The Expression team has announced Service Pack 2 for Expression Encoder 4. With this Service pack you get over 300 bug fixes and some new features:
Note there are two versions of Expression Encoder, a free one and a Pro one. Some of the features are only applicable to the Pro version.
Web Camps are back! This time you can register for any of the four confirmed one-day events to learn more about using ASP.NET, open source web apps and get to some practical HTML5 coding.
Web Camps Belgium are free full day training events where you get to get your hands on the technology and build something. If you are wondering how to take advantage of HTML5 and CSS3, use a free open source app like Umbraco, Orchard, Drupal, or others or simply want to program your own website, then this event is for you.
Are you a camper?
Dates (choose your preferred date and click to register) Because these events are hands-on seating is limited.
Location: Microsoft office Da Vincilaan 3 Zaventem
Morning – Theory and demos
9:00 – 10:30
Web Platform Overview and open source Web Apps
Get a good overview of the Microsoft Web Platform, free tooling like Visual Studio 2010, Web Developer Express, IIS web server and a peek at what’s coming in Visual Studio 11 and ASP.NET MVC 4.
After the general introduction we’ll show you around Orchard CMS, Umbraco and other open source CMS apps using WebMatrix.
10:30 – 11:00
11:00 – 12:30
This session kicks off with a good overview of the different elements in HTML5 that make up this umbrella term. We’ll go over standards HTML, new CSS3 specs and font usage and web app specs. Most importantly, the session will also address how you can start taking advantage of new features in the specs while still supporting older browsers through the use of polyfills and frameworks like Modernizr.
To finish you’ll learn how to make your website shine on the Windows 7 taskbar through site pinning.
12:30 – 13:30
Afternoon – Hands-on labs
13:30 – 17:00
The afternoon is hands-on, the perfect timing to apply the learning from the morning session.
Labs include creating a website using a web app by leveraging, practical HTML5 and CSS3 labs addressing Canvas, WOFF, CSS3 layout features and more.
At the end of the session you’ll have a good practical feeling on how to use and customize open source web apps as well as leveraging the best in HTML5 today.
17:00 – 17:15
Closing, discussion, top recommended resources
Speaker: Kris van der Mast Kris is an MVP since 2007, ASP Insider, board member of AZUG user group. Kris is a real community person who enjoys running, reading and seeing new places all over the globe and getting to know the local culture.
What do we offer?
In order to follow the hands-on labs you need to bring your own laptop, packed with the following free tools:
Optional: Visual Studio Web Standards Update: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/webdevtools/archive/2011/06/15/web-standards-update-for-visual-studio-2010-sp1.aspx
Starting today (November 2, 2011) registrations for the Belgian TechDays 2012 are OPEN!
Year after year thousands of technology professionals come together to network with peers and experts, while diving deep into Microsoft technologies and learning about the latest products and solutions. Microsoft TechDays is one of the premier technical events in Belgium & Luxembourg and not to be missed.
With more technology areas than ever to explore, TechDays 2012 is the perfect place to get up-to-speed on the latest Microsoft technologies and up-level your skill on the technology you use every day. Content will be delivered by industry experts and Microsoft product team members.
Join our 10th anniversary edition in a new location (Kinepolis Imagibraine - Braine l'Alleud) and learn about:
After 3 great years in Metropolis Antwerp we’re moving TechDays to a new location: Kinepolis Imagibraine in Braine l’Alleud (Eigenbrakel). The movie theatre is easily reachable both by car and via public transportation.
If you’re coming by train: the Braine l’Alleud train station is very well connected with major cities in Belgium: - Antwerp: direct connection from Antwerpen-Centraal taking approx. 1 hour - Ghent: 1 hour trip from Gent Sint-Pieters, switching trains once at Brussel-Zuid - Brugge: 1,5 hour trip switching trains once at Brussel-Zuid - Hasselt: 1,5 hour trip switching trains once at Brussel-Zuid - Leuven: 50 min trip switching trains once at Brussel-Noord - Mons: 1 hour trip switching trains once at Brussel-Zuid - Namur: 1 hour trip switching trains once at Charleroi-Sud - Liège: 1,5 hour trip switching trains once at Brussel-Zuid - Brussels: 15 minutes from Brussel-Zuid
There is a direct bus line (bus 67 from the TEC company) running from the Braine l’Alleud train station to Kinepolis Imagibraine, taking about 10 minutes.
Coming by car? Kinepolis Imagibraine is just 5 minutes from the R0 highway (exit 24). Driving directions are available here.
The next Microsoft Webcafe is taking place at the M-Museum in Leuven, on November 23rd. Join us for another informal event with partner, Microsoft and Web community presentations.
Webcafes are informal, after the hours tech meetups for industry updates, cases, networking and exploring something different. We invite a few partner cases to present short cases or projects, sharing learning’s with attendees. The events are free, open to everyone with an open mind, and there is always lots of networking. Check out the pics from past events on our Facebook page to get an idea.
Topics on the agenda:
What’s in a café? This is Belgium after all, a café without beer does not exist… So chances are you’ll get to do some tasting in between the more serious stuff.
Date: Wednesday November 23rd 2011 Timing: 18:00 to 22:00 Registration: MS Webcafe page Location: M-Museum Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 28 3000 Leuven
On Thursday November 3rd you can attend the Web & Phone UX Tour event in Belgium (at Ter Elst in Edegem). It’s a full day full day encounter of web, phone, user experience and development content. Whether you come from the design and user experience angle or a more technical one, two tracks are there for you to choose. You can register for one of them and switch tracks as desired during the day itself.
I just heard we have a few seats left, so maybe you need a few reasons why not to miss it and register. First come-first serve. Here’s my top ten why you should not miss the event:
Register and see you there!
My colleague David Merzel, has been nominated as the Marketer of the Year 2011. This is a yearly award by Trends/Tendances. David and his team were responsible for the launch of Xbox Kinect controller in Belgium last year and developed a special marketing approach. I was listening to David yesterday as he explained the reasoning behind his marketing strategy, the Close Contact Marketing. He has a black belt in karate and the marketing approach is based on that sport, with six rules of close contact, going from yellow to black belt.
What’s also interesting is that this is the first time a software company is nominated for this award. It’s another sign of what many call the Consumerization of IT.
While I do hope you vote for him , it makes me reflect on how technology, more specifically Natural User Interfaces, is bringing the magic of technology into our everyday lives. That’s the job of technology companies in a sense: removing barriers to adopting technology. Also reminded me of a Twitter comment by @netlash I saw a few days ago:
“We only call it technology when we were born before it was invented.”
“We only call it technology when we were born before it was invented.”
The term Magic in conjunction with Kinect is not new: Magical Team award in Silicon Valley was received by the team earlier this year. So yes, Kinect is a good example of how technology which behind the scenes is pretty complex, is now entering our everyday lives in a very user friendly way. Have you Kinected?
The Visual Studio team has just released the October Edition of the Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview. Now is a great time to start learning more.
The VS Developer Preview was released during BUILD conference last September. This training kit provides a set of hands-on labs to Visual Studio 11 and the .NET Framework 4.5, ASP.NET 4.5 (WebForms and general), ALM with Visual Studio 11 and Team Foundation Server 11 as well as Metro style apps.
Apart from the training kit itself there are a set of great sessions recordings from the BUILD conference. A few noteworthy picks:
Future directions for C# and Visual Basic
What's new in Visual Studio 11
What's new in Visual Studio 11 for Application Lifecycle Management
Advanced IntelliTrace in production with Visual Studio 11
TechDays Belgium returns on 14-15-16 February 2012! Since we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary it will be a special edition: we’re moving to a brand new location (to be disclosed soon) and will offer you new ways to experience the conference. For those who aren’t familiar with TechDays: it is the biggest IT event in Belgium, gathering thousands of professionals each year during 3 days. Fascinating technical sessions on both current and new technologies from Microsoft are complemented with many networking opportunities with your peers. And we welcome top notch speakers and local IT community leaders. Curious? Nostalgic? At www.techdays.be you can relive the atmosphere of TechDays 2011. Registrations will be open soon, so for now: save the date and don’t miss out!
You can also RSVP already on Facebook or LinkedIn and let your network know you will be attending. If you’re on Twitter, you can join the conversation via #techdaysbe.
Subscribe to our newsletters for developers and IT pros and stay up-to-date about TechDays 2012 (registration, speakers, session content, agenda, ...).
Register now for the following MSDN Webcasts scheduled in October and November 2011 for Belgium, delivered by the local MVPs and community experts. All sessions are delivered online, great opportunity to learn new technology while not having to leave the office. From now on, plan your biweekly Tuesday afternoon online training by registering today:
11 OCT 2011
25 OCT 2011
Abstract In this session you will learn how MyGet leverages the Windows Azure Access Control Service to outsource its authentication and authorization work, resulting in a flexible yet elegant solution to accommodate one of its basic needs: allowing users to login and consult their data. MyGet consists of (at least) three applications and supports logging in via Windows Live ID, Google, Facebook, OpenID and Active Directory. Not to mention additional applications will be plugged in to this architecture in the future… That basic need gets complicated quickly! Are you willing to know how we keep control of this authentication spaghetti? Do you want to know about the endless possibilities of the Access Control Service? Want to see the ACS service is basically a service bus for authentication and authorization needs? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, this session is tailor made for you.
Speaker Maarten Balliauw
08 NOV 2011
Abstract Get to know Orchard, a nice free ASP.NET MVC based CMS from the Microsoft stables unleashed to the community. It's Windows Azure ready out of the box, theme-able and has a gallery with add-ons you can also construct yourself, this puppy is growing up fast.
Speaker Kris Van der Mast
22 NOV 2011
Abstract As developers work on the code, the application has to remain under constant scrutiny to ensure it still does what it is supposed to do. That is where testing comes into play. Developers run their unit tests to make sure their code still functions as it is intended, while the QA group tests the application to verify the accuracy, reliability and performance of the application. But, it is hard to know which tests are actually needed to be re-verified as a result of a code change, so it is common to test the entire area where the code change occurred. Until now. Test Impact Analysis helps the developer run only the impacted automated tests and enables QA to skip the tests that were not impacted. IntelliTrace has also become a key feature for development teams in troubleshooting automated/manual test failures. Team Build will make sure that you can enable these powerful features in your automated build process.
Speaker Pieter Gheysens
The Microsoft Community in Belgium is also organizing a number of interesting events in the next few months: feel free to have a look at our events page (Dutch | French) to see which events the user groups and other influencers have planned.
Don’t miss our next event: Web & Phone UX Developer Tour Belgium, taking place on November 3rd 2011 in Ter Elst (Edegem, Antwerp).
An inspiring day event addressing User Experience and Development for the Web and Phone, with sessions delivered by top international speakers paired with local experts. We’re starting off with a general session on Microsoft Design: Multiscreen experiences and the Future. After that we split into two rooms with a UX track and a Developer track.
You don’t want to miss Arturo Toledo and Corrina Black from the Windows Phone Design team, or Elijah Manor’s first visit to Belgium! They are joined by Christophe Peerens, Gill Cleeren and Thomas, Bram and Simon from Netlash-b-Seen. An international mix promising to give you an immersion in User Experience and Development of websites and phone apps.
User Experience Track
How to Develop your first Mango app?
What is HTML5 and CSS3 and how can I use it today?
You can find the full agenda, speaker and session details on the event site.
This is a free event but registration is mandatory. Please register soon as we expect the event to be fully booked soon. You can choose to register for the UX or the Developer track. And yes: you are welcome to switch tracks during the day, this is just to help us better split up the rooms according to registrations.
We looking forward to spending an inspiring day with all of you!
Full agenda and registration details on the site.
WebMatrix is a free web tool from Microsoft. In one sentence: it’s an all-in-one tool you can use to download, install and tweak and publish a website based on an open source app like WordPress, Umbraco, Drupal, … OR program your own site with an easy-to-use Razor syntax and ASP.NET Web Pages. Now that’s a mouthful!
The beta version brings us a load of new, useful features to build sites even faster. I highly recommend watching the recording of the BUILD conference session: “WebMatrix: uber geek in designer clothes”. A pick out of the new features:
This is Beta, in that context there is no automated installation procedure foreseen so make sure you read the installation notes. It also means that you might have to manually uninstall previous versions. Other than that you should not be having issues with other programs. Note: if you prefer to continue using the released version 1.0, you can download it here.
Download and try it out for yourself:
Recommended article: check out how Scott Hanselman is using WebMatrix and ASP.NET Web Pages with Razor syntax to upgrade an old site: Hanselminutes.com: Rewriting a 5 year old VB.NET WebForms application as an ASP.NET Web Pages application with Razor
Talk to us! Let the WebMatrix team know what you think should be added to the product at https://webmatrix.uservoice.com/forums/128313-webmatrix-suggestions
Mango is here! Yesterday Microsoft released Windows Phone 7.5 to the public. As a developer, get ready for new opportunities and some announcements around Windows Phone events in Belgium.
Below you can find a cross-posting from my colleague David Hernie’s blog:
What’s hot for Belgian users?
What’s hot for Belgian developers?
First, we’ve simplified payout and taxes administration by eliminating the need to provide an ITIN on your W-8 to take advantage of a reduced withholding rate. A blog post will follow with the new simplified procedure and we will organize a webcast for your Q&A in November.. Stay tune #wp7be or #wp7dev or follow David
Then, Microsoft Advertising solution for Windows Phone is now available in Belgium. It means MORE Windows Phone developers can make MORE money from in-app advertising and get paid locally. Want to know how to do it – Follow our WP7 technical training: Oct 25-26 in French at the MIC Mons or Nov 9- 10 in English at the MIC Brussels – Check here for all WP7 technical training organized in Belgium
Moreover, you can now publish your Mango apps. One remark – your existing Windows Phone apps are not automatically available for the Mango Marketplace. You need to manually resubmit your app for Mango and NL market
What should you do?
Last point, save the date!
Oct 25- 26 (French version) Nov 9-10 (English version)- Were organizing 2 deep development technical trainings. No marketing stuff, just 2 days to learn how to develop, publish and promote your Windows Phone 7 Apps. We will lend you phones to test your development, help you to promote your app, understand concept of the Live tiles – Cloud integration or how to use the Advertising SDK and get more revenue. It’s free – all details are here : WP7 technical training organized in Belgium
Nov 3 – We’re organizing a big event in Belgium. “The UX tour” all you want to know about Design, HTML5, Web & Phone with international speakers and latest technology trends. Stay tuned, more info is coming..
A new release of the Windows Azure SDK 1.5 and Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, and Service Management Features are now available. You can download the tools here using the Web Platform Installer. All three of these releases are aimed at simplifying development, deployment, and management on the Windows Azure platform.
The Windows Azure SDK includes the following new features:
Also available are several new enhancements in Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio for developing & deploying cloud applications. These enhancements include:
>> Read the full announcement on the Windows Azure team blog here.
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.
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!
Register now for the following MSDN Webcasts:
27 SEP 2011
Overview of SharePoint 2010 as a Business Intelligence platform Timing 14:00 – 15:30 | Type Live Webcast | Language English
Abstract In this session, Serge Luca (SharePoint MVP, Devoteam) and Isabelle Van Campenhoudt (Data Branch Manager, ICT7) will give you an overview of the Business Intelligence features of SharePoint 2010. The following technologies will be illustrated :
Attend this webcast and get a FREE MSDN & TechNet Coffee Cup!
Speakers Serge Luca & Isabelle Van Campenhoudt
11 OCT 2011
Abstract Including a Bing Maps control inside your Windows Phone application is a first step. Adding extra functionalities generally comes next. The purpose of this session is to demonstrate how to work with Bing Maps, add push pins, calculate and display a route … Attend this webcast and get a FREE MSDN & TechNet Coffee Cup! Speaker Christophe Peerens
The Microsoft Community in Belgium is also organizing a number of interesting events in the next few months. Our selection:
Keep an eye on our local MSDN events page (Dutch | French) to get an overview of all planned Microsoft – or community run events for developers (bookmark tip!).
Visual Studio 2010, be it the Ultimate, (free) Web Developer Express or other version, is not fully optimized for front-end web development out of the box. But don’t let the default VS2010 install fool you. There is a combination of community effort and tooling enhancements by Microsoft that make VS2010 play nicer to webdevs.
In this post you can find a collection of my favorite extensions and tools to make Visual Studio handy for web devs. I’m focusing on the tools I have used and installed myself, knowing that there are others out there. Do you have any additions for the list? Please let me know so I can add them here!
Most of the extensions I discuss can be installed using the Extension Manager (Tools > Extension Manager). You can also download extensions through the Visual Studio Gallery.
Download Web Standards Update for Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 SP1
More info at Mads Kristensen’s blog: Web Standards Update - behind the scenes
Download JScript Editor Extensions
(outlining functions example in some jQuery code)
After installing JScript Editor Extensions you’ll get the option to Enable/Disable four different extensions: Brace Matching, JScript Intellisense <Para>, Outlining and Word Highlighter. Knowing that sometimes installing a specific extension conflicts with one of these it’s a nice option.
Make sure you check out the Channel9 video for a live demo of the extensions.
Download the Mindscape Web Workbench.
Scott Hanselman has a great (as always) post on this new “Mindscape Web Workbench” extension for Visual Studio, adding support for CoffeeScript, SAAS and LESS. Too many new extensions for you? Don’t worry if you haven’t been doing front-end web dev lately it’s normal they sound crazy.
(//note there is a lot wrong with this little script, although it does run it’s just for demo)
You can also try the online version at http://jslint.com
Getting IntelliSense support for jQuery in your ASP.NET MVC 3 projects is already be happening. The default template contains the -.vsdoc.js files which have been commented for Visual Studio IntelliSense. If you want to add this support to another project just install the NuGet package “jQuery.vsdoc”, however the vsdoc files are now included in the default jQuery package so you should get them by default (jQuery version 1.6 and up).
Download Image Optimizer
A nice little extension integrated into Vial Studio, which uses SmushIt and PunyPNG for optimizing the images. Run it on a folder of images in Visual Studio to have all the images optimized. Gains of 15% to 40% are not unusual with some files I tried out.
As I was working on this post a tweet by @maartenballiauw got my attention:
So I did just that in the Visual Studio (NuGet) Package Manager console for an ASP.NET MVC3 project. This package adds support to MVC EditorTemplates for new HTML5 input types such as E-mail, Tel and URL. Technically not a tool for my list but interesting to mention here anyway.
So that’s it for my current list. Don’t forget, add your favorite tools to the list by leaving a comment.