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September 2008 Entries

Please Help us Help you !!!

UPDATE: September 29, 2008

You have heard us talk.  Let us now hear from you.  You use our technologies, build solutions for your customers, and participate in architecture discussions, platform decision meetings.  Tell us about your experiences and how we can help you

Click here to send your suggestions

You have attended MSDN Days, TechMela and Visual Studio Roadshow. Tell us what you feel about the sessions.  Tell us how it impacted or didn’t impact your work, improved your skills and more importantly helped you with deciding the platform / technology. 

If you had a chance to convince your customer on Microsoft Technologies, please share with us on how our sessions/resources helped you achieve the same. Also share with us the challenges you faced and how you overcame them. 

Let us know resources that you would require to help with your discussions and convincing your customers on your favorite Microsoft Technologies.   Share with us the resources that you currently use the most and how you want to see them better. 

Write to us and we will get back to you. 

Important Note

You wouldn’t require to provide your organization sensitive information such as customer details, cost, project details etc.,

Kindly exercise discretion as appropriate to your organization when sharing information.

Windows Live Wave 3 Beta Download

If you are using Windows Live Services, here is an update for you.  The Wave 3 of the Windows Live Services Beta is now available for download from http://download.live.com

The things which attracted me the most were

  • Windows Live Movie Maker Beta
  • Windows Live Photo Gallery Beta
  • Windows Live Messenger New Version (super cool UI)
  • Windows Live Calendar & Outlook Integration for Windows Live Contacts

Enhancements to Windows Live Writer Beta (Now, one can upload videos to Soap Box directly)

Optionally you can install the other services such as Windows Live Family Safety Beta, Windows Live Call Beta & many other components.

I installed the same and found the installation experience pretty cool.  I also uninstalled a few of the stuff which I didnt require later and thankfully, it didnt require a restart.

So, I would also vote the improvements to installation / uninstallation which was kind of weird in the previous releases.

Overall, I am satisfied with the new Beta (Wave 3) and hope you would enjoy the new features as well.

To download, visit http://download.live.com

To discuss forums and read articles, visit http://www.liveside.net/forums/

Cheers!!!

ASP.NET MediaPlayer Control - Playing Audio Files

Earlier I had blogged about playing video files in ASP.NET using MediaPlayer Control which was then part of the .NET 3.5 Extensions Beta. The update is that now it is no longer ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions Beta.  You just have to install the .NET 3.5 SP1 to get this feature/control.

Today I was exploring on how I can play audio files (plain audio in wma format without any video).  Sounds simple right? Use the same MediaPlayer and point it to the wma file.

But it was a little more than what I thought of.  When you point the Media Player control to any resource and dont pick up a PlayerSkin, by default it thinks it is a video and puts up a Windows Media Player kind of an interface.  When you play a video, it makes sense to have this since you also have the display screen and worth taking the screen space.  However, when you play audio, all you require is a controller which takes up minimum space.

To do that, you simply have to pick up a PlayerSkin.  The default player skin that ships with the SP1 is AudioGray.xaml.  This provides a an audio control template that helps in playing/controling audio in the background.

The steps are

1. Create a "File - New - Website - ASP.NET Website"

2. Add a Webform to your solution.  You can chose "Webform" or an "AJAX Webform" .  If you chose a "Webform" you would require to add the ScriptManager Tag to your webform from the "Ajax Extensions" in ToolBox.

3. Expand the Toolbox, from Silverlight Controls, drag and drop a MediaPlayer control to your webform.

4. Click on the smart tag to get MediaPlayer Tasks Window

5. Click on the "Import Skin" link below the "PlayerSkin" Textbox

6. You get a list of available MediaPlayer Skins

7. Pick the "AudioGray.xaml" file which gives the skin for Audio control

8. Specify the "MediaSource" with your audio file

9. You can set it to "Mute" or "Auto Play" using the checkboxes according to your preference.

You are all set to play your audio file on your website.  Similarly for video files you could chose the built-in skins and customize according to your requirements and use them.

Playing audio/video on a webpage has never been easy.

Cheers !!!

Virtual TechDays - September 2008

We are back with Virtual Tech Days on September 17th - 19th.  If you had attended our Virtual Tech Days event last time we did in April 2008, you would have realised the wide range of speakers we get to speak in this event.  We get experts from our product teams, consultants as well as industry experts like our MVPs present in this event and share their knowledge.

This time we have four Tracks each day spread across 3 days covering everything from Windows Forms Client Development to Virtualization.

On the Developer Track we have Windows Client, Web Platform, Enterprise & Mobility Tracks which covers again a broad range of technologies from WPF to Patterns & Practices in Architecture.

And like all online events, this has the benefit of you attending from your desk without having to step out of your office/home.

To find more details and register, please visit http://www.connectwithlife.co.in/

Looking forward to you all during this event.

Cheers !!!

Visual Studio 2008 Multi-Targeting, .NET 3.5 after installing SP1

UPDATE : September 29, 2008

The update from the Web Development Team is that, this behaviour is only related to Click Once Deployment.  However, when you create a website/project, the runtime targeted is 3.5 SP1 if it is present without any manual effort (if you are using the .NET 3.5 option from the version selector in Visual Studio 2008 while creating the website/project)

If you are wondering what the post title is all about, it is precisely about it  I had an interesting question on how to target .NET 3.5 alone after installing SP1.  This is because VS 2008 lists only .NET 3.5, .NET 3.0 & .NET 2.0 and does not specifically show .NET 3.5 SP1. 

Once you install .NET 3.5 SP1 (and Visual Studio 2008 SP1), for applications that only use the core .NET 3.5 features, the default target runtime would be .NET 3.5.  In fact if one needs to specifically target the SP1 features, one has to either add a reference to the System.Data.Entity Assembly or implement one of the steps listed in the article below, from the Project - Properties Settings .

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb398202.aspx

Also, the following post explains some of the multi-targetting concepts 

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb398197.aspx

As usual, it is well documented in MSDN but was hiding somewhere, so thought of wiring up a post quickly to provide the reference.

Cheers !!!