June 2006 - Posts
I will not be making it to this event because I have a class at BCIT tonight, but here is the info either way…
Shamelessly stolen from Scotts Email…
Once Again, a last minute Reminder – The meeting IS tonight!
1. Our Presenter, Nick Duckstein, will be delivering his presentation entitled “Establishing a Data Management Culture as a prerequisite to High Availability”
2. CDI / Polar Bear will be attending to talk about the new certification tracks and official curriculum offered. (They are al picking up the Pizza this month as our Pizza Sponsor – woo hoo!)
3. There is a BIG Microsoft community event this Saturday at BCIT. It’s Called Energize IT – Get Your Geek On! Go to our website, or go direct:
4. Scott has PLENTY of Microsoft NFR (Not For Resale) software that was given to him by Culminis (A company Microsoft leverages to look after the communities) - SMS 2003, Virtual Server 2005 Enterprise Edition, Office 2003 Professional among others. He is giving it away tonight…
Note: only those who RSVP with the link on the meeting announcement page will be eligible for the software give-away.
Please go to the Vancouver PASS Chapter Site – http://vancouver.sqlservercentral.com
(you may need to copy and paste the addresses into your browser) for full details of the event .
You will need to login to see the details, so if you were forwarded this email from someone other than me you will be required to register on the site - http://vancouver.sqlservercentral.com/Default.aspx?tabid=148&ctl=Register
Please, RSVP so that we have accurate numbers so that we order enough pizza. If you have already RSVP’ed, you don’t have to do it again. If you changed you mind, please update me – Thanks!
A big thank you to our Venue Sponsor, Sierra Systems
Sierra has provided their downtown location for the last 5 moths and we really appreciate their hospitality. Thanks to Steve Bond for making things happen at Sierra.
Thank you also to last month’s sponsor, Microsoft's TechNet Canada
In Windows XP once you install a patch/update via the typical Windows Update application it always nags you to reboot about once every 5 to 10 minutes. It gets annoying when your right in the middle of coding up the next million dollar application and your in the zone for that super duper feature.
Well it appears that we can now control the behaviour. Here is a screen shot...
Oh, the updates were some bug fix for compatibility with Symantec's AV and the ActiveSynch stuff. Nice to see that MSFT is pushing out updates even in the Beta stage.
I recently gave a real quick presentation to an advanced ASP.NET course at BCIT regarding COM Interop and needed to throw together a quick COM object in VB6.
After the installation was fully complete make sure you reboot your machine even though it doesnt ask you to do so. I didnt and it caused MMC to crash all the time. After the final reboot it appears to have fixed things.
I've recently been digging pretty deep into the most recent Atlas bits from Microsoft and so far so good.
Today we ran into a farily big snag with the Update Panel. We managed to get it fixed and its quite obscure so I wanted to write it down for later....
We have a simple form, with or without a masterpage, and in that form we place the typical ScriptManager and UpdatePanel. In the UpdatePanel we put a Button and a Label. Pretty simple stuff, right?
The button, when clicked did the typical Atlas style, inline, postback to the server and the method was getting called, but the UI in the UpdatePanel itself was not getting updated. I ran fiddler and it showed the request to the server and the correct content coming back from the server; but still the UI in the UpdatePanel was not updating.
So we started to eliminate all the extra stuff around the interface and it boiled down to our CSS documents and specifically the <link /> tags. It seems that if these link tags are not well formed XML (ie properly closed) then you see this behaviour.
Something to watch out for in the future.
I recently attended the RealDevelopment 06 tour here in Vancouver and had the change to listen John Bristowe give us an overview of Microsoft’s big plans for the next client security model. It’s called InfoCard or recently named “Windows CardSpace” (WCS).
A quick overview, as I see it…
So in Vista we see this new control panel item, which is supposed to emulate a “Virtual Wallet”. Literally it gives the end user a place to store their credentials all in one handy place.
Note: In Build 5384 of Vista you need to go to Control Panel, User Accounts (and Family Safety), and choose “Digital Identities”. It will launch the InfoCard interface.
So, how do we use this? Well what happens is, let’s say you do banking with Wells Fargo for example. Wells Fargo needs to meet the requirements which Microsoft will lay down in order to participate/qualify for an InfoCard exchange to happen. They also need to embed an <object…> tag on their site, typically in a membership area which you will need to click and then go through some authorization process. Once that process is complete you are now in a sharing relationship with Wells Fargo. IIRC, so far, there is no way to revoke this sharing relationship, or give the ability to the client to modify their details at will in order to notify of a change of address, etc. I know this is a vague description but you get the point.
So, I ask, what is so different from this and Passport? Essentially the concept is the same. The 3rd party (Wells Fargo, or other institution) needs to go through some sort of development process to make this InfoCard feature available on their site. It does add additional metadata to the entire service but I simply don’t see that as any value added for these 3rd party sites to spend the time and money going through the integration process.
Is it more secure? I can’t see how. The biggest issue with security is typically NOT software, it’s the people. Since we can never fully secure people, and the (sometimes stupid) decisions they make why wrap it all up in a new UI/API for people to struggle with?
So what could be a potential solution…?
Recently I’ve been using the Microsoft Fingerprint reader. DigitalPersona is the actual vendor for the product, but just tagged the devices with the Microsoft Logo. With this product we get a full blown GINA (the login screen, etc.) and a little application which sits in your System Tray which responds to the Finger Down/Up events on your Fingerprint reader. This software (most of the time) is actually quite nice because it handles Windows and Webform authentication quite nicely. You have a dialog box on the screen asking for your credentials, simply press the reader and it will give you a simple step to punch in the needed details for you and automatically submit the form. The next time you hit that authentication challenge you need only to press your finger to the device and it submits the form for you. Very easy.
Now I know, not everyone can get their hands on one of these readers but why can’t MSFT simply beg/borrow/steal/buy this software from DigitalPersona and embed it at the core level of Vista?
Have a tray app, call it “InfoCard” or whatever the heck you please. This tray app is activated whenever the user clicks on it (instead of the finger down/up event). This new version of “InfoCard” will scan the active form (Win or Web) and uses the same logic and work flow as DigitalPersona uses. It could even pop-up the fancy virtual wallet and give us the option of using pre-defined credentials to make the association.
This would be a 100% client sided feature. As a developer I would never have to care about making my site or my windows form application “InfoCard aware” or whatever. All I would need to do is pop-up the authentication dialog, like I always do now, and allow the client to choose the way they want to integrate.
Bottom line, InfoCard is doomed to merely be a Passport v2 tool which Microsoft and very few of its closest vendors will use and that’s it. Lame!
Next meeting: "SQL Querying Tips & Techniques" by Richard Campbell
Date and Time: Wednesday, June 21 2006, 7:00 PM [Welcome Time: 6:30 PM]
Location: Building SW5 room 1850, BCIT Burnaby Campus, 3700 Willingdon Ave, Burnaby, BC, V5G 3H2
Energize IT 2006 on Saturday, June 24th from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
Link to register: https://msevents.microsoft.com/cui/eventdetail.aspx?culture=en-ca&eventid=1032299609
It is streamed from Toronto where this event is taking place live. For Vancouver you may even be able to view this from your computer whereever you are or you may choose to go to the in-person event with a chance of interacting with your peers.
Next meeting: Monday June 19th, at 5:30
Shoot out at Agile corral: XP vs. Scrum
Come and see how two Vancouver companies apply agile practices
Hosted (again) by Sierra Systems, (thanks, Jas)
1177 West Hastings street (downtown) 25th floor (map)
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
See details at : http://www.AgileVancouver.ca
ComputerWorld Canada just did a recent Salary Survey, check it out here...