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Here are the things that caught my attention in today's MSDN briefing:

A. Silverlight 2.0

1. You can use IsolatedStorageFile and IsolatedStorageSettings for storing data on the client machine, but they can be disabled by users, so this case must be treated appropriately

2. Xaml power toys , it is a VS 2008 SP1 addin that provide powerful code generating tools on context menus for Silverlight and WPF xaml developing

3. You can access  HTML DOM Silverlight, which means that you can write C# code and manage Hml elements in C# code on the client

4. All web services calls can be done only asincronously , meaning that code has to have a certain shape to allow this (inline delegates definition on completed events… ) The reason is that Silverlight only runs on one tread and this kind of calls could cause browser freezing.

5. There is a Silveright for Sharepoint blueprint and some people are working on Moonlight (not Microsoft people, but some othera that collaborate with Ms to support Silverlight on Linux)

B. Unit testing in VS 2008 SP 1

6.  UT

6.1 Private Methods can be tested (unlike in NUnit)

6.2 A unit testing project skeleton can be rapidly generated in a few clicks, one unit test per method (which simply calls the method tested)

6.3 After running the unit tests, a window appears, with results of the tests and the coverage degree, on double click on a method that doesn’t have 100% coverage, meaning that there are code paths that were not passed by UT, you are taken directly into the code and the lines of code that are not covered with UT, are highlighted in VS. This is pretty cool!

C. News or enhancements in VS 2008

7. Automated Build

7.1 A kind of Cruise Control implemented by Microsoft which is integrated in Visual Studio. It works with xml configurations files, but they can be modified using a graphic UI or directly in xml text (cool again J)

7.2 Team Foundation Server integrates with FxCop (static code analyzer) so that a policy can be set that no code can be committed until the code follows a set of rules specified in FxCop.

7.3 There is a .Net profiler (like the DotTrace of Jetbrains) – you run the application and than you have the execution times, hotpaths are highlighted, meaning calls that have the heaviest impact on the speed of the application.

D. DB Professional Visual Studio

8. Refactoring is very easy,

8.1 Renaming – you can change the name of a field , a table name , etc and VS knows to find all the places here this name is used and present them to you so you can chose to replace it everywhere or select the places where you  want it replaced …

8.2 There is a wild card expansion option in the context menu, it replaces * with the expanded fields list from a table

9. You can generate unit tests for the database stored procedure within your db project

10. You can compare either a db project and an existing database or 2 db projects or 2 existing databases, within VS.

11. Powerful data generation tools, you can specify column generation patterns from simple ones, like a random list of values provided in a table, distribution percent for a specified list of values, regular expressions for generated values or some more complex generating functions, that you can develop in C# .

12. You can generate load tests.


Posted on Friday, October 24, 2008 10:18 AM | Back to top

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