The September issue of MSDN Magazine is on its way out as I write this and includes a trifecta of data-focused features, leading off with Jamie Laflen and Barclay Hill's dive into the SQL Server "Juneau" database project. The new release enables developers to do database and application development in the same environment. The Entity Framework team at Microsoft got busy in September with an exploration of the new features in the June 2011 Entity Framework CTP, which adds sought-after features like enums, spatial types and TVFs. Finally, Shane Burgess looks at the Open Data Protocol (OData) and how it can allow developers to target client experiences across multiple platforms, including tables, phone, Web and desktop.

Of course, Julie Lerman is all over the data theme. In her Data Points column this month, Lerman shows how second level cache can help retain useful state information about an Entity Framework context.

With the BUILD Conference poised to kick off in a couple weeks, everybody is thinking about HTML5. Brandon Satrom continues his feature series on the emerging HTML specification, offering insights and strategies for managing the HTML5 transition and showing how tools like Modernizr can help you move to HTML5 sooner. You can read his first column in the series, titled "Building Apps with HTML5: What You Need to Know," from the August issue of MSDN Magazine.

Speaking of August, my predecessor Keith Ward in the August issue featured a Q&A with Don Syme, the creator of the F# programming language. In September, we're publishing an F#-themed feature by Chris Marinos, titled "Build MVVM Applications in F#," that shows how to create Model-View-ViewModel applications in Silverlight and WPF. Chris argues that F# can be a language for writing practical applications, noting in the article that "F# reduces the ceremony in your code, making it easier to read and maintain your view models and models."

Finally, be sure to check out Willy-Peter Schaub and Brian Blackman's feature, "Visual Studio ALM Rangers—Reflections on Virtual Teams," which focuses on team development in "less-than-ideal distributed and virtual environments." As the authors explain, the ALM Rangers consist of experts promoting collaboration between the Visual Studio product group, Microsoft Services and the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) community. Here, Schaub and Blackman show how the Ranger team applies its customized project management process, called Ruck, to its virtual teams.

Our columnists are busy too. Windows with C++ columnist Kenny Kerr offers the second in a three-part series on the thread pool environment, while Dino Esposito's Cutting Edge column talks about the dangers of the software Big Ball of Mud and how you can prevent your applications from devolving into an expensive mess. Charles Petzold continues shining light on the Windows Phone 7 platform in his UI Frontiers column, diving into enabling a touch interface for his e-book reader application. And Ted Neward's Working Programmer wraps up the epic, 10-part series on Multiparadigmatic .NET, with a column called "Choosing an Approach."

Finally, David Platt offers some sage advice in his latest Don't Get Me Started installment. It's worth a read.