Posted by: techsavygal | April 8, 2009

New set of Virtual Labs from MSDN…

MSDN has released a new set of virtual labs for Visual Studio 2008 & .Net framework 3.5 for anyone willing to get their hands dirty with silverlight, wcf, wpf, rest and more. Check them out from below:

             ASP.NET Dynamic Data provides a framework that lets you quickly build a functional data-driven application, based on a LINQ to SQL Server or Entity Framework data model. It also adds great flexibility and functionality to the DetailsView, FormView, GridView and ListView controls with smart validation and the ability to easily change the display of these controls using templates. In this lab you’ll learn how to create a data-driven web application, add validation to the data model and customise ASP.NET Dynamic Data rendering, pages and fields.

An inherent problem with AJAX-style applications is browser navigation. If users click the browser’s Back button, the browser doesn’t return to a previous state of the page by default. Instead, it unloads the page entirely and returns to the page that was displayed before your page was started. Usually, that’s not what the user intended. You can manage history (Back and Forward button navigation) to provide a more logical and natural navigation model in your web application. As the page developer, you control the state required to recreate the page, by managing history navigation in both server and client code, just by defining points in your application that act like bookmarks.

The .NET Framework Client Profile was created in response to feedback from many customers that indicated that a smaller framework was needed specifically for client applications. The Client Profile is a subset of assemblies already contained within .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 (SP1). After completing this lab, you’ll be better able to target your client projects to the .NET Framework 3.5 Client Profile and verify which assembly references are not included in the Client Profile.

WCF simplifies development of connected applications through a service-oriented programming model. WCF supports many styles of distributed application development by providing a layered architecture. WCF features support for the RESTful design of web services within the unified WCF programming model. Support for REST and POX style services are now directly supported by the .NET Framework version 3.5.

Create applications that are more familiar to end-users with Microsoft Office applications. Add-ins make it a snap to build your own features into Microsoft Office applications. Visual Studio Tools for Office, an integral technology of Visual Studio 2008, includes features that simplify add-in development. Once you’ve completed this lab, you’ll know how to bind Ribbon Events to WCF Service methods, create form regions and host a Windows Presentation Framework Custom Control.

WPF provides a unified framework for building applications and high-fidelity experiences in Windows that blend together application UI, documents and media content, while exploiting the full power of the local computing hardware. WPF was created to allow developers to more easily build the types of rich applications that were difficult to build with Windows Forms, the type that required a range of other technologies that were often hard to integrate.

Work through this lab, and you’ll learn how to use Visual Studio 2008 Designer to build a WPF client application, see how LINQ features can be used against a Microsoft SQL Server database, see how to access a WCF-based service after generating a Service Reference and put some of the new language features of C# to work.

LINQ is a set of extensions to the .NET Framework that encompasses language-integrated query, set and transform operations. It extends C# and Visual Basic with native language syntax for queries and provides class libraries to take advantage of these capabilities. LINQ to SQL Server provides a runtime infrastructure for managing relational data as objects without losing the ability to query. Your application is free to manipulate the objects while LINQ to SQL Server stays in the background, tracking your changes automatically. Complete this lab and you’ll be able to:

• Use the LINQ to SQL Server Designer to create LINQ to SQL Server entity classes and associations (relationships) based on tables in a database
• Manage the DataContext and ‘how-to-use where’ clauses, perform joins, order the results and handle conflict detection
• Use LINQ to SQL Server to implement a resource access layer that interacts with an existing Microsoft SQL Server database.

JavaScript Object Notation (or JSON), an open and text-based data exchange format that provides a standardised data exchange format better suited for Ajax-style web applications. This lab will show you how to create and configure a WCF service that uses JSON serialization, in addition to demonstrating how to consume the WCF service from client-side code, including ASP.NET AJAX controls and JavaScript that you write.

Microsoft Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET-based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the web. Silverlight offers a flexible programming model that supports AJAX, Visual Basic, C#, Python and Ruby, and integrates with existing web applications. Silverlight supports fast, cost-effective delivery of high-quality video to major browsers running on the Mac OS or Windows.

In this lab, you will use Expression Design and Visual Studio 2008 to build a monster factory website, and also learn how to create XAML pictures and consume them using Silverlight and Javascript from a website.

Enjoy!

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