# Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Do you know Excel? Answer a few quick questions at the Excelerators Quiz site, and find out how you rate. Let me know your results and you could even win a brand new HD monitor from Microsoft! The prize you can win will include a Dell ST2310 23 inch flat panel monitor, keyboard, and mouse. (Over $250 value.)

Here is how you can win the goods:

Go take the quiz and report here your results in the comments, or ping me on Facebook. Take the quiz between today and February 4th. I will decide the winner and send the results to Microsoft. (Tiebreaker will be a PowerPivot challenge I will dream up.)

This is one of only 5 or so “official” blogs where you can win; you can only enter once. :) You also have to be a US citizen to win (sorry to my buddies in Hong Kong!).

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

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posted on Tuesday, 26 January 2010 10:10:08 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [13] Trackback
# Monday, 25 January 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, 25 January 2010 21:25:19 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 23 January 2010

Last week Telerik released the Data Service Wizard Beta 1. It will automatically create for you the end points for an Astoria, WCF, or RESTful service. New in the beta of the Data Service Wizard is the ability of the wizard to automatically generate the DataServiceKey attribute required to make relationships in Astoria work.

When you use "Astoria" (ADO.NET||WCF) Data Services, by default Astoria tries to map the primary keys in your entities using a convention. This is important for your service to work. The mapping works out of the box for the Entity Framework, however, if you are using LINQ to SQL or Telerik Open Access, it does not since some of your tables may have a primary key that will not map to the CLR primitive types that follow the Astoria convention for key mapping. (Order Details in Northwind bombs for example since both of its composite key are entities and not primitive CLR types.)

There is a very simple fix for this. You have to make your entity a partial class and then decorate the entity using the DataServiceKey attribute, in the constructor. Recently we added support for this in the Data Service Wizard: by default we do this for you by adding a “DalDataServiceKeys.cs“ (or VB) file to your data access layer project automatically.

image

The code is show below for our DalDataServiceKeys.cs file shown in the Telerik.OA.DAL project above. You will notice on Line 36 we will even convert the complex type to a primitive CLR type so Astoria can handle it.

   1:  namespace Telerik.OA.DAL
   2:  {
   3:      using System.Data.Services.Common;
   4:   
   5:      /// <summary>
   6:      /// Category Class Data Service Key Fix
   7:      /// </summary>
   8:      [DataServiceKey("CategoryID")]
   9:      public partial class Category
  10:      {
  11:      }
  12:      /// <summary>
  13:      /// Customer Class Data Service Key Fix
  14:      /// </summary>
  15:      [DataServiceKey("CustomerID")]
  16:      public partial class Customer
  17:      {
  18:      }
  19:      /// <summary>
  20:      /// Employee Class Data Service Key Fix
  21:      /// </summary>
  22:      [DataServiceKey("EmployeeID")]
  23:      public partial class Employee
  24:      {
  25:      }
  26:      /// <summary>
  27:      /// Order Class Data Service Key Fix
  28:      /// </summary>
  29:      [DataServiceKey("OrderID")]
  30:      public partial class Order
  31:      {
  32:      }
  33:      /// <summary>
  34:      /// OrderDetail Class Data Service Key Fix
  35:      /// </summary>
  36:      [DataServiceKey(new string[]{"OrderID","ProductID"})]
  37:      public partial class OrderDetail
  38:      {
  39:      }
  40:      /// <summary>
  41:      /// Product Class Data Service Key Fix
  42:      /// </summary>
  43:      [DataServiceKey("ProductID")]
  44:      public partial class Product
  45:      {
  46:      }
  47:      /// <summary>
  48:      /// Region Class Data Service Key Fix
  49:      /// </summary>
  50:      [DataServiceKey("RegionID")]
  51:      public partial class Region
  52:      {
  53:      }
  54:      /// <summary>
  55:      /// Shipper Class Data Service Key Fix
  56:      /// </summary>
  57:      [DataServiceKey("ShipperID")]
  58:      public partial class Shipper
  59:      {
  60:      }
  61:      /// <summary>
  62:      /// Supplier Class Data Service Key Fix
  63:      /// </summary>
  64:      [DataServiceKey("SupplierID")]
  65:      public partial class Supplier
  66:      {
  67:      }
  68:      /// <summary>
  69:      /// Territory Class Data Service Key Fix
  70:      /// </summary>
  71:      [DataServiceKey("TerritoryID")]
  72:      public partial class Territory
  73:      {
  74:      }
  75:  }

This will enable you to use Astoria with OpenAccess for all of the tables in your database. I converted my Tech*Ed “Data Access Hacks and Shortcuts” session demo to use OpenAccess and Astoria from the Entity Framework in less than 5 minutes. (I will show it and give away the code on my blog in a week or two.)

image

Enjoy!

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posted on Saturday, 23 January 2010 06:24:52 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 22 January 2010

When Windows Mobile 6.0 shipped, Apple’s iPhone was just a rumor and Android was nowhere in sight. How times have changed, now Microsoft has been left for dead in the smartphone/mobile space.

We have been waiting, and waiting, for any news on Windows Mobile 7 from Microsoft. Two rumors leaked this week that lead us to believe that the long, long wait will be over soon.

The first, reported by WMExperts, claims that there will be news on WinMo 7 in the next two months, possibly at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in mid Feb or CTIA in Las Vegas in late March. WMExperts also say that there will be two versions of Windows Mobile 7:

  • Windows Phone 7 Business Edition
  • Windows Phone 7 Media Edition

Also on naming, WMExperts says:

First, it's not Windows Mobile 7 but just "Seven," so that's how we're going to refer to the OS from now on. Also the phrase "Microsoft Zune Phone Experience" may be tossed around.

There is a lot of information out on the site including HD, live TV, XBox integration, Exchange integration, Silverlight, etc. Sync abilities are to multiple devices, the cloud (Live Mesh?) and PCs. I am starting to believe this web site, this all sounds like Microsoft: confused launch, multiple SKUs, names, and bad marketing.

The WSJ’s “All Thins Digital” site has rumor #2: Microsoft is making their own phone. Microsoft, in conjunction with HTC (the maker of the Nexus One, can you spell conflict of interest over in Taiwan?), will release the Microsoft branded “Zune Phone”. Details are sketchy, but the Zune Phone will have HD video and music subscriptions, so it is obviously targeted at the consumer space.

I predict that Microsoft will announce Win Mobile 7 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in mid-Feb. The MVP summit is the same week in Redmond, so they can also inform the MVPs at the same time. (Steve Ballmer promised us last year we would be one of the “first to know”.) I am also going to speculate that the big developer announcements (Silverlight, etc) and the “Zune Phone” will be at Mix in Las Vegas in March. (Since I will not be at Mix, I suspect that they will give one away to each person attending, just like the PDC Tablet.) They can follow up with more details at CTIA the next week. (Also this is possibly why they moved the Visual Studio Launch to April, not to conflict with CTIA.)

Since Microsoft has waited for so long to release WinMo 7 and has done it with the Apple like secrecy, they have raised the stakes. With the hype around Android and Nexus One, and the sex-appeal of Apple, in order for Microsoft to stay in the game they have to really launch something special.

Indications are that WinMo 7 will build on top of everything Microsoft has done well in the consumer space: XBox and ZuneHD. The ZuneHD platform has gotten rave reviews, so building a phone on top of it makes sense. It would also explain why Microsoft was silent for so long on the phone, they had to first build the ZuneHD. Apparently there is good Twitter and Facebook support and via Live Mesh, you can edit documents on your PC remotely and sync them up. With awesome Office and Exchange support, that is huge for business users.

That all said, is this enough to stay relevant?

I think that Microsoft suffers from the fact that they are not named Apple or Google. Unfair, yes, but that is the game they are in. Media will immediately cover the blogs of the Apple or Google faithful and take away from any PR splash. Also since someone as lowly as I can figure out what is coming and when from Microsoft, expect Google and Apple to trump the day before the announcement. (Apple releases iPhone with SD card will dominate the news!!!)

In order to really shake things up, Microsoft has to take a gamble. They need to complete the revolution that Apple started and Google took to the next level.

As I have said before, the way Americans (and Canadians) buy mobile phones is broken. We buy crippled, subsidized  phones from carriers that lock us into an expensive contract. Apple changed that by making a phone that the carriers had no control over for the first time, however, they still got us locked into one carrier. Google changed the game by giving us an unlocked phone, but in reality you still have to deal with TMobile since the AT&T support is lacking and there is no CDMA version for Verizon yet.

In order for the Zune Phone to be disruptive, it has to be offered as both GSM and CDMA, unlocked, cost $150 (subsidized by Microsoft with Bing ads), and available at Wal Mart and Best Buy. If the phone is sexy enough where tons of people want it, they will go buy it at the local electronics store. Apple and Google will soon follow suit and we will be released from the tyranny of the carriers.

We’ll see what happens…

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posted on Friday, 22 January 2010 20:45:41 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Thursday, 21 January 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

9:00-9:55

Speaker Introduction

9:55-10:00

Introduction to Agile Development and Scrum

10:00-11:00

Agile Estimation

11:00-11:30

High Tea Break

11:30-11:45

Implementing Scrum with remote and offshore teams

11:45-12:15

Agile Tools, Test Driven Development, and Continuous Integration

12:15-12:45

Summary, Question and Answer

12:45-1:00

Conclusion of Program

1:00

 

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

DATE

Wednesday February 24th, 2010

TIMING

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

VENUE

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

FEE

Free

 

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posted on Thursday, 21 January 2010 01:59:34 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Telerik is proud to announce that the Data Services Wizard beta was released today. If you have used the wizard while it was a Telerik Labs project, you will notice a ton of new features and improvements. If you are new to the wizard, now may be a good time to give it a try and give us your feedback.

The Data Service Wizard works with Telerik OpenAccess Q3 or higher and Visual Studio 2008. Our next beta, due in February, will support Visual Studio 2010 and WCF 4.0. The wizard will create a service layer for you using “Astoria” 1.0, the latest version of “Astoria”, WCF, or the WCF REST or AtomPub project templates. You can get a walk through here.

To highlight some of the new features, I will give you some screen shots below.

First we made the navigation and project selection much easier. Now you can select your data access layer and your service project in one simple screen.

image

You asked for it, we delivered it: we are proud to announce Visual Basic .NET support!

image

We have also made the code preview page page optional.  As you can see we generate VB code. :)

image

Here is the completed Astoria service:

image

We’ll post some more how to and videos soon.

Enjoy!

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posted on Wednesday, 20 January 2010 04:03:36 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Telerik has been named to the Red Herring Global 100 Award list.  The Global 100 is Red Herring’s list of the top 100 privately held global tech companies. This is like the Fortune 500 list but for tech. This is a huge deal, past award winners include Google, Yahoo!, Skype, Netscape, Salesforce.com, and YouTube.

Telerik is an Eastern European company with headquarters in Sofia, Bulgaria and the only company on the Red Herring Global 100 from the former “Soviet Block.” That the company's founders grew up under communism and last week were speaking at the Red Herring 100 award ceremony about capitalism, innovation, and technology is totally awesome. Shows you how technology can empower people and change the world.

It is quite an honor to work at a company in the Red Herring Global 100.

image

According to the Red Herring web site, the selection process is:

A group of Red Herring editorial judges will review each nomination. The editors will assess nominees on both quantitative and qualitative criteria such as financial performance, technology innovation, quality of management, execution of strategy, and integration into their ecosystem. Specific to the Red Herring 100 Global Award, the judges will look closely at the company's global strategy to evaluate how the company will be able to handle the challenges of internationalization and a global presence.

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posted on Tuesday, 19 January 2010 05:32:14 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 18 January 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010
Leveling the LINQ to XML Playing Field

You must register at https://www.clicktoattend.com/invitation.aspx?code=144593 in order to be admitted to the building and attend.

Subject: 

This talk covers a wide range of techniques for working with XML in .NET. We’ll start with streaming techniques and XmlDocument, run through a quick introduction of general LINQ mechanics, and then examine how LINQ to XML greatly enhances XML access in .NET 3.5. Learn how to combine streamed XmlReader access with LINQ to XML and see how these old and new technologies integrate with one another in a very elegant way by implementing a simple custom iterator. We’ll work through demos in both C# and VB .NET, and also examine XML literals (an extremely handy VB-only feature) along the way.
Contrary to popular belief, all LINQ providers are not created equal. In fact, LINQ to XML has in one way proven to be the “weakest LINQ” of all. Unlike other major LINQ providers which give you strongly-typed objects, LINQ to XML offers no typed schema definitions (and thus, no type safety) for your code. There isn’t much recourse to this beyond writing code gen tools, using 3rd party solutions, or gambling on the LINQ to XSD provider (an MS incubation project). Lenni will demonstrate how the LINQ to XSD provider fills the gaping schema hole left by LINQ to XML. Attend this session (no prior LINQ knowledge required) and get the full LINQ story for LINQ to XML.

Speaker: 
Leonard Lobel
Leonard Lobel is a principal consultant at twentysix New York, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. Programming since 1979, Lenni specializes in Microsoft-based solutions, with experience that spans a variety of business domains, including publishing, financial, wholesale/retail, health care, and e-commerce. Lenni has served as chief architect and lead developer for various organizations, ranging from small shops to high-profile clients. He is also a consultant, trainer, and frequent speaker at local usergroup meetings, VSLive, SQL PASS, and other industry conferences. Lenni is also lead author in the MS Press book "Programming Microsoft SQL Server 2008".

Date: 
Thursday, January 21, 2010

Time: 
Reception 6:00 PM , Program 6:15 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.

posted on Monday, 18 January 2010 20:31:21 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 17 January 2010

The Microsoft developer community has always been a giving group. The amount of free time we give away writing blog posts, answering questions in forums, organizing user groups, code camps, and speaking at events is pretty amazing.

I have also been impressed by all of the MVPs who run 5ks for charity or organize other events for charity. In the past I have organized a few events that helped raise money for charity including cancer research, a school in rural Nepal, and the Indonesian Tsunami relief fund. Each time I have asked my peers in the Microsoft developer community to donate time, money, or even just a simple blog post to raise awareness. Each time I have always been impressed by just how vast and generous the response has been.

I have decided to organize a Facebook group, MVPs for Charity, and will ask all MVPs, User Group leaders, active community members, and Microsoft employees to join. On this group, I hope we can all keep each other informed of what we are doing for charity as well call on each other for help whenever there is a charity event or need.

After the disaster last week in Haiti, some of my peers in the Microsoft developer community asked me if I was going to organize another auction or fund raising drive. I am giving money to two charities the ClintonBush fund (at the request of President Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are raising money), and http://www.yele.org/. I will ask you all to choose a fund and donate as well.

posted on Sunday, 17 January 2010 21:46:12 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 15 January 2010

Have a startup? Want free software? The Microsoft BizSpark Camp is for you. You have to sign up by Monday. See below for more details.

Via Sanjay Jain

BizSpark Camp

With several successful Microsoft BizSpark Incubation Weeks (Azure Atlanta, Win7 Boston, Win7 Reston, CRM Reston, CRM Boston, Win 7 Irvine, Mobility Mountain View,), we are pleased to announce Microsoft BizSpark Camp for Windows Azure in New York, NY during 28–29 January 2010. Based upon your feedback we have made several changes including offering cash prize, compressed time commitment, and much more. We hope you're tapping into the growing BizSpark community.

The current economic downturn is putting many entrepreneurs under increasing pressure, making it critical to find new resources and ways to reduce costs and inefficiencies. Microsoft BizSparkCamp for Windows Azure is designed to offer following assistance to entrepreneurs.

· Chance to win cash prize of $5000

· Nomination for BizSpark One (an invitation only program) for high potential startups

· Learn and build new applications in the cloud or use interoperable services that run on Microsoft infrastructure to extend and enhance your existing applications with help of on-site advisors

· Get entrepreneurs coaching from a panel of industry experts

· Generate marketing buzz for your brand

· Create opportunity to be highlighted at upcoming launch

We are inviting nominations from BizSpark Startups interested in Windows Azure Platform that target one or more of the following:

The Microsoft BizSparkCamp for Windows Azure will be held at Microsoft Technology Center, New York, NY from Thu 1/28/2010 to Fri 1/29/2010. This event consists of ½ day of training, 1 day of active prototype/development time, and ½ day for packaging/finishing and reporting out to a panel of judges for various prizes.

This event is a no-fee event (plan your own travel expenses) and each team can bring 3 participants (1 business and 1 – 2 developer). It is required to have at least 1 developer as part of your team.

To participate in the BizSpark camp, you must submit your team for nomination to Sanjay or your BizSpark Sponsor. Visit Sanjay’s blog for details on how to submit your nomination by Monday, January 18th, 2010. Nominations will be judged according to the strength of the founding team, originality and creativity of the idea, and ability to leverage Windows Azure Scenarios.

You may want to enroll into Microsoft BizSpark, an exciting new offering that enables software startups to leverage Microsoft development and platform technologies to deliver next generation web and Software + Services applications. For details see here.

posted on Friday, 15 January 2010 04:41:18 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 14 January 2010

After a round of hacking attempts that apparently were supported by the Chinese government, Google announced on Tuesday that they are removing the censored results displayed for a google.cn search in China. If you take a look now, you can see photos of the tanks in Tiananmen Square during the massacre 21 years ago. This violates the laws of China and Google will most likely be shut down by the Chinese government and exit the Chinese market.

Here in Hong Kong the local media is going crazy. Hong Kong, while part of China, is autonomous and has a free press. Bloggers, twitter, and some media outlets are applauding Google for “standing up to censorship.” (Google’s decision on Tuesday does not effect Hong Kong.)

This was a nice play by Google. They are removing the censorship and forcing the Chinese government to shut them down, which they may well do soon. It is a move that gets a lot of blog love. Former Microsoftie Robert Scoble said that China is so important economically and: “That’s why this move today impressed me so much.”

If Google has such problems  with censorship and a corporate mission to and “don’t be evil” why did they agree to censorship in the first place when they entered China in 2006? Why would Google operate in China for four years while censoring their search results?

If Google was #1 in search in China and making boat loads of money, would they just pack up and leave? They are a business at the end of the day, so my bet is no. Google has not been making money in China and its revenues in China are “truly immaterial” according to Google. According to the Economist, Google has high expenses in China, including 700 people in the Google China office. Google is way behind Baidu in China, which has well over 300 million users (that is more than the entire population of the United States, the world’s third largest country by population…)

While I applaud Google for standing up to censorship, I feel that Google is exiting China due to business reasons and picked a fight with the Chinese government to get the automatic love of technology luminaries (who love Google anyway) and political rights activists who need a big powerful poster boy. If you think about it, it is a brilliant move, you hide the fact that you failed in a market and get tons of good press for poor business performance. Compare these headlines:

“Google exists China after years of poor performance. Fires 700 employees.”

or:

“Google stands up to censorship! Google on the side of freedom and democracy. Love live Google!”

Maybe I am wrong and if I am, I apologize in advance.

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posted on Thursday, 14 January 2010 03:35:22 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback