# Sunday, April 7, 2013

Last month, I had the honor of speaking at a TEDx event, TEDX HKUST, here in Hong Kong. This one was hosted by Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The crowd was standing room only and packed with excited and eager students. There were 8 awe inspiring speakers, plus me. Smile The speakers were:

My talk was on innovation and how startups cause disruption. After describing how much the economics of startups has changed, I encouraged those willing to start a business to give a try. I focused on how the culture in Hong Kong is a banker’s culture and how the Tiger Mom’s as well as HSBC need to change in order to support innovation and entrepreneurship.

posted on Sunday, April 7, 2013 10:45:44 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, March 19, 2012

After a successful TechDays Hong Kong the week before last, I am off to Bangalore today to speak at Tech Ed India 2012! Besides the usual running around and talking with customers, partners, attendees, and MVPs, I’ll be doing three breakout sessions:

Wednesday @ 12:15 : Beyond Scrum: Kanban and Software Kaizen

This is a slight modification of my Introduction to Kanban talk, here are the slides for that one:

On Wednesday afternoon at 2:15, I’ll be doing a session on Big Data Processing with SQL Server 2012 and Hadoop. I don’t really have any slides for this one besides a few from MS DPE, I plan on using all my time in demos. I’ll be talking about Hadoop on Azure, columnstore indicies, data warehouse improvements, and other things that will help you deal with large amounts of data like table partitioning (I know, I know, “Big Data” does not always mean “Big” data. Smile ) This will be a fun session, come see me screw up some live demos. Smile

Lastly, on Thursday at 4:30, I’ll be doing a session on Agile Estimation. I’ve done this one in India a few times before, but my first time at TechEd India. Here are the slides:

If you can’t make that session, I did it last year at TechEd North America and it was live streamed, so the recording is here:

See you all in Bangalore!

posted on Monday, March 19, 2012 1:52:59 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Today I will be speaking at the 1st World CIO Forum held in booming city of Shenzhen, China sponsored by the International Federation for Information Processing.


My talk today is on Lean Manufacturing's influence on Agile methodologies: The Past, the Present, and the Future. I talk about how XP was a reaction to Waterfall’s “batch” mentality and heavily influenced by Lean’s notion of units of work v batch and reducing lead time (which heavily influenced iterations.) Then I talk about how Scrum and Kanban come directly from Lean, but with modifications for software development. I stress how lean is about eliminating waste by reducing the quantity of what is produced at one time (translations: very small iterations, if at all) and building a culture of continuous improvement. Sessions are only given 25 minutes, so I had to to this at a high level. I’ll work on a longer more in depth one for TechEd and the speaker circuit in 2012.

posted on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 9:52:19 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, October 31, 2011

This week I will be attending and speaking at the 1st World CIO Forum held in booming city of Shenzhen, China sponsored by the International Federation for Information Processing.


The theme of the World CIO Forum is: Globalization and IT Innovation. Topics include: cloud computing (of course!), mobile innovation, green IT, CIO Leadership, “manufacturing 2.0” (my track), and e-government.

The night before the conference started (Halloween!), I had the pleasure of spending an hour with Li Ming, the deputy mayor of Shenzhen and ten fellow speakers. It was all very official; we were in a big room with name cards and we sat in big chairs drinking Chinese tea. Joining me at the meeting and then at dinner were very prestigious speakers, including a member of the board of directors of Microsoft and the CTO of Toyota (Info Technology Center). There were many toasts, something you can’t avoid in China. I feel that Telerik has made it to the big leagues.

I give a talk on Wednesday: “Lean Manufacturing's Influence on Agile Methodologies: The Past, Present, and Future.”

posted on Monday, October 31, 2011 9:11:32 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Last month I was interviewed by Stephen Ibaraki for the IT Manager Connection. I talk about a bunch of stuff including: entrepreneurship, cloud computing, the business of Scrum certifications, speaking in the Middle East, and going to Nepal for charity. You can download the podcast on this page.

Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic

Stephen, can you profile your eclectic history prior to your current role, and three valuable lessons you wish to share from these roles?
"....For entrepreneurs, recessions are the best time to start a business....You're never going to implement that original plan. Every startup needs to (what I call pivot); there's going to be some kind of inflection point where you and your cofounders see that the original plan is not necessarily going to work and will need to go to Plan B...."

Can you profile your current role and the value you are delivering through your products and services?
"....I make the argument from a business model point of view that when the gold rush was going on, a lot of people had train tickets out to California. The people who made all the money were the people selling the shovels to the people and that is actually what Telerik does. My job is to find new areas for shovels – whether it's do we invest in emerging markets, do we invest in different product lines? That is where the Strategy Officer title comes from...."

What are your top five tips for founding companies, engaging VC, and then selling companies?
"....Just get started.....Minimal viable build, ship early, ship often....You need less money than you think....Look for very low types of capital infusions in the very beginning....Don't get too worked up on the Letter of Intent...."

With your long history as company founder, CTO, chief strategy officer, what are your top leadership tips?
"....Leading by example....Symbolism is important....A problem with an employee is a problem or failure in management....A leader has to be personable and engaging....A leader has to make a team feel proud...."

As a certified SCRUM Master, what special insights and success stories can you share to benefit the audience?
"....I fully believe that you can 'bend the rules' and you don’t have to call it Scrum. Just say that I’m using an agile methodology that's based on Scrum and everyone will be happy...."

Let’s pretend I'm a listener out there and I want to be a certified Scrum Master. What are the 3 or 4 steps that I have to take to become a certified Scrum Master?
"....The first thing you need to do is to convince your boss to pay for it....All three of the groups that do the certification do a great job...."

What special tips can you share on .NET and SQL development?
"....The advice I would give is, take a look at SQL Azure which is the SQL server database that's up in the clouds. It has almost zero learning curve if you are using regular SQL server....Once you've gotten into SQL server and SQL Azure and exploring some of the CTP, then you can start to look at things like what does it mean by putting my application in the cloud and does it make sense?...."

What lessons can you share from each of these roles: Author, Microsoft MVP award recipient, Microsoft Regional Director, INETA speaker, and co-moderator and founder of the NYC .NET Developer User Group?
"....If you do a good job, at worst you are contributing to the community so that when you Google something and look for things in the community you'll get a response and at best, if you contribute a lot and do a great job you will build a name for yourself...."

In your current role, what are your top challenges and top opportunities?
"....My role is partly a senior management role so most of my challenges and opportunities are interwoven with the company....Challenges: Keeping the great culture of the company intact as we grow....Finding the right people....Communication....Opportunities: Emerging markets....Cloud plus business intelligence....Application Lifecycle Management...."

What specific technologies should business and IT executives be embracing today and in two years, five years?
"....We are entering the device plus cloud era...."

What are your current projects and what one lesson can you share from each of your major projects?
"....The biggest lesson from that is you make these assumptions that the markets you're entering are slightly different (maybe you need to localize the product into the local language and you're done), not realizing there are sometimes drastic cultural differences...."

Please make predictions for the future, their implications, and how we can best prepare?
"....The platforms that we use today will not exist in 5 years or if they exist (and they are called those things), they will exist just in name only. They will have to be radically rewritten to deal with the multi-core parallelism environment...."

What valuable insights can you share from the side of your life that encompasses Nepal, Mt. Everest, and charities?
"....If you are affected by an issue, go out and do something about it. You'll be surprised how many lives you can touch and how much of a difference you can make...."

What social lessons can you provide from the work that you have done in the developing world and the Middle East?
"....One of the things that you can do if you have speaking skills, go an speak at a Pakistani Developer's Conference....Connecting with the people, I've built relationships with which I still have to this day, which gives me a unique insight whenever there is unrest going on in these places...."

Why should IT executives attend the IFIP World CIO Forum or WCF? [Editor's note: For more information go to:www.worldcioforum.com; Call for papers; WCF news in the IFIP Newsletter].
"....When I go to these events I learn as much from my fellow attendees as I do from the lecturers. The event itself is only half of the equation, the other half of the equation is networking and learning from your fellow executives, peers and people you collaborate with...."

If you were to speak at the WCF, can you profile your expected outcomes from your talk?
"....I've always said I don't judge my sessions' success or failure at my software conferences by the evaluations that people submit....I judge the success or failure of my sessions by the number of emails I get from people after the session...."

What are your thoughts on computing as a recognized profession like medicine and law, with demonstrated professional development, adherence to a code of ethics, and recognized credentials?
[See www.ipthree.org and the Global Industry Council, http://www.ipthree.org/about-ip3/global-advisory-council]
"....I actually consider myself more of a libertarian, kind of like a Milton Freedman....The reason why I say that is if we went down the road of building a recognized profession in the way we have with medicine and law, then you will actually have true degree programs for software engineering. Today if you hire somebody with a Computer Science degree they're not going to really know how to write a line of business applications. They could build you a compiler and they could work at places like Google and Microsoft or Apple, but they're not going to want to go to work at places even like Facebook. They're not going to know about things like Semantic markup, Java and .NET the way that we use it in the business environment....."

If you were conducting this interview, what questions would you ask, and then what would be your answers?
"....Were you nervous the first time you went to Pakistan?....Did you take your laptop up Mt. Everest?....Do you need an MBA to succeed in this business?..."

posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 6:10:49 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, July 1, 2011

As most of you know I do a lot of speaking in the Middle East. Many people, including my Mother tell me that I should not go to the Middle East since it is “dangerous.” Someone forwarded this to me, it was a session I did in December 2007 for the Cairo, Egypt .NET User Group. I did almost die right before the meeting, but not to terrorists. Winking smile Fast forward to 9:50 for the story. Enjoy!

posted on Friday, July 1, 2011 4:42:44 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Friday, June 3, 2011

They Keynote on Kanban I did at both the PMI day and ITCamp in Romania as well as the TechEd North America breakout session is available on slideshare. Enjoy!

posted on Friday, June 3, 2011 12:02:42 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Friday, May 13, 2011

Next week I will be headed to Atlanta, Georgia, for my 10th TechEd North America, and my 21st TechEd of my career worldwide. I will be doing three breakout sessions this week, all on the agile methodologies.

There are over 200 sessions at TechEd, however, my Agile Estimation session, so popular last year at TechEd Berlin, will be live streamed, so if you can’t join me in Atlanta, join me on the live stream, it will be fun. Here are all of my sessions.

DPR202 | Agile Estimation (Live Streamed)

Breakout Session | 200 - Intermediate | Development Practices & Architecture

Speaker(s): Stephen Forte

Tuesday, May 17 | 10:15 AM - 11:30 AM | Room: C305


DPR306 | The Agile Buffet

Breakout Session | 300 - Advanced | Development Practices & Architecture

Speaker(s): Joel Semeniuk (This is listed at Joel’s session, but we are doing it together)

Wednesday, May 18 | 10:15 AM - 11:30 AM | Room: B309


DPR203 | Yes, We Kanban!

Breakout Session | 200 - Intermediate | Development Practices & Architecture

Speaker(s): Stephen Forte (This is listed as my session, but Joel is doing it with me)

Thursday, May 19 | 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM | Room: B309

posted on Friday, May 13, 2011 9:17:59 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, April 22, 2011

Yesterday Joel and I did our “Agile Buffet Table” session at GIDS in Bangalore, India.

We talked about XP, Scrum, and Kanban and how you can build your own methodology by mixing and matching the features from each of these agile brands. We had *great* audience interaction, the best I have ever had in India. We wrapped up the session by opening Excel and designing a unique process with the audience. Our exit was also very funny, there was no break between sessions(!), so the next speakers came in and were ready to start when we ended. So I impersonated the next speaker, very agile. Winking smile

The slides are available here (via slideshare.) In addition we talked about a lot and have recommended the following resources:

Also had some books to take a look at, they came up at various points in the discussion, check out any one of them:

posted on Friday, April 22, 2011 10:54:04 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Thursday, April 14, 2011

Next week I will be speaking at the 4th Great Indian Developer Summit (GIDS) in Bangalore, India. I have spoken at the last three GIDS and really enjoy the “ninja” speaking style: 50 minute sessions! So my technical sessions will be all code/demo, no slides, only the “please fill out the evaluation” slide at the end. Here are my sessions:

Tuesday April 19th, .NET day:

  • Building RESTful Applications with the Open Data Protocol (no slides!)
  • Agile Estimation (ok, slides for this one)
  • Enhancing Developer Productivity across the Entire Stack (Telerik vendor session, NO SLIDES, no marketing, just code!)

Wednesday April 20th, Web day:

  • Introduction to WCF RIA Services for Silverlight 4 Developers (no slides!)

Friday April 22nd, Seminar day:

  • The Agile Buffet Table (with Joel) Ok, this session will have slides, but last year it was standing room only, we got in trouble with a fire hazard, so get there early.

Visit Telerik, get free goodies, win stuff and come to our party!

GIDS is four years old and Telerik has been at each and every GIDS since its inception. On .NET day (Tuesday), we are handing out some great free goodies at our booth, so make sure you stop by before the keynotes before it gets mobbed. (Last year our Tee shirts were in such demand, the booth got knocked over in a rush!) Also look in your conference bag for some other great goodies.

We have some great prizes, but another reason to come visit our booth is that in partnership with Pluralsight, we are throwing a great party on Tuesday night. (If you went to our party last year, you know what I am talking about!) Swing by our booth for a demo, some goodies, and tickets to our party. Space is limited, so come by early!!!

See you in Bangalore. Bring your umbrella, hopefully the monsoon is not as bad as last year. Winking smile

posted on Thursday, April 14, 2011 8:47:24 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Friday, January 7, 2011

Last night I spoke at the SofiaDev .NET User Group in Sofia, Bulgaria on Agile Estimation. We covered how my Bulgarian is horrible, all I know is “pull” and “push” (as in doors). After an introduction to the estimation problem, we talked about User Stories, Story Points, Planning Poker, a Product Backlog, Team Velocity, and re-estimation.

Slides are here:

posted on Friday, January 7, 2011 9:54:57 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, December 13, 2010

Last week I spoke at the first ever Professional Developer’s Summit in Bucharest, Romania. I delivered a keynote titled: “Agile Development for three screens and the cloud.” The summary of the session is that you can use Agile development methodologies to aid your transition to developing on multiple platforms. I went over:

  • What Agile is, the Agile Manifesto
  • Scrum 101
    • Why I wear a Rugby Jersey when I speak about Scrum
  • Agile Estimation
  • The Cone of Uncertainty
    • A drinking game around the cone of uncertainty
  • Developing with remote teams
  • That Rugby has a position named after the US English slang for a prostitute: hooker
  • Agile uses at Telerik
  • How my friends use Wikipedia against me Winking smile

Slides are here:

posted on Monday, December 13, 2010 6:22:02 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Friday, November 5, 2010

At TechEd Europe 2010 in Berlin, I will be doing three breakout sessions and one panel discussion: Silverlight v HTML5.

My breakout sessions are:

  • Scrum, but
  • Agile Estimation

This is the first time I am formally doing the Scrum, but session, however, Joel and I did it at TechEd North America at our pre-con. We’ll (I invited Joel, even though he is not an “official” speaker to do the session with me) walk the audience through a few slides about Scrum, Kanban, XP and “Agile is about values, not rules” and the “buffet table” approach. After about 10 minutes of us blabbing, we will open it to questions. We are prepared to speak about four scenarios: Scrum/Agile in the Enterprise, Consulting, Remote (and outsourced) teams, and ISVs. Should be fun, and interactive! Bring lots of questions!!!

The Agile Estimation talk is a repeat of my talk last year and we are doing it twice since there is a lot of demand.

The session times are below. When I am not doing sessions, I will be at the Telerik Booth. You can find us at E 83+E84, very close to where we were last year. I’ll be glad to talk to you about the sessions, agile in general, or the Telerik tools. If you check out our CTP of WP7 controls now, we have a special offer for you: As a special gift to all TechEd Europe attendees visiting our booth, you will receive a free license of these controls once they are finally released, if you download the CTP now.

See you in Berlin! Winking smile






Scrum, but

Breakout Session

Stephen Forte

Having challenges implementing Scrum in your organization? Have you been using Scrum but need to bend the rules to make it work in your organization? Do you practice a little Scrum with a mix of Kanban? Then this session if for you! Come and learn about implementing Scrum, but with a few changes. We'll look at customizing Scrum in your environment and look specifically at how to implement Scrum for the enterprise, ISVs, consulting and remote teams.

Tuesday, November 9

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM


Agile Estimation

Breakout Session

Stephen Forte

We’re agile, so we don’t have to estimate and have no deadlines, right? Wrong! This session will review the problem with estimations in projects today and then give an overview of the concept of agile estimation and the notion of re-estimation. We’ll learn about user stories, story points, team velocity, and how to apply them all to estimation and iterative re-estimation. We will take a look at the cone of uncertainty and how to use it to your advantage. We’ll then take a look at the tools we will use for Agile Estimation, including planning poker, Visual Studio TFS and much more.

Thursday, November 11

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

DPR201 (R)

Agile Estimation (repeat)

Breakout Session

Stephen Forte

We’re agile, so we don’t have to estimate and have no deadlines, right? Wrong! This session will review the problem with estimations in projects today and then give an overview of the concept of agile estimation and the notion of re-estimation. We’ll learn about user stories, story points, team velocity, and how to apply them all to estimation and iterative re-estimation. We will take a look at the cone of uncertainty and how to use it to your advantage. We’ll then take a look at the tools we will use for Agile Estimation, including planning poker, Visual Studio TFS and much more.

Thursday, November 11

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

posted on Friday, November 5, 2010 4:16:58 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Thursday, November 4, 2010

There has been a lot said about the HTML5 v Silverlight debate in recent days. We have a very timely BOF session at TechEd Europe next week on this very topic. Join Tomislav BronzinMauro Sant'Anna, Joel Semeniuk, David YackDaron Yondem, and myself for a smack-down no holds barred panel discussion on Tuesday November 9th. It will be moderated by Tim Huckaby.

BOF10: Silverlight vs. HTML5 - Interactive Panel

Tuesday, November 9  1:20 PM - 2:05 PM

Join Tim Huckaby as he moderates a distinguished panel of Microsoft Regional Directors and some other pillars of the industry in a interactive panel discussion around the issues, excitement, bold promise and confusion around SilverLight and HTML5.

posted on Thursday, November 4, 2010 3:55:06 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, October 25, 2010

I’m over in Zeist, the Netherlands speaking at the Software Developers Conference, put on by the Software Developer Network of the Netherlands. Back when this event was called CTTP, it was my first international speaking event in 1998.  I’ve been speaking at this conference every year since 1998, only missing the event in 2000. I have spoken at three other events produced by SDN over the years besides the SDN/CTTP, so this is my 15th, yes 15th time speaking at this organization’s event in the Netherlands. I have no idea why they keep inviting, me, I usually show up to sessions with beer, go to the red light district instead of my talks, or make fun of Dutch people the entire time I am here.

This year I am speaking on RIA Services and doing an Q&A on Scrum and Agile. Hope to see lots of Dutch there!

posted on Monday, October 25, 2010 9:55:34 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, October 18, 2010

Today I spoke at DevReach in Sofia, Bulgaria and spoke on:

In the RIA services talk, just like the other times I did it, I built a simple application from scratch. Here is what I did:

  • Added a Silverlight Business Application
  • Changed the Title to DevReaCH (I accidently hit cap locks in the session)
  • Mapped an EF model to Northwind
  • Created a Domain Service
  • Wrote a business rule in said service
  • Made fun of Canada
  • Showed the client site generated code
  • Added a DataGrid and wrote code to fill it
  • Asked the audience if they thought the code would work
  • Fixed the bug I introduced in my code
  • Dragged and dropped a Data Source to datagrid with automatic binding
  • Added a data pager with no code
  • Added a filter with no code
  • Added a “Save” button with no code
  • Added Steve Jobs as a customer (and told the audience how much I hate him)
  • Went into the metadata class and added validation
  • Viewed the validation
  • Exposed the RIA Service as an OData feed
  • Told everyone about OData in <5 minutes (and said they were excused from my OData talk later in the day)

The OData talk did more of the same, same as my TechEd talk, so you can download the slides and demos here.

I also recorded an episode of .NET Rocks with Richard and Carl.

Tomorrow is a Scrum talk with Joel.

Good times.

posted on Monday, October 18, 2010 9:55:59 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I will be speaking this year at TechEd Europe in Berlin, Germany from November 8th to November 12th. I’ll be doing two talks:

DPR201 - Agile Estimation (Tuesday Nov 9th)

Track: Development Practices

We’re agile, so we don’t have to estimate and have no deadlines, right? Wrong! This session will review the problem with estimations in projects today and then give an overview of the concept of agile estimation and the notion of re-estimation. We’ll learn about user stories, story points, team velocity, and how to apply them all to estimation and iterative re-estimation. We will take a look at the cone of uncertainty and how to use it to your advantage. We’ll then take a look at the tools we will use for Agile Estimation, including planning poker, Visual Studio TFS and much more.

And also with Joel (though he is not listed on the session as the other speaker):

DPR301 - Scrum, but (Thursday November 11th)

Track: Development Practices

Having challenges implementing Scrum in your organization? Have you been using Scrum but need to bend the rules to make it work in your organization? Do you practice a little Scrum with a mix of Kanban? Then this session if for you! Come and learn about implementing Scrum, but with a few changes. We'll look at customizing Scrum in your environment and look specifically at how to implement Scrum for the enterprise, ISVs, consulting and remote teams.

See ya there!

posted on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 11:29:53 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, August 16, 2010

I will be speaking at my 15th Software Developers Conference in the Netherlands on October 25th and 26th. For some reason the Dutch keep asking me to come back, even though I make fun of the Dutch pretty much full time. The SDC is special for me; the very first international conference that I ever spoke at was the SDC in 1998. I have been back every year (except 2000) and even did a few of the smaller one day conferences. Over the years I have done some crazy things, including showing up for my session after just coming back from the Red Light District in Amsterdam. (Hey what happens in Amsterdam, stays in Amsterdam…) Richard Campbell and I once did a session called “Mid-evening Technical session with Beer.” The abstract said “Bring beer and hear Richard and Steve talk about the latest technology.”


This year I will be doing a Scrum v Kanban v XP v Whatever smack down that will really be a Q&A lead by Remi, Joel, and me. I will also be doing a RIA Services 101 talk, no slides, just demos.  If you are in Europe this fall, swing by.

posted on Monday, August 16, 2010 4:03:16 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Thursday, August 12, 2010

This coming October, I will be speaking at DevReach in Sofia, Bulgaria. DevReach is a great event and will be entering its 5th year. It is a two day event with A list speakers (excluding myself of course). World famous Scott Stanfield is the keynote speaker this year and there will be some great BI content presented by Andrew Burst.  Joel, Remi, and I will be leading a Scrum/Agile/KanBan/Scrum-but “smackdown” talk/discussion. At only 200 euros, it is the best bargain in Europe! You can register here.

I have spoken at all previous DevReach events and will keep speaking there until they tell me they don’t want me anymore. DevReach is special to me, at the first DevReach, I was able to play a very small role in helping the conference founder Martin Kulov recruit some speakers and plan the event. I also met for the first time at that first DevReach, my current employer, Telerik.

I liked it so much, I stayed. ;) Watch out, it could happen to you….

posted on Thursday, August 12, 2010 6:41:58 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, August 9, 2010

Last Thursday I did a Scrum session at VSLive on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Wa. I lectured for about 30 minutes and then we went for a Q&A, just how I like it. Actually we really had a true conversation, people commenting on each other’s questions and comments, etc. Here is what we talked about:

  • The Agile Manifesto and how it is just four items
    • The Agile Manifest is about values, not rules
    • The values of the Agile movement: communication, delivering business value, collaboration, embracing change
    • How some agile practitioners are not really agile, they forgot the core values and are too rigid
  • Other agile methodologies like XP and Kanban
  • Where scrum came from: Japan and Harvard Business Review (1986)
  • The Scrum 101 stuff: the daily scrum, iterations, the team, backlogs
  • The world’s greatest project management tool: Microsoft Excel
  • A little on velocity and agile estimation
  • A lot on testing, where to put testers
    • One guy had his testers outside of the sprint-and it worked for him
    • One guy thought about staggering the testers one week behind the dev sprint (we had mixed reviews on that)
  • It is ok to change Scrum!
    • How the inventor of Scrum wants my head for that bullet ;)
    • The best approach is a “buffet table
  • Lean processes at Toyoda and how it relates to software development (a la  Kanban)

Glad that we had a conversation rather than a straight lecture.

posted on Monday, August 9, 2010 8:41:18 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, August 5, 2010

Yesterday I did the “Building RESTFul applications with the Open Data Protocol” session at VSLive on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Wa. We had a lot of fun, we did the following:

  • Looked at some public OData feeds listed at Odata.org
  • We randomly picked a feed, the City of Vancouver street parking feed, and consumed it
    • We also discovered that they have weird primary keys
    • we also discovered the FireFox consumed the OData feed much faster then IE (this on Microsoft’s own network!)
  • Saw how to create a feed automatically from SQL Azure tables
  • Consumed a feed in Microsoft PowerPivot
  • Build a feed on the fly using the Entity Framework and WCF Data Services
  • Consumed that feed in ASP.NET and Silverlight
    • Also looked at Query Interceptors and Service Operations briefly
  • Talked about security, both at the service level and at the IIS/ASP level
  • Made fun of the previous speaker
  • Showed how you can create a feed using 3rd party tools

I wrapped up the talk with a discussion about when you would use OData compared to other technology, such as RIA Services. My rule of thumb was that if you are building an application that you control and your users will consume, you should consider technology such as RIA Services (if you are using Silverlight) or ASP.NET, MVC, etc. If you want to expose parts of your application as a data feed and let others consume it and build applications around it then consider OData.

You can download the slides and code here.

posted on Thursday, August 5, 2010 9:25:53 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Thursday, July 29, 2010

I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advanced copy of Kristin Arnold’s book Boring to Bravo and I highly recommend it. This is a book about being a better presenter. It stands out because it is the first book that I have seen that acknowledges the generational change of the audiences and what the consequences of those changes are (like embrace folks twittering in your meeting rather that have them switch off their cell phones.)

I have been a public speaker for 15 years, a professional one for over 13, and found this book very useful. I learned several things while reading it, including many things I am doing wrong! Based on the advice in the book, I am going to use some of the techniques at my two talks at VSLive in Redmond next week.

The book is a fun read with lots of checklists, sidebars, illustrations, and to do lists. Kristin even quizzes you at the end of each chapter, often using the techniques she demonstrated in the chapter, a brilliant way to reinforce the points! She stresses energy and engagement with the audience and also makes you think of the small things (the side of the stage you walk in on, passive v active voice, using inclusive language, etc) and how they effect the mindset of the audience. If you want to be a more engaging, dynamic speaker, read this book!


posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010 5:46:15 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Monday, July 26, 2010

Next week, I will be speaking at VS Live! at Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Washington. I will be doing two talks.

Wednesday, on the data track, I will be following Chris Selles’ Entity Framework and OData and Database Projects and Jon Flanders’ Building RESTful Services Using Windows Communication Foundation talks with my own: Building RESTful Applications with the Open Data Protocol, so I will skip the “What is REST” slides up front and just start coding. ;)

On Thursday, they lumped my “The Daily Scrum” talk on the Visual Studio and .NET track. While the title is The Daily Scrum, I will give some Scrum overviews and then open the floor to Q&A. All levels of participants will benefit from the talk. There will be zero discussion on Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0. Actually, there will be no code at all.

In addition, I will be addressing the recent rift in the agile universe between the “pure” Scrum folks and the “Scrum, butters” which Ken Schwaber labels me. At the end of the talk, I will also address the rise of Kanban, an alternative agile methodology originating at Toyota in Japan. Kanban is quite popular here in Hong Kong where I live and I have seen it work at some very large global organizations as well as startups. Living in Asia over the last year has changed my perspective on agile and Kanban: I have seen how this Japanese invention works and can compliment a flexible agile strategy. I’ll weave this experience to my presentation. You won’t want to miss out.


posted on Monday, July 26, 2010 9:53:51 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Even though I played soccer as a kid, I grew up watching mostly professional baseball. Even though I did catch Pele play a few matches for the NY Cosmos as a kid, my love for professional soccer started when the US hosted the 1994 World Cup. My professional speaking career, however, seems to be linked to professional soccer.

It all started at my very first TechEd: TechEd Europe 1998 in Nice, France. Prior to 2006, TechEd Europe was held in early summer, always causing me to spend the July 4th independence day outside of the United States. Back in 1998, France was hosting the World Cup and subsequently won it all. While I got caught up in all of the hoopla, I also had to speak at an event in London the next week and the entire country of France shut down, making it impossible for me to travel. Thus began the link with my professional speaking and soccer.

As the years went by I found myself speaking in Barcelona six times and went to FC Barcelona matches each year and they became my favorite team. in 2005 I found myself in Turkey when the European Cup was going on (and had to deal with the traffic since the speaking venue was right near the stadium). In 2006 I found myself in Egypt during the Africa Cup and was in a taxi trying to get to my speaking event in standstill traffic as the entire city tried to obtain tickets for the final match. I had to get out of the taxi and run 3km to the venue to make my talk in time. (I called Patrick Hynds to stall the crowd, but did make it with 5 minutes to spare.) I watched Egypt win the finals on penalty kicks a few days later in the middle of the street in Luxor with about 20 locals surrounding a tiny black and white TV while Kathleen shopped. We all smoked shisha together to celebrate and the shop owner (who was ignoring Kathleen and watching the game) gave us an additional 50% discount on all sales. After Kathleen finished buying her stuff, all of us, including Goksin’s 7 year old daughter, started running through the streets to celebrate.

One of the most memorable experiences was also in Egypt. in 2004 FIFA stated that Egypt, Morocco, and South Africa were the favorites to host the 2010 World Cup. I was in Egypt and Morocco during that time and met up with several MVPs for dinner. They all asked me: “Do you support an African World Cup?” I said yes and said that I will travel back to Africa to watch the world cup in 2010.

This weekend I kept my promise. I had a nice long weekend in South Africa and went to a few matches, keeping my promise to the African MVPs. (You can even look closely at this photo, besides my Team USA jersey, I am wearing my 2010 MVP jacket, and boy did I need it, it was coooold!)

Most of the non-African world hates the vuvuzela horn. The vuvuzela is an uniquely African (mostly South African) cultural experience. You can’t enjoy soccer in southern Africa without it. Showing my support for the African World Cup, I went native and blew that horn all night long.


I am glad that I was able to keep my 6 year old promise. It seems that professional soccer and my speaking career are linked. Any Brazilian MVPs/RDs want to put me up in 2014?

posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2010 2:21:51 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Last month I participated in a World Cup themed skit about information worker productivity at the launch of Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 in Hong Kong. You can watch the skits here. It was a lot of fun and shows off a ton of new features in Office and Sharepoint, including PowerPivot.


posted on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 4:56:51 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, June 14, 2010

Last week at TechEd North America I did DEV303, Building RESTful Applications with the OData Protocol. I really enjoy doing this session since I get to code on the fly and talk about building applications. At a high level we covered:

  • What is REST, comparison to Web Services (REST is resource based, Web Services is RPC/method based)
  • What is OData, who is using it
  • When to use OData vs RIA Services (OData is for exposing data as a service across boundaries, RIA is for a VB6 style RAD application development)
  • Using WCF Data Services to build an OData Service
  • Consuming the WCF Data Service in Silverlight asynchronously –yes everyone had to suffer and watch me code
  • A Bill Gates joke
  • WCF Data Services Service Operations, Data Interceptors (Query and Change), Data paging
  • Consuming OData Services in ASP.NET (select and add, we even got to see my custom error raise)

You can download the slides and code here.

posted on Monday, June 14, 2010 8:25:55 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, June 7, 2010

Yesterday Joel and I did the day long Agile precon at TechEd in New Orleans, LA. We had a great crowd and were able to keep them engaged for 8 hours. You can download the materials here.

We used an “Agile presenting” technique where we put the agenda in an “Agenda Backlog” and we reprioritized after every sprint (agenda item) and let the audience decide what we would talk about next. To our surprise the audience voted against two planned sections and we did two new sections on the fly. We talked about:

  • Agile theory and agile methodologies (XP, Scrum, FDD, DSDM, *DD, Kanban, etc)
  • Intro to Scrum
  • Agile Estimation
  • Challenges to Implementing Agile in General
  • Challenges to Implementing Agile: In the Enterprise
  • Challenges to Implementing Agile: Remote Teams
  • Tools
  • QA and Documentation

We got into a discussion on what happens when the team finishes early, do you stop the sprint, or give them more work to do. (Joel and I both go against the agile literature and give the team more work!)

We also took a few micro-breaks to rest our brain to talk about the iPhone v Android, how I buy Joel clothes, and movie quotes from the Matrix (I know Kung Fu) and What about Bob (Baby Steps).

We also recommended a book, one of my favorite management books of all time: Peopleware. For those of you non-techies reading this blog (I don’t know why!) if you manage teams, this book is also for you.

Hope to do this seminar again soon!

posted on Monday, June 7, 2010 12:04:51 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Monday, May 31, 2010

Looking forward to heading to New Orleans this weekend and doing an all day Agile pre-con on Sunday with Joel Semeniuk. There is still space to sign up, here is the info to look for:

PRC07 | The Agile Methodology Demystified: Implementing Agile in Your Organization

Track: Development Practices

Wednesday afternoon I will also be presenting a breakout session on OData:. Below is the official write-up, however, I will be showing first how to build an OData service (first via Astoria or *.Data Services, and then with other methods such as SQL Azure, etc) and then how to consume the service via several different technologies including ASP.NET, Silverlight, PowerPivot, and more. I’ll show some non-Microsoft technology along the way. I’m thinking no slides, just code for this talk.

DEV303 | Building RESTful Applications with the Open Data Protocol

Track: Developer Tools, Languages & Frameworks

Level: 300 - Advanced

Applications today are expected to expose their data and consume data-centric services via REST. In this session we discuss what REST is and have an overview of Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) Data Services and see how we can REST enable your data using the Open Data Protocol (OData). Then we cover how to leverage existing skills related to Microsoft Visual Studio, LINQ and data access to customize the behavior, control-flow, security model and experience of your data service. We then see how to enable data-binding to traditional ASP.NET controls as well as Microsoft Silverlight and Microsoft PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel 2010. We then turn to consuming SharePoint and other OData-based applications in Microsoft .NET as well as from a non-Microsoft client. This is a very demo intensive session.


I have some other MVP booth duties and some ask the experts hours, but when I am free, I will be at the Telerik booth. We’ll have a large staff at TechEd this year!


See you there.

posted on Monday, May 31, 2010 4:04:24 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, May 27, 2010

On Wednesday I presented an hour long talk on an introduction to Scrum, titled “To Scrum or not to Scrum” at the PMI’s Project Management Day in Bucharest, Romania.  It was a great event and I presented Scrum from a project manager’s point of view. About 15% of the audience is not from the IT field and I also tried to present Scrum in a way that is more generic. (You can download the seminar slides here, they are the same slides I have used all year.)

I asked the audience to turn off their cell phones, but asked them to stand up and take my photo while they did it, so I took their photo at the same time. This is about half the room, sorry to the other half. :)


After the event I hung out with some of the PMI guys and walked down to a local restaurant/beer hall Caru Cu Bere in the historic old town (there was even a statue of Dracula there!) On the walk down I saw a Romania Arc de Triumph.


Looking forward to my next visit!

posted on Thursday, May 27, 2010 2:49:05 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Let’s face it, going to a technical conference is good for your career but it’s not a whole lot of fun. You need an outlet. You need to have fun.

Cheap beer and lousy pizza (with a New Orleans twist)

We are bringing back GeekFest! Join us at Pat O’Brien’s for a night of gumbo, beer and hurricanes. There are limited invitations available, so what are you waiting for? If you are attending the TechEd 2010 conference and you are a developer, you are invited. To register pick up your "duck" ticket (and wristband) in the TechEd Technical Learning Center (TLC) at the Developer Tools & Languages (DEV) information desk.

You must have wristband to get in.

Tuesday, June 8th from 8pm – 11pm
Pat O’Brien’s New Orleans
624 Bourbon Street New Orleans, LA 70130

posted on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 1:47:13 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, May 17, 2010

I had a nice chat with Abhishek Baxi and Manan on Microsoft Talk about: TechEd 2010 India, the Visual Studio 2010 Launch, Telerik, the MVP program, and Karaoke. I also spoke about my love for the IPL, Indian food, Punjabi music, rides in a tuk-tuk, hailstorms, and Bangalore traffic as well.

Listen here.


posted on Monday, May 17, 2010 10:29:34 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, May 16, 2010

I’m about to leave for a 12 day road trip that will take me to six different countries on three continents.

My first stop, arranged by Adam Cogan and Telerik, is an Agile Seminar in Sydney, Australia. Should be fun, at least they already know what Rugby is and will get my sports references.  I will also be speaking on Silverlight at the Sydney .NET User Group. I’ll be doing my WCF walk through and then a RIA Services demo, about 2 hours, no slides, only Visual Studio. In addition to my presentation, I will also be demoing the new Telerik Data Services Wizard at the user group and show how to build a data driven Silverlight application in 30 seconds. I will also unveil to the world a brand new feature of Telerik OpenAccess/Data Services Wizard at the user group.

I’ll come back to Hong Kong for a day or so and then for the three day weekend (Buddha’s birthday!) will head up to Shanghai for the World Expo.  I’ll but a Telerik sticker on the door of the Bulgarian pavilion. Just hope that act of guerilla marketing doesn’t lead me to a communist Chinese prison…

The week after, I will head to Sofia and visit the Telerik mother ship for a few days. Then off to Romania to speak at a PMI conference, on yes, Scrum. A quick one day layover in Istanbul to visit the infamous anti-suckieness club President and Vice-President: Malek and Goksin. Not sure if they, now both being Microsoft employees, will make me go see customers or not.

Should be fun, I hope to see you at some of the events!

posted on Sunday, May 16, 2010 4:45:01 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Thursday, May 6, 2010

I’ll be speaking at the Office 2010, SQL Server 2008 R2, SharePoint 2010, and PowerPivot launch event next Thursday at the Conrad Hotel in Central, Hong Kong. This will be a unique event, we have a special skit planned revolving around the World Cup and located at: Starbucks, a florist, a local Hong Kong pub, and the airport. All of the cool technology will be on display! 

I’ll be demoing mostly PowerPivot and SharePoint and my role is a New Yorker, so no need for me to act. :)

See you there!

posted on Thursday, May 6, 2010 5:45:02 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I’ll be doing my (in)famous Scrum seminar in Bucharest, Romania on May 26th at Project Management Day, hosted by PMI and Microsoft. My talk is titled “To Scrum or not to Scrum.”

Agile project management and development methods are being adopted at many development shops.  After an introduction to the basics of  Agile and Scrum like: project planning and estimation, the Scrum Master, team, product owner and burn down, and of course the daily Scrum, Stephen, a certified scrum master, will show many real world applications of the methodology drawn from his own experience. Negotiating with the business, estimation and team dynamics are all discussed as well as how to use Scrum in small organizations, large enterprise environments and consulting environments. Stephen uses a very interactive style so participation is encouraged and there will be plenty of time for Q&A. This seminar is a jump start for preparing for a scrum master certification.

See you there.

posted on Wednesday, May 5, 2010 3:40:26 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, April 26, 2010

Last week I spoke at the Great Indian Developer Summit in Bangalore, India. This was my second year speaking at GIDS, so it was great to be back. Before the event Telerik’s Team Fantastic Four set up the booth and then hit McDonalds for a Maharaja Mac. Remember India does not eat beef, so we HAD to go to McDonalds and check it out! Imagine a McDonalds without a hamburger. Totally awesome. (Though we all preferred the McAloo, a potato patty sandwich.)


The event is really 4 conferences in 4 days. One day each on: .NET, Web, Java, and Seminars.

On the Day 1 (.NET) I spoke on:

  • Building Data Warehouses
  • Building Applications with Silverlight and .NET (and sharing the business logic)
  • What's new in SQL Server 2008 R2

No computer malfunctions like last year, my sessions went smooth. This is rapid fire presenting: only 50 minute sessions! With so little time, I had almost no slides and went straight to demo. It is hard to show data warehousing in only 50 minutes, but I focused on star schemas and ETL and I think it went well. Other than no AC in the Silverlight talk, the rest of the day went great.

Telerik had a booth at GIDS and we gave away tons of tee shirts and did hundreds of demos.

2010-04-20 11.45.55

Day 2 was “Web” day with mostly designers and Flash people. I was able to sneak a .NET RIA Services talk in there. I just started to code, no slides at all. In 50 minutes I was able to cover items 1-4 and 8 in Brad’s blog. (I also wanted to cover 5-6, and 9-10, however, 50 minutes was all that I had!) We had a lot of people come by the Telerik booth as well. Coming home from the National Science Center where the Summit is being held, we got stuck in a massive hailstorm. To be honest this video does not do it any justice, the balls were the size of marbles.

Day 3 was Java day, so we rested and hit the Bangalore Palace to see some sights. I particularly liked the room that had lots of paintings of nudes. :) It is good to be King (or Maharaja.) I also watched a lot of Indian Premier League cricket.

2010-04-19 15.31.01

Day 4 was the seminar day and I did my “Agile Tools and Teams” session that I have done before in Pune (see the link for the downloads). I was in rare form, of course decked out in my Rugby Jersey. There was no AC hitting the stage, so I went in and stole a fan from the conference center and put it on the stage. I challenged the audience to a trivia game and asked them where “Scrum” came from. Most guessed Ken Schwaber and I said that Scrum comes from Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka, “The New Product Development Game”, Harvard Business Review, January 1986. Just for fun I quizzed the audience on the Rugby World Cup and the Hong Kong Rugby 7s. We had a great seminar, actually it was a fire hazard since people were sitting on all the available stairs and floor.


After the event, Team Telerik went out for some pizza and headed to the airport to go home. Two weeks in India just flew by. See you next year!

posted on Monday, April 26, 2010 6:36:51 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, April 22, 2010

Last week I spoke at TechEd India and the Visual Studio 2010 launch. It was a great event with over 3,000 attendees, far more than attended the Visual Studio launch in Las Vegas! Senior vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft, S. Somasegar, did an awesome keynote. I did three sessions:

  • Building applications with OData
  • Building Line of Business Applications with WCF and Silverlight 4.0
  • Building Silverlight Business Applications with RIA Services

Something happened to me that never happened before in my 13+ years of being a professional international speaker: I lost my voice! I was in Indonesia the week before and picked up a small bug and had no voice. This was a new challenge for me, and Microsoft offered to cancel my sessions, but I figured why would I let no voice stop me from delivering my sessions!! So I decided to throw away the slides and just code. I had no voice anyway, so I spoke the universal geek language of code.

I think that the sessions went very well, however, since the code was written on the fly, I don’t have full demos available to download. For the RIA services talk, I ripped off Brad Abrams blog here and basically showed items 1-5, and 8-9. For the WCF/Silverlight session, I ripped off myself, you can see a walk through here on my blog (substitute the music data in my blog with IPL cricket teams since that is what I did in India). For the OData session, I have written a ton on data services here on my blog, and check back after TechEd USA and I will post a full demo with Silverlight 4.0 and the new OData client (which shipped yesterday.)

At TechEd, Telerik also had a booth and I tried to help out the best I could with no voice. We were bum-rushed for the free tee-shirts and we gave away about 300 tee shirts in about 1 minute.

2010-04-13 16.38.42

Telerik also had a party with the Indian MVPs at the Opus Lounge in Bangalore and we had some tee shirts for the MVPs. We made them put them on right there. :)

2010-04-14 20.12.25

We had some epic karaoke and I continued my tradition of singing with an MVP Lead female songs as Abhishek Kant and I sang “Like a Virgin” to bring down the house. What little I had of my voice was now completely gone!

2010-04-14 21.43.23

See you next year TechEd India!

posted on Thursday, April 22, 2010 4:33:08 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, April 19, 2010

This week I will be speaking at the Great Indian Developer Summit in Bangalore, India for the second year in a row. My sessions are:

GIDS.Net (Tuesday)

  • Data Warehousing Made Easy
  • What's New in SQL Server 2008 R2 (PowerPivot is shown here as well!)
  • Sharing Business Logic between Silverlight and .NET

GIDS.Web (Wednesday)

  • Building Line of Business Applications with Silverlight 4.0 (RIA Services)

GIDS.Seminar (Friday)

  • Agile Tools and Teams

In addition to my talks, Telerik will also staff a booth and have demos of all of our products and some tee shirts to give away. I will also be at the booth all day to answer your questions on my talks.

See you at GIDS!

posted on Monday, April 19, 2010 9:16:40 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, April 12, 2010

I’ll be speaking at TechEd India and the Visual Studio 2010 Launch in Bangalore, India this week. I’ll be doing three sessions:

In addition, Team Telerik will be staffing a booth with Tee-shirts (hopefully if they get out of customs on time!) and live demos of our products and our brand new product to be announced today! See you at my sessions or at the booth!

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posted on Monday, April 12, 2010 6:13:22 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Monday, March 22, 2010

Tomorrow I will be presenting a “What's new for SQL Server 2008 R2” session at the IT Efficiency Event in Hong Kong put on by Microsoft. Even thought it is an overview session, I’ll be doing a few extensive demos. The demos are on:

  • New TSQL constructs and other goodies like that
  • BING map integration (if I get internet access in the session room!)
  • Data-Tier Applications (fun for both developers and DBAs)
  • PowerPivot

I will be the only English speaking speaker, should be fun. :)

posted on Monday, March 22, 2010 3:30:19 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, March 12, 2010

I will be presenting my half day Agile seminar this May in Sydney, Australia. I hope to see you there. I will also be speaking at the Sydney .NET User Group that evening on Silverlight 4.0 and giving out some Telerik swag.

Half-day Agile Seminar
Wednesday 19th May 2010
9:00am - 12:00pm
SSW Office, Sydney
Suite 10, 81-91 Military Road, Neutral Bay
Cost: No Charge


Agile Development, Tools and Teams

One of the most popular Agile project management and development methods, Scrum is starting to be adopted at major corporations and on very large projects. After an introduction to the basics of Scrum like: project planning and estimation, the Scrum Master, team, product owner and burn down, and of course the daily Scrum, Stephen (a certified Scrum Master) shows many real world applications of the methodology drawn from his own experience as a Scrum Master.

Negotiating with the business, estimation and team dynamics are all discussed as well as how to use Scrum in small organizations, large enterprise environments and consulting environments. Stephen will also discuss using Scrum with virtual teams and an off-shoring environment. We’ll then take a look at the tools we will use for Agile development, including planning poker, unit testing, and much more. There will be plenty of time for Question and Answer. This seminar is a jump start for a certified scrum master exam.


  • Introduction to Agile Development and Scrum
  • Agile Estimation
  • Implementing Scrum with remote and offshore teams
  • Agile Tools, Test Driven Development, and Continuous Integration
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posted on Friday, March 12, 2010 4:21:06 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, February 26, 2010

We had a great Agile seminar yesterday in Pune, India. You can download the seminar slides here.

A special thanks to Telerik, the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture and the team from e-Zest for planning such a successful event. Usually as the speaker I get all the glory, so here is the photo of me with the folks who made it happen, they deserve the glory:


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posted on Friday, February 26, 2010 3:37:27 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, February 21, 2010

I will be presenting a half day seminar on Agile Development, Tools and Teams on Wednesday at the MCCIA in Pune, India. The event is brought to you free by e-Zest, MCCIA, and Telerik.

The Program Details

One of the most popular Agile project management and development methods, Scrum is starting to be adopted at major corporations and on very large projects. After an introduction to the basics of Scrum like: project planning and estimation, the Scrum Master, team, product owner and burn down, and of course the daily Scrum, Stephen (a certified Scrum Master) shows many real world applications of the methodology drawn from his own experience as a Scrum Master. Negotiating with the business, estimation and team dynamics are all discussed as well as how to use Scrum in small organizations, large enterprise environments and consulting environments. Stephen will also discuss using Scrum with virtual teams and an off-shoring environment. We’ll then take a look at the tools we will use for Agile development, including planning poker, unit testing, and much more. There will be plenty of time for Question and Answer. This seminar is a jump start for a certified scrum master exam. 

To register: please email seminar@e-zest.net.

posted on Sunday, February 21, 2010 11:59:02 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Saturday, February 6, 2010

Check out my pre-con at TechEd North America, Joel and I will be speaking on Agile. Register here. :)

PRC07 The Agile Methodology Demystified: Implementing Agile in Your Organization

Track: Development Practices

Speaker(s): Joel Semeniuk, Stephen Forte

Agile project management and development methods are being adopted at many development shops. After an introduction to the basics of Agile and Scrum, including: project planning and estimation, the Scrum Master, team, product owner and burn down, and of course the daily Scrum, certified scrum masters Stephen and Joel show many real-world applications of the methodology drawn from their own experience. Negotiating with the business, estimation, and team dynamics are all discussed as well as how to use Scrum in small organizations, large enterprise environments, and consulting environments. Next we discuss using Scrum with virtual teams and an off-shoring environment. We then take a look at some of the planning tools we will use for Agile Estimation, including planning poker, Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, and much more. We dive into some agile developer techniques such as TDD, Continuous Integration, and Dependency Injection, and round out the pre-con with a discussion on Agile developer tools and how they can help (and sometimes hinder) the development process. The speakers have a very interactive style so participation is encouraged and there will be plenty of time for Q&A. This seminar is a jump start for preparing for a scrum master certification.


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posted on Saturday, February 6, 2010 3:56:32 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, January 25, 2010

I’ll be speaking at the Great Indian Developer Summit from April 20-23 at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India. This will be my second time to the GIDS and it will be hard to top last year’s adventure of Video Drivers, Prison Riots, and Silverlight, but I will try.

developersummit (1)

I will be speaking on .NET day on:

  • Business Intelligence Design Patterns: BI Made Easy!
  • Sharing Code between .NET and Silverlight (This is mostly on SL 3.0, but will I show how you can do it with SL 4.0 too, which is *much* easier!)

On web day I will be speaking about:

  • Building Line of Business Applications with Silverlight 4.0

Sessions are only 50 minutes, so almost no slides and almost all demo.

For the Friday Seminar, I will be doing a 3 hour workshop on Agile and Scrum. I am going to try to make this completely interactive. If you are going for a Certified Scrum Master or Certified Scrum Developer, this is a great head start.

Telerik will be a Silver Sponsor and should have a booth and (if the customs agents like us) lots of Telerik Tee shirts to give away.

Hope to see you there!

posted on Monday, January 25, 2010 9:25:19 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, January 21, 2010

I will be presenting a half day seminar on Agile Development, Tools and Teams on Wednesday February 24th at the MCCIA in Pune. The event is brought to you free by e-Zest, MCCIA, and Telerik. Seats are limited, to sign up in advance, please email seminar@e-zest.net.

The Program Details

One of the most popular Agile project management and development methods, Scrum is starting to be adopted at major corporations and on very large projects. After an introduction to the basics of Scrum like: project planning and estimation, the Scrum Master, team, product owner and burn down, and of course the daily Scrum, Stephen (a certified Scrum Master) shows many real world applications of the methodology drawn from his own experience as a Scrum Master. Negotiating with the business, estimation and team dynamics are all discussed as well as how to use Scrum in small organizations, large enterprise environments and consulting environments. Stephen will also discuss using Scrum with virtual teams and an off-shoring environment. We’ll then take a look at the tools we will use for Agile development, including planning poker, unit testing, and much more. There will be plenty of time for Question and Answer. This seminar is a jump start for a certified scrum master exam. 

Who Should Attend 

Developers and development managers, especially those using the Microsoft .NET platform. 

Schedule and Agenda

Seminar Coverage

Time Slot

Event Registration


Speaker Introduction


Introduction to Agile Development and Scrum


Agile Estimation


High Tea Break


Implementing Scrum with remote and offshore teams


Agile Tools, Test Driven Development, and Continuous Integration


Summary, Question and Answer


Conclusion of Program



The Speaker

Stephen Forte is the Chief Strategy Officer of Telerik, a leading vendor in .NET components. He sits on the board of several start-ups including Triton Works and is also a certified scrum master. Prior he was the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and co-founder of Corzen, Inc, a New York based provider of online market research data for Wall Street Firms. Corzen was acquired by Wanted Technologies (TXV: WAN) in 2007. Stephen is also the Microsoft Regional Director for the NY Metro region and speaks regularly at industry conferences around the world. He has written several books on application and database development including Programming SQL Server 2008 (MS Press). Prior to Corzen, Stephen served as the CTO of Zagat Survey in New York City and also was co-founder of the New York based software consulting firm The Aurora Development Group. He currently is an MVP, INETA speaker and is the co-moderator and founder of the NYC .NET Developer User Group. Stephen has an MBA from the City University of New York. Stephen currently lives in Hong Kong and will be returning to Mt. Everest again in September 2010. 

Final Details


Wednesday February 24th, 2010


9.00 am to 1.00 pm (registration from 9.00 a.m. to 9.45 a.m.)


Shekhar Natu Hall, MCCIA, 403-A,Senapati Bapat Road, Pune 411 016




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posted on Thursday, January 21, 2010 1:59:34 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Friday, December 11, 2009

As a person who gives a lot of presentations, I was looking forward to reading Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun. I figured that I could gain some insight from another speaker and pick up a few tips. The book was far better than that! I learned a tremendous amount about how to prepare and deliver professional presentations in a very relaxed and enjoyable way. The book was very readable, funny, and quite informative. Scott shares with us his secrets and emphasis on preparation, and how being prepared can get you out of trouble if things start to go wrong in your presentation.

Scott tells a great story and gives great advice both to people new to speaking and folks like me who have been doing it a long time. Scott's style and good humor will make the book interesting for people who don't have to give presentations as well. His stories are honest as well as funny and make reading the book quite enjoyable. Lastly, I read this book in the Kindle format and was quite impressed with the layout and graphics (these days if it is not on the Kindle it doesn’t exist to me.)  I highly recommend it to everyone needing to communicate effectively.


posted on Friday, December 11, 2009 1:27:17 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Friday, December 4, 2009

I was talking to a fellow MVP here in Hong Kong today about the PDC. He said that since I get to go to all of these events as a speaker it must be great to watch all of the sessions and learn about all of the new technology. The problem is that when you are speaking you almost never get to attend other sessions. If you have a few sessions, you are always either getting ready, speaking, or relaxing after your talk. (Believe it or not, it is tiring to speak at these events.)

I only had one talk at the PDC and it was a BOF, so I did get to attend a few sessions. The funny thing is that I circled 10 sessions. Three where when I was speaking, two had conflicts with others, one was at 8:30am, and one conflicted with a RD meeting. So I attended 3 sessions besides the keynotes. That actually is a lot for me at one of these events.

The good news is that the PDC puts all of its sessions online for free. Why free? Read the book “Free” by Chris Anderson, it will explain how putting the sessions online for free actually increases the prestige of the conference and allows them to make more money.

You can watch all of the videos online for free at the PDC website. If you want to watch them offline you can also download all of the videos to your hard drive. The directions are on the PDC page, however, I had to use the 32 bit version of the cURL tool to get it to work on x64 Windows 7 for some reason. You may want to download the X32 version and save yourself the trouble.

Now you can download all the videos and watch them at your own pace.  I have watched about 15 sessions in the past two weeks since I have been home. Enjoy!


posted on Friday, December 4, 2009 1:27:33 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, November 18, 2009

PDC is well underway and of course Telerik launched JustCode last night. It was fun walking around with the JustCode tee shirt on all day and duck tape over the CODE part.

If you are at the PDC swing by the Microsoft SQL Server booth and take a look at two of our exciting new projects. Microsoft is highlighting both our OpenAccess Data Services Wizard and our LINQ to M implementation.

See you at the Telerik booth, my sessions, or a party. :)


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posted on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 9:38:03 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, November 16, 2009

Joel and I are doing a BOF session on Tuesday about Agile tools and Teams. (I am not listed on the PDC web site for some reason, but I will be there alongside Joel.)

We will most definitely show the Telerik Dashboard and Work Item Manager as well as chat about tons of other great tools. Most importantly, we want to hear from you at this session. We did it that way at TechEd in LA earlier this year (the #1 ranked interactive session at TechEd 2009) and it worked well. Hope to see you there and have a great discussion.

Tooling on Agile Teams

Joel Semeniuk in 309 on Tuesday at 3:00 PM

Agile practices focus on customer value and team interactions. There is significantly growing and important set of tools that work to help Agile teams be more “agile”. In this session, we would like to hear what you have to say about tools for Agile teams? What tools work? What tools don’t work? What tools are missing in the industry? What tools can you not live without? Come join the discussion or simply listen to what your peers have to say.

See you there!


posted on Monday, November 16, 2009 1:54:14 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, November 14, 2009

I appear again on .NET Rocks this week, this time talking with Richard and Carl about life in the 21st century. I talk about marketing in the digital age, geek stuff, and also argue with Carl about Amazon’s decision to remove the book 1984 from the Kindle.

You can listen here. Enjoy.

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posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 9:08:59 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, November 7, 2009

Next week I will be speaking at one of my favorite events, TechEd Europe, this year held in Berlin. While Barcelona is still my favorite city in the world, I am glad that we are in Berlin this year, since Monday is the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall falling, and our world changing forever.

I will be speaking on:

I speak on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the event is SOLD OUT. I hope you were lucky enough to get a ticket. I’ll be hanging out at the Telerik booth when I am not speaking if you want to come and say hi.


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posted on Saturday, November 7, 2009 3:17:24 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, November 5, 2009

I am in Hong Kong speaking at the Hong Kong International Computer Conference. It is a great conference, it focuses on IT as a driver for innovation and economic transformation. I was lucky enough to be doing one of the keynote presentations on how technology is so disruptive and how cloud computing changes entrepreneurship. In my talk I mention Ray Kurzweil’s Abstraction of Moore's Law, which can be summarized as saying that the next 20 years will see as much technological innovation as the past 100.

I represented Microsoft Hong Kong in this talk, and after the speech lots of people came up to me to chat. I got to talk to tons of folks at the conference: I got to talk to students and professors at Hong Kong University, the folks from One Laptop per Child, entrepreneurs (including a dude building some amazing robotics), people form NGOs, and local software developers. We got to talking about how the new technology reality has drastically changed business models. Think about digital media, the music industry has changed forever, old business models just don’t work anymore.

This got me thinking. Microsoft recently announced a great offer for Visual Studio Ultimate (yet another SKU). But the world has changed. Web 2.0 is here! So I say: All SKUs of Visual Studio should be free.The goal should be to get Visual Studio out to everyone, for free. I know that we have Express versions of these products, and for the most part, they are very capable, but I mean the real deal, Visual Studio Ultimate.

Now I know what you are thinking: Steve, have you gone soft on me?

Of course not.  I am still a disciple of Milton Friedman and a firm believer of free markets and economic incentives. But that does not mean you have to actually sell something to make money on it. I am thinking of Visual Studio 2.0.

For example, there are four versions of Visual Studio as far as I can tell. (And the fact that I have no idea is a problem.) There are the free express versions, Professional, Premium, and (the new SKU) Ultimate.


Microsoft should do away with all versions and give away Ultimate (without MSDN) to anyone who wants it. My mom could go and download it if she wanted to. Just have to provide some demographic information and have a Live ID.

The startup page in Visual Studio would be ad supported (and you can’t make it go away, so you will see it each time you load Visual Studio.)  I could see Telerik or our competitors wanting to sponsor that page-but not in a “pay us a million dollars model”, rather as a pay per conversion model. Basically Telerik and our competitors would pay a small fee to be on the startup page and be able to stream ads to the developers and each Telerik license sold, Microsoft takes a cut.  Note to Microsoft, since this was my idea, can Telerik have an exclusive on that page? :)

In addition, in exchange for the free Visual Studio, Microsoft will get anonymous data from the developers. What country you are in, the specs of the developer machine, installation experience, etc. Also how many projects were started in C# v VB v F#, etc. Silverlight v Web, etc. Imagine if Microsoft knew all of this data!! I want to know how many lines of C# code in Brazil were written for Windows Forms last week.

Microsoft can then sell ad space based on your environment. Think about a C# developer in Poland working mostly on Silverlight. On the startup page next time there are offers (in Polish) for Silverlight tools, conferences, books, or even job offers. How much would Dell pay to market to every developer in Australia with Visual Studio installed on an “underpowered” machine? The vendor would only know who you are if you actually clicked on the offer.

Microsoft can also make money by using Visual Studio as a sales engine for MSDN. MSDN does not really have a “sales force” and Visual Studio can be a “loss leader” for MSDN.

But MSDN’s business model would have to change as well. Why not have MSDN (not the software part) evolve into a Visual Studio based Facebook/Linkedin social network for developers. You can only get into your “MSDNFacebook” via Visual Studio. When you are coding, Visual Studio can automatically update your status (Stephen Forte is currently breaking the build….) Imagine hitting F1 and be brought to a MSDN forum search on that line of code as one option. Every .NET developer in the world would be a member of this social network! Want to find a user group? No problem! Imagine the collaboration opportunities. A whole new world of revenue opportunities would open up to Microsoft, including an IPO of MSDNFacebook! :)

In addition, the MSDN software pricing model would change. Microsoft can sell fractional MSDN licenses and specialize MSDN for local markets and different developer types. Maybe you only want MSDN for Web Development. MSDN is expensive since it includes big things like Windows Server and Exchange, etc. (I have never installed Exchange, nor will I ever do so.)  Maybe you can have MSDN options where that is excluded. Kind of like a menu where you customize just want you want and pay only for what you use. Sell more with less. (Sound familiar?)

Of course if you want the ads and the anonymous data collection turned off, you can pay an annual fee. If your employer is paying that annual fee, they can opt out of certain content, such as a job offer coming your way, etc.

Visual Studio 2.0 would be awesome. Developers get free software and more collaboration, vendors get to tap into the entire ecosystem, and Microsoft makes more money while collecting a tremendous amount of metrics, metrics that will drive new features, service packs, etc.

Maybe this will be one of the great announcements next week at the PDC……..

posted on Thursday, November 5, 2009 6:56:41 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tomorrow I will be speaking at the 2009 edition of the Hong Kong International Computer Conference. This year’s theme is on Value Creation and Economic Transformation via IT. When they asked me to put together a session, I jumped on the idea of how Cloud Computing has changed the economics of start-ups and entrepreneurship. 

I started Corzen, my last company, in 2002. We got started for around $250,000. About $75,000 of that was on building out a data center. I am a software guy, so this also took a lot of my time. In 2010, I can have more processing power, more storage, and more free time for around $99 a month from Windows Azure or Amazon EC2. Think about what this will mean, it will be much easier to start a new business in the future.

The implications of this are staggering. The late 90s was always considered the golden age of start-ups since funding was so “easy” in the .com boom. Now you can start your own business for less than $20,000! We’ll see a ton of new businesses pop up in all industries. Since you won’t need investment to get started and most entrepreneurs will use their own money, the start-ups will have tons of passion.

Innovation will take a great leap forward in the next decade. Cloud Computing will lead the way.


posted on Wednesday, November 4, 2009 1:43:02 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, November 1, 2009

I’ll be speaking this week at TechDays in Hong Kong. Doing a new session on TSQL Tips and Tricks, a session on Silverlight, and of course the Daily Scrum (on Agile development as well as scrum.)

Hope to see you there.


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posted on Sunday, November 1, 2009 8:44:35 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, October 29, 2009

I am lucky to get to speak at many conferences in many different countries each year. A lot of people ask what it is like to be an international confrence speaker. For the most part, mind airport security and flight delays, it is the most fun you can have and still be working. You get to hang out with your peers all over the world and geek out. Then of course there is the partying…

Sometimes your friends and colleagues want to keep partying well after the bar is closed. At the last BASTA confrence in Germany last month, I retired around 2am well after the we shut down the bar. My colleagues lead by fellow Telerik employee Peter Brunner and thinktecture’s  Christian Weyer aka the tall German, decided to keep drinking and raided their minibars. When they exhausted their minibars, they came to my room.

Posing as housekeeping they come to my room in the middle of the night to wake me up. They even turn around my do not disturb sign to “come on in.” I knew it was not housekeeping, but I did not expect a party at my door. After I answer the door in my underwear, I give them a tour of my “roomlet” as well as drink a beer before kicking them out. Christian Weyer and I also play with my beer stein Oktoberfest hat that I won at Oktoberfest-it is not meant to fit on a normal human’s head, but it does fit Christian’s.

Daniel Walzenbach caught this all on film.


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posted on Thursday, October 29, 2009 2:19:35 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, October 19, 2009

The European Tour continues! I am speaking on REST and Data Access at the SDC in the Netherlands this week. Hope to see you there.


posted on Monday, October 19, 2009 4:12:23 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, October 15, 2009

I’ll be speaking at the CodeCamp in Cracow, Poland on Saturday. Not only will I be doing my Scrum and Data Access talks, but another speaker got sick and I will be doing a .NET Rock Interview with Richard and Carl. Should be a great amount of fun! See you there.


posted on Thursday, October 15, 2009 5:42:34 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, October 10, 2009

On Monday and Tuesday I will speaking at DevReach in Sofia, Bulgaria. I’ll be doing my Data Access Hacks and Shortcuts and RESTful applications with Microsoft Tools sessions as well as the Daily Scrum talk with Remi Caron.

Chris Sells is doing a keynote on Oslo and Central Europe DPE lead Luka Debeljak will be doing a keynote on Azure. Should be great. Hope to see you there.


posted on Saturday, October 10, 2009 6:24:12 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yesterday at the BASTA! keynote I wrote an application on the fly showing how to write a WCF service and then call it from Silverlight asynchronously. Instead of posting the code, I figured that I would put up a walk through.

Getting Started

To get started fire up Visual Studio and start a new Silverlight 3.0 project. In order to use Silverlight 3.0 you will need the Silverlight 3.0 SDK installed. Once you have the new Silverlight application up and running you should have two solutions up and running, one with the Web host and one with the Silverlight XAML files. Right click on the Web project and choose Add|New Item and choose WCF Service.


Once you select the WCF Service, give it a name, I chose Basta1, but you can name it whatever you want. Next you will be brought into the interface file or Iyourservicename.cs. Here you have to define your POCO class as well as the method signature of your service.

In the demo I made a class of RockBand as shown here:

   1:  //POCO
   2:  public class RockBand
   3:  {
   4:    public int RockkBandId { get; set; }
   5:    public string RockkBandName { get; set; }
   6:  }


This is the definition of our “POCO” or “plain old CLR object” class. No attributes or any logic about the underlying database, just a simple CLR object. I am using a pretty simple design here, so if you are looking for some more complex demos or examples of using databases and ORM, check out my blog series on the Telerik WCF OpenAccess Wizard.

Now we have to define the WCF service contract. I will create a simple method, ReturnRockBands that will return a List of RockBand. Here we just define the method’s interface, we will implement the method in the service class.

   1:  [ServiceContract]
   2:  public interface IBasta1
   3:  {
   4:      [OperationContract]
   5:      List<RockBand> ReturnRockBanks();
   6:  }

Now just save the interface file and then go ahead and open the code behind of the SVC service file. We will implement the service contract interface of ReturnRockBanks (notice that I made a typo in my demo, hey you try coding in front of 500 people!)

   1:  public class Basta1 : IBasta1
   2:  {
   3:      public List<RockBand> ReturnRockBanks()
   4:      {
   5:          List<RockBand> rockbands = new List<RockBand>();
   7:          rockbands.Add(new RockBand() { RockkBandId = 1, RockkBandName = "Depeche Mode" });
   8:          rockbands.Add(new RockBand() { RockkBandId = 2, RockkBandName = "The Smiths" });
   9:          rockbands.Add(new RockBand() { RockkBandId = 4, RockkBandName = "Britney Spears" });
  11:          return rockbands;
  12:      }
  13:  }
  14:  }


This code is pretty straight forward, our class implements the interface we just created in line 1 and our method fills a List of RockBand and returns that list. We will now consume this service in Silverlight. But before we do that we have to change our WCF binding to basic in the web.config:

<endpoint address="" binding="basicHttpBinding" contract="SilverlightApplication20.Web.IBasta1">

Now just save (and compile) the project and let’s move into our client.

Building the Silverlight Client

We will create a simple Grid and a button in our XAML. When the user clicks on the button, we will call the WCF service and bind the data to the grid. Pretty simple application, but I just want to demonstrate how easy it is to do. A real application is not that much harder.

   1:  <StackPanel>
   2:  <data:DataGrid Name="MyGrid">
   3:   </data:DataGrid>
   4:  <Button Name="MyButton" Content="Push Me!" Click="Button_Click"
   5:  ></Button>
   6:  </StackPanel>


Since we defined a Click event for the button in line 4, let’s go into the C# code behind and call our WCF service. But first we have to set a reference to our service, we do that by right clicking on the “references” item in our solution and say “Add service reference.” Choose the reference we just created (by hitting the discover button) and we are good to go.


Now we have to do two things. First we have to set up a reference to our service proxy that was just created. This is done in line 3 and then we have to set an event to fire when our asynchronous call to the ReturnRockBank completes. This is done on line 4 and the method name to catch the event is called wcf_ReturnRockBanksCompleted. Lastly we call our WCF service’s method in line 6. Notice that the proxy added the “async” suffix to our method.

   1:  private void Button_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
   2:  {
   3:      Basta1Client wcf = new Basta1Client();
   4:      wcf.ReturnRockBanksCompleted +=  wcf_ReturnRockBanksCompleted;
   5:      //call method WCF
   6:      wcf.ReturnRockBanksAsync();
   7:  }

Now we have to catch this event when it is done firing. We do that by implementing wcf_ReturnRockBanksCompleted. Then all we have to do is bind our data grid to the “result” in the event arguments (line 4).

   1:  void wcf_ReturnRockBanksCompleted(object sender, 
   2:          ReturnRockBanksCompletedEventArgs e)
   3:  {
   4:      MyGrid.ItemsSource = e.Result;
   5:  }


That’s it to get WCF services to work with Silverlight. When we run this and push the button, our application looks like this:


Now to make this a “real” application that is not hard coded, all you have to do is create WCF services for your CRUD methods and fill your POCO object with data from your database. There are tons of different approaches to doing that, you can check out some methods in my blog post here.


posted on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 8:44:16 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I will be doing my Daily Scrum talk and a keynote on Silverlight 3.0 Line of Business features at the Basta! Fall conference from September 21-25th in Mainz, Germany. Hope to see you there.


posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 2:43:50 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, September 20, 2009

Every fall, the kids go back to school, the weather gets cooler, Munich kicks off its annual Oktoberfest festival, and the fall conference season heats up. It seems that I always miss Oktoberfest. I had friends who lived in Munich earlier this decade and each year my trips to Mt. Everest got in the way. Now that Telerik has a Munich office, I got to go to Oktoberfest (O#) with geeks. I can see the eyes rolling by the non-technical readers of this blog (basically my Mom is the only non-technical person who reads this blog), however, geeks can drink a lot, judging by how I had to crawl up the spiral staircase in my hotel room last night. (Yes you read that right. I also thought that European rooms were suppose to be small. I think that the staircase is a cruel joke for Oktoberfest and they only give the room to dumb, obnoxious Americans, but I digress.)



While I am here to talk about the future direction of OpenAccess and how to further evolve the WCF Wizard that I recently wrote a blog series on, we all will be headed up to Mainz for Basta 2009. Since the fall conference season is upon us, I figured I will outline here all of the events I will be speaking at this fall, plus a special trip to Nepal I want to tell you about.

Basta! 2009, Mainz, Germany 21-25 September

This is my first Basta event, but many of my colleagues have spoken there for years (including fellow RDs and ex RDs Ingo Rammer, Markus Egger, and Christian Weyer.) and have raved about the passion of the audience. I’ll be speaking on scrum as well as doing a keynote on Silverlight’s line of business applications (this keynote will be one long demo.) Telerik is also going to be there, as a sponsor and with a booth. We have enough tee-shirts for every man, woman, and child at the conference. Should be fun!

School building in Chyangba Village, Nepal, 25 September-October 6

Instead of going to Mt. Everest this year, I will be going to my sherpa’s home village and help construct a library for the local school. I am also going with a few other geeks like Richard Campbell, Kathleen Dollard, and Maciej Pilecki. We are raising money for the village and trying to set up an endowment. I would love to see the tech community help us. Since speakers don’t get paid for these events, my tagline this fall will be asking for geeks to donate to the cause. (Hey if people can “walk” for cancer, I can speak for a village.) More on this on a blog post later this week before I fly to Kathmandu, but you can sponsor here. I have to thank Telerik for being so supportive of this passion of mine.

DevReach, Sofia, Bulgaria 12-13 October

DevReach is another passion of mine since the conference founder Martin Kulov reached out to me for help in planning the first ever DevReach in 2006. It is also how I met the Telerik boys. It is also how I discovered how beautiful Bulgarian women are. All of that said, it is a great show, now in our 4th year and of course Telerik is a huge sponsor and will have a great presence there. I’ll be doing the scrum session as well as Data Access Hacks and Shortcuts and Building RESTful Applications with Microsoft tools.

CodeCamp, Cracow, Poland 17 October

Fellow RD Tad Golonka, who is totally awesome, introduced me to the crazy country of Poland (also another land of beautiful women, seeing a trend??) Long story short, but if you remember I was the global recruiter for the Curing Cancer project, and one of the folks I hired was Szymon Kobalczyk (also recommended by Tad.) Szymon, who says I have changed his life (I just hope for the better!), runs the CodeCamp, so I could not say no! Talking scrum and data as well and I expect to have a great time.

Software Developers Conference (SDC),  Arnhem, The Netherlands, 19-20 October

This will be my 12th year of speaking at SDC (something like 15 events) and my first SDC was back in May 1998. The SDC took a chance on a young inexperienced speaker (I only spoke at a few Advisor DevCons in the United States before then) and I am forever grateful. To be honest, I have no idea why the Dutch like me so much, I constantly show up for sessions drunk (one year they even put the word “Beer” in my session title (start listening at 22 minutes in)) and insult Dutch people. I got very drunk and very abusive in 2007 and they made me do a keynote in 2008. I guess I am not learning. That said, I will be back with the usual cast of characters.  This is my favorite event of the year.

Tech*Days Hong Kong 2-4 November

This will be my first time speaking at Tech*Days in Hong Kong. There are usually a few thousand folks at this event and I will doing a session called “Sharing Code between .NET and Silverlight” as well as my Daily Scrum talk. Looking forward to this one!

Tech*Ed Europe, Berlin, Germany 9-13 November

After setting a TechEd record of doing 10 sessions last year (only to break that record and do 11 in LA this year), the TechEd Europe organizers figured that they had enough of me and only assigned me 2 sessions (Estimation and “Agile Tools and Teams”.) I lost track, but I think this is my 10th TechEd in Europe! Telerik will be there in force with a booth and developers staffing the booth. This should be a great event.

PDC 2009, Los Angeles, California (why?!) 17-19 November

While PDC is pretty much a Microsoft only speaker event talking about future technology, Joel and I will be doing a BOF session on Agile Tools and Teams. Basically a repeat of our BOF at TechEd in LA (and my session in Berlin.  Watch this related video.) Telerik will be at the PDC in full force, as a sponsor and with a booth. Known for great software and also awesome must have t-shirts, we will have over 1,000 copies of our new t-shirt, making its debut at PDC. Stop by the booth for that (as well as .NET Ninjas, Geeketts, and some others.) Also Telerik will be unveiling its newest product and will have demos all week will give away licenses.

That is a lot of events, but it will be great! Hope to see you at one (or all)!

posted on Sunday, September 20, 2009 6:14:45 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, May 30, 2009

Here is the code from Mary and my session about building front ends to SQL Server with spending any money. It is an Access 2007 Front end that consumes the Twitter RESTful API and eventually allows the user to augment that data in Access then dump it back into a SQL Server table via a SQL TVP. Pretty cool.

posted on Saturday, May 30, 2009 7:25:49 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, May 28, 2009

Here is a recording of the Daily Scrum Q&A talk that Joel and I did at the Enterprise Development and Solutions Conference in New York City earlier this month.

posted on Thursday, May 28, 2009 10:23:06 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, May 22, 2009

Last week at TechEd and this week up at the Montreal Users Group (yes I spoke in French! :) ), I presented the “Data Access Hacks and Shortcuts” a session where I walk through 5 different scenarios and have 5 solutions/hacks/tips. It is a unique style of presentation and people either love it or hate it. If you hate it, well, no worries, just go find a presentation that works for you. If you loved it, here are the scenarios and download link to the presentation and code:

  • Passing a custom .NET collection (that uses IEnunerable) to a Stored Procedure (SQL Server 2008 TVP)
  • Using SQL Server Profiler to spy on your LINQ queries and write better LINQ queries (or debug LINQ queries)
  • Modeling complex 1 to many relationships as flatter views for better data access
  • Binding to REST (ADO .NET Data Services) data in Silverlight, also has a nice hack on dealing with Silverlight asynchronous processing issues
  • Using reporting tables and data warehouse tables as part of your application architecture

You can download the slides and code here. Enjoy.

posted on Friday, May 22, 2009 3:58:35 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I am over in Bangalore, India speaking at the Great Indian Developer Conference, and as I get on stage for my first session my laptop does not project to the monitor. Oh well, I guess I have to reduce my five gazillion by one trillion screen resolution. Still not working. Tried the old reliable, rebooting. Still no dice. We try another laptop just to make sure it is me, not the monitor, sure enough it is me.

I was the first speaker at the conference and now the conference organizer is sweating. He offers his laptop and I say as long as you have SP1 on it. He said, Windows XP SP1? I was like, not that SP1, Visual Studio 2008 SP1. No dice. Now I was sweating (it was 40C/104F). Did I mention that my session is now 5 minutes late? I determine it is my Win7 video driver and give up trying.

I decide to let fate take over. I make an announcement: “Anyone in the audience have a laptop that I can borrow? One that has a lot of ram and Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 installed?” Blank stares. Now I am getting nervous, brought me back to a time in 2001 where I demoed beta2 of .NET without .NET installed on my machine. Time to hand wave and make jokes about George Bush. (That always worked in Egypt.) Then my hero showed up. Prashant lent me his laptop and we got going and life was good. I had to borrow the generic AV laptop for my Scrum session later in the day and Satheesh lent me his for my last session on Data Access hacks and shortcuts. In Belgium at TechDays Joel did an agile talk with no slides: I wrote the slides on the fly (we were being agile!) Now I will start speaking at conferences without a laptop! (Er, maybe not.)

Last night in my hotel the TV talked about a prison riot. Don’t ask me why, but prison riots always get my attention. I watched the story and it turns out that the inmates were not complaining about the conditions, they were complaining that they were not allowed to watch cricket. Yes, cricket.

So I started to pay attention. The next story was about a huge win by Chennai in the Indian Premier League (IPL).  (Yes more cricket.) Then the next story was about a flamboyant bollywood star who owns a team. They were caught with Paris Hilton or something, but the point was the news wanted to know how this would affect his team. More cricket. Did I mention that there are major national elections going on in India tomorrow. These elections will determine who is the next Prime Minister, but the news can only talk about cricket.

So I did some more investigation. The IPL was started last year. It is an Indian professional league for cricket-club based, representing cities. This is a new concept in India and has been wildly successful. The opening matches were only played a few days ago and season two is under way. Talking to a finance guy about the IPL today, I discovered that the larger markets attracted larger investors who spent a ton of money and have huge payrolls (sounds like the Yankees.) So the smallest market, Rajasthan, the team with the smallest payroll, are the defending champions (sounds almost like the Tampa Bay Rays.)

I was about done with my IPL education when I came across this blog post by fellow Regional Director Vinod Unny. The IPL web site, a site with more hits than you can imagine, streams the matches using Silverlight. The site also has a pretty cool interactive Silverlight based scoreboard where you can get real time stats and drill down into a player’s history. There are even tons of photos using deep zoom. Pretty awesome stuff (even thought it is cricket!)

IPLT20.com is estimated to get over 400 million unique page views from 45 million visits and 10 million unique visitors during this tournament. A huge win for Silverlight and proof that i can’t get away from technology ever, even when investigating a prison riot….

posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 12:14:54 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cloud computing, Software plus services, Windows Azure, SQL Services, Live Services, Windows 7,  Visual Studio 2010, .NET 4.0 Framework, etc, etc….  Did you miss all of the news coming out of the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference in Los Angeles last month? Or, maybe you caught some of it, but were so overwhelmed by the fire hose of information, you weren’t able to digest it all?  (My brain is STILL on overload from all the new technology announcements & demos.)

Have no fear, if you weren’t able to make it to the PDC, now is your opportunity to learn about all of the latest developer technologies from Microsoft in a city near you!  A fantastic series of one-day conferences is coming to 11 cities across the US.  The MSDN Developer Conference features 12 sessions in three tracks:

  1. Cloud Services
    Use Windows Azure, Live Mesh, and more to create apps that bridge the gaps between PC, Web, and phone

  2. Client and Presentation
    See the state of the art and future plans for ASP.NET 4.0, WPF, and Silverlight

  3. Tools, Languages and Framework
    Learn about Visual Studio 2010, Language Futures, Oslo, and Parallel Programming

    Think of this as the greatest hits of PDC coming to you!

    A full day of content for $99.  And of course some nice giveaways as well.

    New York City’s Turn

    As one of the 11 cities in the series, our local event will be in New York City on January 20th at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square

    We have a great line-up of speakers on tap for New York, including:

    The Sessions

    Cloud Services
    Client and Presentation
    Tools, Languages and Framework

    Lap Around Cloud Services
    Windows Presentation Framework (WPF) Roadmap
    The Future of Managed Languages: F#, C#, and Visual Basic

    Developing and Deploying Your First Cloud Services
    Developing Data-centric Applications WPF
    A Lap Around "Oslo" (I am presenting)

    A Lap Around the Live Framework and Mesh Services
    Building Business Focused Applications using Silverlight 2
    Microsoft Visual Studio Team System: A Lap Around VSTS 2010

    Developing Applications Using Data Services (I am presenting)
    ASP.NET 4.0 Roadmap
    Parallel Programming for Managed Code Developers

    Registration is now open, and a nice deal for $99.
    posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2008 11:13:58 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Monday, December 1, 2008

    I will be speaking at DevTeach up in Montreal this week. It is a great show, hope to see some of you there.

    posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 7:22:46 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Sunday, November 2, 2008

    Ok, ok it is not a Smackdown, but more of a review of Sp1 technology: EF, Dynamic Data, Astoria, LINQ to REST. I will be doing a session at TechED next week in Barcelona, however, you can see a shortened version of the talk from my DevReach keynote.

    posted on Sunday, November 2, 2008 10:30:52 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    I am back from a 16 day, three country, three conference European tour. It was a lot of fun and the community is alive and well in Europe and I am looking forward to TechEd in Spain.

    First stop was in Amsterdam for the SDC, well actually Noordwijkerhout, but that is impossible to pronounce and it is “close to Amsterdam” as is everything is in that tiny country. They let me do the keynote (on Astoria and REST) and also speak on Scrum and SQL. There was an obligatory visit with Miguel “look at me!” Castro and Peter Bahaa to the Red Light District. Yes, there was a lot of stories about sex and drugs, but Carl Franklin randomly showed up at the SDC, so we told all on an upcoming episode of DNR, so catch it there.

    I then moved on to Sofia, Bulgaria. The girl came in for the weekend and we did some sightseeing in Sofia and Plovdiv. Polvdiv predates ancient Rome and Istanbul, it is an ancient city with fabulous ruins.

    Monday brought DevReach 2008. Once again they let me do the keynote, not sure why. But I decided to have some fun with the audience. I told them that I love Bulgarian women (true) and that I met one the night before at the bar and got her phone number. I then put up a photo of Miss Bulgaria. Then I say that she taught me how to speak Bulgarian. I said that she taught me how to say “Welcome to DevReach!” What I then said was : Аз съм глупав и дебел американец (I am a stupid, fat American.) Brought down the house, kinda forgot what the Keynote was about.

    After three more breakout sessions, Tim Huckaby and I spoke to the computer science majors at Sofia University. We had a total hoot and took questions as diverse as “will Apple sue Microsoft over the Surface” and “Why is Microsoft not Open Source” to “What do you think of Android?”


    After that there was a nice dinner where a lot of booze was drank. Then something crazy happened. Maciej Pilecki walked on hot fire coals. Here are some photos from Steve Smith:


    This photo is dark but Maciej and I just walked over the coals, but quickly. The performer and us pose for a photo. I think “ok I survived.”


    But then as you can see he decides to make us walk one last time, very slow. My feet were ok, but they were black for two days.

    So first of all, after I did this, everyone said “I saw that on myth busters!” They say: “IT IS EASY, MYTHBUSTERS SAID SO! MIND OVER MATTER!”   I have one thing to say to all of them: DO IT YOURSELF AND GET BACK TO ME.

    The next night featured the attendee party at the Piano Bar in Sofia, and Carl played and sang “New York State of Mind” for me.

    Then it was off to Novi Sad, Serbia for Sinergija 08. I did a few sessions on SQL and Scrum and for the last session of the conference, I was down to drinking beer and brought a case of beer to my session and gave one away to anyone who asked a question. The first question was “Can I have a beer?” Damn Serb outsmarting me.

    After the conference I went out drinking with the Sinergija event staff and learned the hard way not to drink with Serbians. Then we drove to Belgrade and I spent the day sightseeing before the long journey home.


    These three events were a great experience and the Microsoft community in Central and Eastern Europe is alive and well!

    posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2008 1:18:03 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
    # Friday, June 6, 2008

    My buddy Dan Fernandez filmed me on Channel 9 showing Ranking and Windowing and Common Table Expressions from my TSQL talk this week at TechEd. Apparently our discussion of our partying together in Istanbul, Cairo and Las Vegas was censored by the Channel 9 staff. I guess you will have to just use your imagination on that one. :)

    posted on Friday, June 6, 2008 7:46:09 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Friday, March 7, 2008

    Next week I will be in Lisbon, Portugal speaking at Techdays 2008.All my stuff is listed in Portuguese, I hope they realize I don’t speak Portuguese. :)

    Will be doing three sessions:

    posted on Friday, March 7, 2008 5:43:57 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
    # Monday, October 22, 2007

    Topic: Database Design Patterns: Architecting the Right Data Model for the Right Application

    Architecting an application starts with the database. Different applications need different data models. Fifth normal form is great for an OLTP database, but reporting databases need more of a flat denormalized structure and different Web sites need several different types of data models: eCommerce sites need different data models than traditional publishing sites. You need to optimize your data model for your application's performance needs. Concurrent users, data load, transactions per minute, report rendering, and query seek time all determine the type of data model you will need. See how different applications and different parts of an application can use different data models and how you can architect your database to fit into your application's needs—not the other way around.  The presentation will include 5 demos that cover:

    1.      A Slowly Changing Dimension

    2.      Fact Tables

    3.      Horizontal Partitioning

    4.      Table and Index Partitioning

    5.      Vertical Partitioning

    To find out how to design the right database structure for the right situation come to the meeting.

    Presenter: Stephen Forte.

    Stephen is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and co-founder of Corzen, Inc, a Manhattan (USA) based provider of online market research data for Wall Street Firms. Corzen was recently acquired by Wanted Technologies (TXV: WAN).  Stephen is also the Microsoft Regional Director for the NY Metro region and speaks regularly at industry conferences around the world. He has written several books on database development including Programming SQL Server 2005 (MS Press) and is working on Programming SQL Server 2008 (MS Press).  Prior to Corzen, Stephen served as the CTO of Zagat Survey in New York City and also was co-founder and CTO of the New York based software consulting firm The Aurora Development Group. He currently is the co-moderator and founder of the NYC .NET Developer User Group. Stephen is also an MBA candidate (June 2008) at the City University of New York (Baruch College).  

    Location: The meeting will be held at Microsoft, 1290 Avenue of the Americas on the 6th floor starting at 6PM. You must RSVP to wzack at microsoft.com in order to be admitted to the meeting and so that we will know how much pizza and soda to order. J 

    Sponsor: Our sponsor for the meeting will be Sogeti USA. If you know of any other companies who would like to sponsor a meeting in the future please let us know.

    posted on Monday, October 22, 2007 8:12:09 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Monday, September 24, 2007

    Next week I will be speaking at DevReach in Sofia, Bulgaria. This is the second year in a row that Bulgaria has put on this awesome event. I'll be speaking on:


    BizTalk Services (The Ineternet Service Bus)

    Agile Development: Scrum

    posted on Monday, September 24, 2007 5:21:49 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Friday, June 22, 2007

    The 2007 version of the Pakistan Developers Conference was great. I had an amazing time in both Lahore and Karachi.

    In Lahore I presented:

    TSQL Tips and Tricks. Code and Slides here.

    Database Design Patterns. Code and Slides here. (I also presented this in Karachi and TechEd Orlando so you can download too.)

    Agile Development: Introduction to Scrum. Slides here. (Karachi too.)

    In Karachi there was also:

    WCF Overview. Code and Slides here.

    Building a Scalable Environment for ASP. NET. Slides here. (Don’t forget n+1!!!)

    Thanks for all of the memories, especially doing the Punjabi dancing at the end of the sessions in Karachi!!!

    Say cheese:


    posted on Friday, June 22, 2007 1:44:56 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Tuesday, February 6, 2007

    The MDC is here!

    The code and slides for SQL CLR In Action session are here. The code for Advanced TSQL is here.

    posted on Tuesday, February 6, 2007 4:43:13 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Thursday, January 25, 2007

    Code for T_SQL kullanımını kolaylaştıran ve hızlandıran, bilinmeyen teknikler is here. Enjoy!

    posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 9:16:48 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

    You can download the code and slides for the ASP.NET Mobil Kontrolleri ile Gelişen Mobil Web Uygulamaları session. Enjoy!

    Download the OpenWave Phone Emulator 7.0 here.

    To view the application point your mobile browser here.

    posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 6:34:24 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Thursday, November 9, 2006

    Tech*Ed here in Barcelona is progressing well. Richard and I did the TSQL session yesterday for 500 people as well as recording a .NET Rocks show on Agile Development with Roy Osherove and Kate Gregory.

    After we went drinking at the Norway party. What happens at TechED Europe is that each country put on a party for their attendees. Since there is a TechEd in the USA there is no party for Americans. So the Norwegians took pity on us speakers and invited us. Thanks again!

    After the party we went to Football!

    Today was an XQuery session and now we do the last of the Speaker Idol contest, today at 12:30 pm we see:

    Bart De Smet

    Dennis Doomen

    Luigi Crispo

    At 14:45 we do the final round and name a winner!!!

    posted on Thursday, November 9, 2006 6:02:26 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Monday, November 6, 2006
    posted on Monday, November 6, 2006 8:06:17 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Sunday, October 29, 2006

    Check us out in Bulgaria on .NET Rocks.

    Check out Martin's great blog post here.

    posted on Sunday, October 29, 2006 7:54:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Tuesday, October 24, 2006

    I will be speaking at the NY Metro SQL Server Users Group on Thursday at 6pm on XQuery in SQL Server. Hope to see you all there.


    Using XQuery to Retrieve and Manipulate XML Data with SQL Server 2005


    Stephen Forte, Microsoft Regional Director


    6:00 PM on October 26, 2006


    Microsoft Office in Manhattan


    The Axa Financial Building


    1290 6th Avenue, NY, NY

    Due to new security guidelines at the building, you will have an easier time getting in if you confirm your attendance via email to joelax@dbdirections.com. Otherwise you'll have to wait till someone comes downstairs to sign you in. Also remember to have a photo id with you.

    Blogs, Web Services and general interoperability have proliferated the use of XML in recent years. With all of that XML out there, there needs to be an easy way to incorporate XML data with SQL Server relational data.

    This session will look at how to use XQuery to retrieve and manipulate XML data inside the database. We'll start with a look at the new XML datatype in SQL Server 2005, then the ability to validate with XML Schema (XSD) and then creating XML indexes for use with XQuery statements. After a brief look at the W3C XQuery specification we quickly move to SQL Server’s implementation of XQuery 1.0. We'll incorporate XQuery in SELECT and WHERE clauses to retrieve information as well as see how to manipulate XML data with XQuery DML.

    Pizza and refreshment will be served at the meeting, and there will be a drawing for several giveaways.   

    posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 8:29:58 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Bulgaria has great food, beautiful women, and great rakia. Learn more from Carl.

    posted on Tuesday, October 10, 2006 9:31:18 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Wednesday, July 5, 2006

    The Pakistan Developers Conf code and slides are available here.

    posted on Wednesday, July 5, 2006 9:55:28 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Friday, June 30, 2006

    The 2006 Pakistan Developers Conference is a smashing success! Today is Day 3, boy have they worked me hard, 3 sessions each day. The code downloads for my sessions will be available in about a week, the presentations are here for XML Part I, XML Part II (XQuery), SQL Everywhere, ASP .NET Design Patterns and Writing Secure ASP.NET Code (All user input is evil!).

    I love Pakistan, I hope to be back next year. Tonight Richard and I do the closing keynote, we will be showing 3-D rendering and collaborating with WinFX (.NET 3.0), Vista, Office 2007 and Sharepoint Services 2007.



    posted on Friday, June 30, 2006 1:53:43 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Monday, June 5, 2006

    See you in Karachi! You guys are making me do 6 sessions!

    Writing Secure Code

    ASP .NET Design Patterns

    XML in SQL Server Part 1: XML Data Type

    XML in SQL Server Part 2: XQuery

    Merge Replication with SQL Server Everywhere Edition

    The CLR in Action, A Query Governor (with Richard!)

    posted on Monday, June 5, 2006 6:12:15 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Tuesday, May 23, 2006

    Whenever the Dutch put on a conference, things get a little crazy. Luckily you can listen in on some of the fun on .NET Rocks as well as Mondays.

    My red light district story is 21 minutes in to the .NET Rocks, just don't tell my mom....

    posted on Tuesday, May 23, 2006 8:19:56 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Saturday, April 8, 2006

    Speech Server Day: New York, NY
    April 18th, 2006 8:30AM – 5:00PM


     Does your application have something to say? Show me the code!

    Using the power of .NET, Microsoft Speech Server and Visual Studio 2003 can give your application its voice. Used in conjunction with the Microsoft Speech Application Software Development Kit (SASDK), this platform enables developers to write and deploy web-enabled speech applications to new and existing .NET applications.

    Join Microsoft and Brooktrout for a one day special developer session designed to teach you how to architect, develop and implement speech enabled applications using Visual Studio 2003 and the Speech Server platform. We will show how this combination provides all the components necessary for building and deploying telephony (voice-only) and multimodal (voice/visual) applications. Additionally, we will show how the Speech Server platform builds upon the work of the open industry standard Speech Application Language Tags (SALT) specification to extend existing Web markup languages by adding speech recognition and prompt functionality to your Web applications. Using a practical code oriented approach we will cover how to architect, build and deploy applications that performs speech recognition and speech synthesis that can be accessed by telephone, cell phone, Pocket PC, Tablet PC and other devices.

    Click Here to Register Today:  


    Call 1-877-MSEVENT, code 1032292184 


    posted on Saturday, April 8, 2006 6:04:14 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Friday, March 3, 2006

    Not George Bush, me! Its official, I was invited to speak at the Pakistani Developers Conference 2006 this June. Nothing is official yet, but of course I said yes. See you all there...

    Richard and I will be doing another duet this year at TechEd in Boston. We will be doing a session on building a query governor in SQL Server 2005 with TSQL, C#, XML Showplan and XQuery.

    I'll also do a session titled: Database Design Patterns. It is an attempt to bridge the gap between all of the design patterns out there for code but not databases.

    posted on Friday, March 3, 2006 3:03:28 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [4] Trackback
    # Wednesday, February 22, 2006

    The matrix of sessions for this weekend's NYC Code Camp is final. You can get it here. Registration is full, put yourself on the waitlist!

    posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 5:03:33 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    Hear me as a guest on .NET rocks.

    posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 4:59:11 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [3] Trackback
    # Saturday, February 4, 2006

    I have to hand it to Microsoft. Just when I get pissed off at them for Office Service Pack 2 (don’t ask) they remind me why I am in their camp.


    I am in Cairo, Egypt at the moment with the anti-suck gang (the four founders are all here: me, Goksin, Malek, and Clemens) preparing for the 2006 Middle East Developers Conference. What is amazing is that we have 5,000 developers turn out for this event.


    Why I give Microsoft so much kudos for putting on this event is that the developing world needs to build a rock solid technology based economy and Microsoft is right there leading the way. The charge for this conference is very low (about $8.75 USD) and the entire amount of money collected won’t even cover Clemens’ mini-bar bill. Microsoft has made such a commitment to the developing world, it is quite impressive.


    I’ll be giving 4 talks:


    XML in SQL Server 2005: The XML Data Type

    Ranking and Windowing Functions in SQL Server 2005

    Building Enterprise Applications with SQL Server Mobile 2005

    Writing Secure ASP .NET Code


    posted on Saturday, February 4, 2006 11:05:02 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [3] Trackback
    # Wednesday, October 12, 2005

    I have a wonderful VPS of Yukon and Whidbey with all of my conference demos. I my first TSQL session and it went well but the VPC was slow. Then I had my next session “Ranking and Windowing” functions, 15 minutes later in another room. I suspended my PC and went on. VPC was dead in the water.

    I had to do a song and a dance. A delegate named Harold lent me his computer so I can demo code. I decided to reboot my machine while I was working on Harold's PC. Once back, life was good.

    So lesson learned, do not suspend your computer with a VPC. However another speaker, Walt Ritscher, let me know that there is a hotfix for this craziness. Installed and life is good. 



    posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 2:24:41 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [6] Trackback
    # Monday, October 10, 2005

    Speaking at VSLive again down in Orlando, Florida. Should be a great show. I am speaking on SQL Server 2005 topics, hope to see you there.

    TSQL Enhancements
    Stephen Forte, Corzen, Inc.
    10:30 a.m.

    By now you have heard that you can write stored procedures in C# and VB . NET for SQL Server 2005. Does that mean TSQL is dead? NO! A lot has changed in the world of TSQL with the next version of SQL Server. See how efficient you can become with the new TSQL enhancements. You can crosstab in seconds with the PIVOT statement, perform recursive queries much easier with Common Table Expressions, manipulate XML data easier with the XML datatype and aggregate with ease using the new TOP functions. Report with ease with ranking functions. We’ll take a look at the new TSQL enhancements, data types, and the like. We’ll also look at how to choose between CLR Stored Procedures and TSQL.

    Data Analysis Using Ranking and Windowing Functions
    Stephen Forte, Corzen, Inc.
    11:45 a.m.

    SQL Server 2005 adds the functionality of a ranking expression that can be added to your resultset that is based on a ranking algorithm being applied to a column that you specify. This will come in handy for reporting and in .NET applications for paging and sorting in a grid as well as many other scenarios. We’ll explore the ROW_NUMBER() function, which assigns a running count to each row and compare it to RANK() and DENSE_RANK(). Use these functions to solve complex SQL Problems. Then we’ll look at custom percentile ranking using NTILE() and look at business and academic applications of NTILE. Lastly, we’ll apply windowing functions to all of the four ranking functions with PARTITION BY to perform hard code aggregate functions. 


     Mobile Enterprise Applications with SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition
    Stephen Forte, Corzen, Inc.
    4:30 p.m.

    Using SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition and Visual Studio 2005, Microsoft has made developing applications for the Windows SmartPhone and Pocket PC devices as easy as developing conventional Windows and Web applications. The .NET Compact Framework and SQL Server Mobile give you full functionality on the device with the ability to perform Merge Replication with a back-end SQL Server. This session will help you leverage your existing .NET and SQL Server to build mobile enterprise applications from scratch that can dynamically update a backend SQL Server or work offline and synchronize later.

    posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 10:40:26 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Tuesday, June 14, 2005

    I just got home from Karachi and have discovered several warm messages in my inbox from people who went to the PDC and saw me speak. To all of you, THANK YOU for the kind words. My time in Pakistan was only 3 days, but it was very special. I have my plaque on my desk in my office.

    And to all of you who left comments in my blog about Mr. Clemens, thanks, I would have paid a few hundred rupees to see the look on his face. :)

    If there is another PDC next year I will be back, my experience was great.

    I encourage people to visit to Pakistan, it is a wonderful country with very warm people.

    posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 5:22:19 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [3] Trackback
    # Monday, June 13, 2005

    The 3rd Annual Pakistan Developers Conference is under way here in Karachi! I had a free day in Karachi to enjoy the city and weather. Went and purchased a carpet and visited the unique Chawkandi Tombs outside of Karachi. The tombs are from the 15th to 18th century and very elaborate. The photos do not do they justice, they span for over 3 km.

    The first Grok Talks are published, check them out here!


    posted on Monday, June 13, 2005 3:17:26 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [8] Trackback
    # Friday, June 10, 2005

     I will be speaking at the 3rd Annual Pakistan developers Conference in Karachi, Pakistan next week. This is a great event with usually 5,000+ developers. I will be speaking on security, and new SQL Server 2005 features.


    My friends question my sanity when I tell them that I am headed to Pakistan, a potentially dangerous place with Al-Qaeda cells running around. They say “Why bother, why not speak somewhere safe, like the USA or Europe?”


    Microsoft makes a statement by holding a conference in a developing country, a country that many westerns are willing to write it off. I am making the same statement; I believe the only way for Pakistan to beat back Al-Qaeda and make peace with India is to get on board with globalization and to create economic opportunity for its citizens. The way to do this is with jobs. The road to jobs starts with training and conferences. Give someone a chance to get a job, give them hope.  If India can be an outsourcing center for the West, why can’t Pakistan? I am traveling to Pakistan to help them get there. Al-Qaeda can’t recruit an employed .NET developer


    Peace through .NET. Go figure.

    posted on Friday, June 10, 2005 5:06:45 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [3] Trackback
    # Wednesday, June 1, 2005

    In the Netherlands today for the final day of the SDC and the NO vote to the EU charter was not a surprise after several long conversations with locals. after the vote they took us to play some paintball. Somehow I managed to get shot a lot. :)

    posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 7:02:42 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
    # Tuesday, May 31, 2005


    So last night during the geek night session at the SDC, the Dutch, inspired by Richard Campbell called me on my SMO Backup and Restore GUI that had a progress meter. They thought I was hacking it, not that I was actually providing a true representation of the progress made by the status of the backup. Here is the progress meter in action, as the database backup makes progress we update the progress meter:




    To do a backup programmatically you can to use SMO (see yesterday). Begin by setting the variables to get started.


    Server svr = new Server();//assuming local server

    Backup bkp = new Backup();


    Cursor = Cursors.WaitCursor;


    Then you have to set the device to backup to and what database to backup. Notice in the comments the code to the progress meter




          string strFileName = txtFileName.Text.ToString();

          string strDatabaseName = txtDatabase.Text.ToString();


          bkp.Action = BackupActionType.Database;

          bkp.Database = strDatabaseName;


          //set the device: File, Tape, etc

          bkp.Devices.AddDevice(strFileName, DeviceType.File);

          //set this when you want to do Incremental

          bkp.Incremental = chkIncremental.Checked;


          //progress meter stuff

          progressBar1.Value = 0;

          progressBar1.Maximum = 100;

    progressBar1.Value = 10;


          //this gives us the % complete by handling the event

          //provided by SMO on the percent complete, we will

          //update the progress meter in the event handler


          //set the progress meter to 10% by default

    bkp.PercentCompleteNotification = 10;

    //call to the event handler to incriment the progress meter

    bkp.PercentComplete += new PercentCompleteEventHandler(ProgressEventHandler);


    //this does the backup


          //alert the user when it is all done

          MessageBox.Show("Database Backed Up To: " + strFileName, "SMO Demos");





    catch (SmoException exSMO)





    catch (Exception ex)







          Cursor = Cursors.Default;

          progressBar1.Value = 0;




    Here is the ProgressEventHandler, notice that I made it generic enough that I can call it from both the backup and restore methods!


    public void ProgressEventHandler(object sender, PercentCompleteEventArgs e)


                //increase the progress bar up by the percent

                progressBar1.Value = e.Percent;



    posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 6:28:53 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
    # Monday, May 30, 2005

    The Software Developers Conference in the Netherlands has begun. Today I show how to prevent SQL Injection Attacks in ASP .NET as well as other cool tricks. Lots of RDs here and lots of happy attendees. As usual at SDC I will show something very new and cool. I will show off some of the new SQL Server Management Objects (SMO) in the keynote tonight. Ill give you a preview here.

    The SMO object model is a logical continuation of the work done in SQL-DMO. SMO is feature-compatible with SQL-DMO, containing many of the same objects. . To achieve maximum data definition language (DDL) and administrative coverage for SQL Server 2005, SMO adds more than 150 new classes. The primary advantages of SMO are in its performance and scalability. SMO has a cached object model, which allows you to change several properties of an object before effecting the changes to SQL Server. As a result, SMO makes fewer round trips to the server, and makes its objects more flexible. SMO also has optimized instantiation, meaning that you can partially or fully instantiate objects. You can load many objects quickly by not instantiating all the properties of the objects. To get started you have to set a reference to it and pull in the namespace:

    using Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo;

    Now I will show you how to programitically do a database restore. You start with getting the SMO objects: Server and Restore.

    Server svr = new Server();

    Restore res = new Restore();

    Now take a look at how easy you can do a restore, just a few lines of code:

    res.Database = “AdventureWorks“;

    res.Action = RestoreActionType.Database;

    res.Devices.AddDevice(“c:\mybackup.bak“, DeviceType.File);

    res.ReplaceDatabase = true;


    There is a lot more that you can do with SMO, but this shows you how easy it is to manage your server from code. A very cool thing to do it put some of the server monitor stuff into an ASP .NET page for viewing your server stats from a remote location.

    More on SMO to come...


    posted on Monday, May 30, 2005 7:32:15 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Saturday, May 28, 2005

    That is the title of Richard and my Monday night keynote at the Software Developers Confrence in the Netherlands. Well I think it is now: “Estaban, splain dis Jukon to me!“ where we talk all about SQL Server 2005 in bad Spanish accents. To tell you the truth we have no idea what we are going to talk about, we do know that it will  be fun, contain beer and technical content. Confrences in the Netherlands rock.

    Off to the Red Lights...

    posted on Saturday, May 28, 2005 7:33:16 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
    # Wednesday, April 20, 2005


    The 2005 North Africa Developers Conference in Algiers, Algeria is over. Boy was it a smashing success. Over 2,200 developers attended and more had to be turned away due to space restrictions. I pushed hard for Microsoft to go into Algiers to make a statement, so I am glad it worked.


    I had standing room only in all of my 4 sessions. I met several students, professionals and even lots of open source folks who wanted to see what Microsoft was all about.


    While my French has improved since the first NDC, my sessions were still interpreted and all went well. I was the ONLY speaker from the United States, I hope I made a good impression (early feedback says so and I did have standing room only in my talks!)


    After the conference we went to the roof of the convention center overlooking Algiers and the beautiful Mediterranean for a reception with government officials and the attendees. I used my limited French to talk with the mayor of Algiers about the tall building in New York and my running and biking in Central Park.


    There were several RD there including the very reclusive Frecnh RDs, but some tequila got Pierre (aka ALL CAPS) Couzy to open up some more. We had a blast. All the RDs there were:


    Me :)




    Sylvain Duford

    Pierre Couzy (ALL CAPS)

    Yann Faure

    Eric Groise


    Off to Istanbul next.

    posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 11:57:23 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
    # Friday, April 15, 2005

    Back from India, boy was it hot. Sanjay (RD Bombay) and I had a blast. Off to speak at the North Africa Developers Conference in Algeria this weekend. Seven RDs (including the ones who speak French ) will be there in full force. I plan on making Clemens see the light while I am there. I am doing these 4 sessions:

    Writing Secure Code for ASP .NET

    Data Controls and Advanced Cache Techniques with ASP .NET

    Ranking and Windowing Functions in SQL Server 2005

    Using XQuery to Query and Manipulate Data in SQL Server 2005

    And: The New York Mets and the New York Yankees have the exact same record. I am enjoying it while it lasts. It seems that the Mets are 1-5 when I am in the country and 3-0 when I am not.

    posted on Friday, April 15, 2005 10:47:43 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Monday, February 14, 2005

    I know this. (Ask me if I care.) Anyway, all of those folks who dislike me usually say "is there a way to shut him up." Well there is a way!!!! Have me train for a marathon. Ran 18 miles on Saturday and then a 9.3 mile race on Sunday inside the “gates“ in Central Park. I was very quiet all weekend. (Marathon in 12 days)


    Another thing people thought was impossible was referencing a RANK()ing function in a WHERE clause in SQL Server 2005 or using an aggregate with the Ranking and Windowing functions. A simple solution that I did not see in any of the docs, use a Common Table Expression. Take this simple aggregate, rounding to the nearest 100th the sales figure from AdventureWorks;


    Select CustomerID,round(convert(int, sum(totaldue))/100,8) *100 as totalamt

    From Sales.SalesOrderHeader

    Group by CustomerID


    Gives you results like:


    CustomerID  totalamt

    ----------- -----------

    22814       0

    11407       0

    28387       600

    15675       7900

    18546       0


    (and so on)


    What if you want to rank them? Easy, make the aggregate a CTE and rank over the new field:

    --rank by totaldue, summed and rounded (nearest 100)

    --need a CTE to do a sum & rounding

    --so this example will have a

    --customerID summed with all of

    --their orders

    With CustomerSum



    Select CustomerID,round(convert(int, sum(totaldue))/100,8) *100 as totalamt

    From Sales.SalesOrderHeader

    Group by CustomerID


    Select *,

                Rank() Over (Order By totalamt Desc) as Rank

    From CustomerSum



    CustomerID  totalamt    Rank

    ----------- ----------- --------------------

    678         1179800     1

    697         1179400     2

    170         1134700     3

    328         1084400     4

    514         1074100     5

    (and so on)


    Ditto if you want to filter a query by the results of a ranking function. Just move the ranking function up to the CTE:


    --use a common table expression if you want

    --to filter by one of the rows that contain a

    --ranking function since ranking functions

    --are not allowed in where or having clauses

    With NumberRows



    Select SalesOrderID, CustomerID,

                Row_Number() Over (Order By SalesOrderID) as RowNumber

    From Sales.SalesOrderHeader



    Select * from NumberRows

    where RowNumber between 100 and 200

    Order By SalesOrderID



    SalesOrderID CustomerID  RowNumber

    ------------ ----------- --------------------

    43758        27646       100

    43759        13257       101

    43760        16352       102

    43761        16493       103

    43762        27578       104

    (and so on)





    posted on Monday, February 14, 2005 5:49:05 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [4] Trackback
    # Thursday, January 6, 2005

    Since I speak at the SDC in the Netherlands so much (every year since 1997 I think?) I decided to open a cafe in the Netherlands. Here is my buddy Remi Caron after he discovered my cafe.


    posted on Thursday, January 6, 2005 5:40:09 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [15] Trackback
    # Friday, August 27, 2004

    A report from the front lines at the meeting on campus this week.


    First Kimberly Tripp, aka the SQL Goddess, is mad at Clemens and I that we have dubbed her the SQL Goddess and now via the power of Google, she is now known as the SQL Goddess. So I decided to start call her SQL Hera (with the Olympics and all). But I need you help. Google works with links so you all have to link to her and use the term SQL Hera in your blogs and such so Google will pick it on up. So here is the deal: SQL Hera, SQL Hera, SQL Hera, SQL Hera. Put it in your blog. Make a web page. Kimberly will love us all for it.


    Who’s bed did you sleep in last night? That seems to be a common question at the meeting this week since we are all sharing rooms. Clemens and I are sharing a room but NOT a bed.


    So today Jim Allchin made a major announcement saying that WinFS is being pulled from Longhorn. The real good news is that it will make Longhorn released in 2006 and MS will ship Avalon and Indigo for WinXP and 2003. This is pretty cool! But delaying WinFS is ok if it will make it right.

    posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 3:21:16 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [15] Trackback
    # Saturday, August 14, 2004

    A year ago today was the blackout. Like most New Yorkers I can’t believe it was an entire year ago. For me personally the blackout was a turning point, a chain of events were set off for a truly amazing, unexpected and strange year that took me to Mt. Everest, Mt. McKinley (Denali) , Mt. Rainer, India, Egypt, Morocco, Malaysia rainforests, the bars of Bangkok, Hawaii, London, Paris, Amsterdam and so much more.


    Looking back on a year you think about what matters most, what you learned, mistakes you made, etc. I learned a very important thing last year on Mt. Everest. Inner peace. After more than a month away from home, (a week in Malaysia and 4 weeks in Nepal), I had achieved inner peace in that bar in Lulka. It may have had something to do with the dirt cheap happy hour drinks, the bartender playing No Woman No Cry four times in a row for me, but it was more than that. I had time to reflect on life, the universe and everything. I found that nothing is more sacred than finding inner peace. You just can’t get it working 9-5 in a cube and worrying about picking up your dry cleaning and rushing to the downtown 6 train. Around Christmas time last year I contemplated moving to Lulka and buying that bar and making a living there. (Don’t underestimate my desire to get back there, one day this blog may be hosted in Nepal.)


    Short of moving to Lulka or Goa, India, once a year I plan to find that inner peace somewhere, it doesn’t necessary have to be on a mountain, but that is a good place to start.


    So this next year brings some crazy things. I get ready to travel back to Tech*ED Malaysia in KL with stops in Hong Kong, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Then off to Kilimanjaro in October and Antarctica in February. Somewhere, whether it is the Killing Fields of Phnom Penh or the highest point in Africa, I will find that inner peace somewhere. I just hope that all of you can try to do the same at your time and location. Don’t lose the desire to keep looking for it.

    posted on Saturday, August 14, 2004 1:42:26 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [15] Trackback
    # Friday, July 16, 2004

    So the last time our NYC .NET Developer User Group speaker Brad McCabe came to speak, there was a fire in the Microsoft building and we had to evacuate. (And I did the raffle on the street.) Last night he came back and there was massive flooding in New Jersey where he lives, so he could not make it. I had to pinch hit.


    I had the most fun speaking at a user group in years. I did a session on the ASP .NET Cache engine and we spend almost 2 hours talking all about the cache and dependencies like files and databases. Code and slides downloadable soon.

    posted on Friday, July 16, 2004 4:13:04 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [3] Trackback
    # Monday, May 24, 2004

    Our session called From Interoperability to Migration: SQL Server and Linux Databases Working Together which was in Cabana 08 went awesome today. We showed a SQL Server linked Server connecting to an Oracle 10g database running under Red Hat. Enough said.

    For all of you that attended, not sure how to get the 2 8gb VPC images to you just yet, but we will find a way. Stay tuned.

    I signed many RD Bingo cards. Good luck to everyone.

    posted on Monday, May 24, 2004 6:20:19 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [19] Trackback
    # Sunday, May 23, 2004

    Day 1 of TechEd is going well.  


    You need to play Regional Director Bingo. Get your bingo cards at the RD booth at 49-50. You can also play the Apprentice .NET game for a chance to be Bill Gates’ apprentice (al la Donald Trump). Well maybe not Bill’s but you will get lots of prizes, etc.


    Went to my session room at the Cabana area and well there are only about 30 chairs, so come early tomorrow, we have almost 100 people registered for the talk tomorrow on Linux and SQL Server.  


    Arrived last night and already got drunk with Clemens, Malek, Kathleen and Richard. I have never seen Richard drunk before!!

    posted on Sunday, May 23, 2004 4:59:21 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [8] Trackback
    # Saturday, May 22, 2004

    At JFK International Airport ready to leave for Tech*ED. It is amazing just how many RDs will be there, it is annually the largest gathering of RDs at any given time.


    I am looking forward to the keynotes, my session and several other sessions, including Clemens’ talk where he actually uses SQL Server in transactions and stuff like that. I guess if the Berlin Wall can fall, Clemens can use SQL Sever. :)


    Riding out there on the plane with Bill Zack, my Yukon book co-author and co-moderator of the NYC .NET Developers Users Group.


    If you have never been to TechED before, one note, this year is sold out (11,000 people!) and just get to everything EARLY to avoid the lines. Also pay close attention to the parties, they are fun too. Remember the social interaction is why we come here. Get out and talk your latest project’s architecture with a complete stranger from Minnesota who you meet on the bus going to the attendee party. That is where the real action is at TechEd. I remember last year on the subway in Barcelona at TechED Europe, there was a 4 way conversation between 4 complete strangers (but we all had the red teched bag) about transactions and error handling and where the business logic goes. I don’t even remember the guys names and I am sure that they don’t remember me (besides being a silly American) but it was the best technical talk of the conference!

    posted on Saturday, May 22, 2004 12:10:03 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [18] Trackback
    # Sunday, May 16, 2004

    Last night Malek flew in for a quick stopover in New York on his way to West Va and then San Diego for TechEd. Kathleen and I took him out on the town first for some beers and Mexican food. Then we went to Biddies for some beers with my pals Justin and Jack and the gang. Katlheen somehow managed to get a free beer glass from the bartender, it pays to be a hot blonde. All in all a good time was had by all.

    Oh, Richard Campbell now blogs! Holy crap. This is going to be crazy.

    Lastly, getting ready for not only teched, but the PDC in Karachi, Pakistan. We expect 1,500 developers, see you there!


    posted on Sunday, May 16, 2004 12:06:34 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [8] Trackback
    # Friday, May 14, 2004

    Another successful CTTM (or now called SDC) in the Netherlands. What a great show and 7 RDs where speaking. Richard and I did a dry run of From Interoperability to Migration: SQL Server and Linux Databases Working Together and it went very well. Hopefully we can get Oracle to work and play well on the VPC image before our TechED session in 13 days. This session is quite cool, hope to see you all there.

    DATC02  From Interoperability to Migration: SQL Server and Linux Databases Working Together
    Monday, May 24 1:30 PM- 2:45 PM, Cabana 08
    Speaker(s): Richard Campbell, Stephen Forte
    Track(s): Data Management
    "They" say it can be done, now see it in action! This session demonstrates how SQL Server can acts as the gateway to interoperability with Linux databases such as DB2 and Oracle! You'll see a fully functioning Linux-based web application using Red Hat Linux, Apache, PHP and Oracle sharing data with an identically implemented ASP.NET application using SQL Server. This session shows not only how to interoperate, but to use these interoperate capabilities to facilitate a seamless migration from the Linux based system to SQL Server and Windows . This is how migration was meant to be!


    posted on Friday, May 14, 2004 2:30:52 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [18] Trackback
    # Monday, May 10, 2004

    Today I gave software developers in the Netherlands a preview of the XML Features of SQL Server 2005 or better know by its code name “Yukon” (the US National Park, not the Canadian frozen land). I show off the very cool and advanced XML to Relational mapping. (Clemens is a big fan). I then talk all about the deep XML integration via the XML Data type. This is a native SQL Server type so we have the option to store XML in its native format. For example you can do just about anything a standard datatype can do, excluding Foreign Keys and PKs. Here is the XML Data Type at work in a variable:


    DECLARE @xmlData AS XML

    SET @xmlData = (SELECT * From Customers where CustomerID='ALFKI'  FOR XML AUTO, TYPE)

    SELECT @xmlData


    The results look like this:

    <Customers CustomerID="ALFKI" CompanyName="Alfreds Futterkiste" ContactName="Maria Anders" ContactTitle="Sales Representative" Address="Obere Str. 57" City="Berlin" PostalCode="12209" Country="Germany" Phone="030-0074321" Fax="030-0076545"/>


    (1 row(s) affected)


    Then it is fun to create tables with XML fields in them and do things like create an index on them, etc.

    --create the table with the XML Datatype


         (OrderDocID INT PRIMARY KEY, xOrders XML NOT NULL)


    Then you can insert some XML into the table, you can do this manually, from an XML Raw statement or via a XML file.

    --Get some XML Data, can also use a file

    DECLARE @xmlData AS XML

    SET @xmlData = (SELECT * From Orders FOR XML AUTO, TYPE)


    --insert into the table

    Insert Into OrdersXML (OrderDocID, xOrders) Values (1, @xmlData)


    Then let’s add an index on that column:

    CREATE XML INDEX idx_1 ON OrdersXML (xOrders)


    It is more fun to create an XML Schema as data validation for data validation. This is my favorite thing about the XML integration, it gives you the best of both worlds. This shows off the deep integration of the XML model and the relational model, the XML Schema works just like a constraint, allowing us to validate the XML that we put into our XML data type fields in the database.


    --xml schema as validation

    use northwind


    '<xsd:schema xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema"


                targetNamespace="http://corzen.com/customer" >

       <xsd:simpleType name="personAge" >

         <xsd:restriction base="xsd:float" >

           <xsd:maxInclusive value="65" />

           <xsd:minExclusive value="18" />



       <xsd:element name="age" type="tns:personAge" />




    -- create table with xml column and use schema as a 'constraint'

    CREATE TABLE xml_schematest (

       the_id INTEGER,

       xml_col XML('http://corzen.com/customer')




    -- works

    INSERT INTO xml_schematest VALUES(1,

     '<p:age xmlns:p="http://corzen.com/customer">55</p:age>')



    -- fails, age > 65

    INSERT INTO xml_schematest VALUES(2,

     '<p:age xmlns:p="http://corzen.com/customer">100</p:age>')



    -- fails, column is validated on update also

    UPDATE xml_schematest

      SET xml_col = '<p:age xmlns:p="http://corzen.com/customer">100</p:age>'

      WHERE the_id = 1


    DROP TABLE xml_schematest



    DROP XMLSCHEMA NAMESPACE 'http://corzen.com/customer'




    But wait, there’s more! I show off a little bit of XQuery. What is cool is that XQuery is integrated fully with TSQL.



    use adventureworks

    --take a look at an XML column

    select * from ProductModel where productmodelid=19


    --query out a piece of data from the xml field

    SELECT Name, CatalogDescription::query('

    namespace PD="http://www.adventure-works.com/schemas/products/description"

    <Product ProductModelID="{ /PD:ProductDescription[1]/@ProductModelID }" />

    ') as Result


    FROM ProductModel


    where Name like 'Mo%' and CatalogDescription::exist('

    namespace PD="http://www.adventure-works.com/schemas/products/description"

    namespace wm="http://www.adventure-works.com/schemas/products/WarrAndMain"

         /PD:ProductDescription/PD:Features/wm:Warranty ') = 1



    posted on Monday, May 10, 2004 3:45:37 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Friday, May 7, 2004

    I am leaving tomorrow for the Netherlands to speak at the Software Developers Conference in Arnhem, the Netherlands. What was once CTTM is now SDC, so I have been doing this conference every year since 1998. my sessions are:


    -          Exploring the XML Features of SQL Server “Yukon

    -          ASP .NET Scalability- Caching Techniques


    Also I rejoin my pal and now fellow RD Richard Campbell on stage for a Joint session:

    -          From Interoperability to Migration: SQL Server and Linux Databases Working Together


    Besides Richard and I other RDs will be there, Clemens, Michelle, Gert, Paul Sheriff, and Ken Getz.


    Look forward to seeing you there!



    posted on Friday, May 7, 2004 12:44:26 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [5] Trackback
    # Wednesday, April 28, 2004

    See you in Karachi June 15-17!

    posted on Wednesday, April 28, 2004 4:36:24 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [16] Trackback
    # Monday, April 19, 2004

    Last year at this time the government of Tunisia was using Open Source and was anti-Microsoft. So Microsoft did something unusual in the “battle” and just let their products and technology speak for themselves by putting on the first annual North Africa Developers Conference in Tunis, Tunisia.  The event was a smashing success since about 90% of the technical content was delivered by 3rd party developers and was not the typical MS Marketing crap. Microsoft Europe, Africa and Middle East CEO Jean Philippe Courtois delivered a keynote and met with government officials. Us Regional Directors were all over the place giving technical sessions, presenting case studies, and doing ask the experts booths.

    So this year the conference was held in the logical location of Casablanca, Morocco. Microsoft has been in Morocco for 10 years and is the headquarters of the sub. There is lots of development going on in Morocco so the attendees were top notch.

    So there is debate over where to have the NDC next year. Many at Microsoft North Africa think Algeria is the place to have it, but may be worried that attendance might not be as strong as in the past two years. But those who argue for Algeria think that Microsoft has another great opportunity to lets its technology speak for itself in a newly emerging market. Hope it is held there!

    posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 11:42:35 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [5] Trackback
    # Friday, April 16, 2004

    Day 3 of Africa Developers Conference started with a bit of a painc. My session on TSQL was scheduled to start at 9am, but the translators did not show up. Three years ago I was in Morocco on vacation I learned a few terms in Arabic and “No Problem” or MaCain Mushleel so I said “No Translator, McCain Mushkeel”. That got a laugh. Eventually my translator showed up and the technical content was presented. After that was the closing keynote, we had almost 1,500 developers at the event, and Microsoft extimates that there are 5,000 developers, so there was a great reach at this event.

    See you next year in Algeria!

    posted on Friday, April 16, 2004 8:34:28 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [19] Trackback
    # Thursday, April 15, 2004

    Day 2 of the 2004 North Africa Developers Conference

    Ask the experts was quite an experience. Ingo and I staffed the Distributed Applications booth, but also took on Mobility and SQL Server/Data Access. We had quite a long conversation with the Federal Reserve bank of Mocorro about a check clearing HA SQL Server applicaiton. Log Shipping and triggers were the hot topics as well as seperate files for index, data and logs.

    Also Goskin, Ingo and I visited the Hassan II Mosque and it was awesome. It is the third largest Mozque in the world, behind Mecca and Medina and the largest closed Mosque in the world. It can accomidate over 75,000 worshipers. It had a retracting roof and amazing turkish baths in the basement.

    After the Mosque visit and some McDonalds, we hit the shops in the medina. It was loads of fun trying to get the best price for our items. I think the photo below shows the solution to my latest hair problem (Kathleen won't let me cut it.)


    posted on Thursday, April 15, 2004 3:54:49 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [17] Trackback
    # Wednesday, April 14, 2004

    In Cairo, I danced with a Belly Dancer so Clemens had to one up me here in Casablanca. :)

    posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 10:35:55 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [18] Trackback

    Day 1 of the 2004 North Africa Developers Conference got off to a rough start, but it still doesn’t suck, even without hummus and lots of second hand smoke. (Nor did last year.) I had the first session after the keynote (on ASP. NET Mobile Controls) and the keynote was 30 minutes over. (The Keynote was all in French, but it was pretty cool, showed Whidbey Smart Device Extensions and new Language Features to name a few.) When I got to my room the A/V was not working. But I started as soon as I could. But there was no translator!!! After about 15 minutes they passed out the translation headphones and life was good.

    I spoke about the Mobile Web Controls for the first session and many people really got into it and laughed at my translated jokes. I showed the adaptive rendering for different devices, so I showed each example in HTML (both IE and Netscape) and OpenWave and Nokia browsers as well as the pocket pc mobile IE. The audience mocked my lousy French. At least I did type in "Bonjour Monde" instead of "Hello World."


    After lunch by the pool, did my second session “SQL Server Notification Services” and after that spoke at length with the Casablanca Stock Exchange IT guy about using SSNF over their customer home grown solution.


    Now I am at Casa de Malek doing the email thing and blogging. Goskin, Ingo and I will go to the Hassan II Mosque tomorrow, the second largest mosque in the world (behind Mecca) and the largest closed religious building in the world.


    Of course I am here with the other Regional Directors, we had a dinner last night:


    posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 3:55:23 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [9] Trackback
    # Tuesday, April 13, 2004

    My first day in Casablanca went off as expected. Arrived in town and met up with Makek, Clemens, Ingo, Andrew et al and had dinner at Makek’s Mom and Dad’s house, a traditional Moroccan meal. Then Malek, Andrew and I painted the town for a while and saw a Scottish band (with a cute lead singer named Lola) play at a local watering hole. Tomorrow the NDC begins…

    posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 10:28:41 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [16] Trackback
    # Thursday, April 8, 2004

    I am all prepared and ready to go back to Africa for this year’s North Africa Developer’s Conference. Second time to Africa this year already.


    I am going to be presenting on three topics this year:


    ·        SQL Server Notification Services

    ·        ASP .NET Mobile Web Forms

    ·        TSQL Enhancements in SQL Server 2005 (aka Yukon)


    I am going to be staying with Malek at his house in Casablanca in a guest room (along with Clemens). I guess we will have it out with rows and columns for das Blog with Malek the referee.  


    This is a very international event and speakers from all over the world are going to be there along with a strong showing of fellow Regional Directors. There will be a slew of technical information on both current stuff and Longhorn, Whidbey and Yukon.

    posted on Thursday, April 8, 2004 2:14:07 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [8] Trackback
    # Saturday, March 27, 2004

    For no other reason than they don't support stored procedures. Anyway, it has been a great time at VSLive so far, here are some images and memories from this week.

    Photos: http://www.ftponline.com/reports/vslivesf/2004/photos/#

    ABC TV coverage:   http://www.ftponline.com/reports/vslivesf/2004/mmnewsclip/

    Our show coverage: http://www.ftponline.com/reports/vslivesf/2004/

    Opening BillG Keynote: http://www.ftponline.com/reports/vslivesf/2004/gates/

    posted on Saturday, March 27, 2004 11:02:07 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [4] Trackback
    # Friday, March 26, 2004

    Got up early this morning and did an 8 mile run over the Golden Gate bridge and back to the center of town with tri pal Andy Catlin. Put me in a good mood to see the VSLive keynote on Yukon Business Intelligence by Microsoft PM Bill Baker. Besides enhancements to Reporting Services and DTS (DTS will be renamed), Yukon will help bring BI to the masses with UDM:


    There will be “Visual Studio Controls for Reporting Services“ in Visual Studio 2005 where you can embed reports into ASP pages and Windows Forms much easier. There is navigation, ad hoc query and other cool controls to play with.


    DTS is completely rewritten. Total event driven and based on the CLR.


    The Unified Dimension Model is new and great. The UDM basically combines OLAP and the relational worlds into one programming model that will truly bring OLAP to you and me.  


    Can't wait. :)


    I give three talks today: SQL Server Notification Services, XQuery in Yukon and ADO.NET Best Practices. I am a busy kid today.


    Trivia: Yukon is named after the national park in Alaska, not the Canadian province (or territory, who can keep track!). J

    posted on Friday, March 26, 2004 12:55:42 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [12] Trackback
    # Tuesday, March 23, 2004

    On Saturday I will be doing a post-con with Andrew Brust on .NET Data Access at CSLive in San Francisco. Hope to see some of you there!

    .NET Data Access Soup to Nuts
    Andrew Brust and Stephen Forte
    Saturday, March 27

    In this workshop, we'll cover the basics and fine points of ADO .NET, seen from both Windows Forms and ASP.NET vantage points. After a brief introduction, we'll cover connected and disconnected data access, ADO .NET data binding, strongly-typed DataSets, and the XML features of ADO.NET. We'll then take a close look at using ADO .NET and SQL Server together, including development of stored procedures, triggers, and functions; advanced T-SQL techniques; and working with SQL Server and COM+ transactions. Attendees of this workshop will also get a high-level look at the forthcoming features of "Yukon," the watershed next release of SQL Server.

    posted on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 12:11:31 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [11] Trackback
    # Monday, March 22, 2004

    Oh boy this is going to be awesome. The 2004 North Africa Developer conference is only about 3 weeks away and I can't wait. The NDC will feature the future Microsoft technologies : Longhorn, Whidbey and Yukon, alongside standard.Net development topics. I will be presenting on Mobility (ASP .NET Mobile Web Forms/Controls), Yukon TSQL Enhancements, and SQL Server 2000 Notification Services. 

    The NDC in Tunis was my favorite event last year.

    My second time to Casablanca, Morocco and I plan to party hard with my fellow  Regional Directors:

    Malek will take me to get a rug and I plan on drinking lots of mint tea.

    posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 2:36:47 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [7] Trackback
    # Friday, March 19, 2004

    Silly me did not know that there was a dasBlog 1.5 up at the gotdotnet workspace. All systems go.

    I got my final Tech*Ed Assignment today. I am doing a session with fellow RD Richard Campbell, this should be huge:

    From Interoperability to Migration: SQL Server and Linux Databases Working Together
    "They" say it can be done, now see it in action! This session demonstrates how SQL Server can acts as the gateway to interoperability with Linux databases such as DB2  and Oracle! You'll see a fully functioning Linux-based web application using Red Hat Linux, Apache, PHP and Oracle sharing data with an identically implemented ASP.NET application using SQL Server. This session shows not only how to interoperate, but to use these interoperate capabilities to facilitate a seamless migration from the Linux based system to SQL Server and Windows . This is how migration was meant to be!

    posted on Friday, March 19, 2004 12:15:40 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [15] Trackback
    # Tuesday, March 16, 2004

    Nobody likes terrorists, something that I was unfortunately reminded of during my time here in Europe. Basically violence is not the answer to getting your cause heard.


    I made the same claim against Environmental Terrorism. Most people would consider themselves an “environmentalist” (as I do) but prefer to protect the environment by recycling and giving money to organizations like the World Wildlife Fund. I do hate when Greenpeace or some other more radical group blows up a McDonalds or performs some other act of Environmental Terrorism.


    Last month Microsoft was the victim of Corporate Terrorism plain and simple. Its source code was leaked in the Internet. I have no proof, but I bet it was done by people trying to prove a point that Open Source is “better” than closed source. These are nothing more than Corporate Terrorists, trying to hold a company hostage or bring it down.


    I do not condemn the Open Source movement (doing so would force me to condemn many people important to me, including my roommate) just like I don’t condemn all Environmentalists when there is environmental terrorism (and I am not going to touch the hot potato of Islamic terrorism in this entry, stay tuned for my thoughts on Madrid in a later piece). But this clearly is a gross violation of IP and just plain old wrong. Whoever did this can you look at yourself in the mirror anymore? Who do you see back?


    (This report was done via the free Internet in Paris, yes the Internet should be free everywhere!)

    posted on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 9:44:58 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
    # Monday, March 15, 2004

    Well, Duh.


    eWeek ran an article on Friday saying how users are willing to wait for Yukon and Whidbey. Well duh.


    I blogged on this last week and someone disagreed with me, but I stick by my original statements. Think of it this way, Whidbey is due in early 2005 (1st half so let’s estimate April/May). Visual Studio 2003 shipped in April 2003, that is ONLY 2 YEARS between cycles. Part of me wants them to push it back again. I think it is a good thing that product cycles are getting longer. Software is more complex and needs the time for feedback and QA.


    I showed off Whitehorse today in the Netherlands at CTTP. Whitehorse’s European debut. Developers were super excited but did not care that it was a year away, they wanted it done right. I had to demo Whitehorse today from an AVI I took of the screen shots on my computer back at the office, I could not get the Virtual Image to install without issue on my laptop, more a problem with my laptop than the image. (I hate DELL). So the Dutch were treated to the same demos I did at DevDays just without any bugs, errors, crashes, etc!


    So my blog is apparently very well read in the Netherlands, it was quoted in a Dutch paper last week.


    There was a moment of science today at noon all across Europe for the victims of the Madrid bombings on Thursday.

    posted on Monday, March 15, 2004 8:20:06 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Sunday, March 14, 2004

    WiFi rocks. The Internet should be free everywhere. (Actually I think that they want to charge me but have a poor firewall.)

    I demo Whitehorse at CTTP in the Netherlands tomorrow.

    posted on Sunday, March 14, 2004 4:00:37 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
    # Thursday, March 4, 2004

    De SDGN heeft een Europese primeur!

    Tijdens deze conferentie zal de eerste Europese demo van Whitehorse gegeven worden. Whitehorse is de codenaam voor een nieuwe tool van Microsoft die gereleased zal worden als onderdeel van de volgende versie van Visual Studio.NET. Whitehorse is het antwoord van Microsoft op de vraag naar producten voor Application Lifecycle Management. Whitehorse brengt UML-ontwerp, code en deployment bij elkaar binnen Visual Studio.NET.


    (Learn Dutch, hee hee)

    posted on Thursday, March 4, 2004 9:50:29 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Wednesday, March 3, 2004
    Developers, Developers, Developers

    Remember when Steve B ran around stage and chanted this over and over. Microsoft is all about developers. DevDays in NJ is tomorrow and it is pretty much by developers for developers. Looking foward to showing Whitehorse and BizTalk again.

    Last year, more than 70,000 developers across the world attended Tech-Ed (I spoke at 3 of them!) to and this year, between TechEd 2004 and DevDays 2004, another 100,000 developers will gather together to learn the ins and outs of Visual Studio. Simply amazing! Not even counting the MDC in Egypt, Pakistan Dev Conference and NDC in Morocco!

    See you a future developer event.

    posted on Wednesday, March 3, 2004 4:31:20 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
    # Wednesday, February 25, 2004

    DevDays Keynote and Whitehorse


    Monday’s keynote went excellent and was covered in Mary Jo Foley’s “Microsoft Watch.”

    posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2004 2:08:35 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [16] Trackback
    # Monday, February 23, 2004

    DevDays is Today


    The first DevDays in the US was today! (Actually it is going on as we speak). We had about 400 in  attendees the opening keynote and so far all went very well. Andrew Brust and I did the opening keynote, folks seemed very excited (as they could be at 8am on a Monday) about SQL Server Reporting Services and Whitehorse.

    posted on Monday, February 23, 2004 5:58:42 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
    # Friday, February 20, 2004

    Whitehorse Keynote Demo


    Visual Studio “Whidbey” which is in alpha at the moment has a new feature called “Whitehorse.” I will be demoing it Monday in New York and next week in New Jersey. It is pretty cool, impressed even some local Microsoft employees at the NY office today during the Keynote run-through. The party line is that Whitehorse provides integrated model-driven design tools to increase productivity and predictability in design, development, deployment and maintenance of service-oriented distributed systems.  Whitehorse helps close the loop between design and operations and between design and code by modeling the software development and deployment process in a rich, integrated metadata-driven environment with tools that let development teams describe design and implement applications keeping design and code synchronized, describe operational requirements and validate designs against those requirements.  In this environment, application design becomes an abstraction of the code so the development process can be driven from design first or code first, or any mix of the two.


    The core of this architecture is the System Definition Model, which is part of Microsoft’s Dynamic Systems Initiative to simplify and automate developing, deploying and operating connected systems.  The System Definition Model is a layered model that can be used to represent the structure of applications systems, the application hosting environment, the network and operating systems environment, and the hardware.  Whitehorse focuses on the top two layers of the model, namely the applications layer and the applications host layer.  The application layer allows the user to describe the structure and behavior of application systems where design can be synchronized with code, while the application host later allows the user to describe a model of the application hosts. 


    In Whitehorse these layers translate to the following –

    At the application layer:

    • A Distributed Services Designer to whiteboard services that make up a service-oriented application, write code and keep code in synchronization with design
    • A Susbsystem Designer to configure these services into deployable systems
    • At the application host layer:
    • A Logical System Architecture Designer to capture metadata about the deployment environment, and drive designs in system design based on infrastructure
    • A Subsystem Mapper to bind and validate the application design against the data center description


    Together these Whitehorse design tools allow users to build Web Services-based connected systems.  Whitehorse helps bridge the gap between architects and developers by enabling application architects to create metadata rich designs that can be given to developers and used directly as the starting point for their work with no translation requirements.  The toolset increases the likelihood of rapid and successful deployment by allowing users to validate their application design against the description of their data center and to correct the design early before coding begins.  Whitehorse also increases the value and lifetime of design documents by ensuring that design information can be kept synchronized with changes to code.  This set of integrated model-driven design tools enable productive “Design for Operations.”



    posted on Friday, February 20, 2004 6:59:22 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [3] Trackback
    # Thursday, February 19, 2004

    DevDays is Monday

    Monday New York will host the first DevDays of the year! I will be doing the opening keynote (along with fellow RD Andrew Brust) and a session on Web Security-threat modeling.

    The keynote demos are all on virtual PC drive images, I got the Blue Screen of Death on a Win 2003 Virtual PC Image. Go figure. I have noticed that it is faster to run VPC on an external disk. Here are some tips that came my way if you are a VPC user:

    Biggest perf tip is to put the VPC Virtual Hard Disks (VHD) to separate disk spindles from the operating system.  The biggest perf issue with VPC is related to disk I/O … and by making the VPC fight with your OS and swap disk make this issue much, much worse.  Additionally, today’s USB 2.0 and Firewire external hard drives run on a fast interface bus (Firewire does have some advantages over USB 2.0, but both are excellent), have a large (8MB) buffer and spin at 7200 RPM, as opposed to 4200 RPM for most laptop HDD. 

    Also, note the tip below regarding “Run Virtual PC at Maximum Speed” … this will give a boost to the VPC’s thread priorities at the expense of the host OS applications.  Depending on what you are using the VPC for, this may be exactly what you want. 

    From a PPT Deck:


    •       Ideally Virtual PC performance is at:
    •       CPU: 96-97% of host
    •       Network: 70-90% of host
    •       Disk: 40-70% of host
    •       However this is only for optimized guest operating systems running typical loads for a single process
    •       The Virtual PC team’s aim is always to provide the fastest possible solution while not compromising compatibility

    •       While virtual machines are not slow – there is always the potential for an unusual application to cause performance issues

    Performance Tuning

    •       Guest Performance – Preferences
    •       Check “File … Options”
    •       Running guest in background: Enable “Run Virtual PC at Maximum Speed”
    •       Running a test on multiple guests: Enable “All running virtual machines get equal CPU time”
    •       Memory
    •       Host should have a minimum of 256MB, 512MB – 1024MB recommended
    •       More memory is recommended for running multiple virtual machines simultaneously
    •       Each guest should be allocated memory like it would on a physical machine
    •       Virtual machines cannot use paged memory on the host system

    Additional Disk Optimizations

    •       Virtual Hard Disk size
    •       Compress them
    •       Defrag guest
    •       Clear unused sectors ( Cipher, Eraser, etc.)
    •       DO NOT attempt this step on a differencing drive – it will expand the disk to maximum size and you cannot compact it.

    •       Compact using Virtual Disk Wizard
    •       Enable NTFS compression on host operating system
    •       Trades off performance for file size
    •       Virtual Hard Disk performance
    •       Place the .VHD files on separate spindle from host OS
    •       If using Undo or Differencing Disks, place them on an additional spindle

    posted on Thursday, February 19, 2004 3:41:17 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [7] Trackback
    # Wednesday, February 18, 2004

    Climbing Mt. Rainer, Missing Advisor DevCon


    I speak at lots of developer conferences around the world each year. Last year I spoke in front of over 20,000 people at over 15 events on 4 different continents. Besides making many new friends and visiting awesome places, the most rewarding thing about speaking is meeting developers and trying to help solve their problems. I remember still helping a young developer in Kuala Lumpur last year (along with Fernando) with the DTS Package from Hell. She came to me with it printed out and we spent a long time fine tuning it. (If you are reading this, please drop me a line and let me know if it all worked out!)


    A lot of people ask me how I became a “famous” international conference speaker.  I tell them to have no fear of:

    • Speaking in front of large crowds (the #1 fear in the USA is public speaking, #2 is death, so the person giving the Eulogy at the next funeral you go to is worse off than the dead guy)
    • Flying
    • Admitting that you are not smarter than your audience and that the only reason why you are on stage is that you made every mistake in the book and are willing to admit it


    Also you need someone somewhere to take a chance on you. That is what the folks at Advisor did about 7 or 8 years ago when they selected me to speak at one of their events. For that reason I have always “returned home” and spoken at an Advisor DevCon every year. Actually the last time I missed an Advisor DevCon, was the spring of 1999 (my girlfriend was in college, now I feel old).


    This year, I am climbing up Mt. Rainer again with Kevin and Gary from my Everest trip.  We are going to sleep in the actual crater, kept warm by the volcano’s heat. We are doing this ourselves (Not to help the evil RMI.) Unfortunately it conflicts with the dates of the next Advisor DevCon taking place in Las Vegas from June 6th to 10th. Good speaking buddies like Ken Getz and Tom Howe are always headlines as well as folks from Microsoft like Robert Green (who has been speaking at DevCon for as long as I have been going-which is 1996).


    So go check it out. You can read about my hike up Rainer in the blog, but will miss the content at DevCon forever. J


    posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 10:30:43 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
    # Friday, February 6, 2004

    You Have Photos


    Last year I took about 4 gigs of photos around the world. I choose to post a select few and have put them on line yesterday (Finally!)


    A few trips have already been up, you can get all the photos here.


    The trip to Tunisia for the NDC 2003 in June was a lot of fun.  Beach, conference, Carthage, Tunis and lots of smoking J.


    The next week I was speaking at TechED in Barcelona.


    In August I scaled Mt. Rainer with Kevin and Joel.


    In last August I spoke at TechEdD in Kuala Lumpur, before heading to Mt. Everest and India.


    This year I promise to get my photos online faster.  Last week I spoke at the MDC in Egypt. Some photos are here.

    posted on Friday, February 6, 2004 2:11:20 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [14] Trackback
    # Sunday, February 1, 2004

    DevDays Sessions

    I will be doing two sessions at DevDays in New York and Newark:

    Threats and Threat Modeling and the closing keynote: The Future of Microsoft Development Tools.

    See you there!

    posted on Sunday, February 1, 2004 4:36:21 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Saturday, January 31, 2004



    I always get a lot of email correspondence from attendees after a conference, but since I have been home in New York I have gotten over 40 emails from attendees of this week’s MDC in Cairo. They are all very warm and thankful emails, I appreciate each and every one of them. I will get back to all of them too very soon. This was a great show.

    posted on Saturday, January 31, 2004 10:30:34 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Tuesday, January 27, 2004

    Its Official, Raise Your Glasses, We’re Gonna Party to Damascus


    The MDC is over as soon as it has started. We speakers received the most warm thank you and good bye from the attendees as I have ever had.


    I spoke for about 7 hours straight. Four sessions with no breaks since the attendees had so many questions.


    I had a blast talking to all of the Egyptians. We talked about Egypt’s bid for FIFA in 2010 (World Cup) and politics et al. Lastly we took a boat cruise and I danced with a Belly Dancer at a real Egyptian wedding.


    All of the code from my sessions will be on gotdotnet.com soon.


    See you all next year!

    posted on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 11:27:24 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Sunday, January 25, 2004

    Can I Have Some Hummus Please?


    Day 1 of the MDC is under way here in Cairo and Bill Gates’ Keynote went over well, his first time in Egypt and first time speaking in the Middle East. While Bill was talking about reliable computing, there was a power outage, we all got a chuckle.


    Visited the Grand Pyramids today as well as did some shopping on my spare time. I have been in the country for over 24 hours now and still have not had any hummus. Maybe some soon…


    Alexanderia tomorrow and then 4 sessions back to back to back to back on Tuesday.

    posted on Sunday, January 25, 2004 10:35:48 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Friday, January 23, 2004

    The Airtrain to Egypt


    I leave tonight for the 2004 MDC in Cairo, Egypt. I am going to take the new Airtrain to JFK airport for the first time.


    The Airtrain has been a long time coming. I am not a big fan of the Airtrain, since it does not provide a single-seat ride from JFK to Manhattan like the London’s Heathrow Express does. I have a three seat ride to JFK. So to travel from my house on E86th Street:


    6 train to 51st street

    Transfer to E Train to Jamaica

    Transfer to Airtrain to American Airlines Terminal


    While it will only be $7 total to get to JFK in about an hour, I am a little let down that I have to ride three trains to get there. That said it is better than a $40 taxi ride that is going to be stuck in traffic. And in the past I took the A train to Howard Beach, but that was more like 1.5 hours and a two sear ride for $2.

    posted on Friday, January 23, 2004 8:54:52 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Thursday, January 22, 2004

    Getting Ready for the Middle East Developers Conference


    On Saturday the 2004 MDC starts in Cairo, Egypt. Bill Gates’ keynote is on Sunday and I deliver four sessions (back to back to back to back) on Tuesday. This will be a test of my stamina, I look at this as “power presenting”. My 4th or 5th time to North Africa in the last 2 years (and second visit to Egypt in the last 11 months) has be very excited, so I am sure I can keep up. Plus the attendees in Africa rock. My sessions are:


    Except for the datagrid, these are all new sessions, the Cache session should be simple but super duper practical. I will cover custom caching and fragmented caching. We will look ever so briefly at the future, but this session is about how to increasing your site’s speed NOW, not when Whidbey ships.


    Other RDs will be in the house besides Mr. Gates:


    • Patrick Hynds (Boston)
    • Abdelmalek Kemmou (Morocco)
    • Goksin Bakir (Turkey)
    • Selcuk Uzun (Turkey)
    • Hossam Khalifa (Egypt)


    posted on Thursday, January 22, 2004 9:59:33 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Friday, January 16, 2004

    Scottie Boy Wonder


    Uber geek, RD for Portland, and all around great guy, Scott Hanselman, spoke at the NYC .NET Developers User Group last night. He spoke about Web Services and the crowd of about 100 loved every minute of it. Amazing that so many people came to see Scott when it was just about zero degrees last night in New York. Scott was not shutting up about his new Microsoft Watch, which I mocked and then compared to my supercool Casio Film Watch that Kathleen gave me for Christmas that has a databank and world time. Scott was so jealous.

    posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 8:09:22 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Thursday, January 15, 2004

    DevDays is here!

    Microsoft has announced the dates for DevDays in the US and I will be speaking (keynoting w/ Andrew Brust) in New York City on Feb 23rd and Newark, NJ on March 4th. Register now and save money!

    posted on Thursday, January 15, 2004 8:32:16 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Monday, January 12, 2004

    With the power of the Pentium IV Processor, Scott Hanselman could be Jesus


    That is something that Scott Hanselman and I came up with at TechEd Malaysia-we tend to have a lot of fun together. . Well I have always had issues with partying too hard with Scott, but anyway, he will be in town to speak at the NYC .NET Developers Group this Thursday night. Here is his topic:


    Zen and the Art of Web Services (or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love WSDL)


    Will Web Services save the world? More importantly, will they save you time? Are Web Services just a bunch of hooey? We’ll separate the good from the bad and dig into the WHY of Web Services and the HOW of the .NET Framework. We’ll go low level and sniff packets on the wire and we’ll go high level and design business documents with XML schema. We'll auto-generate Business Domain Objects and Messages. We’ll discuss the meaning of the WS*.* specifications, interoperability and get our heads around the "Zen" of Web Services and see where .NET succeeds and where it falls down. This talk will be as technical as you want it to be, but it will also be valuable for the Business Person or Project Manager who really wants to answer the question "Web Services: So What?" Doesn’t sound like the typical Users Group meeting, does it? You’ll just have to come by and find out!

    posted on Monday, January 12, 2004 5:44:53 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Sunday, January 11, 2004

    How the das Blog Cache Engine Works (And a Caching tip in General)


    Clemens and I may disagree on SQL Server v XML storage, but the das Blog Cache engine is real simple and we agree on it. What we do is cache the main page for 1 day (86400 seconds). We also varybyparam for the date and none. This way the page will stay in cache for either 1 day or until it is edited again (via a comment or an addition blog entry.)


    I was putting together some samples for the MDC in Cairo next week and made a real simple page that caches a page based on the query string (varybyparam) and a file dependency (an XML file).  Here is an example in a simple page using an ASP .NET datagrid against Northwind:


    <%@ Page language="c#" Codebehind="Cache_VaryByParam_Filedep.aspx.cs" AutoEventWireup="false" Inherits="DataGridCSharp.CachingDataGridFile" %>

    <%@ OutputCache duration="86400" varybyparam="CustomerID" %>

    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" >




    <meta name="GENERATOR" Content="Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 7.1">

    <meta name="CODE_LANGUAGE" Content="C#">

    <meta name="vs_defaultClientScript" content="JavaScript">

    <meta name="vs_targetSchema" content="http://schemas.microsoft.com/intellisense/ie5">


    <body MS_POSITIONING="GridLayout">

    <form id="Form1" method="post" runat="server">

    <asp:DataGrid id="DataGrid1" style="Z-INDEX: 101; LEFT: 16px; POSITION: absolute; TOP: 72px" runat="server"></asp:DataGrid>

    <asp:Label id="Label1" style="Z-INDEX: 102; LEFT: 24px; POSITION: absolute; TOP: 40px" runat="server"







    Then all we do is add a file dependency, in the case of das Blog it is the actual XML file that stores the data. This way the page will stay in cache for either 1 day or until it is edited again (via a comment or an addition blog entry.) Here is the code behind for the simple Northwind example from above.


              private void Page_Load(object sender, System.EventArgs e)


                  //we are setting the OutputCache to 1 day and the varybyparam for the querystring

                  //<%@ OutputCache duration="86400" varybyparam="CustomerID" %>       

                  //override the cache if this file changes



                  Label1.Text="Page Generated At: " + System.DateTime.Now.ToString();

                  // simple databinding for testing

                  SqlConnection conn =new SqlConnection("server=(local);uid=sa;pwd=;database=Northwind");

                  //open the connection


                  //can set a command to a SQL text and connection

    SqlCommand cmd = new SqlCommand("Select * From Orders Where CustomerID='" + Request.QueryString["CustomerID"] +"'", conn);

                  SqlDataReader dr;


                  //open a datareader

                  dr = cmd.ExecuteReader(CommandBehavior.Default);


                  //do the databinding

                  DataGrid1.DataSource = dr;



    posted on Sunday, January 11, 2004 11:36:27 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Friday, January 2, 2004

    Middle East Developers Conference 2004, Jan 24-27, Cairo, Egypt 

    Last year the first ME Developers Conference in Cairo, Egypt was a resounding success with over 1,600 Developers attending a packed, 3-day event!   We also had attendees from several countries in the region.This year promises to be even better, as this years’ keynote will feature Microsoft's Chairman & Chief Software Architect:  Bill Gates!!

    There will be a few RDs speaking there besides me:

    • Patrick Hynds (Boston)
    • Abdelmalek Kemmou (Morocco)
    • Goksin Bakir (Turkey)
    • Selcuk Uzun (Turkey)
    • Hossam Khalifa (Egypt)

    I will be doing 4 sessions there. Once again the very popular DataGrid session, but three new sessions one on the ASP .NET Cache and two on Yukon, TSQL Enhancements and XML. See you all there.

    posted on Friday, January 2, 2004 3:18:43 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [12] Trackback
    # Tuesday, November 25, 2003

    An Open Letter to John Ashcroft


    Dear John Ashcroft,


    Under the Clinton Administration, companies that had problems competing used the DOJ to bring frivolous lawsuits against their competitors. Sun Microsystems did this against Microsoft in the last 90s. As documents now show, this was more about personal egos and corporate profit. Corporations used the DOJ to take a swing at a competitor because they could (the DOJ was receptive). Basically Sun and its allies used the DOJ for personal gain. This set a dangerous precedent.


    Oracle is planning to buy PeopleSoft. The Europeans are all over this. Last week, European regulators (the same ones attacking Microsoft last week) extended its probe into Oracle. The European Commission announced that it will enter a second phase of its investigation into the proposed merger of the second- and third-largest enterprise software companies.


    Where is the DOJ?


    Silent, as it should be. Please stay that way.


    Oracle is a big database company. They make great database software, maybe the best out there at the moment. (Wait for Yukon). Oracle is in trouble. Big time. For 25 years Larry has tried to move past his core competency, databases and has never gotten anywhere. Microsoft (SQL Server) and IBM (DB2) are eating away at Larry’s profits.  OpenSource databases (MySQL and postgres) while not suitable for Enterprise applications can’t be ignored either-and are eating away market share in smaller accounts. So Oracle is losing make share in the only area it has any.  It needs to compete. Since Oracle can’t grow organically, let it grow by M&A. If not, Oracle will go the way of Sun, struggle to stay relevant.


    Now please call your buds over at the European Comission and tell them to back off.




    Stephen Forte

    New York, NY

    posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 3:45:22 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
    # Wednesday, November 12, 2003

    PASS Session

    If you attended my PASS session in Seattle today called Efficient and Secure Data Retrieval in Your Middle Tier Using Stored Procedures and ADO. NET, you can download the materials here.

    Off to dinner with Bill!

    posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 8:13:40 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Friday, October 31, 2003

    Everyday is Halloween


    Today for Halloween I am going to dress up as a coder from the future. A future where Longhorn is on my desktop (with the eye candy Avalon graphics), I am coding with Whidbey (refactoring away) against a Yukon database (sorry Clemens). Now that I attended the PDC, I am counting down the days. I am going to start my count, today is day 1.

    posted on Friday, October 31, 2003 5:35:55 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
    # Thursday, October 30, 2003

    Great Panels @ PDC Today

    The RDs are covering some panels at the PDC today, check out www.pdcbloggers.net for their reviews.

    Title Speaker(s) RD
    Making it Sizzle: Enabling and Building Next-Generation User Experiences on Windows “Longhorn” David Massy; Pablo Fernicola; Tjeerd Hoek; Chris Anderson; Michael Wallent Thomas Lee
    Designing the CLR Brad Abrams; Anders Hejlsberg; Christopher Brumme; Patrick Dussud; James Miller; Jonathan Hawkins; Sean Trowbridge; George Bosworth Paul Sheriff
    Choosing The Right Business Integration Technologies Donald Farmer; Scott Woodgate; Alex Weinert; Joe Sharp Andrés Fontán García , Mike Snell
    Real World Innovation:  From Idea to Product Phil Fawcett; John Lefor; Lili Cheng; John Breese; Jeff Erwin; Katie Drucker; Renee Labran Joel Semeniuk
    Connected at the Edge: Building Compelling Peer-to-Peer Applications Robert Hess; Amar Gandhi; Oliver Sharp; Kim Cameron; Shaun Pierce; Gursharan Sidhu  
    Client Architecture: The Zen of Data-Driven Applications Michael  Pizzo; Alex Hopmann; Jeremy Mazner; Mike Deem; Quentin Clark; William Kennedy Edgar Sánchez, Terry Weiss
    Mobile Application Development and Distribution:  Innovation and Opportunity Irwin Rodrigues; Chee Chew; David Jones; Bruce E. Johnson; Laura Rippy Jon Box, Chris Kinsman
    Put The Power Inside: Hosting the CLR in Your Application Balaji Rathakrishnan; Mahesh Prakriya; Christopher Brumme; Christopher Brown; Dmitry Robsman; Ramachandran Venkatesh; Mark Alcazar Abdelmalek Kemmou
    High Performance Computing on Windows: Taking Care of Business David Lifka; Kang Su Gatlin; George Spix; Andrew Lumsdaine; Max Giolitti  
    “Indigo:” What’s Next for Connected Apps and Web Services Don  Box; Oliver Sharp; Omri Gazitt; Joe Long; John Shewchuk; Eric Zinda Ingo Rammer
    Computing on the Beach: Visions of Mobility Donald Thompson; Tara Prakriya; Bert Keely; David Groom; Otto Berkes; Arif Maskatia Abdelmalek Kemmou
    Rocking the Web with ASP.NET “Whidbey” Scott Guthrie; Rob Howard; Jon Box; Shanku Niyogi; Thomas Lewis; Nikhil Kothari; Dmitry Robsman Jon Box (panelist), Carlos R. Guevara
    The Future of .NET Languages Paul Vick; Rob Relyea; Anders Hejlsberg; Brandon Bray; Erik Meijer; Daniel Thorpe; Raphael Simon; Basim Khadim  Jackie Goldstein
    Architecture Panel:  What is Service-Oriented Analysis and Design Michael Burner; Brent Carlson; Mark Driver; Martin Fowler Scott Hanselman, Michele Leroux Bustamante
    Security Panel: What’s Next? Directions in Security Jason Garms; James  Hamilton; Carl Ellison; Howard Schmidt Thomas Lee, Patrick Hynds

    posted on Thursday, October 30, 2003 5:29:13 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Wednesday, October 29, 2003

    Melody has a Fan


    -----Original Message-----
    From: Andy Catlin 
    Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 4:51 PM
    To: Coach T (work); Adam Heiser; Linda Varoli; Fortissimo; Jack Prilook; Stephen Forte
    Subject: Belle of the Ball


    So I'm pushing my way through the flood-tide of male

    ubergeeks at the Microsoft conference this morning, and

    notice that the crowd is rubbernecking as it makes a wide

    berth around this drop-dead beautiful blonde.  As I get

    closer, I hear this most decidedly animated dialogue coming

    from her side, and there, of course, is our man in LA,



    "Andy, meet my editor, Melody."


    Of course she is.

    posted on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 11:54:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

    Rows and Columns Revisited-on the Radio

    Today on my Sys-Con Radio Interview at 11:15am PST, I'll revisit the Rows and Column issue as well as Clemens' Elements and Attributes argument-where at the bar last night he said in a lame attempt to win the argument that Oracle is more scalable than SQL Server. :)

    I think that I will have to write das Blog and base it all on SQL Server Yukon storage and call it der Blog. Anyone want to help?

    posted on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 6:08:49 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

    Refactoring C# Code in Whidbey


    Want to refactor some code? How do we do it today, maybe use global find and replace? Ugly.


    Whidbey has several great new tools to select a block of code, right click and select one of about 8 ways to refactor your code. My personal favorite is “Extract Method” where Whidbey takes selected code and makes it a new method (complete with parameters). Whidbey then writes a line of code where the code use to exist calling your new method.


    Some other refactoring tools allow you to promote a variable to a parameter, switch the order, etc of parameters and also “surround with” which allows you to surround your code in an If statement, Try block, etc.


    Happy Refactoring.

    (From TLS321: Visual C# "Whidbey" IDE Enhancements)

    posted on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 1:23:26 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
    # Tuesday, October 28, 2003

    So Clemens is here at the PDC. And as usual we got drunk together and argued Relational Databases vs XML. Clemens, while such a smart dude, is still wrong on this issue. He thinks that everything should be in XML. My crazy Dutch friend, Remi and Kevin Collins and I all tried to talk sense into Clemens (apparently the Germans don’t like Dr. Codd.) At the end of the day you need to store data in a database, not XML, XML is good for transport of data (like in a web service) or is good for something like a config file.


    The Relational Database is not dead. XML is not the cure for everything in the world. I think that the world is really defined in Rows and Columns, not Elements and Attributes.

    posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 5:31:29 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback

    Attention passengers, this is the captain speaking: the smoke you smell is not from our plane


    The most amazing thing (and the most horrific) I have ever saw from an airplane window was the view of the Los Angles fires from about 12,000' on the descent into LAX. I have never seen anything like it. I have flown over very large forest fires (which are more black in color) in the past and was not prepared for what I saw today flying into LA. When descending into LAX you get a good view of the San Bernardino Valley. You usually see nice homes and cars and such. Today not so much. Nothing but fire and white smoke. You could SMELL the smoke from the plane. That is a first for me. It looks like a nuclear bomb hit LA. Maybe I was getting a little emotional from the white cloud of smoke over the world trade center after 9/11, but that is what it looked like.

    Well, although late, the PDC is now underway. Tomorrow I plan on taking in some WinFS and Yukon DTS sessions. It took me about 14 hours, but I got here in time for a dinner with RDs from around the world.

    posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 9:27:24 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
    # Friday, October 24, 2003

    WinFS at PDC

    The PDC will be all about Longhorn, Yukon and Whidbey (and maybe some Web Services crap too.) Since I am writing the Yukon book for MS Press and have been playing with it almost all year and Whidbey is now in alpha, Longhorn is what I want to see the most of. As a developer, WinFS seems the most important.

    So the future of the file system in Windows is WinFS. The hints are that WinFS will "leverage database technolgies." What exactly does that mean? Hummmmmmm. SQL Server?

    Here are the sessions to look at:

    WinFS: File System and Storage Advances in Windows "Longhorn": Overview

    Track: Client   Code: CLI201
    Room: Room 150/151/152/153   Time Slot: Tue, October 28 2:00 PM-3:15 PM
    Room: Room501ABC   Time Slot: Wed, October 29 2:00 PM-3:15 PM
    Learn about the next generation storage platform for Windows! In "Longhorn" we're advancing the File System into a Storage Platform for storing structured, file and XML data. Leveraging database technologies, the "Longhorn" storage platform manages data for organizing, searching and sharing. The storage platform also allows for data synchronization across other "Longhorn" and foreign data sources. The new storage platform supports rich managed "Longhorn" APIs as well as Win32 APIs.

    WinFS: File System Integration

    Track: Client   Code: CLI326
    Room: Room 152/153   Time Slot: Wed, October 29 11:30 AM-12:45 PM
    Speakers: Sanjay Anand
    This session provides an overview of the File System and Security features of WinFS, including but not limited to a drilldown into the WinFS namespace, file system integration and Win32 support. We also cover the WinFS security model including authentication, authorization and encryption features that help you secure your data as well as build security into your applications. Learn how you can integrate your file-based content into WinFS using WinFS property promotion infrastructure or build support for integrating with WinFS search capabilities.

    WinFS: Schemas and Extensibility

    Track: Client   Code: CLI322
    Room: Room 409AB   Time Slot: Wed, October 29 10:00 AM-11:15 AM
    Speakers: J. Patrick Thompson, Toby Whitney
    The WinFS schemas are the data and API definition that ship with Windows. The Windows Schemas define documents, contacts, system and person tasks, and much more. Learn about the thinking behind the designs of the Windows Schemas and how you can extend the schemas that ship with Windows, create your own schemas, and extend WinFS.

    WinFS: Schemas, Extensibility and the Storage User Experience

    Track: Client   Code: CLI323
    Room: Room 409AB   Time Slot: Wed, October 29 2:00 PM-3:15 PM
    Speakers: Nat Ballou
    Windows "Longhorn" introduces an entirely new user storage experience and model around the storage of user's data. Get an introduction to new concepts such as: dynamic sets, static sets, and views, with a quick overview of the "Longhorn" storage user experience. Focus on how you can present application-specific data in Windows as well as re-use "Longhorn" components to build rich "Longhorn" applications.

    WinFS: Using Windows "Longhorn" Storage ("WinFS") in Your Application (Part 1)

    Track: Client   Code: CLI320
    Room: Room 409AB   Time Slot: Tue, October 28 3:45 PM-5:00 PM
    Speakers: John Ludeman
    The preferred method of access to the advanced features of the new Windows Future Storage (WinFS) is through the WinFS API. This session starts by covering the broad set of concepts that form the foundation of the WinFS API design, and then delve into specific code examples. You will be able to write a simple application against WinFS by the time this session is complete. The walk-through includes connecting to the store, basic enumeration and queries, saving changes back to the store and the associated transactional semantics. Folder and Filestream access are also discussed. Basic data change notification scenarios round out the core examples.

    WinFS: Using Windows "Longhorn" Storage ("WinFS") in Your Application (Part 2)

    Track: Client   Code: CLI321
    Room: Room 409AB   Time Slot: Tue, October 28 5:15 PM-6:30 PM
    Speakers: Mike Deem
    In part 2 of the WinFS API session, we jump right into the deep end and cover the advanced features of the WinFS API, including rich view support, support for XML types, asynchrony, using the "Avalon" data binding support, using the interfaces from COM, how to build your own schemas and extensions on WinFS, the different relationship lifetimes and the associated semantics. A key component of the WinFS architecture will allow for ISVs to extend the same base schemas to maximize information sharing or even create their own schemas. How and where to extend WinFS is discussed, along with the schema and API creation process. Part 1 should be considered a prerequisite for taking this session.

    posted on Friday, October 24, 2003 4:14:26 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
    # Thursday, October 23, 2003

    Architecting Smart Client Applications (It's a PDC Thang)


    Allen Cooper thinks that IT people are in love with Web apps since they are too lazy to deal with deployment issues, so we as IT people force less rich and robust UIs on people (via HTML) so they don’t have to deal with the deployment. This is changing with .NET and zero touch deployment and all the tools Microsoft has given us to deploy apps on the client. This only makes sense since the client nowadays also has about as much processing power as a small city had just about 5 years ago.


    If you want to talk more on this topic, come see a super duper BOF session at the PDC on Tuesday. You can come to the Architecting Smart Client Applications session on Tuesday night. Several RD's will be hosting this event with uber RD Tim Huckaby including: myself; Joel Semeniuk; Ingo Rammer; Tim Landgrave; Joe Homnick; Greg Frankenfield; Edgar Sánchez; Scott Stanfield; Billy Hollis; Peter Himschoot; and Patrick Hynds.


    We want to cover a number of themes:

               What the hell is a smart client?

               The Smart Client application development offerings from Microsoft

               Web vs. Windows

               .NET fixes the historical problems of deployment

               Web applications may be headed for extinction (at least on the windows platform)


    Hope to see you there, here is the write up:


    Architecting Smart Client Applications (the future of application development)

    Track: Birds of a Feather   Code: BoF05

    Room: Room 404AB   Time Slot: Tue, October 28 9:00 PM-9:55 PM

    This BOF fosters discussion on what a smart client is and delves into the implications and opportunities for smart client application development now and into the future. The topics discussed focus on smart client technologies like InfoPath, VS .NET tools for Office 2003, Framework, and Managed Code Extensions for Office 2003, and Windows Forms, with industry experts who facilitate examples and solicit comments and discussion on the best techniques to getting started on smart client apps today. Browser-based application development will be contrasted to smart client application development and we take an amusing look at the history of software design, development, and deployment and make some bold speculations, discussions and arguments on the future. Host: Tim Huckaby.


    posted on Thursday, October 23, 2003 2:50:25 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [9] Trackback
    # Wednesday, October 22, 2003

    What the Hell are they going to do with it?


    From eWeek:


    “Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday will announce that it is giving its Most Valued Professionals access to the more than 100 million aggregate lines of Windows source code, which includes all versions, service packs and betas of the Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 products.”


    Why? Unless I can add a feature or fix something and send it in, why bother? The “Shared Source” imitative at Microsoft is strange. Last time I checked, Microsoft is paying its developers to write the code for their products and not taking any code from you and me. We can look at it, and even suggest something, but not really participate in the development. Microsoft, don’t play on both sides of the fence. Set up a program where others can work on the code and submit it in to you. Universities would love this. Uber-geeks would love this. The hippy, long haired, tie-dye wearing developers will love it. Game set match.


    Oh yea, they are thinking to open Office? I hope that my crappy code is no longer in there. J



    posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 4:42:34 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [17] Trackback
    # Tuesday, October 21, 2003

    My problems with the PDC


    The PDC is too early. What are we going to be talking about at the PDC are: Longhorn, Yukon and Whidbey. Longhorn is scheduled for 2006 and Yukon and Whidbey in my guess (no inside knowledge) are 2005.


    So the PDC is a little too early, it should be next year. There are so many things going on in beta land, that how can Microsoft expect us all to keep up. But that being said, it is sold out this year, so what do I know. I’m still looking forward to learning about all of this new stuff, it will just be frustrating that I can’t implement into production for at least 18 months or longer.


    See you all there!

    posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 12:18:49 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Monday, October 20, 2003

    It's a PDC Thang

    So I have been given the task to drive people to the panels on Thursday 10/30 at the PDC. So everyone go! Ok, I did my job, now Microsoft will like me again. :)

    What if you are not going to the PDC you ask? You can still participate. First check out the web site www.pdcbloggers.net, it will cover the panels pretty deep. (Most of the RDs are working on being there and posting stuff in their blogs that will also feed the portal.) Everyone with a passport can participate.

    Also, the panels, (show here http://pdcbloggers.net/Question_and_Answer.category) have a way for you to submit questions and of course see the responses later at the portal, as I said even if you are not going. You can submit your question here:


    See you in LA or at www.pdcbloggers.net!

    posted on Monday, October 20, 2003 6:09:44 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [15] Trackback
    # Sunday, October 19, 2003

    Bill Gates in the House

    BillG will be here in New York City on Tuesday to launch Office 2003 to the world. I have beta tested and apha tested every version of Office since Office 95 and can say that this is a good one. Outlook 2003 is worth the upgrade alone (my complaints from the beta were fixed). Andrew Brust claims that Outlook 2003 makes him 20% more productive than before, I'd say that is pretty fair.

    For developers, Office 97 was the one and only upgrade that you HAD to do, but this one is compelling with the XML support. XML is just about everywhere in Excel, Access and even Word.


    posted on Sunday, October 19, 2003 6:26:06 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Monday, October 13, 2003

    Firehose Security and Privacy


    Everyone is going a little too far with security and privacy. Some idiot hacker sends out an email virus and lots of ignorant people click on it and then lots of people blame Microsoft. The bigger problem is that then Microsoft responds with more firehose security methods. (Ever try to send an email attachment in Outlook now?)


    Regardless, now the anti-virus people are trying to make our lives yet even more painful. Now if you install Norton Anti-virus, by default its Firewall software makes any web site that uses the HTTP_REFERER blow up. Like it is such an invasion of my privacy to tell a site where I clicked on the link to get there from.


    So we had to change the code on our site to:


    AbsoluteUri = Request.Url.AbsoluteUri


    instead of




    This clearly has to stop. The privacy police have gone too far. I am also worried about potential legislation in Congress (which I have personally lobbied against through ACT) on Privacy. Sharing my medical records and financial information is one thing, but quadruple opt-in is another. Give it a rest.

    posted on Monday, October 13, 2003 2:04:24 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [6] Trackback
    # Monday, October 6, 2003

    I hate LA, but love the PDC

    Get yourself to the PDC this year (and hurry it is almost sold out). And add your blog to http://pdcbloggers.net/.

    posted on Monday, October 6, 2003 2:36:14 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [14] Trackback
    # Thursday, October 2, 2003

    It is not often that I am right. I am right so infrequently that I have to draw attention to myself when I am right. This is going to be one of those times.

    I have been predicting for years that Sun Microsystems is going to go under. (Not that I am bitter or anything about the Microsoft trial.) Yesterday Sun crossed the line from "troubled" to "doomed" and its share price dropped over 15% to prove it. Also Moody's has just about downgraded Sun into the junk-bond category.

    This is not good news, I don’t like to see major companies go under, epically ones co-founded by a friend and mentor. I think that the reason why Sun is in such trouble is that they have absolutely no Linux strategy. Also contrary to popular belief, Linux is a threat more to Sun than to Microsoft. Linux is based off Unix and makes it obsolete. Sun sells Unix. Linux runs on low end machines. Sun’s Unix does not.

    Sure Sun will truck on with layoffs, restructuring and loans, but it is basically done. The Sun has set. Next stop on the Linux train is Windows, watch out Bill…


    posted on Thursday, October 2, 2003 5:08:28 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
    # Friday, August 29, 2003
    DEV315 Using Regular Expressions in .NET

    The RegEx session went over very well. The crowd liked how my mom made my life difficult and helped me with this expression: Ste((v|ph)en|ve). They also found the flaw in this test for US Phone Numbers: 1-\(?\d{3}\)?-\d{3}-\d{4}

    Code and slides avaliable here.

    posted on Friday, August 29, 2003 12:23:26 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [10] Trackback
    # Thursday, August 28, 2003

    Top of the World-and TechEd

    Last night we had dinner on the top of the world, in the world's tallest building, The Petronas Towers. I also found out I am the #1 ranked speaker so far at TechED, I am humbled.

    posted on Thursday, August 28, 2003 2:09:00 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [4] Trackback
    # Wednesday, August 27, 2003

    Rozenshtein Comes to Asia...

    Who said TSQL is not fun? Dr. Rozenshtein is now a popular man in KL. Code and slide download for DEV206 "Efficient and Secure Data Retrieval in Your Middle Tier Using Stored Procedures and ADO. NET " is available on gotdotnet here. Enjoy!

    There is no code for EDM207 ".NET CF Database Development with SQL Server CE 2.0 ROI" since it is a case study.

    posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 7:25:54 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [14] Trackback

    Party KL Style

    Ok, Clemens finally showed up and we did our usual routine: drink a lot, dance like wackos and have an awesome time at a local bar last night with some other speakers and local MS folkes. Too bad for Clemens that he had an early session, mine is not until 4pm. :)

    posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 3:59:06 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
    # Tuesday, August 26, 2003

    DEV203 ASP .NET DataGrid Drill Down


    Since Commnet and Wireless are down this is for those of you who attended DEV203 today, here is the code and slides download, examples in both VB and C#.

    posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 6:41:42 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [13] Trackback
    # Sunday, August 24, 2003

    Where in the world is Clemens Vasters?

    Clearly not in KL like he is suppose to be. I think Pat told me they are in Bangkok and that they do not get into KL until Tuesday.

    Anyway get your asses here, we need to get drunk. Sicne June Clemens and I have gotten drunk together in North America, Africa and Europe. We need to add Asia to that list. Plus we have to get Scott Hanselman to party some too.

    posted on Sunday, August 24, 2003 7:06:30 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [13] Trackback
    # Saturday, August 23, 2003

    TechED Malaysia

    Just arrived in Kuala Lumpur for TechED Malaysia. High speed internet in the hotel room, lots of RDs here and tons of technical sessions this week, what else could a geek want? Well maybe a shorter plane flight! :)

    Off to dinner with Adam Cogan and then we have a day of fun tomorrow.

    High speed internet just rocks, I am IMing with my lead developer and using remote desktop to push his changes up to stage, all in Asia and the dev and server are in New York.What did we do before IM, broadband, and Remote Desktop? Suffer I guess. :)

    posted on Saturday, August 23, 2003 8:18:05 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Friday, August 22, 2003


    Back when VSLive was in town and I was walking around with some speakers from around the world, they were suprised at the police and national guard presence in New York. I said that while the world has gotten back to normal after 9/11, New York has not.

    Well getting off the plane in Hong Kong a while ago reminded me that SARS is still a problem. Had to take a body temp test and fill out medial forms, and I am just a transfer passanger.

    posted on Friday, August 22, 2003 11:41:17 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Thursday, August 21, 2003

    Off to TechEd (and other Adventures)


    I am off at 11pm tonight to TechED in Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia. I get into KL at 2pm on Saturday due to the international date line. Nothing like a 20+ hour flight to catch up on some sleep, watch some movies, and do some work. I am now doing 5 sessions in KL, was drafted to do a chalk talk:

    CHK9 Chalk Talk: Developing Mobile Applications wit NET Compaq Framework & SQL Server CE 2.0

    DATE/TIME: 8/28/2003 14:45


    My other 4 sessions are:


    DEV203 ASP .NET DataGrid Drill Down

    DATE/TIME: 8/26/2003 12:00


    EDM207 .NET CF Database Development with SQL Server CE 2.0 ROI

    DATE/TIME: 8/27/2003 16:00


    DEV206 Efficient and Secure Data Retrieval in Your Middle Tier Using Stored Procedures and ADO. NET.

    DATE/TIME: 8/27/2003 17:30


    DEV315 Using Regular Expressions in Windows Forms and ASP .NET

    DATE/TIME: 8/28/2003 10:30


    Looking forward to seeing my fellow RDs:


    Adam Cogan (Australia)

    Tim Huckaby (US-San Diego)

    Clemens Vasters (Germany)

    Scott Hanselman (US-Portland)

    posted on Thursday, August 21, 2003 5:17:29 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [3] Trackback
    # Wednesday, August 13, 2003

    Ready for Tech*ED Malaysia


    Next Friday I leave for Tech·Ed Malaysia held in Kuala Lumpur. This is the last major conference (and last TechEd) of the year for me.


    We have a bunch of Regional Directors speaking:


    Adam Cogan (Australia)

    Tim Huckaby (US-San Diego)

    Clemens Vasters (Germany)

    Scott Hanselman (US-Portland)


    Looking forward to some geek talk and time in KL with some of the other speakers and RDs. Looking forward to catching up with my buddy Adam Cogan, haven’t seen him since Dallas, far too long. I will get Scott Hanselman to do some drinking this time, no more lame crap from you Scott. Also looking forward to hacking some das Blog with Clemens while in KL (We will party too and his girlfriend, Pat, owes me a favor!)


    I just got my machine all ready to go. Here are my sessions, the Stored Procedure session is the last time I talk about The Rozenshtein Method this year (and maybe forever if they let me talk about Yukon next year):


    ASP .NET DataGrid Drill Down
    Track: Developer Tools & Technologies   Code: DEV203
    Room: Tun Dr Ismail A   Time Slot:
    Tue, August 26 12:00 PM-1:15 PM
    Stephen Forte
    The ASP.NET DataGrid is an incredibly powerful and timesaving server control. Compared to "classic" ASP, with just a few lines of code you can load it with data from any data source. Formatting is accomplished by setting just a few properties. Gone are the days where you had to write lots of complex code to filter, sort and page through your data. In-place editing is also a breeze. This session will show you how easy it is to use the ASP .NET DataGrid and accomplish powerful .NET grids without sacrificing any flexibility and functionality.
    .NET CF Database Development with SQL Server CE 2.0 ROI

    Track: Enterprise Data Management   Code: EDM207
    Room: Tun Hussien Onn A   Time Slot: Wed, August 27 4:00 PM-5:15 PM
    Speakers: Stephen Forte
    The decision to build an embedded application has been made. In today's environment, Return on Investment (ROI) so important that it is now a main decision making factor in deciding what platform to use. Choosing the platform that your developers can leverage their existing skills and code to build something on time and on budget is more important than a cool new language or feature. We will look at a case study of a .NET CF PocketPC application build for Professional NFL Scouts using SQL Server CE 2.0. See the ROI decisions for justifying the development effort, training the developers, leveraging current ADO code and libraries and maintenance decisions along with lines of code comparison to the other embedded tools.

    Efficient and Secure Data Retrieval in Your Middle Tier Using Stored Procedures and ADO. NET.

    Track: Developer Tools & Technologies   Code: DEV206
    Room: Tun Dr Ismail A   Time Slot: Wed, August 27 5:30 PM-6:45 PM
    Speakers: Stephen Forte
    Using Stored Procedures is more efficient, secure, and easier to maintain than using in-line SQL in your application's middle tier. In this session we will look how to optimize using Stored Procedures for efficient and secure data retrieval in the middle tier of your web, windows, mobile and web services applications.

    Using Regular Expressions in Windows Forms and ASP .NET

    Track: Developer Tools & Technologies   Code: DEV315
    Room: Tun Hussien Onn A   Time Slot: Thu, August 28 10:30 AM-11:45 AM
    Speakers: Stephen Forte
    Regular expressions, although popular in Perl and other UNIX/C-like languages, are unintelligible to those not familiar with them. Regular Expressions provide an incredibly powerful and compact way of matching and replacing text. Once you become serious about .NET, you'll find Regular Expressions staring you square in the face. They're there and they are very important, but the .NET documentation doesn't help much in learning about Regular Expressions and how to work with them in .NET. This session will introduce you to RegEx, using RegEx as data validation and manipulation.

    posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 2:46:01 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
    # Thursday, July 31, 2003
    VSLive Workshop
    posted on Thursday, July 31, 2003 7:11:53 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [23] Trackback
    # Wednesday, June 25, 2003

    A good start to this trip with an uneventful trans-Atlantic flight. Even bumped into fellow NY RD Andrew Brust and his lovely wife Lauren in the Rome airport. Worked on converting my Using SQL Server CE & SDE to build Enterprise Solutions code from VB .NET to C# on the plane down to Tunis. After clearing customs, Malek picked Goksin, Selcuk and I up and drove us on down to the Hotel where Clemens was already waiting for us. What was great was that there were North African Developers Conference  posters and signs all over the airport and highway! Tunisia really rolled out the red carpet.


    Reunited from the Wallflowers in Dallas, Clemens, Goksin, Malek and I turned around and headed straight for the beach at Hammamet. Much to the delight of the German speakers in the group, Clemens and I (barely), we were at a resort that catered to Germans. We spend several hours on the beach smoking Goksin's Turkish cigars, drinking beer and talking about why .NET Remoting may or may not suck, DCOM, the bowls of COM+, Regular Expressions and gulp politics. Clemens and I had a disagreement over the difference between an 'Ocean' and  a 'Sea' (eventually we got distracted by some girls topless sunbathing.) I got a great swim workout in, about 20-25minutes in open water. Triathlon training won't suffer (well the several beers I drank after my workout may have hurt a little.)


    So, when you code, remember a bug is always your fault. This code in SQL Server CE may look harmless, but if you are pointing to the wrong database (ha!) it won't do a damn thing!


    SqlCeConnection cn = new SqlCeConnection("data source=\\my documents\\bya.sdf");

    SqlCeDataReader dr;


    SqlCeCommand cmd = new SqlCeCommand(strSQL, cn);


    So off to the speakers dinner at a nice place overlooking the Med. Tomorrow are two sessions:

    11:00-12:00: Using SQL Server CE & SDE to build enterprise solutions

    4:00-5:00: Using Regular Expressions in Windows Forms & ASP.NET (Code and Slide Download)

    posted on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 2:48:51 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1131] Trackback
    # Monday, June 2, 2003

    Dallas, Texas. (Speaking at Tech*ED)

    Recovering from the Regional Director party last night. Did way too much karaoke with Steve Lasker, Jon Box and Scott Stanfield. We had some good fun. I did decide that Scott Hanselman is not as cool as I thought, he backed out on some of my pranks. Clemens Vasters on the other hand is lots of fun and will party hard at Tech*ED in Europe and Asia as well as Africa.

    Day 1 of TechED was good so far. Started with a morning run and then attended Adam Cogan's session on SQL Server and hung out and caught up in the speakers lounge. Proctered the SQL CE lab and then head off to a dinner with MSFT SR. VP Paul Flessner. I speak on Wedneday and Thursday, so I need to get my demos up and running!

    I rewrote some examples. Here is some code to toggle the color of a cell in a DataGrid based on the data presented:

    public void ToggleYellow(object sender, DataGridItemEventArgs e)


    if (e.Item.ItemType == ListItemType.Item || e.Item.ItemType == ListItemType.AlternatingItem)


    //get the data that is in the current record

    if (e.Item.Cells[2].Text == "Sales Representative")


    //make the cell yellow

    e.Item.Cells[2].BackColor = System.Drawing.Color.Yellow;



    Here is a custom sorting routine:

    private void SortGrid(object source,DataGridSortCommandEventArgs e)


    //SQL String that will be used

    string strSQL = "Select * From Customers";

    //the Order By

    string strOrderBy = "ASC";

    //See what the viewstate has for the sortfield and ASC/DESC

    if (e.SortExpression.ToString() == ViewState["sortField"].ToString())


    //a match, see if ASC or DESC

    strOrderBy = ViewState["sortDirection"].ToString();

    //now toggle the viewstate for later

    switch (strOrderBy)


    case "ASC":

    ViewState["sortDirection"] = "DESC";


    case "DESC":

    ViewState["sortDirection"] = "ASC";






    //New Field, so it will be ASC by default, so make DESC

    ViewState["sortField"] = e.SortExpression.ToString();

    ViewState["sortDirection"] = "DESC";


    //SQL statement compelted

    strSQL = strSQL + " " + " ORDER BY [" + e.SortExpression + "] " + strOrderBy;

    //set the grid to the first page before you resort

    DataGrid1.CurrentPageIndex = 0;

    //call the FillGrid method to rebind the grid w/ new OrderBy



    posted on Monday, June 2, 2003 5:40:45 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [11] Trackback