Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year 2008

Wish all my readers and visitors of my blog a very happy and prosperous new year 2008!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Dynamic Data

New to Dynamic Data?
Do not know what Dynamic Data is all about?

A wonderful post and an equally wonderful screencast by David Ebbo. Catch on!

What I really liked about this approach is the use of MVC (Model-View-Controller) pattern. Not many of the projects I have seen uses this approach.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

LINQ-ed! - Day One

Well, you might have got the idea!

Yes, I am on the LINQ bandwagon. I tuned into http://www.aspalliance.com/ and touched up on the LINQ articles by Scott Gu. They are really informative and I did get a very clear idea on what the other geeks are talking about (ooohhooo... that LINQ thing...its so cool, you know...). Now I know :-)

My only interest was how to use LINQ with Stored Procedures. And my concern is that we would need a paradigm shift in coding and architecture approach if we start using LINQ in our current applications. DataContext, you see... DataContext is the back bone of LINQ.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Code Camp and VS.NET 2008 Express

By being a speaker liason for our .NET User Group, I made lot of good friends. Friends whom I could ask any technical question and would get an answer almost immediately.

Code Camp Details - Thanks a million to the speakers
The most interesting and informative presentation was Kevin Goff's Business Intelligence with SSIS, SQL Server 2005, Excel 2007 and PeformancePoint Server 2007.

We had Rachel Appel, Steve Andrews and Andrew Schwam for the first time for our Code Camp and they were great!

John Baird, Dan Clark, Lance Wulfers and Paul Kawaller did a great job too.

VS.NET 2008 - My first stint.
When I downloaded VS.NET 2008 for the first time, it was depressing. The template window was almost empty, when I tried to create a web app. That was depressing indeed. I googled for 2 days and got it fixed. I had installed Expression Designer CTP a long time ago, which had to be unistalled at first (who knew?).

So, with great expectation, I started my journey. This time, I did not want to start with the "Hello World" application. I wanted to do something diifferent. I had a very old project that I did for myself, when I was learning ASP.NET 1.0. So I am picking that up for conversion.

I will be updating this blog with my experiences in upgrading a Visual Studio 2003 (this could be applied to 1.1 too) web application to Visual Studio 2008.

Update:
I am having some hiccups with VS.NET 2008 Web Express. It seems I have to wait for my local InstallFest to get the whole Studion IDE set up for this. Till then I will be posting my experiences with Web Express 2008. Keep visiting!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Code Camp 2007 Update

Another successful milestone for Central Penn .NET User Group -MSDN Code Camp 2007!

I would be posting the details soon on the same subject ASAP.

I have been lazy in posting .NET content in this blog, but I would be doing so quite often from now onwards with more VS.NET 2008 related topics. So tune in time to time to get some cool ideas on VS.NET 2008.

Till then, enjoy the holidays!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Code Camp is coming!

Code Camp is coming!

This time, it is on December 1 st.

I am looking forward to it, as we would see lot of wonderful topics and speakers.

More to come.

UPDATE
Code Camp Details as follows:

When: December 1, 2007. That's a Saturday.
Time: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Where: Harrisburg University (Downtown Harrisburg)
304 Market Street, Harrisburg PA 17101

Please visit http://www.central-penn.net for details.

The 3-Week Trip

It's been a very long time since I posted anything in here. I have been busy in my work, with releases and support. To add to the busy life, we (me and my family) had a 3 week vacation to India, to attend my brother-in-law's wedding. 3 weeks went like 3 days!!!

This time, we went out of my home town, Trivandrum to visit my Mom and my Sis in Chennai. This was the second time I visited Chennai as an adult.

Needless to say, Chennai is a busy city. Very busy. Well, not as Mumbai, where I had spent almost 4 years. But Chennai is a rapidly developing city. Chennai has always had the habit of embracing change very quickly.

We spent only 4 days in Chennai, which according to my brother-in-law, is not at all enough. According to him, we have not even seen the city; we just had a peek at it :-)

Choolamedu, T-Nagar, Spenser Plaza, Center City, Anna Nagar were the few places we could cover in 4 days.

After returning from Chennai, we had a trip to Pattazhi, a village, which is 2 hours drive from Trivandrum. Pattazhi is famous for its Devi Temple. Driving through the disappearing paddy fields reminded me of the urbanization of villages in India. At least in Kerala, villages are disappearing, losing their charm. Skyscrapers are invading the innocence of the villages. Well, I am not complaining, though!

On the other hand, Kerala is getting sophisticated. The children and youngsters have their attitudes straight. There is money flowing and they know what they want and where they wanted to go. That's so different when I was young!

Time flew, and here we are back to Harrisburg. And back to work. Back to the world of Classes, Inheritance and daily builds!

Friday, July 06, 2007

User Group Activities - 2nd Q

Brian Myers could not make it to our UG Meeting last meeting, but we had a wonderul hands-on session. Come July 17, we are honored to have KEVIN GOFF again with a crash course on WCF (Windows Communication Foundation). And this makes it our first .NET 3.0 presentation!

Looking forward to meeting Kevin and his WCF slides :-)

So, if you are in Harrisburg area and are willing to attend the meeting, log in to http://www.central-penn.net/ and register yourselves for the event.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Enterprise Library 2.0 without Instrumentation

One of the ASP.NET applications I am working on is hosted on a shared server by a hosting company (yeah, that $10.00 per month deal). And the application also uses MSEL 2.0 Data Application Block for. well, data access. Those of who have used MSEL2.0 also have run that often forgotten utility named InstallUtil.exe. This executable is run for supporting the Instrumentation code in the MSEL.

But unfortunately, the web hosting company wouldn't allow this poor guy run any exes. I assume this is the scenario with any other hosting company, unless one gets a dedicated server.


So, I started searching on Internet and asking people around. Some people have not heard of MSEL (which surprised me) and others did not know how to do it. So I decided to ask the man himself. I send a mail to Tom Hollander describing my scenario.

He replied:

The server owner probably won't let you run installutil.exe by any mechanism. However you don't need to run installutil unless you have instrumentation enabled for your application. Provided you have this switched off, you should be able to "xcopy deploy" the application.


According to his suggestion, this is what I did:

1. Remove the conditional compilation directives (USEWMI;USEEVENTLOG;USEPERFORMANCECOUNTER) from the Common project (in MSEL solution) properties and recompile the same.
2. Copy the dlls and use it wherever you want.

And lo! I am off to work!

My heartful of thanks to Tom.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Fear of Design Patterns - Let it go!

Many of us shudder when we hear some one blabbering on Design Patterns.

Well, there is nothing to fear, as the beauty of design patterns lies in the fact that we have all used it some where unknowingly. Well, may be not all, but some of them at least. Have you heard of MVC (Model-View-Controller) pattern? Yes? Good. Have you used it? No? Are you sure? The very code-behind architecture in Visual Studio .NET (the idea of separating code (controller) from the presentation (view)) is based on MVC pattern.

Have you heard your OO evangelist yelling : "Code against Interface, not implementation!"? He is referring to Strategy Pattern.

The event handling in .NET is based on the Observer Pattern.

Now you get the picture, right? So dont hold behind. If you are new, get hold of the Head First Design Patterns book and have a wonderful ride!

Disclaimer: No, I don't get paid by O'Reilly! I just love the book!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

An attempt to learn Design Patterns

Months ago I had picked up a Design Patterns book titled Head First Design Patterns. This book took me to ride with the very first chapter. But unfortunately, due to busy work load, I could not continue reading the rest. And every time I see that book in my shelf, I feel guilty.

And again, it would not be my reading habit. It is the subject in itself. Unless and until you get your hands dirty by implementing the concepts discussed in this books, nothing would "remain" in your head. May be its just me.

I have decided to take it slow and get this book chapter by chapter. Read one chapter. Then discuss and share the principles with my peers. There are dudes at work who have similar interests in learning the design principles.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

User Group Activities


I have been busy lately with my day job, my side projects (some hobby and some real ones) and the user group activities. I haven't blogged much about the user group I attend and in which I am the Speaker Chairman. This title was coined by Judy Calla, our president. It is my responsibility to arrange speakers and discuss (and suggest) topics of interest to them. What could be more fun, eh?


This year began with a bang with John Baird from Philadelphia convincing us about the Test Driven Development. It was great watching him present the topic with such a passion. John Baird had been a regular speaker at our code camps and he is indeed a great speaker.


In February, I decided to take the members for a ride on Generics. There were only 10 members who attended the session due to the bad weather (ice, wind, snow et al). But it was fun for me learning the fundamentals of Generics. Kevin Goff had done an excellent speech in applying Generics in Remoting in our Code Camp 2006. But most of the attendees (including me) had no idea on Remoting and did not appreciate it very well. And I had conveyed this to Kevin also which he took very positively.


Starting March, we have great speakers and titles lined up:


On March, we have Rachel Appel, venturing into the Data Source Controls in ASP.NET 2.0

Robert Green, INETA speaker, is flying to Harrisburg in April, with a much awaited presentation on VSTO (Visual Studio Tools for Office).

May is bringing Scott Allen again to Harrisburg, but for the first time to our user group meeting with ASP.NET AJAX.

June is local boy Brian Myer's. For the first time, we would have a 3.0 topic. Yes, Brian would be entertaining us with WWF and a lab.

Kevin Goff would be presenting on another 3.0 sizzler, WCF (Windows Communication Foundation).

Sahil Malik, another INETA speaker would be coming to us in August with ADO.NET 2.0.


Being Speaker Chairman for the group is an honor indeed. According to Judy, I have taken a huge burden of her, but let me say, I am indebted for giving me this opportunity.


I would be updating this blog on more coming events of our user group. Also, please dive into our web site (http://www.central-penn.net/) for more details.

Monday, January 22, 2007

White Rain

Eventually, a white winter.

After a prolonged wait, we are having a white winter:-)

Yesterday, it started snowing in Harrisburg area. I get depressed when it doesn't snow on Christmas. Having a white Christmas is a feeling which I cannot put into words. Its inspirational, for me atleast.

I have promised my 3-year old daughter that I would make a snow man for her this winter. Hope it snows well!!