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Chris Breisch   .NET Data Practices
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February 2007 Entries
Visual Studio Integrated Configuration Editor for Enterprise Library 3.0
If you use or are planning to use EntLib on your projects, you have to be excited about the integrated configuration editor now part of EntLib 3.0. This is one of the coolest features in this release. One of the pains with Entlib is the many config files it requires you to manage, and often edit by hand. Now you can just double-click on any config file (even app.config!) and open it in VS. The installer sets it as the default editor, but if that doesn't work for you, you should find it in the Open ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 28, 2007 7:10 AM

XML Notepad 2007
I just downloaded and started playing with XML Notepad 2007 from Microsoft. This is what it sounds like; a basic XML editor. I still use Notepad++ (I just wish it had an automatic update checker--they keep coming out with new versions and the only time I realize it is when I link to their page and see that the version on the page is quite a it newer than the one I'm running) for most everything, but this seems like it'll be a little better for XML editing, so I'm going to take it for a longer spin. ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 28, 2007 6:58 AM

Excentrics World Server Controls v2.0.6 Released
Matt Hawley has released Version 2.0.6 of his Excentrics World Server Controls. The latest builds of this target Microsoft AJAX Extensions and look pretty slick. Here are the contents: Calendar PopupAllows you to easily create a popup calendar that does not require a postback to the server. Collapsable PanelAllows you to easily create a section of content in your web form that can be collapsable. Support for IE 5+ and Netscape 6+. Faq RepeaterThis new data-bound templated control will allow you to ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 28, 2007 6:46 AM

Team Foundation Server Power Tool Released
These were formally called Power Toys. Apparently Microsoft decided that they're not toys anymore. The Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server Power Tool (formerly known as Power Toys) is a set of enhancements, tools and command line utilities that improve the Team Foundation Server user experience. This release includes two new command-line tools for the developer and three non-command line tools: a set of custom check-in policies, a build test task, and a process template editor. This ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 21, 2007 7:08 AM

Reflector 5.0 for .NET is Available
Reflector is the class browser, explorer, analyzer and documentation viewer for .NET. Reflector allows to easily view, navigate, search, decompile and analyze .NET assemblies in C#, Visual Basic and IL. Download it here, and check out the add-ins available here. I've used it extensively in the past, and while I'm not quite as ga-ga over it as Scott Hanselman, it's definitely a worthwhile tool for your toolbox ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 20, 2007 7:35 AM

Two New Vista Compatible Products From Microsoft (and some Virtual Machine musings)
Yesterday, MS released SQL Server 2005 SP2, and Virtual PC 2007. I'm downloading both right now, but I doubt that I'll end up using Virtual PC 2007, which is somewhat odd since I play around with virtual machines all the time. On my disk, I have virtual images of just about every OS Microsoft has released, a virtual image of my old TRS-80 Model I Level II, and I even played around with Mac OS X 10.3 (pre-Intel--thank you PearPC). I first started playing with virtual machines way back before MS had ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 20, 2007 7:13 AM

Implicit Requirements Are Still Requirements
One of the many reasons for software project failure is failing to meet requirements (well, duh). But part of that problem is not detailing correctly what the requirements are. If you think that requirements only fall into the categories of critical success factors and/or must-have/must-be requirements, sprinkled in with a few more-is-better/highly desired requirements, you're missing the boat. And your projects will fail. As we learn from Tyner Blain, you have to capture the implicit requirements ......

Posted On Thursday, February 15, 2007 8:06 AM

How To Not Suck At Design
How could you go wrong with a title like that? The folks at Tyner Blain thought you couldn't, and I agree. Of course, they're just extending an article from Michael Shrivathsan, so both are worth a read. Start with the user interface. [Roger Cauvin adds, start with a working first iteration] Work closely with UI designers. Pay attention to details. Simpler is better. Be brave ......

Posted On Thursday, February 15, 2007 7:59 AM

Popup Modal Form in ASP.NET using AJAX
Here's a nice little sample on using modal Forms in ASP.NET. It was written by Lou Flees for CodeProject. From his introduction: The ModalPopupExtender control provided by the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit allows the display of content in a div panel that floats in the middle of the page and prevents the user from interacting with the rest of the page until the div panel has been closed, thus creating a modal form type of entry on a web page. This is really useful technology but I wanted to make a ......

Posted On Thursday, February 15, 2007 7:54 AM

ASP.NET 2.0 CSS Friendly Control Adapters 1.0
Finally, a way to generate CSS friendly output when using the ASP.NET controls. I'd mandate the use of these adapters on any public facing website. If you're not using them, you must just like causing trouble. ASP.NET is a great technology for building web sites but it would be even better if it provided more flexibility for customizing the rendered HTML. For example, the Menu control makes it simple to add a menu to a web site, but it would be better if it didn't create <table> tags and was ......

Posted On Thursday, February 15, 2007 7:39 AM

Microsoft Anti-Cross Site Scripting Library for ASP.NET
Microsoft has released a new version of their anti-cross site scripting library. This library works with both ASP.NET 1.1 and 2.0. This download contains the redistributable files for the Microsoft Application Security Anti-Cross Site Scripting Library. The Anti-Cross Site Scripting Library can be used to provide a high degree of protection to Web-based applications against Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks. Download it here ......

Posted On Thursday, February 15, 2007 7:35 AM

Register User Controls and Custom Controls in Web.Config
Did you know that in ASP.NET 2.0 you can register user controls and custom controls in your Web.Config rather than at the top of every page? I didn't. <?xml version="1.0"?> <configuration> <system.web> <pages> <controls> <add tagPrefix="scottgu" src="~/Controls/Header.ascx" tagName="header"/> <add tagPrefix="scottgu" src="~/Controls/Footer.ascx" tagName="footer"/> <add tagPrefix="ControlVendor" assembly="ControlVendorAsse... </controls> </pages> ......

Posted On Thursday, February 15, 2007 7:29 AM

Fifteen Ways to Shut Down Vista
There's a good article on Tyner Blain about over-engineering your application. Sometimes you go so far out of your way to please everybody, that you end up pleasing nobody. I've been on this type of project myself (quite recently, actually), and the results you end up with are never pretty. The example used there are the Fifteen Ways to Shut Down Vista. Don't try to please everybody. Remember that you're the software developer and that the people paying you for your work are paying you for your software ......

Posted On Thursday, February 15, 2007 7:25 AM

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0
Trenton Moss has a good overview of WCAG 2.0 at CodeProject. If you're doing public (and frankly even intranet) web sites, you need to understand these accessibility guidelines and be following them. Trenton brings up the good points and the bad points of the new guidelines and lays it all out in black and white (or whatever colors your stylesheet says to use). Overall, well worth a read, including the Guidelines themselves (even if the document IS a bit intimidating) ......

Posted On Thursday, February 15, 2007 7:18 AM

I'm baaaaaaaaack

I'm back after a three month (or so) hiatus.  My new baby and the project I was on were consuming all of my life and I didn't have time.  I've been off the project for about a month now, but it's taken me that long to get my life back in order enough to feel comfortable about posting.  I've got a three month backlog of posts to get to, and some new thoughts of my own, so you'll be hearing from me much more frequently for a while.

Posted On Thursday, February 15, 2007 7:11 AM

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