Archive for August, 2010

Book Review: .NET Compact Framework 3.5 Data-Driven Applications

August 18, 2010 Comments off

In 2005 and 2006 I did a significant amount of Compact Framework development for my company.  I wrote a very large, intensely data-driven application for field workers to confirm and collect real estate assessment data.  We used SqlServerCE on the device (and later tried SqlLite), and ultimately the data had to sync back to an existing database on the AS/400.  This was a real mother of a project and ate up almost a year of development time, largely because there was very little real help available.

I just got done perusing Edmund Tan’s book .NET Compact Framework 3.5 Data-driven Applications and let me say I *really* could have used this book back then!  This is an extremely thorough coverage of the current Compact Framework for Windows Mobile 6.0.  The book walks the reader through developing a series of real world applications, which seems to be PACKT’s preferred style.  Unlike many books about Microsoft technologies, this one is not limited to Sql Server: the author gives Oracle Lite equal coverage throughout.

As the title suggests, this title is very data centric.  Data topics include building the data tier, parameterized queries, full-text searching, data synchronization, and more.  I would have killed for the guidance provided in the Performance and Packaging & Deployment chapters.  There are several other topics, like SMS and Security that are just icing on the cake.  As I said before, I would have loved this book 5 years ago.

It’s obvious Mr. Tan knows his topic well, the material is very accessible and well written.  If you have any Windows Mobile 6.0 or Compact Framework projects then I’m pretty confident there is something here for you.  The publisher has made the chapter on “Building Integrated Services” available for free, so you can download it and check it out for yourself.

Categories: Book Reviews

Blend-O-Rama Update

August 18, 2010 Comments off

Hi Folks!  Hard to believe it has been almost a month since the first ever Blend-O-Rama event!  I’ve gotten lots of questions about the videos and the website, so I wanted to put this together to give everyone an update.

The BOR Videos

When I wrote about the LiveMeeting experience, I failed to discuss recording the sessions.  Kevin recorded the sessions, but the videos themselves are really small.  I’m sure this is partly because I had to set my resolution to 1024×768 for LiveMeeting to display well, and partly to limit storage size.  The actual WMV files came out as 704×528 – like I said, they are small.

They are so small that on my 1600 monitor they are almost unreadable. They view acceptably at 1024×768, so I hate to recommend it but you may want to resize your display in order to watch the videos.  They will be available for download on the BOR site when it goes live.

I hate to make people wait any longer, so the good news is you can download them now in an all-in-one Zip file.

The BOR Website

I’m in the process of moving service providers, so the BOR website has been on hold while I get that set up.  I’m also hampered a little bit by my lack of ASP.NET experience.  Fortunately, I have friends who know a little something about all this stuff! I can happily report that I am about 98% there, with the help of Kevin Griffin and the great team at OrcsWeb.

I have a handful of videos already out there but many more to produce.  Most of the content from the BOR sessions will be available in a series of shorter videos.  I’ll also take suggestions and requests, so for now if you have any put them in the comments here. 

At any rate, progress has been made, albeit not as swiftly as I would have liked.  Such is my never ending story.  Thanks as always to all the supporters out there, you guys make it all worthwhile!

Categories: .NET

Richmond Code Camp 2010.2

August 6, 2010 Comments off

Hey folks! I just wanted to take a quick moment to announce that Richmond Code Camp 2010.2 has been scheduled and is only 2 months away!  On Oct. 9th,  .Net, SQL Server, SharePoint and other IT Professionals will once again converge on the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Massey campus in Richmond, VA, for one of the best Code Camps going.  RCC consistently gets rave reviews and I am proud to be associated with this event.

Registration is open now and there may be limited space available this time so don’t hesitate.  You can also click on the banner in the right sidebar –>

Ever thought about Speaking?

The call for speakers is also open but will close on September 10th.  Have you ever presented?  If not, would you like to?  Code Camps are the perfect venue for getting your feet wet.  Don’t get hung up on not being “an expert” at something.  I’ll tell you a secret: most of us aren’t! We are, however, passionate about the technology we use and we have a sincere desire to share our passions and help our fellow developers.  If that sounds like you, then you should give it a try, it is a truly rewarding experience.

For you Blend fans out there, I have submitted a couple of new talks for the event: Advanced Topics in Expression Blend and Expression Blend and the Visual State Manager: A Deep Dive. I’ll be sure to announce it if they get selected.

I hope to see you there!