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    MIX essentials agenda update


    We have just uploaded some changes to the MIX essentials agenda, as everything is now getting confirmed.

    In addition to the sessions that were already online when I first wrote on this event, new ones have been confirmed. And not to forget we have a very special guest for our closing keynote: Steve Ballmer.

    As you might have seen we have two separate tracks: developer and designer. When registering you can choose the track but this does not prevent you from changing tracks during the conference. 

    Developer track sessions

    Building RIAs with Silverlight 2 (Tim Heuer)
    Learn how to use Microsoft Visual Studio and Expression Blend to create Silverlight applications, how to create UI using XAML markup and code and how to customize the user experience to create unique experiences for your users.

    Developing with Windows Live (Catherine Heller)
    Learn how to build dynamic and interactive applications using the Windows Live platform. This session will cover APIs that enable streaming media, messaging and authentication

    Working with Data and Web Services in Microsoft Silverlight 2 (Gill Cleeren)
    Learn how easy it is to utilize POX, REST, RSS, ATOM, JSON, and SOAP in your Microsoft Silverlight mashup applications. Also learn how to easily access and display data with Silverlight using LINQ and databinding.

    Designer track sessions

    Digital Creativity - Now and the Future... (David Pugh-Jones)
    This session focuses on digital creativity and the evolution of advertising opportunities online now and in the future... explaining why advertisers need to re-think the way they communicate and reach out to consumers. Showcasing compelling and innovative rich media experiences including examples of collaboration with clients, agencies and creative, encompassing demonstrations of new and exciting Microsoft technologies including Silverlight and the next generation of video content online.

    Beauty & The Geek (Rich Griffin & Felix Corke, Conchango)
    The perfect blend of right brain and left brain
    In this session, you will see a real world team of a visual designer, whose primary world has traditionally been in Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash and HTML/CSS; and a developer, whose whole world has mostly been Visual Studio. These guys work at Conchango, one of Europe's leading web design agencies, on Silverlight & WPF projects, and have learned how the designer/developer story from Microsoft works in real life.
    In this session you'll get strategies, tools, tips on workflow and design approach with relevant real project case studies. Also, some useful snippets to get you started with Silverlight and DeepZoom, with Expression Suite and Visual Studio very quickly indeed.

    Virgins, Spaceships & Total Experience Design (Paul Dawson, Conchango)
    When was the last time you thought about touch, taste, or lighting when you designed a website? Experience Design must go wider than simply 'the Web' for any business. Using well known brands like Virgin and Harrods as case studies, you will learn how to create Experience Architectures that touch all customer interactions and how great offline customer experience can flow into digital media.

    Register before booking is closed!

    Technorati tags: ,,,


  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Silverlight 2 Beta 1 - Silverlight Application project


    With the release of Beta1 for Silverlight 2 you get two new templates in Visual Studio 2008 for creating Silverlight projects in C# or VB.
    Download links to Microsoft Silverlight Tools Beta 1 for Visual Studio 2008 you will find at numerous places on blogs and also in a previous post of mine.

    Available Silverlight 2 project templates with Beta 1:

    • Silverlight Application
    • Silverlight Class Library


    Standard files in a new Silverlight Application project

    When you create a Silverlight Application project and choose to automatically create the test web application site as well, you will get this structure:


    Page.xaml and Page.xaml.cs

    The default base UserControl (UI) of a new Silverlight application.

    App.xaml file and its code-behind "App.xaml.cs"

    This is the file in which you can store application wide resources like styling, brushes, etc. The code-behind file offers the ability to add event handling for the application startup, exit and unhandled exception handling.

    Application.Startup event

    You will see that the Application_Startup event is already implemented and this is where your default base control gets initiated. Suppose you want to have another control that the Page.xaml default one as the startup control of your application this is where you would be able to change this.

    Application.Exit event

    As the name implies, this event is called upon exiting the application.

    Application.UnhandledException event

    By default this event is already implemented for you in the App class. This is where you can catch and handle all unhandled exceptions from your application meaning anything that is not handled by a try/catch block. Note however that there are some types of exceptions that will not revert to this event such as stack overflow, access violation, etc.


    The AppManifest.xml file defines the assemblies that get deployed in the client application.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Grégory Renard's "10 minutes with your Regional Director" screencast series on Chopsticks


    We have published the first of a new screencast series on Chopsticks: it's a new idea launched by our Regional Director Grégory Renard.

    The idea is to have short 10 minute screencasts on several subjects in which you get insight into the subject. The first one of this series is entitled "10 minutes avec votre RD: Introduction à VS2008 - Codes Snippets" (FR).

    You can see the screencast embedded below or go to our Chopsticks site to view it from there.

    Note: this series is only available in French.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Launch and TechDays in Belgium are over, Luxemburg coming on the 19th of March 2008


    TechDays 2008 are over. Overall feedback was very positive.
    As this was my first big event since starting at Microsoft I'm really happy with the way it all rolled out: top speakers delivering top sessions. Of course this would not have been possible without the big help from Gill Cleeren, check out his blog post about the TechDays.

    The slide decks for all sessions will become available soon to registered users but you may get the slides (and even demos) from some of the speakers that have already posted it on their sites:

    Launch event in Luxemburg

    If you missed the TechDays or Launch event for Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008 there is maybe good news: there is still a launch event in Luxemburg this Wednesday, 19th of March 2008.

    You can register on the Heroes Happen Here site and check out the agenda for the day. The launch event is in the afternoon but you might also be interested in attending our "Unified Communications" event in the morning.

    TechDays pictures

    Some of the pictures I took during the event are on my Flickr account.


  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Channel9 interview: "Scott Guthrie: What's Coming for Mix, Part 1: IIS7 for Developers"


    Watch part 1 of the interview with Scott Guthrie where he talks about the new features for developers in IIS7. He explains the extensibility model (creating your own modules in C# or VB.NET), exception logging, configuration setup based on the config settings we use in ASP.NET, scalability, and more.

    Scott will be doing the keynote at MIX 2008 in March, this interview gives you a hint at what will be demoed at the conference.


    Keep an eye on Scott's blog for more on the IIS7 features and on Channel9 for part 2 of the interview.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Visual Studio 2008 Launch and TechDays 2008 Belgium: registration is open


    This year we are hosting our developer's conference on 12 and 13 March 2008, in the ICC in Ghent. This year is a special event because we have a pre-day on the 11th that is dedicated to the official launch for Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008.

    As you know Visual Studio 2008 is already available for download for MSDN subscribers, however the official launch and availability in stored will be after a big event in Los Angeles, California. The date to keep in mind is 27th of February 2008.
    The Belgian launch event will take place on the 11th of March 2008 and is a free event in which the three products will be presented. Don't miss this event, register today at the Heroes Happen {Here} site.

    The TechDays will give you a track specific for developers and another targeted to IT-Pros. I will be blogging about the developer sessions later this month as they will become more definitive. Needless to say most of the content will be focused around Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5 but we will also have some sessions around new features in SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 (mainly IIS7) with interest to developers.

    You can already register for this event as well, so save the dates in your calendar!

    Register here for the two events:

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Silverlight 1.0 Fire Starter video now available through MIX University


    MIX University, a section of MIX Online website the has got a new addition: Silverlight 1.0 Fire Starter site.

    On November 29th 2007 a full day event was organized around Silverlight 1.0. This event was recorded and you can now view all the sessions online or download them in .wmv, .wma or .mp3 format.
    Eight sessions going from development in Silverligh 1.0, Expression Blend and the designer - developer workflow, XAML, Media and Popfly to a look at the future of Silverlight are available.

    Good news is also that if you like the interface of the video site itself, which is made in Silverlight, you can grab the source code through Adam Kinney's blog!

    No reason why not to get started with Silverlight today...

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    BIWUG presentation on OpenXML now available


    In November 2007 during a meeting of the Belux Information Worker User Group (BIWUG), Wouter van Vugt did a session on OpenXML standards.

    Joris Poelmans' blog now contains a link to the of the presentation: Introduction to OpenXML standards.
    You can download the powerpoint presentation from the Joris' blog.


  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    New WPF Starter Kit and SDK released: Syndicated Client Experiences Start Kit & Reader SDK


    Ever wanted to build a rich client application with syndicated multimedia content?

    The SCE Starter Kit has just been announced over at the WindowsClient.NET site and Tim Sneath’s blog. This starter kit gives you a jump start to integrating a rich content experience on the desktop with branding, skinning and custom interface elements.

    The starter kit delivers a base to build upon for creating client multimedia applications with rich syndicated content, from documents and photos to videos and podcasts, that is searchable and automatically synchronized with new content and application updates, enable user annotations, keep track of bookmarks/favorites, and a lot more.

    To get started, have a look at these two applications:

    Next, review the documentation, video walkthroughs (great stuff here!) and hands on labs on the “Get Started Building Your Own Syndicated Client Experiences Application” page.


  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Visual Studio User Group meeting - Building Services with the Service Factory: Modeling Edition, on 21 February 2008


    Olaf Conijn is coming to the next Belgian Visual Studio User Group (VISUG) for a session on “Building Services with the Service Factory: Modeling Edition”. The meeting takes place on February 21st 2008 at 6:30PM.

    If you are looking into Software Factories to develop your next software project go over to the VISUG site and register. Places are limited to 50 so don’t wait and register now.

    Abstract of the session can be found below, as posted on Gill’s blog:
    Being an extremely useful tool for architects and developers, the next release of the Service Factory adds one of the most often requested features: a graphical tool for designing message contracts and service interfaces based on the Visual Studio SDK, DSL Toolkit and Guidance Automation Toolkit. There are clear advantages of using a modeling environment when building services. The development team has more flexibility when the modeling environment includes logical models that don’t force platform and language decisions too early in the project. When this environment has a great deal of extensibility, the capabilities are only limited by imagination. The Web Service Software Factory: Modeling Edition provides this type of modeling environment. Attend this demo-heavy session to see how the Service Factory can be used and extended by your service development team.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Guidance Automation Extensions (GAT) and Guidance Automation Toolkit (GAX): Final Release February 2008


    Microsoft patterns & practices has announced the February 2008 release of the GAT and GAX.

    This new release includes support for Visual Studio 2008 as many were waiting for.
    The main improvements to the July 2007 CTP release are the following:

    • Support for Visual Studio 2005 and/or Visual Studio 2008. This version of GAX will run on either version of Visual Studio. If you don’t have GAX installed, you can install GAX to support Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Studio 2008 or both. The installer will automatically determine which versions of Visual Studio you have installed.
    • Updating GAX.
    • Visual Studio side-by-side support
    • Improved Uninstaller

    Read all the details in Grigori Melnik’s blog post


  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    TechDays 2008 agenda is finalized


    It’s great to see our agenda for the TechDays getting finalized. If you have not yet registered there is some good news and some bad news: registration for the launch event on the 11th is closed. Registration for TechDays is still open at the time of writing.

    Since my previous post some changes have been made, new speakers added, some sessions have adapted. Please do take the time to look at the scheduling as some changes there have been made as well. 

     Before going into detail on some of the changes I would like to take the time to thank my colleagues. All the credit for this goes out to:

    • Gill Cleeren, now a new Regional Director and MVP (congrats Gill!). Gill was working on the agenda before I joined the team and did a great job at preparing the agenda and reaching the speakers.
    • Arlindo Alves, IT Pro Evangelist in the same team as I work. Arlindo did a great job getting the top speakers here.
    • Tom Mertens: thanks for all the help and time answering all my questions.

    And now, let’s get to the news. First of all we have a wonderful keynote speaker on the 12th of March (first day of the TechDays event): Rafal Lukawiecki. Rafal is a regular speaker at big events such as TechEd Barcelona. Rafal is not only going to do the keynote but will also be presenting some sessions.

    In addition to our keynote speaker, here is a list of sessions that have been added.

    Building Applications with Silverlight 2.0 (Nikhil Kothari)
    Learn how to use Silverlight for building your rich internet applications using the power of managed code, .NET and XAML UI on the client. This session will demonstrates using the Silverlight presentation framework including controls, the application model, the networking stack and other new capabilities that Silverlight brings to browsers for the next-generation of cross-browser and cross-platform applications.

    10 Things to Love in .NET 3.5 (Roy Osherove) – this session is a replacement
    In this talk we'll explore 10 things every developer should know about and find valueble in the .NET 3.5 framework and extensions. From LINQ and Lambdas to WF and WCF, this talk will be a quick overview of each of the major cool stuff in .NET 3.5.

    What's new for developers in SQL Server 2008? (Dandy Weyn)
    As a developer you want to understand the new features in SQL Server 2008.
    In this session you will learn how to work with the new data/time datatypes as well as implementing new T-SQL Features such as the MERGE statement.
    You will learn how to enable a database for change data capture and track changes in data throughout an ETL data process.
    You will also see on how to implement geospatial data and work with FILESTREAM objects.
    This session is focusing on database developer SQL Server side topics.

    Applied Service Oriented Architecture (Steven Wilssens)
    During this session we will have a look at what the most recent buzzword in the IT industry means for one of the product teams at Microsoft. Although it is still in beta, Popfly was recently chosen as one of the 25 most innovative products by PC World. See how SOA, short for Service Oriented Architecture, works for a product that was build using a variety of Microsoft services, what the team has learned from this experience, and how this approach can work for you.

    Domain Specific Development with Visual Studio Domain Specific Language (DSL) Tools (Jelle Druyts)
    As one of the pillars of the Software Factories initiative, Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) provide a way to describe your business domain in a language closer to the actual problem than using traditional programming code.
    The Visual Studio Domain Specific Language Tools allow developers to create their own graphical designers and code generation tools – much like the ones you can find in Visual Studio today, such as the Class Designer.
    In this session, you will learn how to develop your own DSLs inside Visual Studio and see an example of a real-world DSL that simplifies your life as a developer: the Configuration Section Designer.

    Running externalized Business Rules in any .Net application (including Sharepoint) with the Workflow Foundation Rules Engine (Serge Luca)
    As an important subsystem of the .Net Framework 3.0 and 3.5, Windows Workflow Foundation provides 2 engines: a Workflow Engine and a Rules Engine. The Rules Engine is a very interesting way to isolate the Business Rules from the other parts of the application which will be therefore much easier to maintain; the Rules Engine also manages interaction between rules thanks to its forward chaining feature; another benefit is that a business analyst or a power user can modify the business rules without having to recompile the application.
    In this session, we will have an overview of the Rules Engine , you will see how to store business rules in a repository , how to use rules without workflow , how to organize the code  and how to use the Rules engine in any application. We will take the case of Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services 3 or MOSS 2007 web parts.

    Matt Gibbs is also giving a lunch session on ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions (previously known as ASP.NET Futures).

    See you there!

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    ScottGu publishes a tutorial on Silverlight 2 Beta1


    You may have seen it posted on several blogs: Scott Guthrie has published an overview of Silverlight 2 functionality and a complete 8 part tutorial!

    The tutorial is step-by-step guide on building a sample Silverlight 2 Beta1 application that reads stories from The sample uses REST, cross-domain access, LINQ to SQL, Silverlight UI and more.

    Well worth reading today so that you get a headstart once the Beta1 comes out.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Getting ready for MIX08



    My MIX08 countdown sidebar gadget says it: 7 days to go!

    Just one week away I can’t wait to be at MIX08. So much coming, so little time!

    After Scott Guthrie’s post about the new Silverlight 2 features, I’m hoping we all can get working on our Silverlight 2 applications. Scott gives a glimpse of what is expected but I’m sure much more will be shown at the keynote.

    If you are planning to go I hope you have your ticket because since last week everything is sold out.
    But, the good news if you are not able to join us in Las Vegas: the opening keynote will be streamed live on March 5th at 9:30 AM PST (that’s 5:30 PM in if you’re in Belgium). Add a reminder to your agenda and point your browser to to get all the news live. It will be a 2:30 hour session packed with the latest news on Microsoft’s web technologies and tools. I’m expecting quite a few announcements so the 2:30 hours will be time well spent.

    The keynote will be kicked off by Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie, Vice President of the .NET Developer Platform Scott Guthrie and Internet Explorer General Manager Dean Hachamovitch. In addition to news on Silverlight 2 there will be Internet Explorer news, Expression, Windows Live, ASP.NET and more.

    I’ve been preparing my personal schedule of the MIX sessions I want to attend. It’s hard to choose

    In addition to all the sessions and keynote information I’m sure this will be a great opportunity to network and meet new people.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    My academic session on Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5


    It was fun doing the sessions at some colleges in Belgium the last two weeks. The session gives an overview on all the new cool features in the IDE but also on language features, LINQ(of course!), WCF, WF, WPF, OBA.

    I visited three schools:

    If you are looking for the powerpoint presentation you can download it from my SkyDrive (see below).


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