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Today we released Visual Studio 2008 Express Edition and continued the promise of offering fun, simple and easy-to-learn tools for the non-professional developer:
· Visual Basic Express Edition - productivity tool for first time or casual Windows programming
· Visual C# Express Edition - provides a great combination of power and productivity
· Visual C++ Express Edition - provides the horsepower with a finer degree of control than the other Express products
· Visual Web Developer Express Edition - the easy to use environment for dynamic Web application development
The Web Site
Starting today, the new home for Express is http://www.microsoft.com/express. The Beginner Developer Learning Center can be found at http://msdn.microsoft.com/beginner. Additionally, we've redesigned the Express Web site to be more about the experience of Visual Studio Express and to make it easier to discover the great assets that each of these products have to offer.
Check it out!!
Visual Studio 2008 Product Guide
Visual Studio 2008 Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade
.NET Framework 3.5 Fact Sheet
Press Pass Feature:
Q&A with S. "Soma" Somasegar
Channel 9 Video:
Conversation with Soma:
Visual Studio 2008 and beyond
S. "Soma" Somasegar
Yes, I knew it was out but wasn't allowed to blog officially yet. Now I can!!!!! Here is the latest and greatest from the marketing folks:
This morning, Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 were released to manufacturing which means that the English version of the product is immediately available to MSDN subscribers. Visual Studio 2008 is the next generation of Microsoft's award-winning development tools and focuses on enabling rapid application development, enhancing collaboration among development teams, and providing development tools support for the latest platforms. For the first time, developers have full tools support for Windows Vista, the 2007 Microsoft Office system and the .NET Framework 3.5. The release of Visual Studio 2008 is the first release of the 2008 launch wave that also includes Windows Server and SQL Server.
Visual Studio 2008 enables customers to rapidly create connected applications on the latest platforms, including Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, the 2007 Office System, and the Web with the highest quality user experience for the each member of the development teams as well as the end user.
Visual Studio 2008 provides over 200 new features, including.
The .NET Framework 3.5, based on proven technology, adds new features in several major technology areas including:
Happy, Happy! Joy, Joy!
[EDIT: As Guy pointed out on his blog http://blogs.microsoft.co.il/blogs/bursteg/archive/2007/11/19/visual-studio-2008-rtm-is-available-for-msdn-subscribers.aspx VS2008 is RTM for MSDN already]
By now it is no secret that Visual Studio 2008 will RTM before the end of November. Soma mentioned this at TechEd Europe and I couldn't be more excited! Make sure you are getting ready with for the new version by checking out our webcasts and other training materials that are available. Here is a list of places to help you get prepared:
Main Visual Studio 2008 Product Page http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/products/default.aspx
Main World Wide Events Website http://msevents.microsoft.com/cui/default.aspx?culture=en-US
NOTE: Don't let the name throw you off, this is your best "one stop shop" for getting MS content. Make sure to take advantage of the Virtual Labs! Below is an extremely short list at what I found when I searched on the keyword "linq":
Channel 9 (of course) http://channel9.msdn.com/
And of course the various blogs (on the left hand side) and other resources that crop up. I will be doing a 26 part webcast on new features of VS2008 beginning in December as well.
In the meantime, let's have a contest. Post here with your list of resources for getting up to speed with VS2008. I will randomly choose one person to be the recipient of ONE of these prizes (winner's choice):
Windows Vista Ultimate
Office 2007 Ultimate
Halo 3/Flight Simulator X Combo gift
[Edit: contest extended until 12/1 by popular demand!]
Just in time for the holidays! Contest ends on 11/26/2007 @ 5pm Central. Good Times :)
(MS employees not eligible but shoot me an email if you would like to see an FTE version of this contest)
So we are on a mini-retreat for the Central Region this week. Lots of good stuff to talk about (see later post) but had to get this one out. I went to Dave and Buster's tonight with my buddy J Sawyer and we actually finished House of the Dead 4. I have played many video games but can't recall ever actually finishing one in an arcade before. Naturally we celebrated our victory and made bold plans to become professional gamers some day. In the meantime, we will still keep our day jobs 'til we find corporate sponsorship :)
One of my peers, Paul Andrew, posted a while back on where to get a sweet Framework 3.5 Poster and thought I would share with you because I care :)
Had a question today about sockets with Vista from Chris Avis. I hooked him up with info on the Winsock Kernel (WSK). He was so pumped he decided to blog about it and thought I would share. If you are working with sockets and wondering what the future holds then you can definitely benefit from this post.
Make sure to give Chris a shout out while you are there :)
"Use your words, dude."
--Vic from Red vs. Blue Season II
In our last episode we discovered that Dr. Codd did great things for database technologies and covered a little history of databases. We also discovered that Mary-Sue was going to have Billy-Bob's love child while Jimmy-John tried to kick his addiction to Tootsie Rolls and ...er...sorry wrong episode. So we just learned the database stuff forget everything else. In the grand scheme of things, you can hopefully appreciate the magnitude of Dr. Codd's contribution.
Now I would like to turn our attention to the next big hurdle: vocabulary. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of confusion about some of the language used in database systems. In many cases there is little to no knowledge of the database vocabulary at all beyond "table" and "join" :P At this point you may be saying to yourself, "Man, I would really like a Diet Coke." If so, go get one I'll wait... Welcome back :)
Okay let's get down to business: Why should you give a crap about this stuff? I mean, many of you use databases every day why the hell do you need to learn anything more about them? The answer is simple and elegant: If you can't speak the common language of databases you will be (not might be) much less effective communicating with others. Most notably, you will not be able, in some cases, to clearly articulate what you need and why you need it when talking to database professionals. With all this build-up you would think I was showing you the cure for cancer. It's not quite that serious, but not having a common vocabulary is definitely a hindrance that can be easily avoided.
What are the words you need to know? I'm glad you asked!
NOTE: Those items denoted with an asterisk (*) are the official names used in relational database theory.
The Really Basic Basics
This section just lays out some extremely basic underpinnings to set the stage for more complex discussions.
Databases are collections of tables and other supporting items (like Indexes, Stored Procedures, etc... discussed later) that are used to store and/or manipulate data.
Table (AKA Entity*)
Tables are the fundamental building block of a database. They represent the collections of data that we store for later retrieval. Tables are also known as Entities (term taken from Set Theory in Mathematics). I know you have seen tables a gazzilion times but here is gazzilion + 1:
For the rest of this article we will essentially be breaking down the terms used to describe pieces of a table.
Columns (AKA Fields, Attributes*)
Columns store the individual pieces of data that we use in our tables. Each column is data about one thing. For example, the au_lname column stores the last name of each author in our sample table.
Rows (AKA Records, Tuples*)
Rows are collections of columns that represent all the information about one thing in a table. For example, in our table, each row consists of the author id, last name, first name, phone, address, city, and state. For example, the first row has all the information in our table on Johnson White.
The Not Quite As Basic As The Previous Basic
In this section we will dive a little deeper into the vernacular to explore some new and interesting terms you may not know about.
When we talk of rows and columns that is often where the story ends. Many of us don't delve deeper either because we don't know there is more or for other reasons. But there IS more. Let's take a look at some terms used to describe multiples in a table.
You can refer to more than one column using these common terms: columns,fields,attributes. However, there is another way we can refer to them as well. The term is called the degree*. Looking at our table we can see it has a degree of 6. That is to say, there are 6 columns in our table. Pretty easy stuff.
When talking about more than one row we can, again, resort to common terms: rows, records, tuples*. Okay, maybe tuples isn't common but you get the idea. However we also have a bit of verbal coolness we can apply here as well: cardinality*. The meaning of this word usually depends on context. For now, we will use the simplest definition of cardinality which is sometimes used to indicate the number of rows in a table. Strictly speaking this isn't the most accurate definition but will serve as a start. Later we will expand on this definition.
Conclusion, Sort Of...
Okay so we aren't really done but this is a good place to stop because as new things are introduced we will present their definintion at that time. Clearly there is much, much more to explore.
If you haven't heard yet, we are offering a new product: Windows Home Server. So just what the hell is this and why should you give a crap?
Here is a description taken from the main landing page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/windowshomeserver/default.mspx :
"It's time to brush the digital dust off your captured moments and media-for good. Introducing a simpler, smarter way for families to organize, share and protect photos, videos, music and much more. Windows Home Server brings it all together in a central hub, connecting your home PCs and making it easy to keep and enjoy your family's most important memories. Grandma will love it too."
Okay so I'm not so sure that grandma will start doing cartwheels when you bring this sucker home and we certainly haven't made this product to give a boost to the slumping hip replacement industry :P
No, we have created this product because it's about damn time. Society is evolving and we are getting used to information on demand. Having a simple, easy platform that will deliver those things people want in their homes like photos, shows, crack (just making sure you are paying attention), and all types of other digital media.
We will start seeing this in all kinds of products going forward like HP MediaSmart Server and other vendors as well. I think this is a great step forward!
Here are more links on this story:
I live in Dallas and use the glorious tollway system. I needed to get info about my toll usage so decided to hit the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) website. Wow. I honestly didn't know what the app was written in until I looked closer (thank goodness it's on a compete platform) but know it is probably one of the worst examples of an application I have seen. It looks nice but performance is a total dog and it keeps bouncing me out when I try to generate reports. Nice. If you want to see this example of what shouldn't be done then visit http://www.ntta.org/ and see for yourself how interesting this thing is.