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IUpdateable has moved to Please visit March 2009 Entries
The weekly SyncToBlog: #4
Development related: Extend IE7 and IE8: Make extending IE7 and IE8 that much easier with a little spicIE :-) With SpicIE you can develop your own event handlers, toolbar buttons, menu entries, toolbars and more. Free software for students: UK secondary school students can get free developer software like Visual Studio, Expressions & XNA Games Studio. Trial Virtual Machines to download: 52 to choose from! Daily 2 hour Live Meetings on TFS: Windows Azure Sample app – Issue ......

Posted On Monday, March 30, 2009 8:29 PM

Composite Application guidance for WPF and Silverlight gets a lick of Visual Basic paint
The Microsoft Patterns & Practices’ Composite Application Guidance for WPF and Silverlight (formerly code-named "Prism") was released with a heavy bias on C# which was a real shame for the many Visual Basic developers who are working on Xaml based user interfaces right now. The good news is there is now a shiny new download just for Visual Basic folks. This download includes QuickStarts, Hands-On Labs, and How-to Topics in Visual Basic all reviewed by senior folks in the VB team. It also includes: ......

Posted On Monday, March 30, 2009 4:41 PM

My thoughts post Devweek 2009. Or rather my one thought – Ruby Rocks
Devweek is my fave multi-day developer conference in the UK and attracts great speakers such as Aaron Skonnard, Neal Ford and Tim Ewald. Which is why I always feel a little humble that I get the chance to present there. This time around I delivered three sessions (See my discussion of what to expect + slides and links posts) and I also did something completely new to me – I interviewed fellow speakers during the conference with a view to getting the best bits published “somewhere”. A big thanks to ......

Posted On Monday, March 30, 2009 4:29 PM

Upcoming UK developer and architect events in April and May
I previously posted about the fantastic conferences which the UK Developer Community lay on under the brand of “DDD”. Today I spotted that WebDD (Saturday 18th April) is now taking registrations – act swiftly, I expect this to fill. I also spotted that the rest of my group have finalised the speakers and agenda for the annual Architect Insight Conference in London on May 8th. This is IMHO the must attend event in the UK if you are an Architect in the UK (Be that an Enterprise Architect, an Infrastructure ......

Posted On Monday, March 30, 2009 2:29 PM

SQL Data Services and Windows Azure sessions from Devweek
[UPDATE 30th March: VB and C# code samples for Azure can be downloaded from MSDN] Just finished the last of my three sessions. Today was SQL Data Services and Windows Azure and yesterday was Entity Framework v1 and v2. Some useful links: starting point for sdks and sign ups blog of the SQL Services team blog of the Windows Azure team MIX sessions – videos to watch, especially SQL Data Services and Azure ......

Posted On Thursday, March 26, 2009 5:00 PM

Entity Framework Books (with Amazon UK links)
Having been asked 5 times today for recommendations, I figure this post is long overdue: There are several books out there but IMHO these are the two you should purchase. Julia is focused entirely on Entity Framework (all 800+ pages!) and Roger takes a broader look at ADO.NET3.5 but does a great job on Entity Framework. Programming Entity Framework by Julia Lerman (Author) and Professional ADO.NET 3.5 with LINQ and the Entity Framework by Roger Jennings (Author) ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 25, 2009 4:57 PM

Entity Framework v1 and v2
Today I delivered a session introducing Entity Framework at I expanded the session to include a brief overview of the new stuff we should expect (but I don’t guarantee) will ship in .NET Framework 4.0 with Visual Studio 2010. First up, some useful links: Main ADO.NET Entity Framework site including “How To” videos Well written overview article My previous posts on Entity Framework Entity Framework v2 features ADO.NET team blog including plenty on the ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 25, 2009 4:40 PM

SQL Data Services – the new plan explained at MIX09. PPT and Video to download
I previously posted about the change to the approach we would be taking with SQL Data Services to deliver a “database in the cloud” capability to the Azure Service Platform. MIX09 has a session on this and the ppt and video is now available to stream/download. Check out: What's New in Microsoft SQL Data Services from Friday at MIX09 I will be doing a similar session this Thursday at as I described before ......

Posted On Monday, March 23, 2009 10:31 AM

Post QCon 2009 London – does Microsoft smell?
Last week I spoke at QCon London on Entity Framework. QCon 2009 was a very good event but I personally felt last years was a little more fun, a little more controversial, a little more edgy. However it was still a great event – except for one thing. <Minor rant on> QCon (and I’m pointing at my fellow speakers here) has an odd way of ignoring the existence of Microsoft when it comes to doing cool stuff. An attendee to QCon might easily leave thinking Microsoft had nothing to offer at all for ......

Posted On Thursday, March 19, 2009 5:06 PM

Speaking at DevWeek 2009 in London – hope to see you there
Next week (23rd March 2009) I am speaking at DevWeek 2009. DevWeek is a great conference which attracts top notch speakers (plus me – I feel such a fraud whenever I present there!). It is IMHO the best developer focused conference we have in the UK and I can’t wait to get there and soak in the great sessions + catch up with familiar faces + meet plenty of new ones. Be warned. There is a rumour that we are being given some new toys (Flip video cameras) to play with while we are there. However don’t ......

Posted On Thursday, March 19, 2009 4:46 PM

Q&A: Is there an Entity Framework provider for IBM DB2?
This one has come up a few times lately, hence I felt it would be worth surfacing here. Short answer is - “yes”. Longer answer is described in detail over on IBMs site along with a detailed description of the limitations. Note that this also supports IBM Informix Dynamic Server and IBM UniVerse and UniData (U2) Data Servers ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 17, 2009 3:58 PM

LINQ to SQL and LINQ to Entities (Entity Framework) performance comparison
[Don’t forget to vote on what your experience has been with the Entity Framework in my marmite poll :-)] I get asked a lot about performance of our two ORMs against each other and against standard ADO.NET. The short answer is “Normally it is good enough. When it is not good enough, you need to do something to make it good enough” My slightly longer answer is “In general LINQ to SQL performs better on query, LINQ to Entities performs better on updates” But – people like numbers, tables and comparison ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 17, 2009 11:21 AM

Entity Framework v1 – the marmite of ORMs? A quick poll…
In the UK we have something called marmite. A strange tasting thing that apparently you spread on bread and can actually eat. No, seriously you can actually eat it. As you can tell – I hate marmite. The smell, the look but most of all the taste. Disgusting! However there are people (I have met them) who love marmite. Interestingly, there are zero people who fall between these two opposing views – you either love it or hate it. Which brings me to the ADO.NET Entity Framework. On twitter I keep seeing ......

Posted On Monday, March 16, 2009 2:35 PM

Slides and links from my Qcon London talk on Entity Framework
Last week I gave a talk at Qcon London entitled ORM, EDM, ESQL, Entity Framework, LINQ to SQL, LINQ to Entities - confused? In the session I wanted to make a few points worth summarising here: ORM usage by Windows Developers is low compared to other platforms I believe this will change significantly now Microsoft has an offering ORM can be very productive but also dangerous I showed a demo which looked at lazy vs eager vs explicit loading vs projection Entity Framework is more than an ORM – the ORM ......

Posted On Monday, March 16, 2009 2:10 PM

ADO.NET Data Services Offline Alpha released
March is a busy month for the ADO.NET Data Services team. They have announced details of version 1.5 which will ship before .NET 4.0 and they have released an alpha of the offline bits they talked about back in October. There is a blog post to accompany this release and for me the following was interesting: Q: Is this technology going to be present in the next version of ADO.NET Data Services and/or Visual Studio? A: No. We are working on two fronts. One is the enhancements we want to make to the ......

Posted On Thursday, March 12, 2009 11:26 AM

SQL Data Services – new features announced
The SDS team have announced their updated plans for SQL Data Services. There are plenty of changes to take in – but it looks to be a very positive step in response to feedback from folks who looked at the current CTP. Essentially SDS becomes a full relational database (SQL Server!) in the cloud which we access using familiar programming models such as ADO.NET and ODBC – you get stored procedures, triggers, views etc. As such it will become fairly trivial to “re-platform” on-premise applications to ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 10, 2009 11:02 PM

Windows Azure and SQL Data Services Talk for .NET Developer Network
On Monday I gave a session on “Windows Azure and a little SQL Data Services” for the .NET Developer Network in Bristol with the main focus being on storage. Thanks to all those who attended – and I hope to be back in the audience next month :-) The main links I wanted to share were: and specifically the downloads: Windows Azure SDK Visual Studio tools and templates The table sample I showed using StorageClient is available for download along with a walkthrough screencast Code sample ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 10, 2009 3:31 PM

Data Services team are feeling RESTless - ADO.NET Data Services 1.5 CTP1 announced
ADO.NET Data Services 1.0 was released with .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 and early adopters were impressed with the combination of power and simplicity for exposing RESTful web services in front of ADO.NET Entity Framework (or pretty much anything with a bit/lot of work). However, those same early adopters soon created a long wish list of features they would like the team to add. The good news is they (and you) won’t have to wait until .NET 4.0 to see them included. The team has announced that there will ......

Posted On Friday, March 6, 2009 9:32 PM

The weekly SyncToBlog: #3
Slightly delayed but pleasantly as random as #2.Time to split the list into dev stuff and not dev stuff :-) Development Related Code Contracts for Visual Studio – yep, pre and post conditions make mainstream (nearly). Lightweight test automation framework for ASP.NET Lightweight logging framework State of the computer book market – part 4 caught my eye with a look at languages. C# is largest programming language for all book sales. Well done us. Ruby on the slide. Surprised me. Java on the slide. ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 4, 2009 9:57 AM

What do you think of when you hear DDD? (UK)
When you hear “DDD” what do you think of? Do you think “Domain Driven Design” or “Drop Dead Date” or perhaps even “Dichlorodiphenyldichloroet... Well Wikipedia lists over 20 possibles but oddly enough does not list “DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper!” – which is the one I wanted to make sure you were all aware of. DDD is a series of first class community events that take place in the UK – created and delivered by UK developers for UK developers. The first event was DDD1 which was delivered in May 2005 ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 3, 2009 9:18 AM

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