings with it improvements in expressiveness and performance that are too numerous to cover. In this talk, we'll highlight mind-bending examples on the bleeding edge that give you an insight into the unique capabilities of C++ in the 21st century. Language geeks, join us for a lively conversation about a truly multi-paradigm language. Weary managed developers, come discover how C++ could be the language for your next evening project. Exalted C++ programmers, please honor us with your presence!
Data in the cloud and on-premise: A Look at the Forthcoming SQL Azure Services – SQL Azure Data Sync and SQL Azure Reporting - Mark Scurrell In addition to SQL Azure Database, new SQL Azure services will be available in the near future. In this session you’ll learn about the capabilities of these new services, in what scenarios they can be used and see them in action. Data movement capabilities are critical for cloud-based applications; with SQL Azure Data Sync you will be able to share data between on-premises SQL Server and SQL Azure databases as well as between multiple SQL Azure databases, allowing you to link on-premises and cloud-based applications and make data available to users around the world. Reporting and visualization of data stored in SQL Azure will be enabled with SQL Azure Reporting. See how reports can be authored, deployed and made available to users on the web or embedded in applications.
Windows Phone and XNA for Fun, Games, Profit and Physics - Rob Miles Windows Phone 7 is a great gaming platform. In this session you will find out how to create your own games using C#, Visual Studio 2010 and XNA and run them on the phone. You will discover how to use the touch screen and accelerometer in the phone to get player input to create fun packed games with real physics. Rob will also reveal how to get your games on sale in the Windows Phone Marketplace and maybe make a fortune. With plenty of demos and game ideas to explore this session will give a flying start to your mobile gaming career.
SharePoint 2010 Patterns and Best Practices - Serge Luca & Karine Bosch In this session, you will have an overview of the work recently delivered by the Patterns and Practices group related to SharePoint 2010. The session will also cover the role of Team Foundation Server 2010 as a major tool in any SharePoint 2010 project. Some Unit testing frameworks like Microsoft PEX and Moles in the specific context of SharePoint 2010 will also be illustrated. This session is also interesting for developers working on SharePoint 2007.
HTML 5 - that's what you need to know today! - Ingo Rammer With Version 9 of Internet Explorer, Microsoft has set out to deliver one of the most standards-compliant browsers to date. In this code-heavy session, Ingo will show you what HTML 5 (the driving force behind most of today's browser development) offers today and how you can take advantage of client-side storage of data, offline caching of web applications, canvas-based drawing, embedded microdata, semantic information, and corresponding extension to input elements. You will learn how to detect the various browsers' support for different features in your application and will also hear about advanced features like web workers and web sockets which will allow tomorrow's browsers to create user-friendly environments which can rival today's desktop applications in a cross-platform way.
Demystifying the .NET Asynchronous Programming Landscape - Bart De Smet Asynchronous programming is no longer an option, it’s become a must on various platforms, including Silverlight, Windows Phone 7, and various data-centric frameworks. Unfortunately, dealing with asynchrony is way too hard in today's world of development tools and frameworks. The huge amount of manual and error-prone plumbing leads to incomprehensible and hard to maintain code. As we reach out to services in the cloud, the desire for asynchronous computation is ever increasing, requiring a fresh look on the problems imposed by reactive programming. In this session, we explore various methodologies to address asynchronous programming, and explain how they relate and differ. First, we’ll explore existing patterns and libraries – such as the TPL – to sketch some of the pain-points. Armed with this knowledge, we’ll approach the problem from different angles, including a language-centric view with F#’s asynchronous workflows and the upcoming async and await features in C# and Visual Basic. Next, we’ll move beyond sequential composition of asynchronous computations, and introduce the Reactive Extensions (Rx) that enable you to express rich queries – even using LINQ syntax – over asynchronous push-based “reactive” event streams.
Designing and Building a Windows Phone 7 Application End-to-End - Isabel Gomez Miragaya & Katrien De Graeve This session addresses an end-to-end scenario for building a Windows Phone 7 application that takes advantage of the top features of the phone OS as well as using the Cloud. Our session is comprised of the following main topics: - design and build a Silverlight application with Expression Blend and Visual Studio 2010, taking advantage of controls, animations, transformations, transitions (projections), splash screen animation, data binding, … - usage of Windows Phone specific features such as Push Notifications, Tasks, location services and mapping, and address tombstoning - usage of Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) architecture - OData WCF service to talk with the cloud in Windows Azure, Windows Azure Storage and SQL Azure Dare to take all of this in, in just 75 minutes? Join us!
Building Robust, Maintainable Coded UI Tests with Visual Studio 2010 - Brian Keller Coded UI tests allow developers to create fully-automated, functional UI tests which can be used to quickly alert a team about regressions. These are easy to create, but can become tricky to build in a robust manner which can sustain changes to your application over time. In this demo-rich session we will examine patterns and practices you can employ for building great coded UI tests.
Identity & Access Control in the Cloud with Windows Azure - Vittorio Bertocci If you don’t yet know what claims-based identity is, it’s time to get busy. Signing users in and granting them access is a core function of almost every cloud-based application, and claims-based identity is the best way to take care of that. In this session we will show you how to simplify your user experience by enabling users to sign in with an existing account such as a Windows Live ID, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, or on-premises Active Directory account, implement access control, and make secure connections between applications. You will learn how the AppFabric Access Control Service, Windows Identity Foundation, and Active Directory Federation Services use a claims-based identity architecture to help you to take advantage of the shift toward the cloud while still fully leveraging your on-premises investments.
LINQ, take two – Realizing the LINQ to Everything dream - Bart De Smet At PDC a few years back, we introduced the LINQ project to solve the impedance mismatch between various data models by means of integrated query syntax in mainstream programming languages. Today, we’re seeing a rich ecosystem around LINQ providers that allow developers to reach out to many more data models. However, there’s a lot of opportunity left to democratize even more data models. Based on the theory of monads, we’ll explore the incredibly powerful nature of query comprehensions to do things like constraint solving using Z3 and Solver Foundation, build reactive queries with the Reactive Extensions, carry out various forms of query optimization, split execution of queries across tiers, etc. In addition, we revisit the art of writing query providers, introducing some novel approaches to ensure better compile-time checking. After this talk, you’ll truly understand the (underestimated) power that LINQ has brought us.
Windows Azure AppFabric: Building, Managing, and Connecting High-Density, Multi-Tenant Cloud Applications - Clemens Vasters Windows Azure AppFabric is Microsoft’s next-generation middleware application platform in the cloud, providing access control with federated identity, high-density, multi-tenant component-hosting, caching services, on-premise connectivity, rich publish/subscribe messaging, and integration services. In this session, Clemens Vasters, an Architect on the AppFabric product team at Microsoft will provide an overview of the AppFabric services that are already commercially available and the new services that Microsoft will bring to market until the end of this year.
MEF in the real world - Glenn Block No this is not yet another MEF 101 talk J Since MEF V1 shipped, we’ve seen a ton of folks building extensible solutions and frameworks including a host of OSS solutions. In this talk we will explore these real world solutions and how MEF plays in. The list will include frameworks like MefContrib, RavenDB, Caliburn and the Silverlight Media Framework. As a bonus, will also take a sneak peak at what is to come in MEF v2.
Parallel Programming in .NET 4.0 - Tasks and Threading Scaling applications to the current and future multiple-core machines can really be a daunting task --- but it doesn't have to be! In this session, Ingo Rammer shows you the new task-based API and how it simplifies the creation of multi-core supporting applications. You will learn how you can take advantage of the fine-grained parallelism and control which is offered by this new .NET feature. Ingo will also show you how to extend your in-memory LINQ query to run in parallel, and how the new Visual Studio 10 debugging tools will make troubleshooting this kind of applications a lot easier.
Dive into Application Lifecycle Management with Visual Studio 2010 - Brian Keller (Deep Dive Post Conference) This session starts our Deep Dive post-conference into Application Lifecycle Management. In this demo-rich session we will take a tour of many of the new capabilities of Visual Studio 2010 for application lifecycle management. This includes a look at the new build automation, project management, branching and merging, and related capabilities of Team Foundation Server 2010. We will also look at the new design and modeling tools and software testing capabilities of Visual Studio 2010.
Architecting for a cost effective Windows Azure solution - Maarten Balliauw (Deep Dive Post Conference) Cloud computing and platforms like Windows Azure promise to be “the next big thing” in IT. This is certainly true as there are a lot of advantages with cloud computing: computing and storage become an on-demand story that you can use at any time, paying only for its effective usage. But this also poses a problem: if a cloud application is designed like one would design a regular application chances are that the cost perspective of that application will not be as expected. This session covers common pitfalls and hints on improving the cost effectiveness of a Windows Azure solution.
Implementing Lean Software Delivery with Kanban and Team Foundation Server 2010 - Adam Gilmore (Deep Dive Post Conference) Kanban is becoming an important tool for teams wishing to become agile and continuously improve their processes. In this session we'll discuss why and how to implement a Kanban system for your team. In adddition, we'll demonstrate how to use Team Foundation Server 2010 to model and visualise your existing processes as a Kanban board and how you use this to drive improvement in your project.
Ubiquitous Communication with the Windows Azure AppFabric Service Bus - Christian Weyer (Deep Dive Post Conference) Today's applications are faced with several communication and connectivity obstacles in their daily life. Often secured connections are not allowed through firewalls and NAT devices at all. What to do if you need ubiquitous connectivity? Windows Azure AppFabric's Service Bus can be seen as the Swiss Army Knife of communication. Christian Weyer shows you how to build mighty cross-platform communication patterns like publish/subscribe – all in a secure manner, programmed with WCF or pure REST.
Advanced Debugging with Visual Studio 2010 - Ingo Rammer (Deep Dive Post Conference) In the newest version of Ingo's classic talk you will learn how to make the most out of your debugging time with Visual Studio 2010. Ingo will show you the most important advanced debugging techniques, including the use of Intellitrace and how to prepare your applications to take advantage of crashdump debugging with Visual Studio 2010 (which is quite likely the number #1 feature to dramatically reduce your bug-hunting time for hard-to-reproduce issues.)
Practical Guidance on Visual Studio Database Projects - Jens K. Suessmeyer (Deep Dive Post Conference) Most of the applications today are based on a database backend. While common application development makes it easy to deploy database changes and maintain source code in source control it was always hard getting your database code supported throughout the versions of the application. With Visual Studio Database Projects, you can ease your development, deployment and change management using the integration in Visual Studio and team Foundation server. While giving you the fundamentals of what database development under Visual Studio Database Projects means, we will also jump into the culprits you might face in reality. We will show you how the published Database Guidance on Codeplex can help you preventing common problems and getting around limitations you might face in your daily work.
Real World Azure: Elasticity from on-premise to Cloud (and back) - Christian Weyer (Deep Dive Post Conference) All the talk about the Cloud and the Windows Azure platform. But where does it make sense? In this session, Christian shows you one example of how you can leverage the pros of Windows Azure and SQL Azure in order to expand your web-based data-driven applications from a local installation into the cloud. Whether you want to handle predictable or likely unpredictable bursts or you want to prepare for moving your existing applications into the Cloud: experience a hands-on demonstration powered by IIS, SQL Server, Windows Azure, SQL Azure, Sync Services and PowerShell.
Just came across this nice overview by Rudi Grobler, a developer and community guy from South Africa I had the chance to meet last year.
Rudi lists five very good toolkits including WP7 Contrib and the not to miss Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit. I’d like to add MVVM Light Toolkit and ReactiveUI. Note: WP7 Contrib already contains MVVM Light Toolkit integrated but you can also use it on its own.
Direct link to Rudi’s blog post: http://www.rudigrobler.net/blog/windows-phone-7-must-have-toolkits
‘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.
As of today a new Windows Azure trial offering is available through June 30th 2011. This offering consist out a monthly offer of:
Go try the new offer at http://tinyurl.com/getazurefreetrial.
Note: A Credit Card is required for sign-up. Any monthly usage in exceeding the stated amounts will be charged at the standard rates. This introductory special will end on June 30, 2011 and all usage will then be charged at the standard rates.
You can start building your application on it 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 http://tinyurl.com/learnaboutazure. If you have already Visual Studio installed you can download the tools directly from http://tinyurl.com/toolsforazure.
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 http://tinyurl.com/getazureaccount or you can sign up directly and get the trial http://tinyurl.com/getazurefreetrial.
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 http://tinyurl.com/localazureapplication. Once successfully created, learn how to deploy this application on the Windows Azure Platform http://tinyurl.com/deployazureapplication.
When all steps are executed successfully you should have running your first application on the Windows Azure Platform!
I know this is something lots of you have been waiting for: the announcement around an official Kinect for Windows SDK. And now the news is out: as Luc Van de Velde blogs, Microsoft has announced there will be a non-commercial Kinect for Windows SDK coming this Spring, with the commercial version to be released later.
Read on, cross-posted from Luc’s blog:
“I’m a huge fan of NUI (Natural User Interface) so I’m delighted Microsoft announced today it will release a non-commercial Kinect for Windows SDK from Microsoft Research later this spring. The intent of releasing a “starter kit” for application developers is to make it easier for academics and enthusiast communities to create even richer experiences using Kinect technology. Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, and Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business announced the plans today. “Microsoft’s investments in natural user interfaces are vital to our long-term vision of creating computers that are intuitive to use and able to do far more for us,” said Mundie. “The fruits of these research investments are manifesting across many of our products, Kinect for Xbox 360 among them. As breakthrough technologies like these reach scale,” said Mundie, “the resulting creativity and invention will open up a whole new world of possibilities for computing.” The starter kit will give academic researchers and enthusiasts access to deep Kinect system capabilities such as audio, system APIs, and direct control of the sensor. Microsoft will deliver a commercial version of the SDK later. Microsoft has deep investments in R&D in natural user interfaces (NUI). NUI is part of the company’s long term vision of creating computers that are intuitive to use and able to do far more for us. The fruits of those investments manifesting across many of Microsoft’s products, including Kinect for Xbox 360, Windows Phone 7, Microsoft Surface 2.0, Bing for Mobile and Office 2010 Mini Translator. The possibilities are endless. Natural and intuitive technologies such as Kinect can be more than just a great platform for gaming and entertainment. They open up enormous opportunities across a wide variety of scenarios, including addressing societal issues in areas such as healthcare and education. If you want to read more about research project that use NUI the Situated Interaction research project is a beautiful example of how NUI will get included more and more into everyday tasks and collaboration. Some great video’s in Dan Bohus & Eric Horvitz papers and videos. “
“I’m a huge fan of NUI (Natural User Interface) so I’m delighted Microsoft announced today it will release a non-commercial Kinect for Windows SDK from Microsoft Research later this spring. The intent of releasing a “starter kit” for application developers is to make it easier for academics and enthusiast communities to create even richer experiences using Kinect technology.
Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, and Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business announced the plans today. “Microsoft’s investments in natural user interfaces are vital to our long-term vision of creating computers that are intuitive to use and able to do far more for us,” said Mundie. “The fruits of these research investments are manifesting across many of our products, Kinect for Xbox 360 among them. As breakthrough technologies like these reach scale,” said Mundie, “the resulting creativity and invention will open up a whole new world of possibilities for computing.”
The starter kit will give academic researchers and enthusiasts access to deep Kinect system capabilities such as audio, system APIs, and direct control of the sensor. Microsoft will deliver a commercial version of the SDK later.
Microsoft has deep investments in R&D in natural user interfaces (NUI). NUI is part of the company’s long term vision of creating computers that are intuitive to use and able to do far more for us. The fruits of those investments manifesting across many of Microsoft’s products, including Kinect for Xbox 360, Windows Phone 7, Microsoft Surface 2.0, Bing for Mobile and Office 2010 Mini Translator.
The possibilities are endless. Natural and intuitive technologies such as Kinect can be more than just a great platform for gaming and entertainment. They open up enormous opportunities across a wide variety of scenarios, including addressing societal issues in areas such as healthcare and education.
If you want to read more about research project that use NUI the Situated Interaction research project is a beautiful example of how NUI will get included more and more into everyday tasks and collaboration. Some great video’s in Dan Bohus & Eric Horvitz papers and videos. “
Time is running out to enjoy a special Early Bird pricing and attend this year’s TechDays. With a fantastic speaker line-up, we are sure this is a not-to-miss event. Early Bird Pricing will end on February 28th, so don’t miss out on this unique opportunity and save up to €125!
As we are confirming the last remaining speakers and sessions, be sure to checkout the session listing on www.techdays.be. Read further details on the original MSDN Belux team blog post: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/belux/archive/2011/02/17/techdays-2011-final-chance-to-register-with-early-bird-pricing.aspx.
Hope to see you at the TechDays!
Last week I had the great pleasure to present one of the sessions at the Brussels Girl Geek Dinner event held at Microsoft on February 16th. This must really have been the first time doing a job-related presentation where the the majority of the audience was female. Unfortunately I see very few women attending technical events, but that’s just the reality in the industry. Another reason to be really excited to present for the BGGD! I took the opportunity of combining my passion for technology with another passion: fashion.
> If you’re looking for the info on getting started with building for Windows Phone 7 yourself jump down to that section directly.
> If you’re looking for the info on getting started with building for Windows Phone 7 yourself jump down to that section directly.
The Microsoft office welcomed around 100 girl geeks, some of which with their “sacoche” as they are called (male friend) tailing along. After an introduction by founder Clo Willaerts, Mee Hyang Van Den Broeck gave an overview of the phone’s user interface and main end-user features. Next to showing the people and photo hubs, camera function and messages there was one very funny app to close off the keynote: the Hangover Helper app. Very funny and you never know if might come in handy
The second session way my Windows Phone 7 Girl Geek App session. I had great fun combining a fashion idea with the Windows Phone 7. By using Windows Phone 7 developer tools, in this case mainly Expression Blend and using built-in controls such as the Panorama control. By taking advantage of designing through Expression Blend you can have a very quick start on your application. I left out most code in Visual Studio since I wanted to keep it visual for non-developers. See below for some great resources on getting started yourself. Note: picture used in my demo app comes from Flickr, user Kekkoz: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kekkoz/4237812593/
The last presenter was the amazing Steffest who went into ‘hacking’ Windows Phone 7. Hacking is not really the correct term, as Stef had the chance to play with the phone for a good month and the deal was: try out whatever you want but when you return it working and in one piece. He did just that and showed how to control the Powerpoint presentation using his phone, using the XBMC Remote7 app to control media center and how to control a robot. In this case the actual robot had a bit of an accident but the alternative was controlling a led to turn green or red. Amazing, very entertaining and honest presentation style. I loved it!
After the sessions my colleagues behind @MicrosoftBe had foreseen paëlla, a nice seating setup and some sweet goodie bags. I had very nice conversations with other girl geeks and guys. Looking forward to the next event.
Check out the saved Twitter stream at Keepstream.com
How to get started with Windows Phone 7
Let me know if any of you ends up building an app, or trying it out!
January 31, 2011 was the last day of the ‘Crack the code’ competition on http://www.itinyourdna.be: the winners have been notified personally via e-mail last week and they are now listed on the site as well. The top 20 winners have also been invited to an exclusive Awards Ceremony at the Microsoft Belgium office in Zaventem on February 21, 2011 where they will receive their prize in person.
Didn’t win anything? Don’t worry, we’re offering another chance to win a 3-day ticket for TechDays 2011 (26 – 27 – 28 April 2011)! A lot of people have IT in their DNA: share your IT story with us (where did your passion begin, do you remember your first computer, do you have any family members that are working in the IT industry too, … ?)
How to participate? Send your IT story (max. 1.000 words) to email@example.com before March 29, 2011. Feel free to add pictures and videos that reinforce your story (as an attachment or via a link).
The two most original stories (to be judged by an independent jury of IT influencers) will be awarded with a 3-day ticket for TechDays 2011. The winners will be announced on April 5, 2011.
We’re looking forward to listening to your story!
>> TELL YOUR STORY
Below you can find an update on the Windows Phone 7 developer uptake in Belgium. Before going over to that part I’d like to highlight some announcements made yesterday during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. During the Microsoft keynote several announcements were made around what the rest of the year brings to Windows Phone 7.
Here’s the highlighted list of expected features, in which I highlight those that developers will find most exciting:
Read full press release: Microsoft Shows New Features and Future Direction as Momentum Builds for Windows Phone 7
Following is a cross-posting from Luc Van de Velde’s blog post Windows Phone Developer ecosystem picking up in Belgium
Since the introduction of Windows Phone 7 end of October we’ve seen a steady uptake of the platform by developers worldwide. With more than 28.000 registered developers, 8000 apps and games (roughly 500+ newly published apps and games per week) and thousands in the make, the platform is growing rapidly in popularity.
In Belgium we’ve seen a growing enthusiasm amongst developers to port exiting apps and exclusively build apps for the Windows phone platform. With 300 registered developers (60 companies and 240 individuals) we’re good for 80 published applications and games from Belgium, with hundreds more in development and to be released in the next coming months.
This developer enthusiasm is driven by 3 factors:
A few examples of Belgian apps and app builders:
Microsoft Innovation Center
From March to May 2011, the MIC launches second wave of calls for projects on Windows 7 Phone to encourage any developer, student or business to develop one or more applications in WP7. The MIC supports candidates in developing their projects by providing free training, coaching, visibility and offering the possibility of obtaining low cost Phones for development purposes. In this call for project the priority will be given to applicants who submit project ideas on the "culture and tourism" theme. Application mails can be send to David Hernie.
Dean Hachamovich has just announced availability of Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate on the official IE team blog. As Dean blogs, we have received a lot of feedback from developer and end-users. We have listened and now with the RC, IE9 has made progress in the areas of performance, standards, user interface, safety and privacy.
Since the release of Internet Explorer 9 Beta in September, we have also seen the release of new iterations of the Platform Preview. With IE9 Release Candidate, new features and additions surfaced through the Platform Previews have been rolled up into Internet Explorer 9 RC. For a good overview of where we have come from since the first Platform Preview announcement at MIX10 last year I’ve summed up the different blog posts on the official IE team blog.
Let’s now review some of the features for developers that Release Candidate brings us.
IE9 Release Candidate brings support for Geolocation standard (documentation link).
Support for HTML5 semantic elements is enhanced. IE9 now supports the following elements: section, nav, article, aside, hgroup, header, footer, figure, figcaption and mark.
<video> and <audio> support was already announced (and discussed, see Another Follow-up on HTML5 Video in IE9) . The update you can fin in this RC is video accessibility for media controls and VP8 (WebM) alternative, if the user has the codec installed.
CSS3 2D Transforms properties are implemented through vendor prefixes:
Worth mentioning that for Internet Explorer 9 the Developer Tools (F12) are getting an update with a means to switch UA, new Console tab, Network tab and performance measurement. This article on SitePoint is worth a read: Debug Faster with F12 Developer Tools in Internet Explorer 9.
Developers can now implement in-page drag-to-pin support. This allows developers to set images as the source for end-user site pinning. The image can be an animation or explanation of how and why to drag the site to the taskbar. Activating site pinning on an image is really easy and achieved by setting the “msPinSite” class.
<img src="images/dragtopinimage.png" class="msPinSite">
The Windows Phone Developer Tools January 2011 Update is now available for download. One of the most awaited features is the copy and paste functionality, now available with updated Silverlight controls and assemblies which will ship in the forthcoming Windows Phone OS update to consumers.
What’s in the update?
Review Jeff Wilcox’s blog post detailing the release, when to recompile your application and the upcoming Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit February 2011 release.
Download the updated Windows Phone Developer Tools and read the installation instructions on the Download Center page. The download is available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
Check out our Windows Phone Developer blog for more information.
The next set of biweekly MSDN Webcasts are centered around Team Foundation Server 2010 and Windows Phone 7 Marketplace developer registration and application certification. Register to attend online and you win a few t-shirts along the way.
Abstract Unlike Visual SourceSafe (VSS), which relied on a file-based storage mechanism, Team Foundation version control stores all artefacts, as well as a record of all changes and current check-outs in a SQL Server database which makes it highly reliable and scalable. It supports features such as multiple simultaneous check-outs, conflict resolution, shelving and unshelving, branching and merging, and the ability to set security levels on any level of a source tree, alongside the most visible features of document versioning, locking, rollback, and atomic commits. The source control mechanism integrates with TFS Work Item Management as well. TFS administrators can enforce check-in policies that require specific requirements to have passed and individual versions of files can be assigned labels. This session is targeted towards developers who want to know all the details about the new version control features in Team Foundation Server 2010.
Timing 14:00 – 15:30
Abstract The value of Agile development is being shown by thousands of development teams every day… and numbers are steadily growing. However, software development is a process in which people, processes, and tools must be in perfect harmony. This is where Team Foundation Server 2010 comes in. TFS is an enabler of many agile principles, and provides visibility and transparency on all aspects of the process. It makes the process ‘alive’, and enables frictionless collaboration between all the roles and stakeholders involved in software development. During this session, a short introduction about Agile and Scrum will be given, followed by a general overview of Team Foundation Server 2010. Demo’s will show how the Agile / Scrum methodology is actually integrated in TFS, and how TFS can be used to gain insights into the progress, status and quality of the project. Topics covered are Work Item tracking, source control, continuous integration, test integration and reporting. A short overview of the different Agile and Scrum process templates will be given, as well as a number of third party tools that mimic the Scrum board that is so iconic for Scrum development.
FREE Polo Shirt Attend this webcast and get a FREE “I’m a fan of the Gu” (Scott Guthrie) Polo Shirt:
Abstract In this session you will discover all you need to know about developer registration on the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, W8 forms, the Geotrust process and more. Also: special tips and tricks to speed up your application approval/certification. Speaker: David Hernie
FREE T-shirt Attend this webcast and get a FREE '”Make Web Not War” T-shirt:
[Cross-posted from Nick’s ISV Blog] It’s this time of year again where the Microsoft Belux ISV team organizes the ISV Community & Discovery day. On February 24, we will bring you an update on Microsoft’s newest innovations, plans for the future and vision on partner relationships. We are particularly excited to present special guest star Steve Clayton, storyteller @ Microsoft Corporation, who will talk to us about what’s next at Microsoft.
We realize that partnership has always been key to the success of our products and services. It is therefore important to us to clearly show that partnership remains a corner stone of our strategy.
With groundbreaking innovations such as cloud computing and touch interfaces redefining the way customers deploy and use technology, Microsoft reviews the way we design, develop and market our products and services. We will zoom in on a couple of new and exciting Microsoft technologies and showcase the development opportunities for Windows Phone 7, Slate PCs and the Windows Azure Platform.
Additionally, this event gives you the opportunity to mingle with and get to know the renewed Microsoft Belux ISV Team. And last, but not least, attend this event and have a chance to win a Kinect + Xbox 360!
ISV Community Day
Business Faculty St. Lendriksborre 6 / Font Saint Landry 6 Brussel - Neder over Heembeek 1120
February 24, 2011
>> Register here for the full-day event
>> Register here for the ISV Discovery day (afternoon)
Today we have released a January 2010 update to the Windows Azure Platform Training Kit & Training Course.
The Windows Azure Platform Training Kit & Course includes a comprehensive set of technical content including hands-on labs, presentations, and demos that are designed to help you learn how to use the Windows Azure platform, including: Windows Azure, SQL Azure and the Windows Azure AppFabric:
The January update provides new and updated demo scripts and a new Windows Phone 7 hands-on labs for the Windows Azure Platform. These new demo scripts demonstrate how to use Windows Azure Connect, Web and Worker Role Enhancements, Windows Azure Virtual Machine Roles, and the "Rafiki" application (a keynote demo at PDC10). Additionally, this kit includes an improved mechanism for installing Visual Studio code snippets.
Some of the specific changes with the January update of the training kit includes:
Once you learned everything about Windows Azure, you can start building your application on it in 3 simple and easy to do steps:
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 http://tinyurl.com/getazureaccount or you can sign up directly http://tinyurl.com/signupazureaccount.
Last Friday the PHPBenelux User Group held its second PHP Benelux Conference, January 28 to 29 2011. Like the first year, Microsoft was a sponsor of the event. This year however we were not simply present to talk about PHP support on Windows and in the cloud: we actually worked together with the community to setup a new contest: PHP on Azure Contest.
Michelangelo van Dam, Maarten Balliauw and myself introduced the contest during our evening keynote on January 28th. As Mike showed he has a sample application named Wingz that is deployed through command line to Linux, then Windows (IIS) and finally to Windows Azure.
What is the PHP on Azure contest?
The PHP on Azure Contest is a coding competition run by the PHP Benelux User Group supported by Microsoft. Windows Azure is Microsoft’s Cloud platform with tools and support for PHP. Top prizes include a full trip to MIX 2012 in Las Vegas, free hosting and more. The contest runs from February 1st 2011 to May 15th 2011. Read all the contest details on the official site.
Register before February 28th
You have until February 28th to register to participate in the contest. Go as far as you wish: build that fantastic app you always wanted, or go for something that can benefit all: migrate an existing PHP app to work on Windows Azure.
Free training on February 22nd by Maarten Balliauw
As a participant of the contest you are invited to attend the free half-day seminar the Maarten will be giving in Brussels. Register for the training on the Microsoft site. This training is a great way to jumpstart your participation to the contest.
Expression Encoder team has released a service pack to Expression Encoder 4 Pro. One feature that stands out is the support for NVIDIA CUDA-accelerated GPUs. This accelerates the encoding process and increases the number of live streams your PC can handle and allows you to get more streams into your broadcast. There is a series of other new features mentioned on the team’s blog site of which we note:
Direct link to official team blog post: Expression Encoder 4 SP1 released!