From Brian Keller:
“I’m very pleased to announce the availability of the Visual Studio 11 Beta ALM Virtual Machine along with 6 hands-on-labs / demo scripts. This marks an exciting milestone in our journey towards RTM. You can now roll up your sleeves and start learning about the many capabilities we announced at TechEd North America last year and have been talking about in greater detail since then. You can download and install the beta of Visual Studio 11 (and Team Foundation Server 11, .NET Framework 4.5, etc.) and even use it in production with our “go live” support. But if you would like a fast way to understand what is new for application lifecycle management in this release, this virtual machine is pre-configured with all of the necessary software and sample data for you.
Before I get into what’s included, there are a few quick limitations to disclose:
- This is a Hyper-V virtual machine and works with Windows Server 2008 x64 (Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 is recommended). If you try to load this with Virtual PC it will blue screen since Virtual PC does not support 64-bit operating systems. I have not yet had a chance to try hosting this VM with the Windows 8 consumer preview, but I was successful using the Windows 8 developer preview to host an earlier version of my virtual machine so it should work. I will update this post later once I have a chance to test that.
- Windows is configured to set the system clock to February 15, 2012 every time you start this virtual machine. This is to support the project management hands-on-lab. If you want to work with this virtual machine beyond the specific hands-on-labs scenarios, you will need to disable the Set Date and Time task (Task Scheduler -> Task Scheduler Library -> Set Date and Time -> Right-Click -> Disable).
- Please take a few minutes to read the attached “Working with…” document for some important instructions on properly importing and working with this virtual machine.
With the limitations out of the way, onto the fun stuff…”
Why are you still here?? Follow the link. Enjoy.
The awesome Azure team is at it again! Earlier this month, they released an early preview of the new Windows Azure SDK for Node.js. They have just released the December Update with several new features, including:
- Windows Azure PowerShell for Node.js 0.5.1 update,
- IISNode 0.1.13 update
- Node.js 0.6.6 update from Joyent,
- Installer in-place upgrade support for all these components
- Numerous bug fixes in all three components
Read more about it at the Azure team blog.
Haven’t tried it yet? Get started by downloading the SDK here. Want to start developing? Check out the developer center for Node.js developers!
Great work Glenn and team!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This post is from a very good friend of mine, Billy Hollis. He’s got some interesting food for thought and I think you’ll enjoy his perspective!
For over 15 years now, our industry has been struggling with a crucial tradeoff. We can get broad reach via standards, or we can get the best possible user experience with applications that take advantage of particular devices or platforms.
It's a stereotype that people in software development tend to be code and technology centric and not user centric. Ideally, we would like "one best way" to write our applications, with that "one best way" optimized to allow us to produce reliable, scalable applications as quickly as possible.
However, I don't think we're anywhere close to a universal "one best way". Until the day that web/cloud bandwidth is roughly equivalent to local bandwidth, that can't happen. Until the day that standards balance the need for security and the need for device access, that can't happen. Which means we won't be seeing it any time soon.
So, until that day, our industry must be open to the idea that the way we expose our applications to users must vary with circumstances and application requirements. Sometimes we are OK with straightforward UI and we need broad reach, so we use web standard technologies (e. g., social media). Other times we must have strong integration with devices and the best user experience we can design and create (e.g. clinical records management for healthcare).
Most applications will fall somewhere in the middle, and then we must make hard decisions on what aspects of our application are most important.
Unfortunately, as the people developing the software, we have a tendency to choose what's easiest *for us*. For example, it's usually much easier for us to produce a centralized application. Our deployment story is simplified, and our maintenance path is reasonably clear.
So, in making our tradeoff decisions, we should always remember this: users outnumber developers. Our applications and systems exist for them to get something done.
Large, diversified, distributed groups of users benefit from standards-based development. They get to use the software with whatever device or system they happen to have. They don't have to bend their lives to our software, and that's good for them. Software for such groups usually has a fairly small core feature set, and we can use standards-based UI technologies to give a more-than-adequate user experience.
Smaller, focused, often professional groups of users benefit from applications that make them as productive as possible. That may mean any of the following:
- Intelligent management of complex task-based workflow
- Heads down data entry
- Management of rich data, including graphics and numbers that require context setting
- Visualization of data and analysis features for decision support
- Interface to various devices that supply information to be managed
- Security needs to comply with regulations such as HIPPA
A tangible example may help clarify. At the beginning of the .NET era, I did some light consulting with a local startup working on clinical records software. They decided it would be browser based, because everything they read by various experts in the industry told them that standards-based development was so important that it basically overrode almost all other considerations.
I was the only person advising them to strongly consider a client-based user interface. I know doctors. They demand usability, clarity, and responsiveness in the software they use. That's completely understandable, given the responsibilities they have.
The company devoted six years and perhaps ten million dollars in trying to make that browser-based software function as a clinical records system. At the end of that time, they threw in the towel on it. The doctors simply refused to use it. It worked, in the sense that it managed all the information the doctors needed. It just was not usable and productive enough to replace paper charts.
After six years, they began shifting to Windows Forms wrapping the browser to get more control over the interface. They had just begun to shift to WPF, but the money ran out.
From what I've seen in HTML5, it still is not ready to give the kind of user experience this sort of application ideally needs. Among other limitations, it lacks the client-based state management to build in enough local intelligence. You could certainly build a better clinical records system in HTML5 than in HTML4, but I still believe it would fall well short of what's possible with other, client-based technologies.
In the last year or so, I've done consulting for the following scenarios:
- Petroleum management software that must run on a local machine, because it is used at oil wells in the middle of nowhere and manages complex data sets with thousands of measurements
- Medical management software that handles complex images and videos, with annotations, dictation, workflow, interface to devices, and strong security
- Kiosk software with touch for manipulation of 3D images
- Retail software that must run regardless of network connectivity, must be highly productive, must have a touch option, and must directly interface to devices such as credit card readers and cash drawers
- Home healthcare that must allow users to travel to homes in a wide area, with no assurance of connectivity, and work with rich databases that must be on the local machine for complete availability
All of these scenarios require capabilities that would stretch HTML5 to the limit, if they could be accomplished at all.
I go into such depth to try and establish a basic concept that ought not be that controversial: for the foreseeable future, our industry needs technology to create rich, productive applications with interfaces that run on the client machines, and in many cases require access to local resources and devices on the client machine.
That doesn't mean I regard HTML5 as worthless or irrelevant. Far from it - I abhor how miserably bad the user experience is on many websites, even those from major corporations. Anything that gives UI designers better options to create more usable and pleasant sites is AOK with me.
However, it pains me to see a recurring attitude among many developers, especially among enterprise-level thought leaders, which is this: whatever works for me is what everyone should use.
I see it in evangelism around process X, Y, and Z, in open source evangelism, and in standards evangelism. All of those areas are valuable - but not universally. Not for every team and every application.
"One size fits all" doesn't even work very well for hats. I hate those adjustable baseball caps, and you don't see Major League baseball players using them.
One of my guiding principles is that any time someone promotes a "one size fits all" concept or technology, I pretty much pigeonhole that person as lacking experience or perspective, since "one size fits all" doesn't work for anything in life.
So it is with HTML5. As I said, I'm in favor of it. There are applications where it's a clear choice, and I hope to see it promote more and better UI design thinking among the software development community, which has historically been delinquent in that area.
But can the HTML5 advocates please give some respect to the alternatives that are needed for other circumstances and other applications? Can we stop with the "HTML5 is taking over, so X is dead" discussions?
We have a generation of users coming up that grew up on iPods and iPhones. Their usability standard is molded by apps on the iPad.
We developers need to step up and take on the challenge of doing better. Sometimes that will mean using the advanced capabilities of HTML5 to create better web applications. Other times, it will means stretching our imagination to the limit to come up with innovative ways to leverage the capabilities of powerful client platforms.
For that range of needs, we'll need a range of UI technologies. We'll need HTML. We'll need Silverlight. We'll need WPF. We'll need other technologies for other client platforms, such as Objective C.
But most of all, we'll need the attitude that we will do what's best for our users, not simply what's best or most comfortable for us.
If you haven’t already signed up, there is a Silverlight Firestarter event happening today and kicks off in a little under an hour! Sign up here!!!!!
ScottGu starts of with a keynote entitled “The Future of Silverlight”. Sounds like a good thing.
Here is the rest of the agenda(All Times PST):
The Future of Silverlight
Data Binding Strategies with Silverlight and WP7
Building Compelling Apps with WCF using REST and LINQ
Building Feature Rich Business Apps Today with RIA Services
MVVM: Why and How? Tips and Patterns using MVVM and Service Patterns with Silverlight and WP7
Tips and Tricks for a Great Installation Experience
Mike Cook &
Tune Your Application: Profiling and Performance Tips
Performance Tips for Silverlight Windows Phone 7
I’ll be watching and hope you will too!!! Enjoy.
From a message from Brian Keller:
“Back in December we posted a set of virtual machines pre-configured with Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2, Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 Beta 2, and 7 hands-on-labs. I am pleased to announce that today we have shipped an updated virtual machine using the Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate bits, a brand new sample application, and 9 hands-on-labs.
This VM is customer-ready and includes everything you need to learn and/or deliver demonstrations of many of my favorite application lifecycle management (ALM) capabilities in Visual Studio 2010. This VM is available in the virtualization platform of your choice (Hyper-V, Virtual PC 2007 SP1, and Windows  Virtual PC). Hyper-V is highly recommended because of the performance benefits and snapshotting capabilities.
The sample application we are using in this virtual machine is a simple ASP.NET MVC 2 storefront called Tailspin Toys. Tailspin Toys sells model airplanes and relies on the application lifecycle management capabilities of Visual Studio 2010 to help them build, test, and maintain their storefront. Major kudos go to Dan Massey for building out this great application for us.
Hands-on-Labs / Demo Scripts
The 9 hands-on-labs / demo scripts which accompany this virtual machine cover several of the core capabilities of conducting application lifecycle management with Visual Studio 2010. Each document can be used by an individual in a hands-on-lab capacity, to learn how to perform a given set of tasks, or used by a presenter to deliver a demonstration or classroom-style training. Unlike the beta 2 release, 100% of these labs target Tailspin Toys to help ensure a consistent storytelling experience.
- Authoring and Running Manual Tests using Microsoft Test Manager 2010
- Introduction to Test Case Management with Microsoft Test Manager 2010
- Introduction to Coded UI Tests with Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate
- Debugging with IntelliTrace using Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate
- Code Discovery using the architecture tools in Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate
- Understanding Class Coupling with Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate
- Using the Architecture Explore in Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate to Analyze Your Code
Software Configuration Management:
- Planning your Projects with Team Foundation Server 2010
- Branching and Merging Visualization with Team Foundation Server 2010 “
Check out Brian’s Post for more info including download instructions…
Sorry for the rather lengthy post here. I get asked this all the time so I decided to post it…Visual Studio 2010 editions will be available on April 12, 2010.
† Availability varies by country and subscription level. Details available on the MSDN site
1. May require one or more Microsoft Visual Studio Load Test Virtual User Pack 2010
2. Requires Team Foundation Server and a Team Foundation Server CAL
3. Requires Microsoft Visual Studio Lab Management 2010
4. Per-user license allows unlimited installations and use for designing, developing, testing, and demonstrating applications.
UML is a registered trademark of Object Management Group, Inc.
Windows is either a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
Interested in getting up to speed on Windows Azure? Then check out this FREE boot camp, all across the US this spring.
What is a Windows Azure Boot Camp?
Windows Azure Boot Camp is a two day deep dive class to get you up to speed on developing for Windows Azure. The class includes a trainer with deep real world experience with Azure, as well as a series of labs so you can practice what you just learned. ABC is more than just a class, it is also an event in a box. If you don't see a class near you, then throw your own. We provide all of the materials and training you need to host your own class. This can be for your company, your customers, your friends, or even your family. Please let us know so we can give you all of the details.
Awesome. How much does it cost?
Thanks to all of our fantabulous sponsors, this two day training event is FREE! We will provide drinks and snacks, but you will be on your own for lunch on both days. This is a training class after all.
How do I attend one?
You can click here to register for the Kansas City event on April 8th and 9th or click here to see where else ABC will be…
WHAT TO BRING – important!!!
Meeting tonight!!! Food! Great giveaways including a full license of Infragistics for a year!
See you there!!
Meeting for March 23rd, 2010
WHERE: Centriq Training, 8700 State Line Road, Leawood, KS (Click
WHEN: 6:00 PM
TOPIC: Microsoft's Security Development Lifecycle for Agile development
Microsoft recently added secure development guidance for agile methodologies within their SDL. During this presentation, Nick will summarize the new guidance and discuss what makes this guidance successful for Agile development.
SPEAKER: Nick Coblentz
Nick Coblentz is a senior consultant within AT&T Consulting Services' Application Security Practice. He focuses on helping organizations build mature application security programs and secure development processes. Nick has provided consulting services to fortune 500 companies within the retail, financial services, banking, and health care sectors.
TEKsystems® is the leading IT staffing and services company. Our capabilities span a wide range of services: from technical staff augmentation and direct placement services, to full management of IT projects and comprehensive workforce management solutions.
With over 25 years of experience, we are experts at connecting technical professionals. Whether you are looking for the best IT talent, an experienced IT outsourcing partner, or a career in the IT industry, TEKsystems delivers.
I’ve thought about it. I predict that social aspects of the web will explode in 2010.
http://mashable.com/2009/12/02/farmville-bigger-than-twitter/ This is just one example. From iPhone apps to search services that mine real time status. Hopefully, GeeksWithBlogs will be somewhat in the middle of this. We were an early integrator of twitter as part of our community. I guess we’ll see what happens!
Recently I was in a meeting to discuss the new features of Team Foundation Server 2010. The senior management team asked many questions and was duly impressed. Afterwards, I thought that the QA would make a good blog post. It was then I remembered this great post from Brian Harry earlier this year. Read it for a great introduction. Oh and Happy New Year!!