Plunging into .NET Development

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

Tuesday, January 27

new VISUG branding

Yes, finally! After we showed the community the new VISUG logo on our last event with Juval Lowy, Gill put the new restyled website live! Please have a look at it and tell us what you think!

VISUG email addresses have also changed and you can reach all board members at or send a dedicated mail to one of us at

Our next event will take place at SD Worx in Antwerp :

Live Mesh: Data synchronization and storage in the cloud

Live Mesh is a data synchronization system that allows you to share files and folders across multiple devices or even store them in the cloud. This piece of technology is part of the Microsoft Cloud Computing initiative, Windows Azure. Next to sharing data, Live Mesh also provides the possibility to run Mesh applications in the cloud and provides news feeds to notify you from changes in your files or application. All of this can be controlled by you as developer when using the Live Framework API. This presentation offers an introduction on Live Mesh and the Live Framework from both the user as the developer’s point of view.

Register here.

Too bad I will miss the upcoming event because it looks very promising. In two days time - without sending out a newsletter or other promotion of the event - we already have 40 registrations! A lot of people seem to have set as their homepage!


Saturday, January 24

India (Part I)

Last week I've been in India (Chennai) for a business trip. From Monday to Friday I did only see two places : my hotel and the office ... so I didn't had the opportunity to visit the country as a tourist, but it has certainly been an interesting week and I'm very satisfied about the outcome of my Indian week. Part of the job was a training workshop I had to give about Compuware DevPartner and the other part was a consultancy job to integrate code coverage results on distributed integration tests that were fired with NUnit. Those unit tests called several web services which were the real target for code coverage. The solution I came up with at the end of the week was to combine NUnit results and code coverage results. With LINQ to XML and the Entity Framework in .NET 3.5 (SP1) I was able to quickly store all these metrics in a SQL Server database to make them available for further reporting.

It's quite easy to hook up Compuware DevPartner to track the code coverage of unit tests written into NUnit or to track the code coverage of assemblies that are hosted in a website on IIS. Afterwards, LINQ to XML and the XElement class were my friends to easily query all result files and upload the required information to a datastore using the Entity Framework. Actually, not that much custom code was involved to set it all up.

I'm writing this wrap-up in the Chennai airport, waiting for my 9h30 flight to Brussels. I hope to get some sleep on the plane and to have a nice week-end with my family. Another trip to India is planned next month to give similar workshops on Compuware DevPartner and to further extend the solution I worked out for the integration tests.

I may not have picked up a lot of the Indian culture and atmosphere, but one thing that will remind me is the fact that traffic is insane over there! You just have to see it with your own eyes to believe it. In Europe I don't mind to drive in busy cities, but I don't see me driving a car / motorcycle / bike in the middle of Chennai. Really amazing!

To be continued in a few weeks!


Sunday, January 11

Seven things you didn’t know about me

Katrien's tag hit me ... so here I go :
  1. I didn't study informatics and only headed towards information technology the year [1997] I had to choose a side track when I studied Applied Economics in Leuven. Since then it became obvious that I finally found what I was looking for. The person who hired me at Compuware in 2000 (my first job interview) was convinced that my lack of programming experience and technical background wouldn't matter in the long run. Eight years later, I'm still working at Compuware Belgium ...
  2. Before I went to university I was heavily involved in sports [Tennis / Soccer]. During high-school I was an internal student at a professional tennis academy in Belgium where I was trained 5 days a week and because I couldn't let go soccer, I kept on playing soccer as well. I had some talent for both sports but in tennis I belonged to the top 12 players in Belgium for my age category. Due to some injuries and a lack of time in the years to come in that period, I had to let it all go. I still miss the competition rhythm and I still hate to lose in whatever game I take part. My idols from that period were John McEnroe and Marco Van Basten.
  3. In Leuven during my university period, I was member of a regional student club and our main occupation was slowly getting drunk in our favorite pub. Going home on time wasn't easy in those days and I was always afraid I would miss something when leaving early. I did not have a GSM and wasn't addicted to a computer, so I needed to go out and meet my friends in person with a perfect drafted Stella Artois. It still is my favorite brand of beer, but over the years I became to appreciate a good glass of red wine and since then I'm increasing the number of bottles I stock at my parents cellar.
  4. Playing all kind of card games was also very common when I studied, but since I got to know Texas Hold'em Poker, there's only one card game that still gets my full attention. Just before the birth of my first daughter, I sneaked in on a trip to Las Vegas with some friends to gamble a bit.
  5. My ex-colleague Steven Wilssens - who now works at Microsoft in Redmond - pulled me into the board of the Visual Studio User Group in Belgium.
  6. A while ago I was a huge fan of 24 and Jack Bauer pushed me to see the first three seasons as fast as possible, but I still need to find the perfect time to start with season four.
  7. Some people keep telling me that I have two left hands, so don't ask me to help you with practical jobs.
My turn to tag some people : Here are the rules if you are tagged:
  • Link your original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post - some random, some weird.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter


Microsoft Press Book of the month

Microsoft .NET: Architecting Applications for the Enterprise

I bought this book last year at PDC and I can really recommend it to all people who are into .NET development and want to take the next step into Enterprise development. I haven't finished the book yet, but so far it's already a keeper and it has earned its spot on my bookshelf!

If you happen to live in Belgium, you get a 40% discount when buying the book in January 2009 because it's the MSDN book of the month!

Thursday, January 8

VISUG : Juval Lowy and the .NET Service bus

Last chance to register for the VISUG event with Juval Lowy on January 15, 2008 at Utopolis (Mechelen - Belgium).

The .NET services bus is part of the new Microsoft Cloud Computing Windows Azure initiative, and arguably, it is the most accessible, ready to use, powerful, and needed piece.

The service bus allows clients to connects to services across any machine, network, firewall, NAT, routers, load balancers, virtualization, IP and DNS as if they were part of the same local network, and doing all that without compromising on the programming model or security. The service bus also supports callbacks, event publishing, authentication and authorization and doing all that in a WCF-friendly manner.

This session will present the service bus programming model, how to configure and administer service bus solutions, working with the dedicated relay bindings including the available communication modes, relying on authentication in the cloud for local services and the various authentication options, and how to provide for end-to-end security through the relay service.

You will also see some advanced WCF programming techniques, original helper classes, productivity-enhancing utilities and tools, as well as discussion of design best practices and pitfalls.

Registration at the VISUG website.