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development
There are 50 entries for the tag development
Windows Phone App Studio: The Social Developer Tool
Creating mobile applications is challenging, but Microsoft just made it easy for most people to create their own Windows Phone apps. People talk about Indie gaming. The Windows Phone App Studio allows people to create apps to share with their family and friends (as long as they have an App Studio account) using a WYSWYG style web site. Whether you want an app for your kid’s team, an app that introduces your company or an app for an upcoming event the App Studio can allow you to build them on your ......
Posted On Thursday, September 5, 2013 7:11 AM | Comments (0)
Beginning PHP On Windows 8
It is always interesting to find out what technology I will have to work with next. One of the latest that I’ve had to learn is PHP and since I am running Windows 8 I had to get it working in that environment. At first I tried just downloading the Apache server files and running that, but then you have to deal with possible collisions between Apache and IIS. In the end I found out that it is easier to setup PHP for IIS. The first thing you need to make sure that the IIS feature installed. Then you ......
Posted On Tuesday, March 26, 2013 8:14 AM | Comments (2)
Learn A New Programming Language Every Year?
I heard someone mention the other day that they have forgotten more programming languages than most developers have learned and it made me remember all the suggestions to learn a new language every year. I have probably even made this suggestion before. As I thought about it I realized that it isn’t important for it to be a language that your learn, it is just important that you learn something new. Experiment with a new platform, study data theory, join the enemy’s camp and understand their point ......
Posted On Tuesday, January 22, 2013 8:35 AM | Comments (0)
Sept. Chicago IT Architects Group Recap
Thank you to everyone who came out for last night’s presentation. Hopefully we will have a little better turnout next month when we are back on our regular night. I will post out the topic and the registration as soon as we get confirmation. For those interested in last night’s presentation you can find the slides here. I am also planning on making a white paper post here with the full presentation content. See you next month. del.icio.us Tags: Chicago Information Technology Architects Group,Smartphones,Enterpris... ......
Posted On Friday, September 21, 2012 6:37 AM | Comments (0)
Reading QR Codes In Your Windows Phone App
I have recently been working on an application for a client that needs to read QR codes. This has lead to some interesting findings. There are a couple of approaches you can use. One is to take a picture and evaluate it for a code and the other is more like the Bing Vision feature. Both of them can be accomplished by leveraging theSilverlight ZXing library from Codeplex. In order to have QR code images to test I would suggest going to QRStuff.com. It is a site where you can freely generate QR images ......
Posted On Monday, July 23, 2012 3:42 PM | Comments (2)
The Hidden Costs Of Offshoring Your IT
While I am not a fan of offshoring IT development, I do understand the attraction. From a rate perspective they look very attractive, but in my experience that is the smallest part of the story when it comes to offshore resources. There are a number of hurdles you will have to deal with if you are going use developers that are half way around the world. The first obstacle is the language and cultural barrier. I am not talking about just understanding the words, but understanding the meaning behind ......
Posted On Wednesday, February 29, 2012 7:29 AM | Comments (0)
Choosing A Windows Based Web Hosting Service
Recently I have gone through the process of selecting a web hosting company for one of my clients. There are a lot of options out there and a number things you need to be cautious about. I will go over some of the decision points and questions you will want to ask a company before signing a contract. The first thing you need to do is define the features that make up you site. Is it made up purely of static content or does not use a database? If that is the case then you can choose just about any ......
Posted On Monday, February 27, 2012 10:27 PM | Comments (0)
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 | Comments (0)
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 | Comments (0)
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 | Comments (0)
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 | Comments (0)
Why Windows Phone Rocks
First let me say that this is a “what I like” post and not a comparison of platforms. The Windows Phone is the first smart phone that I have owned (no, I’m not 100 or 15 years old). Now that I have done the full disclosure I did want to talk about the features of the Windows Phone that I really enjoy. I have had the Samsung Focus since shortly after it came out. I have found it extremely capable and enjoy the performance of the device. It is light, durable and bright. My wife has the LG Quantum that ......
Posted On Monday, October 10, 2011 9:57 AM | Comments (1)
Accessing Authenticated WCF Services
When you make a service available external to your corporate network sometimes SSL isn’t secure enough. If you really want to limit the users who can access a service they need to tied to credentials. One of the most common credentials to tie to is a Windows account. What if you are the consumer of these services. When you add a service reference to a Visual Studio 2010 project it does not give you a chance to set credentials. The following example is how you can apply credentials to a service reference. ......
Posted On Friday, October 7, 2011 1:39 AM | Comments (0)
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 | Comments (0)
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 | Comments (0)
More Windows Phone 7 Panorama Notes
The saga goes on. There is always something more to learn. While I thought that ManipulationCompleted would do the trick from me it turned out it won’t. It turns out that if you want to figure out what PanoramaItem you are on when the user navigates between PanoramaItems the SelectionChanged event in conjunction with the SelectedItem on the Panorama works pretty well. private void Panorama_SelectionChanged(o... sender, SelectionChangedEventArgs e){ PanoramaItem item = (PanoramaItem)Panorama.Sele... ......
Posted On Friday, August 12, 2011 4:02 PM | Comments (0)
Windows Phone 7 Panorama Page
Creating a WP7 application with a Panorama page is fairly simple. Teaching it to do tricks is another thing altogether. As with most development controls the key is to learn the event model along with the object model. Knowing what manipulation means, when it happens and what the different levels it occurs at can be a great benefit. This was the case when I wanted to make sure that a particular item was updated before the user got to a particular PanoramaItem. The visibility of a PanoramaItem does ......
Posted On Friday, August 12, 2011 6:20 AM | Comments (0)
August 2011 Chicago Information Technology Architects Group Meeting
Our summer break is over and with the dog days of August we are getting back to setting up presentations of interest to Chicago area IT Architects. This month we will have Michael Kappel presenting on a topic we have been trying to get organized for a while. SOLID is an acronym for five object oriented design and development principles that everyone should know. Michael is going to give a platform agnostic discussion of these five key principles. Please join us by registering below. Register here ......
Posted On Monday, August 1, 2011 12:27 AM | Comments (0)
SharePoint Lists Vs. Database Tables
I got a question from a developer whether they should use SharePoint lists or database tables to hold the data for his application. This is a fair question and as a consultant I will start with the standard answer: It depends. I will follow up that answer with the standard consultant question: what are you trying to do? There generally isn’t one answer for any technology choice. We need to take as many factors into account as possible. Who will be maintaining the data? Will the data only be used ......
Posted On Wednesday, June 15, 2011 7:21 AM | Comments (2)
Custom SharePoint Timer and ULS
Over the last few months we have been developing custom SharePoint timer jobs. Since the jobs run under a Windows Service it makes it difficult to debug them. The saving grace we found is called ULS. It gives you a logging location that is consistent with the native timer jobs and an API which resembles most other logging frameworks. In order write events you first need to include the Microsoft.SharePoint.Admini... assembly. Then it is simply a matter of getting an instance of a SPDiagnosticsService ......
Posted On Wednesday, May 11, 2011 3:07 PM | Comments (0)
April 2011 Chicago Information Technology Architects Group Meeting
This one almost slipped away from me. It is only a week until the next CITAG meeting. This month Mike Vogt will be discussing ORM Frameworks and what they mean to the amount of code that our development teams have to write. I am sure we will get into a discussion of the truths and myths around these products. Come out and join us for a night of discussion and meet a few of your peers in the process. Register here. del.icio.us Tags: CITAG,Chicago Information Technology Architects Group,ORM,ORM Frameworks ......
Posted On Monday, April 11, 2011 11:51 PM | Comments (0)
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 | Comments (0)
Update Since Microsoft/PSC Office Open XML Case Study
In 2009 Microsoft released a case study about a project that we had done using the OOXML SDK 1.0 for Research Directors Inc. Since that time Microsoft has released version 2.0 of the SDK and PSC has done significant development with it. Below are some of the mile stones we have reached since the original case study. At the time of the original case study two report types had been automated to output as PowerPoint presentations. Now that the all the main products have been delivered we have added ......
Posted On Wednesday, December 15, 2010 4:30 PM | Comments (0)
Memories Of The Past While Learning The Future
The last couple of weeks I have been working through some proof of concepts for Windows Phone 7. While working through one exercise I had a flashback. The book I was reading mentioned how you needed to code your application to have the smallest possible memory and and processing speed footprint. Suddenly I was back in high school with my Tandy hand-held computer which had a single line of text screen and a whopping 1K of memory. Talk about limitations. So what else can you learn from developing in ......
Posted On Friday, November 19, 2010 2:29 AM | Comments (1)
How Does Simple Text Markup Differ Across The Office 2007 Suite
Note: Cross posted from Coding The Document. Permalink Our theme recently is things that need to be made more consistent in the office products in order to make document generation development more efficient for developers. This time around we will focus on difference between the way text is marked up in Word and PowerPoint. I have found that there are a number of subtle but important differences in the way text is written to the Open XML standard. This is then reflected in the Open XML SDK’s API. ......
Posted On Thursday, February 4, 2010 1:23 AM | Comments (0)
What Makes CustomXml More appealing Than Content Controls
Note: Cross posted from Coding The Document. Permalink Word 2007 has two built-in methods for tagging content. If you go to the developers tab you will find the ribbon has a section for Controls and a section for XML. The Controls are also referred to as Content Controls. The XML section allows you to define schemas that can be applied to your document and is sometimes called Custom XML. Both of these constructs can be used when you are coding an application which needs to identify a part of a document ......
Posted On Wednesday, February 3, 2010 10:53 AM | Comments (0)
Working With Office Open XML
If you haven’t heard of Office Open XML don’t be surprised. I hadn’t until a couple of months ago. In short it is a standardization of the Office document models which allows for more flexible development methods. You no longer need to have an instance of your target Office application running on a server in order to generate Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents. This is also the reason that all of the Office file extensions have a “x” suffix these days. Office Open XML files are actually zip files. ......
Posted On Monday, October 19, 2009 2:46 PM | Comments (0)
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 | Comments (0)
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 | Comments (2)
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 | Comments (2)
Do Companies Really Want To Ship Software
I was reading a blog post the other day about motivating software developers to be motivated to ship code. While I agree this is a problem I have to ask the question "do IT departments really want to ship code"? Here is where I am coming from. I have seen enough IT departments where they stack release on top of release at such a frenzied pace that it causes them to split their resources. When you have multiple versions of an application that have to be tested you need more environment that all have ......
Posted On Tuesday, March 4, 2008 11:52 AM | Comments (0)
Creating Your Own Testing Tools
Ok, so it isn't necessarily the most efficient way to spend your time. It is usually better to buy your tools whenever possible, but it is a great way to learn. Of course I am not talking about recreating Nant or CruiseControl. What I am suggesting would be more in the nature of a test harness for integration testing purposes. These are strategic tools that will pay for themselves as you move from development into production support. One area where these harnesses come in handy are integration points ......
Posted On Thursday, January 31, 2008 5:59 AM | Comments (0)
Bigfoot Is Two Inches Tall
File this under "take you lessons from all parts of life". Recently there has been a lot of buzz about a picture of "Bigfoot" on Mars taken by the Spirit rover. As an amateur astronomer and a skeptic this has been humorous and disturbing to watch. You have to wonder how people could actually believe that this might be a life form. We are talking about a planet with very little atmosphere and no magnetic field to protect it from cosmic radiation. If you take a look at Emily Lakdawalla's blog post ......
Posted On Sunday, January 27, 2008 10:54 PM | Comments (0)
Risk Aversion In Software Development
Managing a software development project is always a risk versus benefit balancing act. It seems that lately the scales have tipped way over to the side of reducing risk rather than supplying benefit. What do you do when you have a problem with an application but a fix won't be allowed because there is a work around? The benefit needs to be put into terms of savings. Does the solution require regular intervention on the part of a support team or is the user delayed in their work while waiting for ......
Posted On Thursday, January 24, 2008 12:03 PM | Comments (0)
IT: The Next Generation
I was talking with a neighbor who is going to DePaul University for software engineering. Things have definitely changed since I was in college. He was working on a Java PDA app and a traffic light controller application. That is a long way from encryption programs and inventory reports. One thing that is a little scary is that he says his focus is on project management. Now maybe my thinking is outdated, but I don't believe that you can effectively manage developers without knowing how to develop ......
Posted On Friday, August 3, 2007 5:43 AM | Comments (1)
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 | Comments (0)
Pay It Forward
One of my hobbies is photography (webshots, zooomr) and I was listening to The Digital Photography Show podcast where the guest was Kevin Kubota. He presents photography seminars and is offering scholarships to his seminars. The interesting part of the application is that you have to describe what charity work you do. He said that he figures if he is doing something for you then you should be doing something for your community to show that you are serious. So how does this relate to architecture ......
Posted On Thursday, July 26, 2007 10:38 PM | Comments (0)
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 | Comments (1)
So What Is .NET Again?
As I have mentioned before I am a consultant. Add to that the fact that I have been doing software development professionally for about twelve years and that means that I am moving into higher level work. Unfortunately that means less time that I am getting my hands dirty in the code. This is a painful transition, especially for a code junkie like me. So what is the prescription to ease my discomfort. I think it is time to bury myself in some serious code learning. I figure I have a number of books ......
Posted On Wednesday, March 28, 2007 12:19 PM | Comments (0)
How Are Martial Arts Like Software Development

Around the end of high school I studied Tae Kwon Do for a short period of time. Now my oldest son is taking Goju-Shorei at the local park district which has gotten me re-interested in the subject. Aside from causing pain in my muscles which demonstrates that I'm not a teenager any more it has had another affect. It got me thinking about its similarities between martial arts and software development.

Posted On Monday, March 19, 2007 5:04 PM | Comments (0)
Thinking About Testing
Lately I have gotten quite an awakening to the realities of waterfall testing processes. This has come in the form of writing tests for my current client as they are preparing for a major release. So what have I learned? First, large development groups end up with large testing teams. This makes for challenges in coordinating efforts within the group. To overcome this I believe there needs to be well defined expectations and a single owner of the effort. The second thing I have learned is that such ......
Posted On Friday, February 2, 2007 3:48 AM | Comments (2)
TFS Process Guidance - There Should Be A Book
In there near future I plan on putting out a few posts based on my experience customizing process templates and process guidance for Team Foundation Server. What I am finding is that the documentation and available books fall short in this area. They tell you how to setup the product, but customizing it is an infinite black abyss. As I am currently digging into the process guidance itself it is turning out to be a maze of XML and XSL files which are require some serious explanation. Calling their ......
Posted On Tuesday, January 2, 2007 3:29 AM | Comments (1)
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 | Comments (1)
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 | Comments (0)
Overcoming The Challenges Of Agile In The Enterprise
The idea for this blog entry came from a conversation I had the other week with another consultant in the company that I work for. He was saying how he had used TDD for several projects and believed it just won't work in an enterprise wide project. This surprised me since most of the articles I have read and podcasts I have listened to say that this is not the case. You will hear various people say that agile methodologies can or can not work in an enterprise environment. I believe it is true that ......
Posted On Friday, November 17, 2006 11:00 AM | Comments (0)
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 | Comments (1)
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 | Comments (0)
The Hidden Cost of Scope Reduction
Scope reduction in a project is generally seen as a positive activity. In small applications this is generally true. This is not always the case though, especially in an enterprise environment. The key determining factor is the down steam impact of removing the feature from scope. If the item has already been planned for by other project teams the rework could be more expensive then what is being saved. Does eliminating the task mean that other applications need to plan for development or processes ......
Posted On Friday, September 1, 2006 1:24 AM | Comments (0)
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 | Comments (3)
Iterative and User Centered
My current project is making me see more and more that iterative development with constant input from the end users is the best way to have a successful outcome. Recently I was involved in a conference call with the end users and the business representatives. These representatives had given us all of our requirements and we had no direct contact with the people in the field. BIG MISTAKE! This was compounded by the fact that the client is following a very waterfall approach with tons of documentation. ......
Posted On Thursday, April 27, 2006 12:51 AM | Comments (0)

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".



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