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IUpdateable has moved to Please visit December 2009 Entries
Happy New Year and a thank you for making 2009 great fun
Have a fantastic New Years Eve this evening and a successful and fun 2010 (The above is the North Yorkshire Moors in 2009 as it should be – sheep and snow) Thanks to everyone who read my blog in 2009 (and my other VB blog), left comments, followed me on twitter, listened to my podcast (and even some of you subscribed in ITunes which my daughter finds scary) and in general made me feel that there was indeed somebody out there listening to my ramblings. It is very much appreciated. And a special thanks ......

Posted On Thursday, December 31, 2009 3:41 PM

SyncToBlog #8 Visual Basic 6 migration links
A few Visual Basic 6 links I want to “get down on paper” – lest I forget :-) John Fuex describing the process he and his company went through to solve the C# versus .NET dilemma when migrating White paper: 5 myth-busting reasons for choosing an automatic migration against a manual rewrite Webcast on Visual Basic 6 and Windows 7: Alternatives for Application Compatibility Understanding the relationship between a supporting library and your migrated VB6 code Code Architects now offers turn-key services ......

Posted On Thursday, December 24, 2009 11:17 AM

SyncToBlog #7 Windows Azure Platform links
I have been meaning to get these “out of my head” for a little while now. Christmas Eve seems a good day to do it on :-) Dave Thompson (Microsoft UK) did a good summary post of adding SSL to a webrole Dave also did a good summary of the differences in the Azure November SDK. The Azure TCO & ROI Calculator Cloud Storage Studio V0.9 is available How Azure is being used in the real world - Azure Deep Dives This was generated from a series of UK early adopter labs we run. Yep, I’m in there somewhere ......

Posted On Thursday, December 24, 2009 10:47 AM

Windows Azure benefits for MSDN Premium Subscribers can be used for live applications. Sign up from January 4th
When we first announced that MSDN Premium subscribers and BizSpark members would be getting free Azure hours we also stated that they would be restricted to development and testing. The great news is we decided to lift this restriction so that you will be able to use your Azure benefits for normal (production) use, if needed. This also simplifies the transition between development and production. Starting January 4, 2010, MSDN Premium subscribers and BizSpark members in the UK will be able to sign ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 23, 2009 3:24 PM

Multi-tenanted applications on Windows Azure and SQL Azure – added to my todo list for 2010
Back when I was an Application Architect working with UK ISVs I spent a lot of time helping companies understand how to architect multi-tenanted applications. However, I have never pondered about the challenges (and opportunities) of doing this with Windows Azure and SQL Azure. Until now. What sparked it off was a fairly simple question from a UK ISV that I ended up copied on. The question in essence was “What is the recommended approach to building a multi-tenancy solution on Windows Azure and SQL ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 23, 2009 2:54 PM

What is Microsoft “Dallas”?
Nope, I’m not referring to the famous TV series. I am referring to the “data-as-a-service” offering we announced at the PDC. What it is: Dallas is “data-as-a-service” offer from Windows Azure which is an information marketplace that brings data, imagery, and real-time web services from leading commercial data providers and authoritative public data sources together into a single location, under a unified provisioning and billing framework. Dallas provides the foundations for publishing and consuming ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 23, 2009 12:34 PM

MSDN Flash Podcast 018 – Michael Foord discusses IronPython
[22/12/09: I have been unable to get the podcast hosted on Channel 9 due to problems with the publishing platform. But Michael did a great job so I wanted to get it posted. Hence you can find it on Skydrive for the moment. Download from Skydrive ] A great chat with Michael Foord, author of IronPython in Action, on why a C# or Visual Basic .NET developer should look at also investing time in learning and using IronPython. Michael wrote an article on IronPython for the November 18th 2009 UK MSDN Flash ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 22, 2009 9:24 AM

MSDN Flash Podcast 017 – Hadi Hariri talks Behavior Driven Development
I talk to Hadi Hariri about the differences between Behavior Driven Development (BDD) and Test Driven Development - and why Hadi chooses BDD every time. Hadi wrote an article on BDD for the December 2nd 2009 UK MSDN Flash newsletter: “Test Driven Development (TDD) is about design, not about testing first. We use unit tests and testing frameworks to drive out the design of our API and validate its usage. Think of TDD as an approach to defining the specification of our application. However the true ......

Posted On Friday, December 18, 2009 4:45 PM

A great find – Software Engineering Radio. And are we 2 years behind the Java community? Or longer?
A great find… I listen to a lot of podcasts but I realised they were all exclusively focused on Windows and .NET development. I decided to look further a field and discovered this absolute gem - Software Engineering Radio. There are 151 shows to choose from and TBH, I feel like I just won the lottery (ok – not really). The breadth is fantastic. Java, Ruby, .NET, patterns, performance, uml, security, case studies (eBay for instance) and with some fantastic speakers such as Ted Neward, Bob Martin and ......

Posted On Friday, December 18, 2009 10:35 AM

Visual Studio 2010 Beta period extension is good news
Soma has announced that we will be extending the Beta period of Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4. We will be adding a Release Candidate with a broad “go live” license, which will be publicly available in the February 2010 timeframe. Whilst I would love to have Visual Studio 2010 RTM yesterday, I am really pleased to see that we are taking decisions that publicly demonstrate that we are quality lead on this release. I want Visual Studio 2010 to be as near to perfect on release as we can. I ......

Posted On Friday, December 18, 2009 10:03 AM

My most popular blog posts of 2009
[Updated 23/12/2009: You might also want to check out my colleagues Mike and Mike who did the same] For fun I thought I would have a look at which of my posts in 2009 were my most popular. The results were quite surprising. By number of pageviews (which tends to favour 1st half of year): Entity Framework 4.0 Resources – documentation links, best blog posts and more: Posted in September and also known as 101 links on Entity Framework 4.0. Received a large update in December. 5% of my traffic! How ......

Posted On Friday, December 18, 2009 9:47 AM

MSDN Flash Podcast 016 – Phil Leggetter talks Real Time Web with Silverlight
Phil and I discuss the real time web and consuming real time data from a Silverlight client. “Real-time data can be consumed in a number of ways but there are a few techniques that are better suited to an RIA. A publisher/subscriber hub is one way of subscribing to data but this technique requires the subscriber to be running a web server which isn't possible from Silverlight or any other RIA technology. Continuously polling a resource is the most common way to check if the data you are interested ......

Posted On Thursday, December 17, 2009 11:00 PM

Entity Framework 4.0 Resources gets a December 2009 Update
I have just completed a first round of updates to my popular blog post from September Entity Framework 4.0 Resources – documentation links, best blog posts and more Pop a comment here or better still in the main post if I missed something cool! (Which no doubt I have) The following were added: Overview blog posts/articles What’s New in Entity Framework 4, Part 2: Modeling Changes (Nov/Dec 2009) Renovations to .NET 4.0's Entity Framework (Nov 2009) Entity Sequel (Dec 2009) 5 Steps to having a great ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 15, 2009 9:20 PM

What would you most like for Christmas 2009 as a software developer?
From to … Dear Father Christmas, I would like… for Christmas 2009 And lest we forget, in Christmas 2008 we wanted (click View Results) P.S. Don’t forget to follow my team twitter for 2010 (oh, and me ......

Posted On Thursday, December 10, 2009 1:36 PM

Migration to .NET of 950,000 lines of Visual Basic code
Last year I spent a lot of time trying to help companies understand their options for VB6 code, including creating this centralised resource to Secure your Visual Basic 6 investment. Two partners were really helpful in pulling this together, ArtinSoft and Code Architects. I was really pleased to get an email from Code Architects today pointing me at a case study for a successful large migration project. Well done folks. Top level stats: From the 25,000 LOC PoC “It took 2.5 hours to get a project ......

Posted On Thursday, December 10, 2009 12:44 PM

UK MSDN Podcast finds a new home – info on subscription details, ITunes, Google Reader etc
I have been producing a regular (regular for me anyway!) podcast on development topics for a good few months now. I have been hosting it on a small (and cheap) UK podcast hoster with mixed results. The two big issues were download speeds and a showstopper – it often went down for several hours at a time. Obviously this couldn’t continue. I have therefore now moved off podcastfm and over to channel 9 who actually do a pretty decent job of podcast hosting. This has consequences ......

Posted On Thursday, December 10, 2009 12:03 PM

MSDN Flash Podcast 015 – SQL Azure at TechEd Europe
While at TechEd Europe in November 2009 I had a chance to catch up with David Robinson, Program Manager in the SQL Azure team and discuss... SQL Azure :-) We cover the "reboot", large databases, the new support for SQL Azure in SQL Server Management Studio, customer feedback and futures. V2 hints include: - bigger database - automatic partitioning - spatial data types You might also want to check out the slides of a SQL Azure session I recently delivered based on the session David gave at TechEd ......

Posted On Thursday, December 10, 2009 11:58 AM

MSDN Flash Podcast 014 – Entity Framework and ADO.NET Data Services at TechEd Europe
This podcast was recorded at TechEd Europe in November 2009. I get a chance to sit down with Mike Flasko, Program Manager in the Data Services team. We had both presented on Entity Framework during the conference which is where we started the discussion before we moved on to talk about Data Servies and some of the announcements around Data Services, RIA and WCF which would be happening the following week at PDC. Definitely worth a listen (IMHO). Listen/Subscribe: Download/Play MSDN Flash Show 014 ......

Posted On Thursday, December 10, 2009 11:54 AM

MSDN Flash Podcast 013 – Code Contracts at TechEd Europe
While at TechEd Europe in November 2009 I had a chance to catch up with the two lead developers of the Pex team Peli de Halleux and Nikolai Tillmann to talk about Code Contracts. Code Contracts contains a common library (System.Diagnostics.Contracts) for expressing pre-conditions, post-conditions and invariants which any tool writer can take advantage of. A number of tools are available on devlabs including a documentation extracter and a static analysis tool. Code Contracts works with .Net 4 and ......

Posted On Thursday, December 10, 2009 11:52 AM

Windows Azure Platform gets a Current Status Dashboard
We are getting closer to being 100% live (and billable!). Spotted this today – a status dashboard. Related Links: UK Windows Azure Site Start working with Windows Azure ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 9, 2009 10:05 AM

FREE MSDN Flash eBook of the best 13 technical articles of 2009
[16th Dec 2009 – have spotted a small final missing } in the Office XML sample code. Will get that updated with any other changes ] The UK MSDN Flash developer newsletter contains great short technical articles written by UK developers both inside Microsoft and in the broader developer community. This eBook pulls together these great articles in one place. There are thirteen articles in this second edition covering Python, Inversion of Control, Behavior Driven Development, Silverlight and more. You ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 8, 2009 1:57 PM

Decorate your room with development posters, cheat sheets and more
Totally new to me is the Developer Readiness Program (found via Scott Findlater – top blog!). It contains some really good stuff. You could decorate an entire room with this! (or maybe not) Some thumbnails to wet your appetite… ADO.NET Data Services Flex vs Silverlight ......

Posted On Friday, December 4, 2009 10:26 AM

5 Steps to having a great time with Entity Framework 4 Beta 2
Step 1 Install Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 TIP: This works great inside Windows Virtual PC (10MB download) on Windows 7 if you want to avoid using it on your main machine Step 2 Install ADO.NET Entity Framework Feature Community Technology Preview 2 TIP: The CTPs give you additional functionality such as self tracking entities – which you need for N-Tier work Step 3 Install the beta of LINQPad for VS2010 Beta 2 TIP: I recommend ......

Posted On Friday, December 4, 2009 9:32 AM

Slides and links for Entity Framework 4 session for .NET Developer Network UG
Last night (3rd Dec 2009) I was lucky enough to be speaking at my local (and most excellent) user group There were plenty of mince pies and lots and lots of swag to give away – plus great questions and chats in the breaks. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Slides: Entity Framework 4 In Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 - ericnel View more presentations from ukdpe. Links from the session: Install VS2010 Beta 2 LINQPAD beta for Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 ......

Posted On Friday, December 4, 2009 9:04 AM

Feeling very Christmassy today – decorated the team logo
It is already December 3rd, we have 4 trees up around the house (courtesy of the local woods and a recent storm) and tonight I will be presenting on Entity Framework 4 at the Christmas meeting of the Bristol .NET Developer Network user group (Just noticed session is full – I had best check my demos next!). Which lead me to do two things: 1. Gather up as many developer books as I could find to give away this evening – i found a lot! 2. Decorate the team logo (original art work by the talented DeepFat ......

Posted On Thursday, December 3, 2009 1:26 PM

MSDN Flash Podcast Show 012 - Pex automated testing at TechEd Europe
[NOTE: Shows 12 and above are not currently available on ITunes while I finalise the switch of podcast hoster] While at TechEd Europe in November 2009 I had a chance to catch up with the two lead developers of the Pex team Peli de Halleux and Nikolai Tillmann. Pex enables white box testing. It looks at your code, finds all the branches and determines which inputs will result in those branches being executed. Pex attempts to exercise every reachable statement in your code. It works with Visual Studio ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 1, 2009 2:23 PM

Windows 7 resources for developers – in one place
My group has been pulling together a page of resources to help developers start to target Windows 7 features. I think the end result is rather useful and I especially liked the short paper produced by Paul on the 7 Steps to Windows 7. Probably also worth checking out a previous post I did on getting an application ready for Windows 7. Enjoy ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 1, 2009 10:00 AM

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