Geeks With Blogs

Tim Murphy

Tim is a Solutions Architect for PSC Group, LLC. He has been an IT consultant since 1999 specializing in Microsoft technologies. Along with running the Chicago Information Technology Architects Group and speaking on Microsoft and architecture topics he was also contributing author on "The Definitive Guide to the Microsoft Enterprise Library".

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

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Tim Murphy's .NET Software Architecture Blog Adventures in Architecting and Developing .NET .NET There are 101 entries for the tag .NET
Implementing Team Foundation Server 2010 In A Mixed Development Environment
Most of us spend our time in Visual Studio writing .NET code within a Visual Studio solution. Given this situation we find it very easy to integrate with Team Foundation Server for our source control and have a well known work pattern. But what happens when you want to use TFS as source control for non-Microsoft development? The most important thing to remember is that source control should be as transparent as possible to the developer. If the particular language or product does not have an Integrated ......

Posted On Friday, February 3, 2012 12:58 PM

New WP7 App: Little League Coach
My first Windows Phone app, Little League Coach, has just been released into the marketplace. If you have ever helped coach a team where every player bats every inning this app should help keep your sanity. It is a simple application to allow little league coaches to manage the lineup for a game as well as keep track of batter rotation. As a bonus it tracks pitches and outs during an inning. Here are a few screen shots from the application. Tags: Windows Phone 7,WP7,Windows Phone Marketplace ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 21, 2011 8:40 AM

Ways To Pass Time On Window Phone – TouchDevelop
A co-worker was showing me an in phone scripting environment on the iPhone and I knew I had seen one mentioned for the Windows Phone before. TouchDevelop is an app from Microsoft Research that allows you to create small applications that do a wide variety of operations including using most of the capabilities of the device. So could this be a fun way for us geeks to waste some time while waiting for our oil to be change or a table to open up at your favorite restaurant? So what does this language ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 20, 2011 8:29 AM

Using JSON.NET To Load Twitter Search Results In WP7
The main way that Twitter provides feeds is through JSON. Unfortunately the version of the .NET Framework that is on the phone does not include the System.Runtime.Serializatio... namespace. Rather than trying to brute force the JSON feed I have been looking into using the Newtonsoft JSON.NET library. The first thing that I ran into with JSON.NET is that the documentation is severely tilted to the serialization side with almost no mention of deserialization. This would have been my preferred approach ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 14, 2011 7:27 AM

2011 Year In Review
2011 has been an amazing year in which I ended up working on an exciting number of projects. SharePoint has continued to be the hottest requested technology that I deal with. At the same time Windows Phone 7 has put Microsoft back in the mobile market and I will be finishing off the year additionally writing for this platform. At the same time the old standards of WinForms and ASP.NET have not left our market space. Ultimately, the IT market is still on fire and I am looking forward to great things ......

Posted On Friday, December 2, 2011 4:06 PM

TweetMeme Button or Template Plug-In for WLW
In my search for a way to allow readers to tweet post that I put on GWB I have come across the TweetMeme plug-in for Windows Live Writer. It automatically puts a twitter button at either the top or bottom of your post depending on how you configure it. It comes with a warning that it does not work with blog servers that strip out script from posts which I made me afraid it was going to make it incompatible with GWB. This turned out to be the case so I figured we would need either an upgrade to the ......

Posted On Tuesday, November 29, 2011 2:06 PM

New Windows Phone 7 Stencil For Cacoo
I have created a stencil for wire framing Windows Phone 7 application in Cacoo. This is definitely a work in progress, but until it is complete I would suggest combining this stencil with the Android stencil that is available by default in Cacoo. Below are a couple of screen shots of the stencil so far. First here is what the stencil window looks like currently. Taking a closer look the main device frame is illustrated below Lastly is the button pallet which contains the icons from the Windows Phone ......

Posted On Monday, November 28, 2011 10:40 PM

Wire Framing WP7 Apps With Cacoo
While looking for a free alternative to Sketchflow I landed on the Cacoo web site. Any developer who decides to use the free Visual Studio tools may find themselves doing the same search. The base functionality of Cacoo is free although there are certain features that have fees attached to them such as extended stencils and templates. Cacoo doesn’t seem to have a template for WP7. It does have templates for iOS and Android development so I started with the Android template and started modidfying ......

Posted On Monday, November 21, 2011 4:21 PM

SharePoint Thoughts
I was listening to .NET Rocks episode #713 and it got me thinking about a number of SharePoint related topics. I have been working with SharePoint since the 2001 product came out and have watched it evolve over the years. Today SharePoint is one of the most powerful and flexible products in the market. Of course that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement (a lot of improvement in fact) and with much power comes much responsibility. My main gripe these days is that you have to develop on a ......

Posted On Thursday, November 10, 2011 4:53 PM

Styling Windows Phone Silverlight Applications
If you have not developed with styles in Silverlight/XAML then it can be challenging and resources can be sparse depending on how deep you get. One thing that you need to understand is what level you can apply styles and how much they can cascade. What I am finding is that this doesn’t go to the level that we are used to in HTML and CSS. While styles can be defined at a page level if you want to share styles throughout your application they should be defined in the App.xaml file. This is of course ......

Posted On Thursday, November 10, 2011 6:56 AM

GWB Influencer
I was pleasantly surprised to find out this week that I am now part of the Geeks With Blogs Influencers program. It is hard to believe that it has been 5 1/2 years since I started blogging here. It has always been a great community and it is great to be able to show off how much I appreciate having this soapbox here to share ideas. I look forward to being here a lot longer. Finally, thanks to Jeff and the crew for keeping the lights on and continued improvements. Tags: GWB,Geeks With ......

Posted On Thursday, November 3, 2011 1:53 AM

COM Interop Memory Leaks With Outlook 2007 VSTO Add-ins
Memory leaks can cause strange and unexpected behaviors in your applications. Of course in this day of managed code we don’t see it as often as we used to and many of us are getting rusty in our skill to eliminate these problems. Recently I ended up with a misbehaving Outlook 2007 add-in which resulted in time spent with Microsoft support. The first thing that came out of that was a way to detect if an Outlook 2007 is experiencing memory leaks. Below is a command line command that seems to report ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 26, 2011 9:38 AM

Exploring NuGet
NuGet is a topic that I have been hearing about for a while, especially from Clark Sell. I figured it was about time to take a dive into it and see what it was all about. The description of NuGet makes it seem like magic to add dependencies to your code projects. Of course there is always an explanation for how the trick works. In this case it is by using a package and a definition of how resources should be added to your project. One of the interesting aspects of using NuGet is the UI. The fact ......

Posted On Thursday, October 20, 2011 9:29 AM

October 2011 Chicago IT Architects Group Recap
It was another engaging presentation at this month’s CITAG meeting as Joe Hummel presented functional programming and its implementation using F#. Some times it is fun to attack a mind bending problem and this was one of those times. Leaning about functional programming caused about the same brain cramps as moving from procedural to object oriented for the first time. Of course when you start to get it the effect is almost euphoric. I would suggest that if you haven’t looked into functional programming ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 19, 2011 8:48 AM

(Technology) Holy Wars
As the song says “War! What is it good for?”. Well, maybe not absolutely nothing, but it is definitely a distraction. Whether we are talking about Apple vs. Microsoft, C++ vs. Java vs. .NET, Lotus Notes vs. Microsoft Exchange, Nikon vs. Canon, Cubs vs. White Sox or Bears vs. Packers our world is filled with fan boys ready to go to battle. Just cheering for your favorite isn’t a problem. It is when you have a driving need to put the other guy down and prove that you are behind the winner. Let’s take ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 11, 2011 8:42 AM

Upgrading Windows Phone Projects To SDK 7.1
Even though this is one of the simplest tips it is one of the hardest to find someone who has documented it. So instead of just telling you I am going to take a quick sidebar first. I wouldn’t want you to feel you got jipped by stopping here. One thing that happened when I finished running the Mango update on my Samsung Focus was that the apps that I was testing forced me to uninstall them. Now it turns out that this wasn’t that the SDK needed to be upgraded, but that the device had to be reregistered. ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 4, 2011 3:31 PM

October 2011 Chicago Information Technology Architecture Meeting
It is the last quarter of the year. So we are trying to get as much content to you as possible. This month Joe Hummel will be presenting on functional programming. While this is not a new concept I believe it is one that most people have not been exposed to. I am really excited about having Joe bring us this topic. Please come out and join us. Register here. Tags: CITAG,Chicago Information Technology Architects Group,Functional Programming,Joe Hummel ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 27, 2011 6:42 AM

Laying Out Windows Phone 7 ListBoxes
A listbox can be a very boring display surface, but it doesn’t have to be. Ok, so it may never be exciting. At least we can create a more flexible output. The first element you need to learn about his the ItemTemplate which is in turn composed of a DataTemplate. As this combo implies it is bound to each item/data row. We will start organizing your base layout with a Grid control. Within the Grid you can add a RowDefintions group. A RowDefinition helps when you want components to be stacked for a ......

Posted On Friday, September 2, 2011 12:24 AM

WCF Deployment To IIS
If you are developing you WCF service for web service deployment under IIS and coding with the Visual Studio web server you are in for a rude awakening when it comes time to deploy your solution. Ok, so that is a little over dramatic, but there are a few steps and precautions you need to know about. Below are the main steps to deploying your application to IIS assuming WCF is already installed and registered. The first step is to create an application pool. Make sure that for your .NET 3.5 WCF service ......

Posted On Monday, August 29, 2011 6:03 AM

Creating Emails For Windows Phone 7
There are many reasons that you may want to add email capability to your Windows Phone 7 application. There are a number of ways you can communicate information out from an application. The mechanism for sending email from your WP7 application is the EmailComposeTask API. The difference between this API and the one that you would use for an ASP.NET application is that it opens a screen to allow the user to select an account to use and then creates a message which the user then has to send. This makes ......

Posted On Monday, August 22, 2011 3:31 PM

The Power Of Windows Phone 7 Tasks
One of the things that is important to learn when you are developing any application is how it will interact with the environment it lives in. I’m not talking about simply interacting with files or database but with major resources. With WP7 there are a number of things such as the photos, browser, maps and the phone itself that your application may be concerned with. The WP7 development API includes a number of access points to give your application greater reach. These APIs can be found here. They ......

Posted On Friday, August 19, 2011 9:04 AM

WCF Service Development Basics
Part of the fun of being a consultant is that the technology you use changes from day to day. Recently it is WCF which, while knowing the concepts of since it came out I haven’t used up until now. The nice thing is that it really isn’t any harder to develop for than a normal ASP.NET web service. A couple of the attributes change and which project type you start with is different, but it is still message based services. Just like the method of a web service needs a Webmethod attribute a method in ......

Posted On Thursday, August 18, 2011 2:44 AM

Windows Phone 7 TextBox InputScope
I originally started looking for how to make a TextBox have autocomplete capability. Strangely all the articles said that it couldn’t be done. The last thing you want is for your applications to make your users struggle entering information when every other application gives them a quicker entry method. So what is the solution? The TextBox tag has an InputScope property which if you set it to Text it builds a dictionary list as the user types. For the other InputScope types it mainly changes the ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 17, 2011 3:16 PM

Sending Large Arrays With WCF
Windows Communication Foundation is a powerful tool for building contract based messaging. As with most powerful technologies with flexibility comes a fair amount of complexity. I ran into one of these situation while trying to send files as part of message in the form of a byte array. In itself this is a simple concept. The problem is that the default configuration of WCF is setup to protect us from denial of service attacks to the best of its ability. In order to achieve this it is setup for relatively ......

Posted On Monday, August 15, 2011 2:11 AM

Beginning Windows Phone 7 Development
Windows Phone 7 development is an exciting topic. I have been exploring WP7 development for a little while now and I figured I would post some of the basic concepts that might be helpful to beginners. So here they are in no particular order. Panorama control I kept seeing references to the Panorama Control. It seems that this was a control that existed separately during the beta for WP7. In the final release this is now incorporated into a page type, so you won’t see the control in the toolbox. So ......

Posted On Friday, April 1, 2011 2:04 AM

Linq to SQL and Linq to SQL classes
While I have been using Linq to Object for a couple of years now I had not investigated Linq to SQL up to this point. I figured I would put together my take on this technology’s use. Linq is a wonderful syntax for navigating an object graph without having to walk the graph object by object and member by member. It is concise and compact but for someone who has never seen its syntax you would swear you went from reading English to obscure mathematic notation. If you want to learn about the general ......

Posted On Sunday, March 27, 2011 3:13 PM

Architecture Blooming In Chicago
For the last three years the Chicago Information Technology Architects Group has been the only community in the Chicago area for Software Architects, Enterprise Architects, Infrastructure Architects and Database Architects. Suddenly this is changing. The first change was a special interest group created by member of the Chicago .NET Users Group (CNUG). This has just started in the last couple of months. Now it was just announced that IASA is finally launching a Chicago chapter. This is something ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 22, 2011 3:18 PM

March 2011 Chicago IT Arch Group Recap
This month’s meeting was outstanding. We had a record turnout for John Sprunger’s presentation on mobile architectures. I guess that is what happens when you put up a presentation on the most popular topic in technology. I invite everyone to join us for next month’s event. And while I love to see new faces it is always great to have people come back and continue the conversation. Here are some resources from last night’s presentation. Presentation slides Whitepaper Case study Stay tuned for information ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 16, 2011 5:23 AM

Creating Parent-Child Relationships in SSRS
As I have been working on SQL Server Reporting Services reports the last couple of weeks I ran into a scenario where I needed to present a parent-child data layout. It is rare that I have seen a report that was a simple tabular or matrix format and this report continued that trend. I found that the processes for developing complex SSRS reports aren’t as commonly described as I would have thought. Below I will layout the process that I went through to create a solution. I started with a List control ......

Posted On Monday, February 14, 2011 4:47 PM

October 2010 Chicago Information Technology Architects Group Wrap Up
Earlier this week Mike Vogt and I presented an introduction to design patterns. While I think that all developers should understand design patterns I don’t believe you can be a good architect unless you a firm grasp of patterns at at the application, system and enterprise levels. We had some fun with the subject by alternating between .NET and Java examples. I think if we had hidden certain parts of the IDE we could have challenged the attendees to tell us which example was in C# and which was in ......

Posted On Thursday, October 21, 2010 5:02 AM

Review: Head First Design Patterns
Design patterns are an important part of understanding the best practices of software development. Head First Design Patterns is another great book in the Head First series which takes a more story based teaching approach. As you get past the format of the book there are specific things that I like about the subject matter coverage. Rather than just laying out the name, problem and solution for each of the original patterns, they compare and contrast them. In some cases they even pull in patterns ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 20, 2010 1:41 AM

New User Group Name and October Presentation
For reasons that I will not discuss here the Chicago Architects Group has changed its name to the Chicago Information Technology Architects Group. It is the same great group of people discussing topics that are of interest to IT architects of all flavors. Whether your responsibilities are at an enterprise, solution or application level there is something here for you. For October the topic will be design patterns presented by Mike Vogt and myself. Mike has a Java background so we will be alternating ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 29, 2010 7:38 AM

Chicago Architects Group – Document Generation Architectures
Thank you to everyone who came out to the Chicago Architects Group presentation last night. It seemed like the weather has a way of keeping a large portion of the people who registered from making the meeting. There was some lively networking going on before and after the meeting. I enjoyed the questions that people had during the presentation. It helped to bring out some of the challenges with dealing with the OOXML and ODF standards from an architecture perspective. I have posted the Slides and ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 16, 2010 6:05 AM

June 2010 Chicago Architects Group Meeting
The Chicago Architects Group will be holding its next meeting on June 15th. Please come and join us and get involved in our architect community. Register Presenter: Tim Murphy Topic: Document Generation Architectures Location: TechNexus 200 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 1500 Room A/B Chicago, IL 60606 Time: 5:30 - Doors open at 5:00 Sponsored by: Tags: Chicago Architects Group,Azure,Scott Seely ......

Posted On Thursday, May 20, 2010 11:43 PM

Chicago Code Camp Recap
My presentation on leveraging Open XML was a great experience and the attendees were very gracious. I was pleasantly surprised to have a full room. There was even one person sitting on the floor. You can check out some pictures here. I have posted my slides and code. If anyone has any feedback or questions feel free to contact me. Tags: Chicago Code Camp,OOXML SDK 2.0,Office Open XML,slides,code ......

Posted On Sunday, May 2, 2010 2:57 PM

May 2010 Chicago Architects Group Meeting
The Chicago Architects Group will be holding its next meeting on May 18th. Please come and join us and get involved in our architect community. Register Presenter: Scott Seely Topic: Azure For Architects Location: TechNexus 200 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 1500 Room A/B Chicago, IL 60606 Time: 5:30 - Doors open at 5:00 Tags: Chicago Architects Group,Azure,Scott Seely ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 21, 2010 7:25 AM

Speaking At The Chicago Code Camp
I just got news that my talk on Office Open XML has been accepted for the Chicago Code Camp. I hear that they will be announcing the full schedule of sessions soon. Be sure to register and join us. As a bonus the guys from .NET Rocks will be there. Tags: .NET Rocks,Chicago Code Camp,Speaking,OOXML SDK 2.0,OOXML,Office Open XML,PSC Group ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 20, 2010 3:07 AM

Where I Am Speaking Soon
Open XML and document generation has been my focus lately. With that being the case I will be speaking on the subject in the near future at the following event. Chicago Code Camp – May 1 Chicago Architects Group – June 15 Lake Count .NET User Group – June 17 I hope to see you at one (or more) of these events. Tags: speaking,Office Open XML,OOXML,Document Generation ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 30, 2010 3:34 PM

April 2010 Chicago Architects Group Meeting
The Chicago Architects Group will be holding its next meeting on April 20th. Please come and join us and get involved in our architect community. Register Presenter: Matt Hidinger Topic: Onion Architecture Location: Illinois Technology Association 200 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 1500 Room A/B Chicago, IL 60606 Time: 5:30 - Doors open at 5:00 Tags: Chicago Architects Group,Data Integration Architecture,Mike Vogt ......

Posted On Thursday, March 18, 2010 5:38 AM

March 2010 Chicago Architects Group Wrap Up
I would like to thank everyone who came out to last night’s event and especially thank Mike Vogt for the presentation. I think at first everyone glassed over since very few of us spend a lot of time with Integration Architecture and most of us live more in the application architecture space. Learning about subject like BPEL and BPMN was refreshing. The discussion after Mike’s talk was lively and I think that everyone came away with a good idea of areas they might want to know more about. People stuck ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 17, 2010 3:52 AM

2010 Chicago Code Camp Coming In May
The Lake Count .NET User Group is putting on it’s second Chicago Code Camp on May 1st. I would encourage everyone to come out and participate in the Chicago area .NET community. You can register here. Better yet come of with a presentation of your own. I have submitted an abstract for a presentation on Office Open XML. Tags: Chicago Code Camp,presentations,Office Open XML,LCNUG ......

Posted On Friday, March 12, 2010 7:29 AM

March 2010 Chicago Architects Group Meeting
The Chicago Architects Group will be holding its next meeting on March 16th. Please come and join us and get involved in our architect community. Register Presenter: Mike Vogt Topic: Data Integration Architecture Location: Illinois Technology Association 200 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 1500 Room A/B Chicago, IL 60606 Time: 5:30 - Doors open at 5:00 Tags: Chicago Architects Group,Data Integration Architecture,Mike Vogt ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 17, 2010 3:57 AM

Sending Email Through Lotus Notes Via SMTPClient
The topic covered in this post actually have applicability beyond Lotus Notes, but that is just where I ran into the problem. The real subject is adding credentials to your SMTP client. Normally I would just make sure that the service sending the email has permission to send email to an Exchange server. The problem I had to send the email through Lotus and it wanted a separate login from the identity running the program. The only error message I got back when I originally wrote the code without specifying ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 10, 2010 3:25 AM

February 2010 Chicago Architects Group Meeting
The Chicago Architects Group will be holding its next meeting on February 16th. Please come and join us and get involved in our architect community. Register Presenter: Chris McAvoy Topic: Amazon Cloud Services Location: Illinois Technology Association 200 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 1500 Room A Chicago, IL 60606 Time: 5:30 - Doors open at 5:00 ......

Posted On Monday, January 25, 2010 2:58 AM

CAG January 2010 Wrap-up
We had a great turnout this evening and some wonderful discussion. I really enjoyed presenting as well as seeing a lot of people I haven’t seen in a long time. At the same time there were a lot of new faces. Some of the input from tonight will definitely go to improving this talk if I present it again in the future. If anyone has comments feel free to leave them here. The next talk I am going to work on is Document Generation Frameworks. This will mainly be around Office Open XML, but it will include ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 19, 2010 3:38 PM

ArcSummit Thirsty Developer Episode Posted
Last month when I spoke at ArcSummit for about design patterns, object oriented programming and dependency injection Chris Woodruff and I sat down and recorded an episode of Thirsty Developer with Dave Bost and Clark Sell. Check it out here ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 12, 2010 1:22 AM

Future CAG Topics
In an effort to better serve the Chicago architecture community here is a preview of upcoming topics. January – Dependency Injection and Inversion of Control Containers February – Amazon Cloud Service March – Data Integration Architecture Future: Document Generation Architecture Technorati Tags: Chicago Architects Group,CAG,architecture,user group,PSC Group ......

Posted On Friday, December 18, 2009 3:46 AM

January 2010 – Chicago Architects Group Meeting
The Chicago Architects Group will be holding its next meeting on January 19th. Please come and join us and get involved in our architect community. Register Presenter: Tim Murphy Topic: Dependency Injection and Inversion of Control Containers Location: Illinois Technology Association 200 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 1500 Room A Chicago, IL 60606 Time: 5:30 - Doors open at 5:00 ......

Posted On Thursday, December 17, 2009 3:55 PM ArcSummit Wrap-up
On December 7th I presented at the ArcSummit. My talk was on Dependency Injection and Inversion of Control containers. Thank you to all those who attended. When we were done Chris Woodruff and I were asked to record an episode of The Thirsty Developer. It was a great experience seeing how these shows are put together and being able to just sit down and talk with Dave Bost, Clark Sell and Chris Woodruff. I’ll post again when the episode comes out. The slides for the presentation are available ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 8, 2009 7:48 AM

Choosing Custom XML For Tagging In Word With OOXML
In the further adventures of OOXML we have been looking at different approaches to tagging content in a Word template to be programmatically replaced. Initially we looked at simple in-line text as a user defined tagging system. The problem is that this is very error prone. The user has to enter the tag exactly the same every time. On top of that if the user backspaces while typing the tag or spell check flags the tag then the tag will be split into multiple tags. This is less than desirable. Content ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 25, 2009 7:59 AM

Searching For Content Controls In Office 2007 With OOXML SDK2
As far as I have seen content controls in Office 2007 render to either a SdtRun or SdtBlock object. The nice thing is that both of these inherit from SdtElement. This allows you to take the query from my earlier post and replace SdtBlock with SdtElement and now you have a universal retrieval. Of course as with any tool you need to be careful you don’t take it too far. Depending on the structure of you document this may not do what you need. Technorati Tags: office Open XML,OOXML,LINQ,.NET ......

Posted On Friday, November 6, 2009 11:14 AM

Retrieving A List of SdtBlocks for A Tag Value Using LINQ
If you are using a template document and replacing text programmatically using the Office Open XML SDK 2 API you will need a way to identify the target to be replaced. One option is to use a Content Control and setting the tag value the same for all of the controls that need to be substituted with a single value. After some trial and error and a lot of digging through the DocumentReflector I came up with the following LINQ query to get a list of all blocks with the same tag name. var blocks = from ......

Posted On Thursday, November 5, 2009 6:45 AM

October 2009 CAG Meeting
The Chicago Architects Group will be holding its next meeting on October 29th. Please come and join us and get involved in our architect community. Register Presenter: David Dickinson Topic: Agile Development Principles and their Practical Application Location: Illinois Technology Association 200 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 1500 Room A Chicago, IL 60606 Time: 6:15 - Doors open at 6:00 ......

Posted On Monday, October 19, 2009 2:25 AM

Writing Web Parts for SharePoint 2007
SharePoint has been around for quite some time. I first worked with it in its original version in 2001. And so began a love hate relationship that has lasted these many years. Recently I have been spending a significant amount of time writing custom web parts. Below are a number of notes I have accumulated while rediscovering what SharePoint can do. I don’t claim that these are best practices, only that they have worked for me. Environment General Creating web parts for WSS 3.0 or MOSS 2007 requires ......

Posted On Sunday, October 4, 2009 3:19 PM

Code Rush Xpress Teaches Better Programming
Ok. So I am late to the scene on this one. You would think that as long as I have been writing .NET code I would have tried Code Rush before now. I am really finding to be an educational tool. I figured I would spend some time going through the help file to find out what was there. The Refactoring Catalog has animations which make understanding the features so much faster. At the same time I am finding that it is showing me better ways to write more compact code. Do yourself a favor and check it ......

Posted On Saturday, September 12, 2009 2:50 PM

July Chicago Architects Group Meeting
The Chicago Architects Group will be holding its next meeting on July 30th. Please come and join us and get involved in our architect community. Register Presenter: You Topic: Current Topics in Architecture Open Discussion Location: Illinois Technology Association 200 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 1500 Room A Chicago, IL 60606 Time: 5:30 - Doors open at 5:15 ......

Posted On Friday, July 24, 2009 12:44 AM

May Chicago Architects Group Meeting
The Chicago Architects Group will be holding its next meeting on May 28th. Please come and join us and get involved in our architect community. Register Presenter: Sean Blanton Topic: Trends in Continuous Integration and Software Delivery Location: Microsoft - Downers Grove 3025 Highland Pkwy Suite 300 Downers Grove, IL 60515-5506 Time: 6:00 - Doors open at 5:30 ......

Posted On Friday, May 15, 2009 8:39 AM

I Can’t Fit Any More Information In
This is a topic that we have been discussing around the water cooler lately. And then this morning I found a blog entry which covered the same subject and I figured I would pile on. As architects we have to keep up with as much as possible. The means reading incessantly. With tomes that reach into the high hundreds of pages and articles and blogs spitting out new material daily this is a major challenge. This is doubly true for me since I never developed speed reading skills. I really like Garry’s ......

Posted On Thursday, February 5, 2009 10:44 PM

February Chicago Architects Group Meeting
The Chicago Architects Group will be holding its next meeting on February 26th. Please come and join us and get involved in our architect community. Register Presenter: Paddy Srinivasan Topic: Cloud Computing Location: Microsoft - Downers Grove 3025 Highland Pkwy Suite 300 Downers Grove, IL 60515-5506 Time: 6:00 - Doors open at 5:30 ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 4, 2009 8:23 AM

Random Thoughts On Software Development
I was listening to an episode of .NET Rocks in which Ted Neward spent some time discussing the direction that languages are going. This was predominantly a discussion of the DSL concepts, but the interview got me thinking about languages and how we design the internal structure of applications. One of the main things that struck me was that something about objects has never felt quite natural. I have never found a decomposition technique that I was satisfied with. Looking at objects as nouns in your ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 9:48 PM

Chicago Architects Group January 2009 Meeting
The Chicago Architects Group is kicking off a new year with it’s first meeting of the year on January 29th. Please come and join us and get involved in our architect community. Register Presenter: Angela Binkowski Topic: Visual Studio Team Systems 2010: Architect Edition Tools Preview Location: Illinois Technology Assocation 200 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 1500 Room A Chicago, IL 60606 Time: 5:30 - Doors open at 5:15 ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 7, 2009 9:26 PM

October Chicago Architects Group Summary
Last night was the fifth meeting of the Chicago Architects Group at the Illinois Technical Association in downtown Chicago. Eduardo Goncalves of Daugherty Business Solutions lead a lively discussion on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Architects. Some of the highlights included discussions about the finding business champions, keeping up with technology and evaluating trade-offs when a project is under the gun. Stay tuned for details of the up-coming November presentation ......

Posted On Friday, October 24, 2008 7:30 AM

Eduardo Goncalves Now Blogging

Eduardo is an architect and consultant with Daugherty Business Solutions.  He recently started blogging.  Check out his post on Habbits of Effective Architects.  You can also see him give a talk on this post at this month's Chicago Architects Group meeting.

Happy blogging Eduardo.

Posted On Friday, October 10, 2008 2:17 PM

Learning WPF
Wow! The learning curve for WPF is pretty steep. It is at least when you compare it to WinForms or ASP.NET. I guess the price you pay for flexibility is complexity. Discoverablility is definitely a problem with XAML. How do these silly tags work? Most of them don't have properties as you would expect. You have to add child tags which may or may not have properties. The children may also be extensions of the parent object. Certain tags seems like they will have an effect, such as wrapping content, ......

Posted On Monday, June 16, 2008 9:51 PM

Maintaining Blog Post Lists
I just don't know how other people do it. There are a number of individuals around the blogosphere who create lists on a daily or weekly basis which reflect what they think are hot topics. I have been creating a list that I email out to the members of the .NET community within my company for the last few months. For about the last three weeks I just have not been able to keep up with this effort. Part of the challenge is that I am not finding a lot that looks of interest to me. The raises a dilemma. ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 29, 2008 10:13 PM

Impressive Product Support
This has happened before with but it still impresses me when a company is scanning the blogosphere to see what is being said about there product and help out people with questions. Today I got a comment from the Sr. Product Manager at Corel to give a tip on my previous post. All I can say is that this is the way you gain and keep customers. We can all learn from this example ......

Posted On Friday, December 7, 2007 10:01 PM

Deciding On Photo Editing Software
Ok, so if you didn't already know it I am a shutter bug. Everyone who is into photography knows that the big dog on the block is Photoshop CS3. Unfortunately if you don't get paid for your photography or get the "CEO's" approval for such an expenditure it is just way too expensive. So lately I have been looking at alternatives. This post will describe some of the plusses and minuses of a couple of editing packages. So which applications did I look at: Paint.NET, Nikon Capture NX, Paint Shop Pro Photo ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 5, 2007 10:20 PM

Creating A Paint.NET Effect Plugin
This is an area that I have not explored before. That is the creation of plug-ins and community property. Add to that the fact that the most graphical programming I have done is frame by frame line drawing animation on an Apple II. In this case I ran into a challenge online that requested an effect that Paint.NET did not offer. My first adventure started with a version of CodeLab published by BoltBait (sorry I don't have a real name). It is a tool that launches as an effect within Paint.NET giving ......

Posted On Thursday, August 30, 2007 10:09 PM

Invisible Captcha

This is another one of those things I heard about on .NET Rocks.  I believe that it is being used here on GWB, considering the visible one doesn't seem to be in use any more.  It is an interesting approach to a difficult problem.

Now the question is what is next when the spammers figure out how to defeat this barrier?  I'm waiting for the retina scanner.

Posted On Thursday, August 9, 2007 10:51 PM

Photography Can Teach Different Ways To See Design
This is becoming a trend for me taking different hobbies in my life and applying them to my job (which also happens to be my hobby). One way that you can learn to take better images is to work through assignments. These can be challenges from a group, a paid project or self assignments. This is the way I learned .NET 2.0 and how I will approach learning VS2008. With 2.0 I rewrote my wife's web site. The other things that these assignments teach is looking at things from different perspectives. Take ......

Posted On Friday, August 3, 2007 9:52 PM

Now That Is Dedication To Your Product
Yesterday I posted about adding whatIf functionality to a PowerShell script. Less than 24 hours later I had a comment from Jeffrey Snover of the PowerShell team. This isn't the first time that I have noticed hits to my blog from Microsoft addresses after posting on one subject or another. I find the fact that the product teams are keeping an eye on the community reassuring. Keep up the good work guys ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 1, 2007 9:36 PM

First Impressions of VS2008 Beta 2
I decided to take the time to download the latest beta of Visual Studio. Below are my impressions from initial usage. This mainly means I opened the environment and played a little. The first thing that you notice is that the IDE looks essentially the same as it did for VS2005. When you create a new project you will notice that there are now options for WPF, WCF, WF and AJAX projects. Seeing as I spend most of my time in web applications I figured that would be a good place to start. It is good to ......

Posted On Monday, July 30, 2007 10:37 PM

Xiine Who?
I heard about Xiine on .NET Rocks and figured I would see what all the hype is about. It is a reader for magazines, books and other formatted content built on .NET 3.0 technologies including WPF. Future releases are also support RSS from what they were saying on the show. I have to say that the interface is pretty clean. The one thing that I notice is missing from the current release is discoverability from within the application directly. The main navigation uses a bread crumb menu, which I find ......

Posted On Friday, July 27, 2007 10:08 PM

Cool Celebration And Team Building

We had some fun tonight to celebrate a major release for one of our clients and do a little team building.  Fast, some what violent sports are always fun.

Daugherty Chicago Indoor Racing

Posted On Thursday, July 26, 2007 10:24 PM

Be A Better Developer
I have seen posts like this floating around and then the other day I listened to Hanselminutes where Scott and Carl discussed the subject. I figured my enthusiasm has been lacking lately and maybe this would be a good way to bump it up a notch. I need to find a new way to get Microsoft products to learn on. One of the clients I used to work for had been paying for my MSDN subscription. With that gone and my current company being a miser with the developer tools I need to come up with a new plan. ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 18, 2007 10:20 PM

Too Much Information
I was listening to .NET Rocks last week when Dan Appleman and Richard Campbell decided to start talking about the early days in computers. I decided to have a little fun and send the show an email with what I remember of the early days of computing. SURPRISE! They read it during the show. Of course it sounds funnier with Richard reading it than when I wrote it ......

Posted On Thursday, April 12, 2007 2:41 AM

Review: Beginning Ajax with ASP.NET
First let me say thanks to Craig Shoemaker for sending me a copy of this book. Yes, I know it has been a while since it came out, but I just finally got around to going through it. In that time Craig has been working on another book and Microsoft has renamed Atlas to ASP.NET Ajax. Craig, Wally, Paul and Scott packed this text with gems, not only on Ajax, but also the technologies that it grew up from. The book covers how we got to this point. They start all the way back with JavaScript and the DOM ......

Posted On Thursday, March 29, 2007 2:27 AM

Wait Before Posting
A post by Tim Hibbard where he talked about how few of his posts actually got published got me thinking about my approach to posting. Often I find that I am posting because something is irritating me. In itself that is not a bad thing. The responsible thing to do would be to come up with a solution to the problem, which is where I am often falling down. Instead of writing the first thing that comes into my head, hold onto the idea and let it develop into something more complete. I think this is a ......

Posted On Monday, January 15, 2007 1:13 PM

Nothing Like The Architecture Of The Universe
Ok. This isn't really architecture, but could you imagine the thrill of creating something as amazing as a comet? Comet 2006 P1 (McNaught) has been visible low in the evening sky the last few nights. It has been so bright that it is visible with the naked eye. One of the members of the astronomy club I belong to posted the following pictures. The Awe of Nature! ......

Posted On Thursday, January 11, 2007 3:53 PM

Mobile Client Software Factory Podcast
Sometimes I envy Ron Jacobs. On a recent ARCast he talked with Daniel Cazzulino about the Mobile Client Software Factory. From the discussion it sounds like this guidance package greatly simplifies mobile development and I could see this being incorporated into future versions of the Compact Framework. One cool thing they discuss is that they had to rework the Object Builder components to remove the realtime reflection from the Dependency Injection pattern that it uses. The biggest surprise was that ......

Posted On Thursday, December 21, 2006 11:02 AM

Rocky On Polymorphic Podcast
Craig has scored again. While he may have had some technical difficulties on this episode the content was right on. He put a number of tough questions to Rocky including what his toughest project situation was and his approach to object modeling. I found it interesting the way he mixes use cases with CRC cards. It goes to show that we should not be too rigid with the way we approach designing solutions. You do not have to follow a methodology to every minute step. Take what works for the particular ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 13, 2006 10:52 AM

Something To Add To My Reading List
I was listening to the latest episode of .NET Rocks! with Venkat Subramaniam and Andrew Hunt where they were talking about there new book. It sounds like some really good stuff. These guys were ripping jokes back and forth through the entire show and using those jokes to make points on how software development should be approached. One memorable term that was used a couple of times is "code vomit". Any book that can put concepts that eloquently is getting added to my library as soon as possible ......

Posted On Thursday, December 7, 2006 12:44 PM

Interesting Facts From Podcast
In the latest ARCast Ron Jacobs talks with Scott Guthrie. As if that wasn't cool enough Ron asked him what he was most proud of. In a long list of things Scott happened to mention something that relates to one of my earlier posts. It seems that Disney's FastPass is run on machines using the .NET Compact Framework. Now that isn't a Hello World demo ......

Posted On Friday, November 17, 2006 2:25 AM

Evaluating Cost vs. Savings
Ok, so this isn't that far from another post I made recently. I am merely continuing to think about different aspects of the same problem. During the last couple of months the client that I have been working at has been trying to see where they can cut scope to maintain their timeline. One thing that I realized while listening to a podcast the other day is that they are not taking into account the cost saving that would be gained by moving the release date and delivering the code. On the podcast ......

Posted On Thursday, November 9, 2006 12:09 PM

Language Extremists Irritate Me
I will probably get myself in trouble with this post, but a recent ARCast just irritated me like walking through poison ivy in a pair of swimming trunks. C# or VB.NET. The battle rages on. I will say that I prefer C#, but I spend a lot of time writing VB for clients who have that as their standard. In the podcast Ron's guest Bill McCarthy talks about how great VB.NET is. The funny thing is that what he points out as its strong points are exactly what I dislike about VB. Specifically things like the ......

Posted On Monday, October 16, 2006 1:23 PM

Humor You May Not Be Able To Handle
First let me say that my sense of humor is twisted. You may not agree with me on this one. Carl Franklin and crew who bring you .NET Rocks, a mostly serious podcast about all things .NET, have added a new outlet for their warped sense of humor. Now they already had Mondays, which keeps me in laughing until I cry on my drive to and from work. I now know why that show has been more irregular than usual in being produced. Mark Miller now has his own show called Millahseconds. It is a skit style story ......

Posted On Monday, October 16, 2006 12:36 PM

Mentor In A Bottle
I know others have already posted this one, but I wanted to put my two cents in. Scott Guthrie posted about the Patterns and Practices Guidance Explorer. The part that I thought was nice is that it comes in both desk top and web flavors. To some extent it seems to be little more than a dump of FXCop rules, but sometimes a search-able version of that is just what you need. I think a good thing to do with this is to use its ability to add more items would be to include such jewels as those in “.NET ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 4, 2006 7:26 PM

Another Podcast to Add to Your List
The other day I was looking to see if any new podcasts had popped up around .NET Development or Software Architecture. Well I did find one. Net Objectives has started (OK, they have been doing this since May) a podcast on Lean-Agile. I have only listened to the first episode so far. While the host, Jim Trott, has a monotone, metered presentation I was impressed by his conversation the company's founder Alan Shalloway. In the first episode Alan gives one of the best descriptions of Agile development ......

Posted On Friday, September 29, 2006 8:53 AM

Enterprise Library 3 Defined
Tom Hollander has posted what the initial feature list of changes for the next version of the Enterprise Library will consist of. One item on the list made me think that they have really taken on a challenge. There is a new application block proposed for validation. I look at things like the client side validation control and the business rule scheme that Rocky uses in CSLA.NET and I just wish I could be a fly on the wall when they go to build this. It is going to be fun to come up with a solution ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 27, 2006 10:35 AM

Aspiring Architect Webcasts
I saw this post and it got me interested.  I looked through some of the topics and they seem like they would be valuable.  I can't tell from the site if any of these are in English.  If they aren't I would like to see them presented as such as well.  Any alternate resources or viewpoints are always welcome in the architecture space.

Posted On Monday, September 25, 2006 11:07 AM

Ahsan Is Blogging
An associate of mine at Daugherty has started to blog.  It will be interesting to see what topics he decides to cover.  I know that lately his interests have been around message queues.  Good luck Ahsan.

Posted On Monday, September 25, 2006 10:37 AM

Catching up ... 3.0?
My latest project has been all consuming to the point where I am starting to feel like the world is passing me by. The other day I was listening to a podcast while commuting and heard WinFx referred to as .NET 3.0. When did this happen? Somehow I missed that announcement. For those who are behind the times like me you might check out this site. The most disturbing part is that anyone who has been in this business for a while knows that if you don't keep up someone else will soon be doing your job. ......

Posted On Friday, August 11, 2006 4:53 PM

ASP.NET Web Application Project Released
For those who are missing the ability to treat your ASP.NET applications in VS2005 as projects rather than individual files this release from Microsoft is for you.  If you want all the details and then some check out Scott Guthrie's post.

Posted On Tuesday, May 9, 2006 10:37 AM

CSLA.NET Gets a New Forum
For those who don't subscribe to Rocky's blog, he just announced that the MSN group is being replaced by a new Community Server forum. There has been an extremely active community around his books for a number of years. If you have any interest or questions about the framework I would recommend that you join this forum ......

Posted On Friday, May 5, 2006 3:04 PM

Why Performance and Scalable is Required Reading
We are in the middle of addressing some production issues at my current client. One of them involves an ASP.NET application which is slow to respond at times and other times does not seem to respond at all. The fun part is that there is nothing from the application side which is giving us a clue as to what is going on. This has been going on for a while and people are starting to get frustrated, so it was decided to call the experts from Microsoft. So we start having conference calls and the MS representatives ......

Posted On Thursday, May 4, 2006 11:12 AM

Rocky Presents CSLA.NET 2.0 at CNUG
Rocky Lhotka visited the Downers Grove Microsoft office this evening to present to a packed (around 170 people) CNUG meeting. He presented as comprehensive a coverage of CSLA.NET 2.0 as could be done in two hours. In that time he covered much of the same material as he did on dnrTV, except that in this format you have the opportunity to pick his brain. One topic that the group seemed to have an interest in is data driven authorization as he was asked it by a couple of people. Rocky explained it is ......

Posted On Thursday, April 20, 2006 1:17 AM

Fun with Oracle CLOBs
We have been having prolonged adventures with this wonderful data type on my current project. We are storing XML data in a CLOB field. In the beginning we used the Oracle ODP.NET provider. When we got into performance testing we found that saving this data killed our performance. A couple of the developers did some testing and found that the Microsoft Oracle provider worked at least an order of magnitude better. I was a little skeptical about moving to the Microsoft provider because I remembered ......

Posted On Thursday, April 13, 2006 5:26 PM

A TDD Holy War
Rocky Lhotka was recently on DNR and made some comments about TDD that have created quite a stir. Rocky has posted a deeper explanation of his comments from the show. I first must place myself as a TDD skeptic who finds the topic worthy of more research. Personally, I have many of the same concerns that Rocky brought up. Much of what I have read on the subject focuses on building one piece of functionality at a time. I try to keep an open mind, and maybe I am missing something, but it seems that ......

Posted On Friday, March 31, 2006 2:00 PM

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program
I finally sent off my Logging Application Block chapter to the main author, Keenan Newton, for an upcoming Apress Enterprise Library book. I have to say that I share Craig Shoemaker's sense of accomplishment at completing this type of endeavor. It gives me a new appreciation for all the authors that put out the tomes that I rely on to keep up with our industry. Of course now that this is done I have time again to pursue other topics. I will be doing more work with ASP.NET, GAT and SC-BAT. As that ......

Posted On Thursday, March 30, 2006 12:05 PM

To Transfer Or Not To Transfer, That Is The Questions
This is one that bit me the other day and re-enforces the need to think about why you use a certain method. I was doing some testing at the client I am working at and a page suddenly started rendering twice in the same browser window. So what I ended up with was: My Page My Page Now how the heck can that happen? I was a victum of my own code. The application's detail page was catching a custom exception type and then using Server.Transfer to go to an overview page. No problem, right? The problem ......

Posted On Thursday, March 16, 2006 10:58 AM

Why I like Rocky
I found this post by Rocky Lhotka rather entertaining as well as rather directly pointing out what we as architects and developers should all understand.  Suddenly I am hungry. :)

Posted On Monday, March 13, 2006 5:55 PM

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