Microsoft Visual Basic chats in February:
Programming Essentials in Visual Basic .NET
Tuesday, February 1, 2005, 1:00 - 2:00 P.M. PST (20:00 - 21:00 GMT)
Hosts: Robin Reynolds-Haertle, Todd Apley, Harry Kantamneni, Vladimir Sadov, Bill Horst, and Manish Jayaswal
Add to Outlook Calendar
ADO.NET with Visual Basic .NET
Tuesday, February 8, 2005, 1:00 - 2:00 P.M. PST (20:00 - 21:00 GMT)
Hosts: Steve Stein, Xiang Zeng, Eric Gruber, David Sceppa, Pablo Castro, and Steve Lasker
Add to Outlook Calendar
Debugging Visual Basic .NET Applications
Tuesday, February 15, 2005, 1:00 - 2:00 P.M. PST (20:00 - 21:00 GMT)
Hosts: Deeptanshu Verma, Jay Schmelzer, Lisa Feigenbaum, Bill Horst, Scott Nonnenberg, and Rekha Cuppala
Add to Outlook Calendar
Writing Faster VB.NET Applications
Tuesday, February 22, 2005, 1:00 - 2:00 P.M. PST (20:00 - 21:00 GMT)
Hosts: Harry Kantamneni, Amanda Silver, Rico Mariani, and Jason Cooke
Add to Outlook Calendar
These chats will be moderated, as usual, by Ed Hickey. To get more information about these or other chats, please visit http://msdn.microsoft.com/chats/
The latest (completely rewritten) version of the Microsoft Patterns & Practices Application Blocks has just been released. It is now known as the Enterprise Library and is already available for download.
This set of seven application blocks has not only been cleaned up and enhanced, but were designed and implemented by a single team, with the goal of having them all share a common approach and configuration point. They also have a more entensible architecture - and much improved documentation.
The application blocks that comprise the Enterprise Library are the following:
- Caching Application Block. This application block allows developers to incorporate a local cache in their applications.
- Configuration Application Block. This application block allows applications to read and write configuration information.
- Data Access Application Block. This application block allows developers to incorporate standard database functionality in their applications.
- Cryptography Application Block. This application block allows developers to include encryption and hashing functionality in their applications.
- Exception Handling Application Block. This application block allows developers and policy makers to create a consistent strategy for processing exceptions that occur throughout the architectural layers of enterprise applications.
- Logging and Instrumentation Application Block. This application block allows developers to incorporate standard logging and instrumentation functionality in their applications.
- Security Application Block. This application block allows developers to incorporate security functionality in their applications. Applications can use the application block in a variety of situations, such as authenticating and authorizing users against a database, retrieving role and profile information, and caching user profile information.
Check it out !
February's Israel Visual Basic User Group meeting will be held on February 2, 2005:
17:30 - 18:00 Assembly
18:00 - 18:10 Introduction
18:10 - 19:30 “New Features and Changes in ASP.NET 2.0 – Part 1"
Noam King, Sela University
19:30 - 19:45 Break
19:45 – 20:00 "Hatzilu !"
Open session, with questions and answers/ideas from everyone
20:00 – 21:00 “New Features and Changes in ASP.NET 2.0 – Part 2"
Noam King, Sela University
Continuing in our series of presentations on some of the new tools and technologies that are part of the VS 2005 releases due to arrive in the coming year, Noam King, CTO of Sela University, will take us through the highlights of ASP.NET 2.0.
There is really a lot to cover on this subject. ASP.NET introduces additions, extensions, and outright changes to how we develop ASP.NET applications. Noam will cover the following topics:
- - Introduction to ASP.NET 2.0 and VS2005
- - A bit about architecture and changes in application and page objects.
- - Master Pages
- - Personalization
- - Building a site with Web Parts.
- - Administration
- - Skins and Themes
- - Handling data with ASP.NET 2.0 (without getting into ADO.NET 2.0)
As always, we'll have our special "Hatzilu" session at our meeting. So please come prepared to discuss your most frustrating problems (or at least some of them!) and to share some of your own techniques and solutions that you have found useful in your applications.
Please remember that it is important for me to know as accurately as possible how many people will be attending each meeting, so that I can arrange for the right amount of food and the proper setup of the chairs. Please confirm your attendance.
See you there !!
It looks like Scott was the first to blog this...
A bunch of us, championed by Julia Lerman and Stephen Forte are going to auction an hour each of our consulting time to benefit the Tsunami victims of Banda Aceh. ALL of the money will go to help the victims.
Within the next 48 hours the auctions will appear on eBay . Links will be posted as soon as they show up.
The auction has now gone live and will close on Wednesday February 2, 2005 at 6:00 PST.
Here is the link to the aution:
Here are the participants.
Michelle Leroux Bustamante, Jonathan Goodyear, Andrew Brust, Richard Campbell, Adam Cogan, Malek Kemmou, Jackie Goldstein, Ted Neward, Kathleen Dollard, Patrick Hynds, Fernando Guerrero, Kate Gregory, Joel Semeniuk, Scott Hanselman, Barry Gervin, Clemens Vasters, Jorge Oblitas, Stephen Forte, Jeffrey Richter, John Robbins, Jeff Prosise, Edgar Sánchez, Thomas Lee, J. Michael, Palermo IV, Vishwas Lele, Kimberly L. Tripp, Hector M Obregon.
Who will this auction benefit?
In the long run, the auction is to benefit the people of Aceh Province , Sumatra , who have had their island destroyed and lost nearly 100,000 of their people. The waves may be gone, but the devastation continues and the fear of many more dying from disease continues.
We are trying to help, by assisting Aceh Aid at IDEP, an organization that is local and doing amazing work.
There is an area on their website devoted to this work: http://www.idepfoundation.org/aceh_aid.html. (www.AcehAid.org will take you right to this page). I recommend that if you are interested in knowing who you are doing this for, you go peruse that website, read the updates, read about the volunteer search, etc.
WHAT IS IDEP?
IDEP is a small, Indonesian NGO, based in Ubud, Bali . Completed projects over the years have included community based development, sustainable living initiatives, permaculture training, waste management, organic gardens, recycling, etc. The focus is on helping people to help themselves. IDEP's founding director, Petra Schneider is a US -born, Indonesian citizen. The demonstrated and reproducible success of IDEP's small projects in local communities has earned the team an excellent reputation.
IDEP AND DISASTER RESPONSE/RELIEF/RECOVERY
At the time of the Bali bomb, about two years ago, IDEP was an important element of the network of local NGOs and other supporters that quickly responded to the tragedy, in various ways, not only immediately after the bomb, but during the recovery process for the various communities involved. Following shortly thereafter, IDEP received funding from USAid to create a comprehensive set of disaster management materials for Indonesian communities, aimed at children, families, and local leaders (official and unofficial). The materials are in the Indonesian language and suitable for use in rural and urban settings. These materials, including a booklet for children about Tsunami preparedness, were finished just weeks ago, but had not yet been disseminated to communities. Then the tsunami struck.
WHAT IS ACEH AID AT IDEP
Only hours after the news of the tsunami reached Bali, the same network of NGOs and individuals in Bali who had been involved in the relief efforts for the Bali bomb, reanimated and went into action. We started something called the "Aceh Aid Bucket Brigade" (see website), creating and deploying one-family-one-bucket multi-material aid packages from the hands of donors in Bali to the field in Sumatra . We began sending highly skilled volunteers, well-matched to the task within two days of the tsunami (Sam Schultz, Lee Downey, Oded Carmi and others). Our relief, and later, recovery programs in response to the Tsunami are now focused on two fronts. One is direct aid from Medan by road to areas around Banda Aceh. The other is this remarkable joint effort (nothing short of heroic), to the islands off the west coast of Sumatra , which as of yet, have not been receiving aid from any other channels that we know of.
About the auction: We have 25 amazing consultants and trainers in this auction. Each person has donated one hour of consulting time, to be provided by email or phone (at expense of bidder). The consultant and winner are free to agree upon other arrangements. It will be an Ebay "multi-item" auction where all of the consultants are in the same auction. The top 25 bids will be the winners. The highest bidder will get first choice of which consultant they would like to work with. Payments will be made DIRECTLY to Aceh Aid at IDEP's PayPal account (email@example.com).
A note about multi-item auctions. Normally and EBay multi-item auction is set up to auction off identical items, such as hammers. Given that they are of equal value, the multi-item auction rules state that the winning bidders would each pay the amount of the lowest winning bid. The .NET Celebrity Auction for Aceh Aid at IDEP will not work this way. Since this is a charity auction, we expect the winning bidders to pay the amount of their final bid. Allowing bidders to select consultants based on their bid rank justifies this, but moreso, the fact that this is a charity auction justifies this.
A note about your tax-deductible contribution. All contributions will be made through a PayPal account that goes to Tides Foundation (www.tidesfoundation.org) which is a US-based 501c3 non-profit, permitting tax-deductible contributions and supported by many corporate matching programs. Tides Foundation's EIN is 51-0198509. Tides Foundation then forwards the full amount of the donations directly to Aceh Aid at IDEP.
If my post
that discusses the improvements for developing data forms in in VS2005 inspired you to check it out (or check it out again), then be sure to go through this post
by Steve Lasker the Microsoft PM who is responsible for most of these features. In his very extensive post, he discusses many of the changes from Beta1 to Beta2, as well as the reasoning / thought process that was behind the changes. Note that many of these changes have already shown up in the recent CTP releases.
Speaking of ISVs and VS 2005...
One of my current areas of expertise and interest in migrating VB6 developers and projects to .NET. Over the past 2 years I have had the opportunity to have many formal and informal discussions and consulting engagements on this topic, including my VB Upgrade Tour through Europe. More recently, I find myself having alot of conversations with ISVs on (finally) moving their applications to .NET. More significantly, I find that alot of these ISVs have applications developed with Access (or something similar such as Magic or Powerbuilder).
These conversations generally go pretty well - until we start talking about what it takes to get a fully functional "bread and butter" data access & data entry form in VB (or C#). That's when I start offering to buy them beers... I have never developed applications with Access, but have definitely come to appreciate how easy it is to develop straight forward forms with Access. And if that is really all your app needs, then it is a good solution for you. Of course, I don't think that going forward, Access is really flexible enough to really meet all customer needs and also add real value - simple desktop (or even C/S) apps that just talk to a single data source are becoming less and less common.
Microsoft has really come a long way in closing the gap in functionality/productivity for building "standard" data-bound forms. VS 2005 has become much more Access-like in terms of how you define your data sources, how you define and execute commands against those data sources, and offering a fast but flexible tool for autonmatically generating functional data forms that are also customizable if required.
In my opinion, the four most significant and compelling issues in this area are:
(1) The improved experience and productivity of designing/building data-centric WinForms
(2) The improvement in easily building forms that use automatic data binding and actually work correctly
(3) The integration of SQL Server Reports
(4) The improvements in the typed DataSet and the introduction of the TableAdapter
Of course, it goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway), that I am talking about Access as an app builder. In terms of the database itself, you need
to be using SQL Server or MSDE / SQL Express for any significant application.
Are you an ISV or Access developer who has already moved to .NET or is currently considering it ? What are your thoughts and issues? Have you checked out VS 2005 yet ?
Over the past 10 years, I have given several hundred presentations on many different topics, to crowds ranging from a handful to well over a thousand. But one of last week's presentations at the Microsoft Executive ISV Briefing was in many ways the most challenging to prepare. I was tasked with presenting VS 2005, in only 30 minutes, to CEOs ! I need at least a day to really do justice to VS 2005 / Framework 2.0, but I think I hit the highlights and focussed more on the business benefits that the coding shortcuts - so nobody walked out in the middle. Being able to speak very quickly didn't hurt either...