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Chris Breisch   .NET Data Practices
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February 2006 Entries
Visual Studio Team Foundation Server MSSCCI Provider Beta 2

Team Foundation Server may now be used as a source control provider for Visual Studio 6.0 and Visual Studio .NET 2003.

Posted On Thursday, February 23, 2006 4:54 AM

Devconnections 2006

DevConnections will be in Orlando, FL, April 2–5, 2006.  The site says “Register by February 16, 2006 and save $100”. Interesting, since I just got notification of this on February 21.  Perhaps they will extend the deadline.

There’s a DevConnections blog as well.

I don’t see anything specific about sessions or speakers yet.

Posted On Wednesday, February 22, 2006 4:58 AM

FairTax ScoreCards
Scorecards for support and opposition to the FairTax are now online for both the House of Representatives and the Senate. While most (not all) opposition to the FairTax is either misinformed or misrepresenting it, there are some people that have legitimate grievances. I actually don’t have too much of a problem with people being against it, if they have a better proposal, but the disturbing thing about both scorecards are how many people fall into the “Will Not Commit” category. ......

Posted On Monday, February 20, 2006 7:52 AM

Not All Bugs Are Worth Fixing
There’s a great post on Coding Horror about triaging bugs before fixing them. As the title of the article states, “Not All Bugs Are Worth Fixing”. Things the article mentions you should consider: Severity: When this bug happens, how bad is the impact? Frequency: How often does this bug happen? Cost: How much effort would be required to fix this bug? Risk: What is the risk of fixing this bug? And here’s a very valid complaint about testers: testers aren't real users. I'd give ......

Posted On Monday, February 20, 2006 5:24 AM

Ten hacker tricks to exploit SQL Server systems
Here’s a good white hat article on how to defend your SQL Server from malicious attacks. It’s pretty high level, and definitely just a starting point. Careful DBA’s will definitely do some more research in this area. You’ll also probably want to use some of the recommended tools rather than just flying by the seat of your pants ......

Posted On Monday, February 20, 2006 5:15 AM

A .NET State Machine Toolkit
Leslie Sanford has a three-part article on CodeProject detailing a .NET State Machine toolkit. Part I is an introduction.Part II details more of the inner workings.Part III details how to use the toolkit and sample app to generate your state machine code. He starts with a very simple two-state state machine (light switch), and progresses through a simple hierarchical state machine before getting to the fun part and showing you what’s under the covers. Certainly there are tools out there you ......

Posted On Monday, February 20, 2006 5:08 AM

Attensa for Outlook Overview

If you’re still looking for an RSS Reader for Outlook, this looks like a pretty good one.  $20/yr is pretty steep, though, compared to some of the competitors.

How will any of these guys compete when Outlook 2007 comes out with RSS built-in?

Posted On Monday, February 20, 2006 4:59 AM

What Is the Value of Algebra?
No, this is apparently not a joke. This may be a first for me. I’m speechless. UPDATE: Others, who may consider that algebra is indeed useless, might want to read, this, or this. (Hat tip to Mark at Decision '08) UPDATE: Or this. UPDATE: David Totzke disagrees ......

Posted On Friday, February 17, 2006 2:28 PM

The New Microsoft Office User Interface

Once again, if I were a beta tester and permitted to speak about the new UI, I might be tempted to say some of what you can find in this article.


Posted On Friday, February 17, 2006 12:40 PM

CoComment is Open!

CoComment is now open.  No more registration codes to enter to try the service.  If you leave comments on other people’s blogs (or even your own), and you’re not using this service, you’re either a) letting things slip through the cracks, or b) much more organized than I, or c) insane, or possibly d) some combination of the above.


Posted On Friday, February 17, 2006 12:22 PM

ADO.NET for the Object-Oriented Programmer
There’s a good three part series on ADO.NET for the Object-Oriented Programmer on CodeProject. Part One details how to use ADO.NET as a thing data transport layer.Part Two improves upon the architecture used in Part One.Part Three shows how to serialize an object model ......

Posted On Friday, February 17, 2006 8:17 AM

PageMethods, well-defined URLs for your ASP.NET sites
When I first heard of this, I didn’t pay too much attention to it. That was stupid. This is a really cool addition to ASP.NET. The author describes it better than I could. PageMethods provides a solution for the limitations of the standard way of handling pages, URLs and parameters.The usual way to proceed is not structured. With PageMethods, the code of your pages is simpler, cleaner and more reliable. The approach is based on strict page inputs and declarative parameter binding. With PageMethods, ......

Posted On Friday, February 17, 2006 8:12 AM

VS.Net 2005 Design-Time Integration

Interested in adding Design-Time Integration to your VS 2005 project?  This article shows you how.


Posted On Friday, February 17, 2006 8:03 AM

A Multipart Series on ASP.NET 2.0's Site Navigation
Scott Mitchell has written a great 4–part series on ASP.NET 2.0 Site Navigation. Here are the links: Part 1 - shows how to create a simple site map using the default XML-based site map provider and how to display a TreeView and SiteMapPath (breadcrumb) based on the site map data. Part 2 - explores programmatically accessing site map data through the SiteMap class; includes a thorough discussion of the SiteMapPath (breadcrumb) control. Part 3 - examines how to use base the site map's contents ......

Posted On Friday, February 17, 2006 7:59 AM

Building Composite Controls

I’ve mentioned how much I like the new Composite Controls in the past.  Dino Esposito has written a great article for MSDN on the subject.  Check it out.

Posted On Friday, February 17, 2006 7:57 AM

Jill Edwards - Lost in Space
This is from Boortz, yesterday (emphasis mine): His name was Gregory Boyington. Some called him "Pappy." He served as a combat pilot in World War II with the 1st Squadron, American Volunteer Group. This squadron was known as the Flying Tigers of China. Boyington later served as a combat pilot for the U.S. Marine Corps. He commanded Marine Fighting Squadron 214. Perhaps you've heard of this squadron. It was called the Black Sheep Squadron and was later featured in a TV series called "Baa Baa, Black ......

Posted On Thursday, February 16, 2006 8:51 AM

SQL Server MCITP Exams Now Live
Microsoft is getting their new MCITP certifications going. They’ve released two new exams: Last Friday, February 10, the company released Exam 70-444 PRO: Optimizing and Maintaining a Database Administration Solution by Using SQL Server 2005. Then on February 13, Microsoft released Exam 70-443 PRO: Designing a Database Server Infrastructure by Using SQL Server 2005. These two exams, as well as the Exam 70–431: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 - Implementation and Maintenance exam that was ......

Posted On Thursday, February 16, 2006 8:40 AM

Locus Effects
I’m not sure about this one. While I agree that it’s often necessary to draw the user’s attention to a specific area of the screen or website, this looks like it has potential to be <BLINK> on steroids. Anyway, from the introduction: I was first introduced to the term "Locus" almost an year ago, when I attended a fascinating 2-day seminar with Prof. Jim Coplien on the subject of “Humane User Interfaces”. It was quite amazing to know that the design of user interfaces ......

Posted On Thursday, February 16, 2006 8:33 AM

Yahoo! UI Library
Apparently, there’s no such thing as too many AJAX toolkits at the moment. Yahoo! has entered the fray. The Yahoo! User Interface Library is a set of utilities and controls, written in JavaScript, for building richly interactive web applications using techniques such as DOM scripting, HTML and AJAX. The UI Library Utilities facilitate the implementation of rich client-side features by enhancing and normalizing the developer's interface to important elements of the browser infrastructure (such ......

Posted On Thursday, February 16, 2006 8:29 AM

Custom MembershipProvider and RoleProvider Implementations that use Web Services

Shaun Wilde has written a good article on customer security implementations for Web Services.  This demonstrates all the typical web user security functionality including re-set password, re-send password, max bad attempts, etc.


Posted On Thursday, February 16, 2006 8:14 AM

SharpDevelop2 Beta 2 Available
Those of you interested in .NET development, but not interested in paying the high price of Visual Studio will be thrilled to know that SharpDevelop2 Beta 2 is now available. I’m picky about my development tools. I think you can rightly give MS a lot of grief about many things, but there’s little doubt that their tools are state-of-the-art. If you compare them to what Java developer’s have to use, or worse yet, what Flash developer’s use, MS’s tools win hands down. Everytime. ......

Posted On Thursday, February 16, 2006 8:05 AM

Excentrics World

Matt Hawley’s exceptional .NET controls are back online.

Thanks, Matt!

Posted On Thursday, February 16, 2006 7:59 AM

Introduction to Anthem.NET
Howard Richards has picked out a good AJAX library (not Atlas) called Anthem.NET found on Sourceforge. From the Introduction: AJAX is something lots of ASP.NET developers are interested in, but there are a number of AJAX libraries and solutions out there - so which one do you go for?When looking myself, the criteria I used were: support ASP.NET 2.0 as that's what I'm using work as seamlessly as possible with VS2005, ideally without having to hand-code client JavaScript and support ASP.NET functionality ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 15, 2006 8:58 AM

A JavaScript Weekly Calendar

Here’s a good JavaScript date/week picker.  I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the week picking functionality, which is surprising.  I’d think this would be something more commonly needed.

Posted On Wednesday, February 15, 2006 8:52 AM

SAML STS for WSE 3.0 QuickStart
This looks like it has potential. SAML is “Security Assertion Markup Language”. I’ve been on about 100 different projects that had security roles and priveleges, overrides, etc. to deal with. And I think the 100 projects implemented this 100 different ways. Unfortunately. SAML could streamline this and make the process more uniform. Anyway, from the p&p group at Microsoft has created a Security Token Service to handle these SAML tokens to provide security to the requesting application. ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 15, 2006 8:48 AM

WebResources - How To Do It

Gary Dryden details the pains of using WebResources in .NET 2.0, and helps us avoid the pain he’s gone through.

Posted On Wednesday, February 15, 2006 8:41 AM

Software Project Secrets: Why Software Projects Fail
On CodeProject, there’s a few chapters from the Apress book Software Project Secrets: Why Software Projects Fail. Chapter 1 – IntroductionChapter 2 – Why Software Is DifferentChapter 4 – Case Study: The Billing System ProjectChapter 7 – Case Study: The Billing System RevisitedChapter 8 – Afterword Worth a read, especially Chapter 2 ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 15, 2006 8:37 AM

Visual Studio Keyboard Shortcuts

One of the things I discovered at the PDC was how few of the VS keyboard shortcuts I’m actually using.  Ask The Pros has a good article detailing some popular keyboard shortcuts.  Actually, to be honest, there are two articles.

Posted On Wednesday, February 15, 2006 7:59 AM

Design by Contract with Extensible C#
Peter Gunner details an alternative approach to software development if TDD still leaves you cold. He points out that he IS a fan of TDD and often uses TDD and DbC together. From the Introduction: Design by Contract (DbC) is a software development methodology invented by Bertrand Meyer. DbC has a lot in common with the aims of Test-Driven Development (TDD): writing executable assertions in your source code to specify, before you write the implementation, the design and behaviour of your classes. ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 15, 2006 7:45 AM

Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II (which sci-fi crew would you best fit in?)
You scored as Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix). You can change the world around you. You have a strong will and a high technical aptitude. Is it possible you are the one? Now if only Agent Smith would quit beating up your friends. Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix) 88% Millennium Falcon (Star Wars) 75% Babylon 5 (Babylon 5) 69% SG-1 (Stargate) 69% Serenity (Firefly) 69% Deep Space Nine (Star Trek) 63% Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica) 63% Moya (Farscape) 63% Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda) 50% Bebop (Cowboy ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 14, 2006 12:49 PM

On this day in 1989
A fatwa was issued for the execution of Salman Rushdie, the author of The Satanic Verses, a novel considered "blasphemous against Islam". ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 14, 2006 8:44 AM

An introduction to MSBuild

A good article on using MSBuild.  I’m still waiting for a definitive comparison to NAnt, though.

Posted On Tuesday, February 14, 2006 8:27 AM

Intentional Programming
David Ing makes some good points about Intentional programming.

Posted On Tuesday, February 14, 2006 8:22 AM

Architect Personas

Here’s a good post on the differing “Architect Personas”.  Simon makes some good points.  I think I sit right about where he does, which is (stealing shamelessly from his blog):

Primarily a Solution Architect

Posted On Tuesday, February 14, 2006 8:17 AM

Scrum Plug-in for Visual Studio Team System
If you’re really interested in agile programming for VSTS, you’ll want to check out this scrum plug-in.  Walkthrough guides are also available.

Posted On Tuesday, February 14, 2006 8:12 AM

Code is Model
Harry Pierson wrote a great post on Code is Model (yes, I know, back in October). I’m still not 100% sold on this idea, personally. I think it’s a great ideal, but the modeling tools are going to have to get much better before this will be practical on a large-scale project. MS is working on providing some of this abstraction with things like their Windows Workflow Framework, but even here the code sits below the model ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 14, 2006 8:09 AM

Test Automation Patterns
Patterns of XUnit Test Automation is a good resource for developers doing TDD. From the site: This site has been put together to allow the XUnit community to share good practices in test automation. It came about as a result of discussions between Gerard Meszaros and Shaun Smith about the testing techniques we find ourselves using over and over again to solve particular XUnit test automation problems. Why is Test Automation Important? Automated unit tests (A.K.A. "developer tests") and functional ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 14, 2006 8:02 AM

Mocks aren't Stubs and Stubs aren't Fakes

Glad we cleared that up.

Posted On Tuesday, February 14, 2006 7:58 AM

Qumana 3.0 Beta
I’ve blogged about Qumana before. I still think it’s a very good blog editing tool, and now 3.0 is in beta for Mac and PC. Still doesn’t work with Geekswithblogs (metaweblogapi::getUserInfo doesn’t seem to be implemented by .Text). From the little bit of playing around with it I’ve done, I’m impressed. If I ever take the time to move this blog over to a Wordpress blog, it’s most likely what I’ll use. ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 14, 2006 7:49 AM

The brrreeeport report

After checking out Firefox extensions yesterday, today Scoble is interested in the brrreeeport report.  Hey, he mentions Geeks with Blogs in this post.  Cool!

Posted On Tuesday, February 14, 2006 7:40 AM

Scoble's Interested in Firefox Extensions
Scoble wants to know about your favorite Firefox extensions. Ok, I had to go look. Here are mine. Adblock – Once installed, it's a snap to filter elements at their source-address.Just right-click: Adblock: done. Filters use either the wildcard character (*)or full Regular Expression syntax. Hit the status-element and see what has orhasn't been blocked. Adblock Filterset.G Updater – This is a companion extension to Adblock and should be used in conjunction with it. This extension automatically ......

Posted On Monday, February 13, 2006 1:31 PM

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 E-Learning
Microsoft is offering free E-Learning courses on SQL Server 2005. The web page says that the courses will be free until November 1, 2006. Course 2936: Installing and Securing Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2005 Summary: This course will provide you with a technically deep learning experience on installing and securing Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2005. The course provides detailed reference content and in-depth practical and hands-on activities for database administrators with Microsoft® ......

Posted On Friday, February 10, 2006 8:20 AM

I'm big on Certifications
To those that know me, that comes as no surprise. However, I’m not interested in getting certifications just to add letters to the end of my name. Every time I have prepared for a certification exam I have learned something. Sometimes just a little, but usually quite a bit, and always something. So, it comes as no surprise that I’m interested in the new Microsoft Architect Certifications. They look like they’re going to be really tough and make a strong statement to a potential ......

Posted On Friday, February 10, 2006 8:13 AM

Code Snippets in Visual Web Developer and VS 2005
Scott Guthrie details one of the coolest features in VS2005, the code snippet. Code snippets are a development demo dream. Set up all your code that you want to show in the demo and convert them to code snippets. Then you can just pop them into your code without having to make sure that you type it correctly or having to make your audience sit and watch you type. Of course, they have more general uses as well. Commonly do the same types of things in response to a Page_Load event? Create a snippet! ......

Posted On Friday, February 10, 2006 8:03 AM

Creating a DotNetNuke® Module - For Absolute Beginners!

Here’s a great article on getting started with DNN.  The article details using Visual Studio Express Edition and SQL Server Express Edition, but the concepts work equally well with Professional, Enterprise Architect, Team Suite, etc.

Posted On Friday, February 10, 2006 7:54 AM

Ten Visual Studio Add-ins Every Developer Should Download Now

James Avery has written a sequel to his best selling “Ten Must-Have Tools Every Developer Should Download Now

Posted On Friday, February 10, 2006 7:47 AM

XAML Resources

Marc Clifton explains a little bit about XAML and gives some good resources on the subject.  This is a good “get your feet wet” type of article, for those of you (us?) still going “XAML?  What’s that?  Why did  they add an ‘A’?  I was just starting to understand XML!”

Posted On Friday, February 10, 2006 7:44 AM

Windows Live Messenger Beta Invites
I have a limited # of Windows Live Messenger Beta Invites if anyone’s interested.  Just leave a comment with a valid e-mail address.  Make sure the e-mail address you leave is the one associated with your Messenger passport account, because ONLY the passport associated with that e-mail address is registered with the beta.

Posted On Thursday, February 9, 2006 12:12 PM

Scoble wrote a post last week about CoComment. If you haven’t heard about CoComment, it’s very cool. It helps you keep track of comments that you leave on other’s blogs. It lets you know when there are replies, and keeps you up-to-date. This is very nice. The bad news? It’s a closed beta right now and you need an invite to participate. The good news? I have two invites. I’ll post them here. If you use one, leave a comment, so others will know not to bother. Please don’t ......

Posted On Thursday, February 9, 2006 12:09 PM

MCPD Upgrade Exams Get Beta Tested Mid-February

MCP Magazine is reporting that beta versions of upgrade exams for MCAD’s and MCSD’s will be available mid-February.  These will upgrade you to the new MCPD certification. The article contains links to information about the exams and how to sign up.

Posted On Thursday, February 9, 2006 8:22 AM

What Are Web Parts?

Jesse Liberty has written a good article on how to use Web parts in .NET 2.0 to make your web pages customizable and flexible to your users.  You see this kind of feature on Yahoo! and MSN (among others)

Posted On Thursday, February 9, 2006 8:18 AM

ListControl.AppendDataBoundItems Property in ASP.NET 2.0

Having a list with a mixture of unbound and bound data items is something that’s always been a struggle for us.  Nice to know that Microsoft has worked on making it easier. 

Posted On Thursday, February 9, 2006 8:11 AM

Security Enhancements in the .NET Framework 2.0

Keith Brown has a great tour of what’s new with security in .NET 2.0.

Posted On Thursday, February 9, 2006 8:08 AM

Smart Thread Pool

I like this.  Yes, it’s yet ANOTHER way to manage your threads in .NET.  But the reason there are so many ways out there is that none of them are all that spectacular.  This one looks promising.

Posted On Thursday, February 9, 2006 8:06 AM

Do you REALLY need to reboot your computer?

WhyReboot is a small (~60KB) Windows application that displays a list of pending file operations that will occur after rebooting your computer.

You can use it to see if you really need to reboot after installing that latest nifty utility.

Posted On Thursday, February 9, 2006 8:02 AM

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