Free Microsoft E-Books

One of the most valueable thing is knowledge, therefore every way we can have access to it is most welcome.

 

Microsoft has over the years been releasing e-books for free on their technologies, and now we have a MONSTER list:

  • Sharepoint
  • Azure and Cloud
  • Development
  • Visual Studio and TFS
  • SQL Server
  • Windows
  • and more

 

you can find these e-books at this link: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/11608.e-book-gallery-for-microsoft-technologies.aspx

 

 

Visual Studio 11 – Productivity Booster !!!

Last Wednesday I went to a Microsoft’s Portugal Event on Visual Studio 11, it has been a while since my last event and the topic is very interesting to me.

This was an event that was divided into 6 sessions:

  • Keynote – Welcome to Visual Studio 11 (with Jay Schmelzer)
  • What’s new in the Visual Studio IDE (with Michael Koster)
  • Agile Application life-cycle Management with Visual Studio 11 (with Mitch Lacey)
  • Async -New Feature for Responsive Programming in Visual Studio 11 and .Net 4.5 (with Caio Proiete)
  • Software Testing with Microsoft Test Manager 11 and Lab Management (with Luis Carvalho)
  • Visual Studio 11 and Windows Azure (with Jay Schmelzer)

 

To sum up the event I think the new version of the VS is much programmer friendly, on subjects like Search, Snippets, Project Templates, functionalities and preview.

So, the new VS11 will support HTML5 (DOCTYPE) and has code snippets of HTML. The Code Snippets were largely upgraded and have much more than only C#, you can even find MVC specific snippets.

Another excellent new feature is the search, you will have search in almost every context. This allows you to be more productive in finding what you are looking for.

The preview tab, allows you to see a specific file content, without opening a new tab, this will help prevent the flooding of tabs that we all know and hate.

On project templates, specifically to Sharepoint, Microsoft has made available much less than the previous version. This was done because the templates used were only a few, this way we can continue to use the solutions templates and add all the other project types that we need.

So we get to the TFS (Team Foundation Server) part, here we have some very exciting news.

We will be able to suspend and Shelve using snapshots, this will allow us to freeze an environment up to the break point 😉

Both have the same principle, but the suspend is to be used when we are interupted, and the shelve when we want to save changes without checkin to the TFS.

The Lab management part has also some very useful news, we now can set has target environments any type of Virtual Machines and our own laptops or desktops. This is managed using agents installed on the target machine.

This is just a small sample of the VS11, that you can start using right now, the beta version is available for download.

You can find the download here: http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/11/en-us/downloads#vs

 

ASP.NET MVC, Web API, Razor and Open Source by Scott Gu

Scott Gu has announced that Microsoft has made available the source code of ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET Web API and ASP.NET Web Pages (Razor) using the Codeplex site.

I believe this is a most exciting news to every developer that uses any of these solutions.

You can get this release in the following url:

DevDays 2009

Is has been announced for a few days now, but it is still important to make the alert:

DevDays 2009
DevDays 2009

The DevDays 2009 will take place at the 18th and 19th February in the TagusPark Técnico Campus.  Because it will probably be the event of 2009 and has limited places, do register fast.

The topics of this year will be:

  •    Visual Studio 2010 and .Net 4
  •     Microsoft Surface
  •     Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 8
  •     Windows Azure and Azure Services Platform
  •     Biztalk 2009
  •     Silverlight and WPF
  •     SQL Server 2008
  •     ASP.NET
  •     Windows Live Services

There will be some MOSS sessions, and I am looking forward to attend Beat Schwegler sessions on Azure.

Announcing Azure Services Platform

From PDC 2008 day 1 the anouncement of the Azure Services Platform, an exciting services platform that will allow “developers to create applications and services that run in the cloud or to create web, mobile, or hybrid applications that extend the value of on-premises applications“.

Azure Services Platform
Azure Services Platform

References:

Sharepoint Team Blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/archive/2008/10/27/pdc-2008-announcing-azure-services-platform-and-microsoft-sharepoint-services.aspx

Joel Oleson: http://www.sharepointjoel.com/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?List=0cd1a63d%2D183c%2D4fc2%2D8320%2Dba5369008acb&ID=119

Mark Harrison:

http://markharrison.co.uk/blog/2008/10/pdc-day-1-windows-azure.htm

http://markharrison.co.uk/blog/2008/10/windows-azure-software-development-kit.htm

http://markharrison.co.uk/blog/2008/10/windows-azure-datasheets.htm

http://markharrison.co.uk/blog/2008/10/introducing-azure-services-platform.htm

Silverlight 2.0 is available

Microsoft has announced the release of Silverlight 2.0.

Silverlight 2 delivers a wide range of new features and tools that enable designers and developers to better collaborate while creating more accessible, more discoverable and more secure user experiences.

. . .

New Silverlight 2 features include the following:

• .NET Framework support with a rich base class library. This is a compatible subset of the full .NET Framework.
 
Powerful built-in controls. These include DataGrid, ListBox, Slider, ScrollViewer, Calendar controls and more.
 
Advanced skinning and templating support. This makes it easy to customize the look and feel of an application.
 
Deep zoom. This enables unparalleled interactivity and navigation of ultrahigh resolution imagery.
 
Comprehensive networking support. Out-of-the-box support allows calling REST, WS*/SOAP, POX, RSS and standard HTTP services, enabling users to create applications that easily integrate with existing back-end systems.
 
Expanded .NET Framework language support. Unlike other runtimes, Silverlight 2 supports a variety of programming languages, including Visual Basic, C#, JavaScript, IronPython and IronRuby, making it easier for developers already familiar with one of these languages to repurpose their existing skill sets.
 
Advanced content protection. This now includes Silverlight DRM, powered by PlayReady, offering robust content protection for connected Silverlight experiences.
 
Improved server scalability and expanded advertiser support. This includes new streaming and progressive download capabilities, superior search engine optimization techniques, and next-generation in-stream advertising support.
 
Vibrant partner ecosystem. Visual Studio Industry Partners such as ComponentOne LLC, Infragistics Inc. and Telerik Inc. are providing products that further enhance developer capabilities when creating Silverlight applications using Visual Studio.
 
Cross-platform and cross-browser support. This includes support for Mac, Windows and Linux in Firefox, Safari and Windows Internet Explorer.

 
You can read the Press Release here.

You can download Silverlight 2.0 here.

The importance of reusable development

When you develop a project you have to take into consideration a lot of things, but one that it is often forgotten is to build components you can later reuse in other projects, there are a lot of reasons for this to happen (short projects, not enough time, specific specifications, etc…).

Well instead of looking at this topic as a cost you should be looking at it as an investment, because the work that you can reuse is definitely going to improve the quality of your next projects, let me elaborate:

  • The already developed components can be applied directly or with few development work.
  • This will gain you project time to either improve your components or to focus on more troublesome areas.
  • By improving your current components or building new ones you will have a broader base to reuse.
  • and so on . . .

What is the cost of building reusable components? Well, you just have to look to the future and try to identify possible aplications of the component, and build them in order to be generic enough to be reusable and specific enough to answer your current project specifications.

Why did i remembered to post on this topic? because I am eating my own doogfood . . . in my current project I am reusing a lot of components that are the result of previous projects, and therefore testing my own theory.

So much more can be said on this subject, that i will probaly will post a part 2 on this topic.

TechDays 2007 – Review

Well the 3 days of the TechDays event have finished and the evaluation is very good, 3 days of technical sessions, hand on labs, communities interaction and most of all technical brainstorming with the other participants.

I will only reference the sessions I attended and some other feedback from other people.

Diploma and Certification

Day 1

10:00 People Ready – opening session by a lot of people 🙂

  • A good overview of what the Techdays would be, references to some new technologies and projects.

12:00 Net 3.0 – Development platform by José António Silva

  • The .Net 3.0  platform is available and has some new cool “tools” for us to play with

14:15 Biztalk Server R2 – new features by João “Jota” Martin

  • Jota has just been to the MVP Summit and brought us some of the new features of the new release of Biztalk Server

16:00 Robotics Studio – Programing and simulation of robots by Jon Mandrel

  • probably the weakest presentation of the day. The theme is interesting, but in my opinion we were all expecting more demos and less code . . .

17:45 Hidden Gems in ASP.NET by Jeff Prosise

  • The best session of the day in my opinion, a very good presentation by Jeff and a lot of “hidden gems” for us to know

Day 2

09:30 The Social Life of Information (TSLOI) – Part 1/3: Collaboration by Beat Schwegler

  • The best session of the day for me, because it was on the subject of how can Sharepoint help people on their work, it wasn’t so much on the platform but most of all  on how can collaborative tools help to improve the already existing processes.

11:15 The Social Life of Information (TSLOI) – Part 2/3: Search by Beat Schwegler

  • The capabilities of search and the need to have the information searchable.

13:30 The Social Life of Information (TSLOI) – Part 1/3: Workflows, Forms and Excel Services by Beat Schwegler

  • the new built in workflows in Sharepoint (Windows Workflow Foundation), the capabilities that having Infopath web-based forms to use in Sharepoint and finally the new Excel Services that open new opportunities of providing information based on Excel sheets, but with the new capability of having them server sided.

15:15 Office 2007: Business Intelligence capability by Kirk Haselden

  • Overview of the Business Intelligence in Sharepoint

17:00 ASP.NET Ajax by Joaquim Silva

  • Overview of ASP.NET Ajax

Day 3

09:30 The worries of an Architect by Tiago Pascoal and Bruno Câmara

  •  The system architect has so much to worry, this was the topic of the original presentation, where in a psichiatric session the Architect reveals his worries to the doctor.

11:15 Extensability of Windows Workflow Foundation with Custom activities by João “Jota” Martins

  • good practical session on WF and Custom activities

13:30 Digital Autarchy by João Almeida and António Ribeiro

  •  The solution of Microsoft for the Autarchies.

15:15 Building WCF services with WF: present and future by Miguel Barros

  • a very “heavy” session, lots of code and VS 🙂

17:00 Team System – Agile Methodology and Concepts: SCRUM, MSF, XP by Tiago Pascoal and Bruno Câmara

  •  A good overview of some methodology.

There are always things to improve, but overall  it was a very good event . . . looking forward to the next one . . . 🙂

Microsoft TechDays 2007

The portuguese Microsoft TechDays 2007 is going to happen between 20th and the 22nd of March, in Lisbon.

TechDays 2007

With an agenda full of almost everything new we need to check out, the only downside is that MOSS is the topic with less presentations and focus . . .

The topics of the event:

* System Center e Forefront
* Plataforma de Comunicações Unificadas
* Office system de 2007
* Windows Server codename “Longhorn”
* Business Intelligence
* Soluções de CRM e ERP
* Virtualização
* .NET 3.0, WPF, WF, WCF, MOSS
* ASP.NET, AJAX
* Web Live
* Team System, Agile
* Saas, UX, SOA, Web 2.0
* XNA, Robotics
* Windows Mobile

Nevertheless i will be at the Techdays, one of the most important events we will have this year.

You can check more info here.

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