# Friday, May 2, 2008

I have always watched the development community's fascination with Ruby on Rails with much concern. It seemed like it was gaining much popularity because it was easy to use and spit out web sites based on an easy to use framework rather quickly. What's wrong with that?

A lot. Rails makes it easy to build an application by drag and drop and stitch things together with some glue code. It gives you a platform for most of the plumbing and never forces you to understand the mechanics of objects or other more sophisticated coding techniques. This leads you to some fast and easy web sites that don't scale past the RoR framework. Great for a fun site or a prototype, but not so good if you need to scale past what the RoR framework has to offer.

Some sites are learning this the hard way. Twitter has had some major outages recently and some very public scaling problems. They are mostly a RoR shop and there are rumors that they are going to swap out RoR, rumors that they of course are denying. If Twitter moves away from Ruby, it could do much damage to Rails' adoption in the future at startups that have large aspirations. I am not saying that all of Twitter's problems are caused by RoR, some very large consumer facing sites are built on Rails, but rather are a byproduct of using an application framework to build a large public site (not to be confused with an API framework like .NET or J2EE). Rails gives you a framework and makes it simple to build sites that fit into that general framework. Once you step off the reservation, you are in for a world of hurt. If you are building a site that fits the Rail mold, then if you have good engineers you may be able to scale to a gazillion users, but you lost most of the ease of use of Rails by doing so. If you are building a site that does not fit the Rails mold, then you will have scaling issues, mostly because Rails was not designed to do what you want it to do.

Some in the rails community have broken ranks, the most entertaining one is Zed Shaw, a god in the RoR community, with his infamous exit rant Ruby is a Ghetto back in January.

What I am really saying is that there are no shortcuts. You have to learn how to code and use platforms that scale to the goals of your application. Sometimes this means writing your own code and object model and data access layer.

posted on Friday, May 2, 2008 11:19:30 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, May 1, 2008

Red Herring magazine, an influential .com survivor, compiles a list of the most important firms in the technology and bio-tech space. The companies that innovate and set trends and influence the market. This is like the Fortune 500 list but for tech. This is an important list, in the past Google and Amazon were at the top.

The List of the Top 100 European Companies is now out and Telerik is on that list. This great for Telerik of course but even better for the .NET community. First it shows that .NET is gaining more and more momentum when Red Herring awards a .NET component vendor as innovative, influential, and trend-setting. (They usually reserve those terms for open source.)

Second it show just how global our community is, Telerik is an Eastern European company with headquarters in Sofia, Bulgaria, and one of only three companies on the Red Herring 100 from the former Eastern Block. That a company's founders grew up under communism and then can be labeled by Red Herring as innovative and influential in our market is totally awesome. Shows you how technology (and .NET!) can change the world.

Congratulations to the .NET community and to Telerik.

posted on Thursday, May 1, 2008 11:40:50 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, April 27, 2008



36 Sessions for $350? The ITARC brings dozens of speakers from New York and around the world together to ensure that architects in the region get the training and education they need. We have tracks for enterprise architects, infrastructure architects, software architects and senior developers.

The IASA is an non-profit international association of IT architects, which is why we have worked so hard to provide such a low cost, high caliber event. Want to become a speaker someday? How about influence the agenda at a major conference to cater to your exact needs? Getting involved with the New York ITARC is how you can do both as this conference will be held yearly. So attend this year and speak the next!

The conference only holds 250 so get registered today.

ITARC 2008 Agenda - Check out the latest speaker additions

Featured Keynotes:

Noteable Speakers:

Early bird pricing ends April 30th so click here to register online.


Register before April 30th to receive a $100 discount. IASA members receive an additional discount in addition to the early bird special:

Register before April 30, 2008
Register after April 30, 2008

IASA member


IASA member


A group discount of 20% is available for groups of 6 or more. Contact 512-615-7900 to take advantage of the group discounts.

Click here for the event website.

Click here to register online

Click here to register by check.

Questions or comments? Please contact:: CynthiaRubio@IASAhome.org

posted on Sunday, April 27, 2008 10:35:53 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, April 24, 2008

Speaking at the NYC SQL Server User Group tonight on Database Design Patterns, the popular TechEd Session. Click here to register.

Meeting Location:
Microsoft New York City Office
1290 Ave of the Americas
Sixth Floor
New York, NY  10104

Meeting Time: 6pm.


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 and not the other way around.

posted on Thursday, April 24, 2008 9:45:00 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Microsoft released a tech preview of Live Mesh for developers today. Live Mesh is a software-plus-service platform that enables your PC and your other devices to “come alive” by making them aware of each other through the Internet. I was invited to the beta and so far I have been using the storage features and synchronization services. (Think of a Live Mesh aware TV set top device and season 4 of Lost downloaded on my PC.)

I can see road warriors like myself using Live Mesh quite often, all you have to do is upload a Word document to your virtual desktop and then it will be automatically be kept in sync on every machine and device I have. As long as it runs Microsoft operating systems, a limitation I can live with. (But support for Mac is coming soon I hear.)

While the marketing engine of Microsoft seems pointed to the consumers with their XBoxes and PCs, I think this software+services approach represents a change in direction for Microsoft. Using the software (Office 2007 + Vista) and the services (Live Mesh's synchronization and discovery services) developers can build some really cool business applications.

Not only can you sync documents and files, but you can also sync applications (via a two-way RSS or Atom feed). Once again Microsoft is showing its strength with the developer community. For example, a Web developer can build an app using any programming language and then sync that application across multiple devices and even other applications. 

Contrast this to what Google is doing. Google is trying to bring all of your applications from the desktop to the cloud. Microsoft is trying to get you to keep your desktop applications for their rich features and leverage the cloud for storage, synchronization, and collaboration. Microsoft is not pretending that we have uber powerful and cheap PCs and is using the cloud for infrastructure.

Will Live Mesh make Microsoft a player? Ray Ozzie thinks so. He has said that Microsoft now has to build software+services with a connection between devices (and their data) and people.

Its' a great time to be a developer.

posted on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 12:56:57 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, April 18, 2008

I spent the week on Microsoft's Redmond campus for product team meetings and the MVP summit. One thing that always surprises me is the growth of Microsoft. I have been traveling out to Redmond to meet with the big evil empire since 1996. Back then I was like "holy cow there is a lot of growth." Now 12 years later, it is more of the same. Cranes everywhere, it looks like Dubai or Shanghai. Across the expressway, it looks like they are building a huge complex. I joked to my friends in the car that this is the new building to handle all of the new Yahoo! employees.


It is always amazing to me just how well Microsoft treats its 3rd party developers. Arguably we are the reason why Microsoft beat out Apple in the 1990s. Apple had user design specifications and an approval process, and Microsoft just treated us like gold; and we also were able to build anything we wanted and install it on Windows independent of Microsoft. While this may have made Windows less stable, it also made it a standard. Businesses can hire anyone to build them custom software, and that is still true to this day.

Apple is making the same mistake with the iPhone as they made with the Mac. They treat 3rd party developers poorly. Microsoft flew out 4,000 developers this week and showed us their roadmap and vision for the next three years, and some ideas that span out even further. (Watch out Amazon S3 and Google, when I can use SQL Server in the cloud, why do I need you?) They had frank discussions and never once said "we can't answer that question." (Even questions on Yahoo! sale and how far MS is behind Google in search.) This went up to the Ray Ozzie and Steve Ballmer level.

Apple does no such thing. As Wired Magazine points out, they are the new evil. They close down fan blogs and sue children who try to report on new features. We have to wait until MacWorld to get an announcement.

Memo to Steve Jobs: It would be nice to know in advance (like a year or two) about your new stuff. Then we can build apps for it. Giving us a half baked SDK with tons of restrictions (and a approval process that is draconian) will just have us build for other platforms like Java, Linux and Microsoft. Oh ya, your arrogance does not fit well with the software developer crowd-we think *we* are the center of the universe.

posted on Friday, April 18, 2008 10:05:43 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, April 13, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008
2008 Community Launch: Show Me The Data


You must register at https://www.clicktoattend.com/invitation.aspx?code=126827 in order to be admitted to the building and attend.
With the release of Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 comes a dizzying array of facilities for storing, querying and presenting data. Between new features in ADO.NET’s core; LINQ; The Entity Framework; new ASP.NET Data source and data bound controls; and the new data binding models in WPF and Silverlight 2, there are now so many new data features, that it presents a bit of a crisis. How are you supposed to learn all of these new technologies, much less continue to use the older ones with mastery? The answer is to understand each of these data access and data binding technologies in the context of the others. Many common concepts exist between these models and many of them can be combined. If you learn the generalities, you'll be able to master the specifics that interest you.
With that in mind, this session will start with a quick look at ADO.NET, typed datasets, Windows Forms and ASP.NET (including ASP.NET AJAX) data binding, and the enhancements to them in Visual Studio 2008. We'll then look at LINQ to DataSets, LINQ To SQL, The Entity Framework and LINQ to Entities and see how to use them with the old binding models. We'll finish with a look at WPF, its rich data binding model and how well it translates to Silverlight 2.0.

Speaker:  Andrew J. Brust
Andrew J. Brust is Chief, New Technology at twentysix New York, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner in New York City. Andrew is lead author of Programming Microsoft SQL Server 2005 (Microsoft Press), serves as Microsoft Regional Director for New York and New Jersey, is a Visual Basic MVP and a member of Microsoft’s Business Intelligence Partner Advisory Council. Andrew is a Vice-Chairman of the New York Software Industry Association (NYSIA), a member of INETA’s Speaker Bureau and is a highly rated speaker at conferences throughout the U.S. and internationally. Often quoted in the technology industry press, Andrew has 20 years' experience programming and consulting in the Financial, Public, Small Business and Not-For-Profit sectors. He can be reached at andrew.brust@26ny.com.

Date:  Thursday, April 17, 2008

Time:  Reception 6:00 PM , Program 6:30 PM

Location:   Microsoft , 1290 Avenue of the Americas (the AXA building - bet. 51st/52nd Sts.) , 6th floor

Directions: B/D/F/V to 47th-50th Sts./Rockefeller Ctr
1 to 50th St./Bway
N/R/W to 49th St./7th Ave.

Swag List:                                                                                                           

  • · 5 NFR Launch Kits, including:
  • o NFR, legal copy of Windows Server Enterprise 2008 (64-bit and 32-bit)
  • o NFR copy VS 2008 Standard Edition
  • o SQL 2008 CTP (64-bit and 32-bit)
  • o Voucher for eval-only SQL 2008 Standard, redeemable when SQL 2008 is Generally Available
  • · 2 NFR copies Windows Vista Ultimate with SP1 with Windows Live Services, including 90-day trial of Windows OneCare
  • · 3 vouchers for a free 1 yr subscription to TechNet Plus Direct
  • · 1 Windows Server 2008 Application Readiness Resource Kit
  • · 1 SQL Server 2008 Technical Readiness Kit
  • · 1 .NET Framework 3.5 Developer Resource Kit
  • · 2 Copies, Virtualization For Dummies
  • · MS learning Solutions 40% off Exam Vouchers
posted on Sunday, April 13, 2008 2:07:35 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, April 11, 2008

After I got home from some factories in Suzhou, China today I got a message from 23andMe that my genome mapping was complete! While I did not have time to really check the important stuff in detail (but I did check, I will not go bald, get cancer or have a heart attack statistically any more than the average guy), I did play around with my ancestors. There is an ancestor map, here is my Mom's map:


And here is my dad's map (he has the exact same map as US President John Adams):


Turns out that I have Western European heritage as well as some Indian Subcontinent heritage. Totally awesome.

More to come.

posted on Friday, April 11, 2008 6:09:39 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback