Plunging into .NET Development

Weblog Pieter Gheysens
Microsoft .NET Development - C# - Enterprise Library - Visual Studio 2005 Team System - Compuware DevPartner - ...

Friday, July 22

Creating Virtual Drives in command window

Using the subst-executable it's possible to substitute folders on your computer with drive letters [Virtual Drives]. You can use the drive letter in commands as if it were a physical drive. I'm still looking how to rename the newly created drive. By default the new drive is called "Data" ...

It can be very handy if you have folders that are deeply "nested". Another reason to use this "tool" is to get to the physical files in the Global Assembly Cache [see post of Jeff Key]. That's a nice bonus!

Monday, July 18

TechEd 2005 - Day 5

Sessions I followed on Day 5 of TechEd 2005 :
  • Windows Forms: An in-depth look at Windows Forms in Visual Studio 2005 [Brian Noyes]
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System : Enterprise-Class Source Control [Brian Randell]
  • ASP.NET 2.0 : Advanced Server Controls and Web Parts with ASP.NET 2.0 [Jeff King]
  • .NET Framework : Think Global! Custom Cultures and International Data [Achim Ruopp]
  • MSF v4 : what's new and old in Microsoft Solutions Framework v4 [Rafal Lukawiecki]
Stuff to remember :
  • A lot less people during the break-out session. Some people actually fell asleep during the sessions! Attending TechEd is very demanding ;-)
  • Speakers are very important for the success of a session. If I have to choose between a session with "good content and a lousy speaker" or a session with "lousy content and a good speaker", I definitely prefer the session with the better speaker!
Picture of the day : Communications Network ...

Friday, July 8

TechEd 2005 - Day 4

Sessions I followed on Day 4 of TechEd 2005 :
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 2005 : Application Frameworks and Advanced Language Features [Jay Schmelzer]
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 2005 : Productivity and Application Architecture Improvements [Jay Schmelzer]
  • Microsoft Visual C# : Introducing C# 2.0 [Juval Lowy]
  • Keynote : The future of software [David Vaskevitch]
  • .NET Framework : The pitfalls of Exception Handling. Why they hurt and how to avoid them [David Platt]
Stuff to remember :
  • After 3 days of slide-shows it was great to have 2 presentations full of demos in Visual Studio 2005 by Jay Schmelzer.
  • The keynote was all about bringing people and computers together. Good presentation by David Vaskevitch [Chief Technical Officer of Microsoft]. I liked the examples/stories he mentioned during his speech.
  • In the "Ask the Experts"-area [Microsoft Patterns & Practices] I picked up a copy of the Enterprise Library Edition [release of June 2005]. The CD includes webcasts, podcasts, videos and hands-on-labs.
  • The famous TechEd Party did it again : good music, lots of food and drinks, nice decoration of the mega party-hall, ... The performance of NU2 [The Ultimate U2 Tribute Band] was not bad at all.
  • My digital camera [disk] is almost full. Thanks to Steven who took a lot of pictures of himself during the TechEd party. What a geek!
Picture of the day : TechEd Party 2005 ...

Thursday, July 7

TechEd 2005 - Day 3

Sessions I followed on Day 3 of TechEd 2005 :
  • Building Smart Client Applications with .NET : The future of Software Development [Tony Goodhew]
  • .NET Framework : Being more productive with the .NET Framework [Juval Lowy]
  • ASP.NET 2.0 : Best Practices for Building Web Application UI with Master Pages, Themes and Site Navigation [Jeff King]
  • Windows Forms : Making the most of WinForms 2.0 Data Binding [Brian Noyes]
  • Demystifying the Smart Client [Alain Leroy]
Stuff to remember :
  • I bought a few new books in the bookshop here : one about Best Practices with Visual Basic 2005, one about Indigo and one about UML.
  • The Belux Country Drink was a big succes with more than 200 people subscribed. First we did a little boat-trip and afterwards there was a party with drinks and snacks.
Picture of the day : one of the 2 giant dining halls ...

Wednesday, July 6

TechEd 2005 - Day 2

Sessions I followed on Day 2 of TechEd 2005 :
  • Keynote : Ready For Business [Andrew Lees]
  • Introducing "Indigo" - The unified framework for building connected systems [Ari Bixhorn]
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Architects : Developing Service-Oriented Systems [Eric Lee]
  • Creating Dynamic Web Sites with ASP.NET 2.0 Web Parts [Andres Sanabria & Peter Himschoot]
  • Hands-on Lab : Using the Application Designer to Design your Web Service Architecture in Microsoft Visual Studio 2005.
Stuff to remember :
  • Tram number 4 towards RAI-center is full of techies in the morning. Queue early or take/share a cab!
  • 6500+ attendants [300+ from Belgium]
  • RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. All attendants of the keynote-session were monitored by an RFID device to analyse the flow of people in and out of the session rooms.
  • I picked up a free copy of Introducing Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System Beta Edition and a Team System VPC
  • Exhibition Welcome Drink was fun : lots of food and beers
  • Time flies at TechEd
Picture of the day : Preparation for keynote-session ...

Tuesday, July 5

TechEd 2005 - Day 1

Yesterday we arrived just a little late at the RAI-center for the Pre-Conference Seminars due to the heavy traffic towards Amsterdam. The check-in on the other hand went a lot quicker than our car-trip. This year's theme is Inspiration Shared.

I followed the Pre-Conference Seminar Visual Basic .NET Programming for Visual Basic 6.0 Developers [Ken Getz and Brian Randell]. I picked this seminar because of a project I will do in the future : moving VB6-developers to VB.NET (Framework 2.0). The purpose of the seminar was to build a complete .NET Application in one day.

They developed on stage a web-based hotel reservation front-end and used as many "pieces" of .NET as possible : .NET Framework System Classes, Serialization and MSMQ, ADO.NET, Windows Services, Windows Forms, ASP.NET, COM Interop and Web Services.

Naturally they didn't start completely from scratch ... they had a lot of code-snippets prepared. During the sessions they gave an overview of the used "pieces" in the application with a focus on VB.NET.

Below you can find a list of topics that were covered :
  • the "My" namespace for simplified .NET programming
  • code snippets
  • serialization/deserialization
  • the using statement
  • Message Queuing
  • viewing data while debugging : concept of "visualizers"
  • debugging Windows Services
  • Visual Inheritance
  • enhancements for GUI development
    • smart tags
    • data binding
    • backgroundworker
    • MenuStrip and ToolStrip
    • DataGridView
  • ClickOnce Deployment
  • COM Interoperability
So, it was a good day to start with! The accomodations at TechEd are also great : a wireless network all over the place, 350+ networked computers, VoIP (Voice over IP), food & drinks everywhere, ... I also like the bag (backpack) more than last year!

Sunday, July 3

TechEd 2005 Amsterdam

I've just packed for TechEd 2005 in Amsterdam. Tommorow-morning (early!) I will be heading towards Amsterdam. I'm really looking forward to it and hopefully I can do some interesting posts about it ...