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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Posted by: techsavygal | April 8, 2009

BizMock for BizTalk Agile Testing…

BizMock is a new framework used for quick testing of BizTalk orchestrations, maps and more.Create unit tests with regular C# MS tests, enhanced with a fluent interface API and a TDD approach. Use its mocking capabilities, to avoid relying on dependent infraestructure like web services or DBs.

The following list shows all the standard artifact types that BizMock offers:

  •  
    • One way Receive location
    • One way send port
    • Request Response receive location
    • Solicit Response port
    • Message instance
    • Message verifier
    • Map
    • Database
    • Event log
    • Business rule
    • Pipeline

Main advantages of using Bizmock:

  • Rapid testing of Biztalk scenarios ( no more excuses to not test biztalk code)
  • No need to leave the Visual Studio IDE
  • We use regular Visual Studio C# Unit Tests code ( no puzzling xml) .
  • Type Safe API
  • Favors agile iterative development cycles with continous Integration.
  • No need to rely on real implementations of dependent infraestructure like web services, Databases, etc. ( isolated on the developer machine or build server )
  • Increasead level of abstraction thanks to its Domain Driven Design approach and fluent interface.
  • Rapid and guided development thanks to intelisense and its fluent interface API.
  • Reusability of domain artifacts across tests, like ports, messages, verifiers etc.
  • Extensibility model to allow the creation of new artifacts, actions, and expectations types over time and reused across solutions
  • Leverages DDT ( Data Driven Test)

Download this TDD framework from here.

Enjoy!

Microsoft Press is giving away 40% Discount on selective 25 books to celebrate their 25th Anniversary.

Some of the books include:

Introducing Microsoft Silverlight 2.0 2nd Edition

Microsoft Visual C# 2008 Step by Step 3rd Edition,

Programming Microsoft ASP.NET 3.5

MCTS Self Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-503): Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Windows Communication Foundation Book/DVD/CD Package

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 T-SQL Fundamentals

Check this offer from here.

Enjoy!




Posted by: techsavygal | April 6, 2009

One stop for WCF, WCF Services and more at WCF Champ!

Microsoft has released WCF Champ which not only contains all information for beginners, intermediate and experts on WCF, WCF Services, etc but also contains information about REST, Azure .Net Services, WCF and WF in .Net 4.0 and more…

 

Check out WCF Champ from here.

 

Enjoy!

Posted by: techsavygal | April 6, 2009

BizTalk Server 2009 RTM is available on MSDN!

Microsoft has released the much talked about version of BizTalk Server 2009 (previously known as BizTalk Server 2006 R3) for MSDN subscribers on friday.

The following are the different versions available on MSDN:

  • BizTalk Server 2009 Branch Edition (x86) – DVD (English)
  • BizTalk Server 2009 Developer Edition (x86) – DVD (English)
  • BizTalk Server 2009 Enterprise Edition (x86) – DVD (English)
  • BizTalk Server 2009 Line of Business Adapters (x86) – CD (English)
  • BizTalk Server 2009 Accelerators Standard Edition (x86) – CD (English)
  • BizTalk Server 2009 Accelerators Enterprise Edition (x86) – CD (English)
  • BizTalk Server 2009 Adapters for Host Systems 2.0 Developer Edition (x86) – CD (English)
  • BizTalk Server 2009 Adapters for Host Systems 2.0 Enterprise Edition (x86) – CD (English)

Whats news in BizTalk Server 2009?

This version of BizTalk Server now provides support to 

  • Windows Server 2008
  • Visual Studio 2008 SP1
  • SQL Server 2008
  • .Net Framework 3.5 SP1

In particular this version has greater scalability and reliability, new Hyper-V virtualization support, and many advances in the latest developer tools

BizTalk Server 2009 also provides support for some top features including a

  • new UDDI v3-compliant services registry,
  • new and enhanced LOB adapters (Oracle E-Business Suite, SQL Server),
  • enhanced host systems integration (updates to MQ, CICS, IMS, CICS),
  • a new Mobile RFID platform and management tools,
  • enhanced B2B capabilities (updates to EDI, AS2, SWIFT),
  • enhanced support for Business Activity Monitoring (BAM)
  • enhanced developer and team productivity through ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) integration with Team Foundation System andVisual Studio, and 
  • new release of ESB Guidance 2.0 patterns and practices.

BizTalk Server 2009 also adds a new Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) WebSphere MQ channel by providing the transport, data formatter and encoder to integrate directly with WebSphere MQ via WCF and a new WCF Service for Host Applications has been added to expose the traditional Transaction Integrator to .NET Framework developers.  

Burley Kawasaki who is director of product management in the Connected Systems Division at Microsoft, said future releases following BizTalk Server 2009 will address enterprise connectivity, enterprise visibility and support for the latest platform technologies. Future releases will feature developer productivity enhancements such as complex mapping, enhanced B2B support, complex trading partner management, expanded industry standards and schemas and low-latency messaging enhancements and ESB guidance. Future releases also will feature enhanced device support, business intelligence and BAM enhancements and will continue to take advantage of the latest advances in the .NET Framework, Visual Studio, and Windows Server, Kawasaki said.

Keep watching this space for more…

Posted by: techsavygal | March 30, 2009

CruiseControl.net Installation Tutorial…

Matte has a nice and simple tutorial on how to install CruiseControl.Net, which is an automated  continuous integration server for the .NET platform and you can use this for your .net web applications.

Enjoy!

The Composite Application Guidance for WPF and Silverlight is designed to help you more easily build enterprise-level Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) client applications. This guidance will help you design and build flexible composite client applications-composite applications use loosely coupled, independently evolvable pieces that work together in the overall application.

The Composite Application Guidance can help you develop your client application in a modular fashion. With this approach, you manage the complexity of a large application by breaking it down into smaller, simpler modules. The modules can evolve independently while working together as a unified application.

This version of the Composite Application Guidance is designed to help you build applications in WPF and Silverlight that have a single code base.

The guidance includes a reference implementation, reusable library code (named the Composite Application Library), documentation, QuickStarts, and hands-on labs. You can download this guidance from here.

Microsoft has also released Visual Basic QuickStarts and How-to Topics for the Composite Application Guidance for WPF and Silverlight – February 2009 – English and you can download this from here.

If you have downloaded the earlier version of Composite Application Library (June 08), then you can download the upgrader from codeplex to update this application to latest version released on Febraury 2009.

Enjoy!

Posted by: techsavygal | March 18, 2009

Installating SQL Server 2008 on Windows Server 2008 Cluster!

Edwin Sarmiento of Edgewood Solutions wrote a bunch of very handy SQL tips on this website at http://www.mssqltips.com/

Some of the interesting ones that caught my eye are:

Installing SQL Server 2008 on a Windows Server 2008 Cluster Part 1

Installing SQL Server 2008 on a Windows Server 2008 Cluster Part 2

Installing SQL Server 2008 on a Windows Server 2008 Cluster Part 3

Enjoy!

Posted by: techsavygal | March 17, 2009

Sharepoint and ASP.Net MVC …

Codeplex has another interesting project where the owner tried to combine ASP.Net MVC with Sharepoint technology. Sharepoint MVC is a helper project used to host ASP.Net MVC in Sharepoint 2007.

Eventhough ASP.Net MVC can be hosted from any asp.net website, it was interesting to note that developers tried hosting it inside Sharepoint. Currently, sharepoint does not support ASP.Net MVC natively, but it may be around the corner soon.

Tom has a nice post on how he implemented Sharepoint MVC project and you can read it from here.

Enjoy!

Posted by: techsavygal | March 16, 2009

SQL BI Samples…

Codeplex has a treasure of some great code samples and extensions on SQL Server Business Intelligence Software (SSIS, SSAS, SSRS)

Some great jewels from the above collection, which I found to be very useful for any SQL Developer are as below: 

SQL Server Service Broker Samples: ( http://msftsbprodsamples.codeplex.com/)
SQL Server Scripts Samples: (http://msftscrptprodsamples.codeplex.com/)
SQL Server End-to-End Samples: (http://msfteeprodsamples.codeplex.com/)
SQL Server Analysis Services Samples: (http://sqlsrvanalysissrvcs.codeplex.com/)

Some of the samples on Analysis services are as below:

  • Compress M2M C# Application
  • A Solution for Collecting Analysis Services Performance Data for Performance Analysis – Updated 3/6/09 to simplify install and use
  • Scripts for Using ASCMD for Stress Testing – Updated 2/23/09
  • Script for Creating a Processing Log File
  • Powershell Scripts for Querying Analysis Services 2008 DMVs
  • AS Load Sim, including Load Testing Best Practices document
  • AS Query Generator
  • Load Test Reports
  • RSS Style Sheet
  • Activity Viewer
  • Aggregation Manager
  • AS Trace
  • Analysis Services Upgrade Verification Tool
  • SSIS Package For Collecting SSAS DMV Data
  • SSAS Monitoring Scripts For Management Data Warehouse

SQL Server Integration Services Samples:  (http://msftisprodsamples.codeplex.com/)

You can also download SSISUnit tool to perform unit testing on the packages you may have created from the above samples.ssisUnit is a unit testing framework for SQL Server Integration Services. It is loosely based on the xUnit family of unit testing frameworks, but is tailored to better support the SSIS environment. One of the bigger differences is that you do not have to write code to create the unit tests. Instead, we have taken a declarative approach to specifying the unit tests. The test information is all stored in XML files. 

SQL Server Reporting Services Samples:

(http://msftrsprodsamples.codeplex.com/)

With the above RS code samples, you can also download RSBuild tool, which a deployment tool for SQL Server Reporting Service. It currently supports two types of tasks: executing SQL Server scripts and publishing SQL Server Reporting Service reports and shared data sources. From version 1.1.0 onwards SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services is supported as well as all previously supported versions of SQL Server Reporting Services.

Codeplex has another new tool added to its collection today named SQL Server FineBuildFineBuild provides 1-click install and best-practice configuration of SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008.

If you have any questions or want further information on any of the above samples or tools, you can pop your questions and queries in SQL Forums from here.

Enjoy!

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