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December 2011 Entries
ComponentOne Studio for Entity Framework: Overview

One of the main attraction points to this offering in my review is how does it fit into the work I do and solutions I recommend. Right off, the fact it has capabilities described as Silverlight focus/MVVM , makes it something that intrigued me. I tested the different capabilities it has from using it in WinForms and WPF as well, and Silverlight.

One of the main points is the C1DataSource, it shows a level of simplicity through the property dialogs that allows you to move right along with, for example, how you need to present, filter (server side) and sort data. The same can be said on how simple it is to implement different paging options, it does take into consideration working with this from a client side as well as managing it server side.

A big advantage here is the ability to connect to any of the “data-bound” capable built-in controls and components.  For example, being able to work with the built-in DataGridView or a TextBox for that matter.

So, yes the focus does fall on the C1DataSource component, among the process is the creation of an application wide object that will support any C1DataSource within the scope of the same application.  This allows for a unified approach that does not require synchronization among objects as long as they are within the same application scope.

In most of my review and evaluation I had close to zero code added and had a functional data driven solution.  For example, in creating a Master-detail form, the process needed was to add a couple of DataGridViews, one pointed to the Customers Entity and the other pointed to the Orders Entity.  And yes, that was it, by selecting a Customer then I was able to see the Orders that had been placed. We can get more creative and go further by adding perhaps a DropDown that gives me a list of Customers and then based on my selection the Orders would be displayed on the Grid.  This where we would make use of the Server-Side filters (again, depends on the volume of data).

So, what is it that goes on in the back?  The C1DataSource is a Data Set, and the ViewSource property helps us define DataViews.  The truth of the matter is, it just flows!

All in all, a great tool.  However, I do feel their documentation needs some reworking.  I am picky when it comes to this as I have been involved in creating/writing Hands-on Labs.  And many times assumptions can be made on the level of knowledge an individual may have.  In light of this, I will be creating a set of videos that highlights the main elements of the functionality and different implementations.  The goal is to make sure tools like this get used, but more importantly get used the right way.

In the meantime look into the videos provided through the ComponentOne Website: http://www.componentone.com/SuperProducts/StudioEntityFramework/Videos/

Posted On Sunday, December 4, 2011 9:54 PM | Comments (0)
Is SharePoint really a 3 role environment? An Overview. Part 1 of 5

Let me clarify what I mean by “3 role” environment.  When looking at the division of roles with products, solutions or environments, it has been very normal to break it down into IT Pros (Admins), Developers and End Users.  And many approach SharePoint in the same style.  Does it fit?  Sure.  Is it the most effective approach?  HECK NO!

Let’s look at it piece by piece.  Now the question is where do we start?

We need to redefine this.  In all cases leaving it as IT Pros, Developers and End Users is too broad.  It really does not push to truly have an understanding what the solution should be about.  Within the IT Pro role, you have server admins, dbas, infrastructure/solution architects and in many situations the farm administrator is not part of those roles.

Developers are also part of this mix, but this can also be a complex breakdown, as you will likely have your developers, designers, web developers and so on.  And within the End User community it is even more complex.  I have in the past referred to SharePoint as a solution that is an End User owned solution.  Yes, many IT folks do not like that.  Why?  Because they feel they are losing control of the platform and they will end up supporting, fixing and in the end stuck with it.  Yes, that is also part of the reality of many SharePoint deployments.  And not only in deployments, the way people are being trained is this same way.  There are training materials that I have seen change their approach.  I will cover the materials I have experienced having a change in the mindset and style of delivery.

In this series, I will go deeper into each role and the importance of understanding the breakdown.  All in all, it meshes with a topic that has been a passion for me over the last couple of years and that is looking to Application Lifecycle Management to help us define that breakdown.  ALM is not a software development approach, it goes beyond software development.  It goes deeper into being the overarching umbrella that will include the solution ideation/planning, planning/implementation, implementation/stabilization, and stabilization/operations. We talk Governance, Taxonomy and many other topics that many have considered fluff, but are they fluff?  When I look at the process, many would refer to End Users receiving their piece once, and only when, Operations has a hand in it.  There is some truth to it, but in the effort of driving user adoption, acceptance and so on, we will expand that activity and therefore the involvement.  And diving into ownership.

So, come along with me in this series and let’s explore what my thoughts are and keep me posted on what your thoughts are, and how they may align.

Part 2: How IT Pros are involved.
Part 3: Here come the Developers, guard your deployment
Part 4: Let the End User own it
Part 5: From Meal Plans to Learning Plans

Posted On Saturday, December 3, 2011 10:02 PM | Comments (0)
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

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