Tech•Ed Special: Daily posts during Tech•Ed Developers 2008 and possibly thereafter will be updated top-down during the day
Updated 6/7/2008: See Added and Updated posts below about SQL Server 2008 RC0, LINQ to SQL Partial Classes by Dinesh Kulkarni, LINQ to MSI from Bart De Smet, the Silverlight 2 Beta 2 release by Scott Guthrie, and a welcome extension method for the ObjectContext’s Include() method by Julie Lerman.
Updated 6/6/2008: See Added posts below about Silverlight 2 Beta 2 documentation by John Papa, Velocity by Dare Obasanjo, the JScript Date type by Marcelo Diego Vega, SubSonic progress by Rob Conery, and default values for ASP.NET Dynamic Data by Steve Naughton.
Aghy Moves LINQ4SP (LINQ for SharePoint) Download Site
Julie Lerman Beat Me to a Post about Matthieu Mezil’s Extension to the ObjectContext’s Include() Method
So I’ll just link to Julie’s A better Include method for eager loading in Entity Framework? post of June 6, 2008.
I agree with both Mathieu and Julie that EntitySet and EntityType names as strings in EF is a bummer; his extension method replaces the string with a simple lambda function.
Update: A couple of hours later, Matthieu posted Entity Framework Include with Func next, which extends the preceding syntax to enable adding associated EntitySets to the Include() method:
context.Categories.Include(ca => ca.Products.Include<Products, Order_Details>(p => p.Order_Details).Include<Order_Details, Orders>(od => od.Orders))
Matthieu asks: “Isn’t it cool?”
Yeah, Matthieu, way cool!
SQL Server 2008 RCO Available to MSDN and TechNet Subscribers
The Platform Insiders blog’s SQL Server 2008 RC0 now available for subscribers post of June 7, 2008 announces:
SQL Server 2008 RC0 has been made available for early download by MSDN and TechNet Plus subscribers. RC0 is the final step before SQL Server 2008 RTMs in Q3 of this year. After logging into their respective accounts, subscribers can view Product Keys and download SQL Server 2008 RC0 from the following links:
According to the Data Platform Insider's SQL Server 2008 RC0 Available for Everyone post of June 10, 2008, Bob Muglia announced at Tech*Ed that everyone can download the RC0 and it's Wha'ts New notes from:
Added: 6/7/2008 Updated: 6/10/2008
Dinesh Kulkarni Recommends When to Use and How to add LINQ to SQL Partial Entity Classes
His LINQ to SQL Tips 8: How to (and why) create a partial class in the designer to augment generated code. He also offers this tip about autogenerating a partial class for an entity:
Right click on the design surface and click "View code" (don't ask me why that name was chosen for creating a new partial class). If I do that for Northwind.dbml (file opened in the designer), I get a Northwind.cs at a peer to Northwind.designer.cs.
That’s a new one for me; thanks Dinesh.
Bart De Smet Introduces LINQ to MSI
Bart’s LINQ to MSI - Part 0 – Introduction of June 6, 2008 starts a series on the development of a LINQ to MSI implementation that doesn’t use the IQuerable interface. As Bart says, “MSIs are just little databases.”
Danny Simmons Updates Entity Framework FAQ to v0.6
Following are links to the updated and new topics in v0.6:
- Updated: 1.2 Where else should I go to learn more about the EF?
- New: 7.7 Why does deleting an entity from my context not delete all related entities when I have cascade delete defined in the model?
- New: 18.5 Why doesn’t relationship span happen with MergeOption.NoTracking?
- New: 20.6 Does ApplyPropertyChanges affect EntityReference properties? How do I merge a modified graph of entities back with my ObjectContext?
Matt Berseth Offers Upgraded Grouping Grid Skins for an ASP.NET ListView Control and the LinqDataSource or EntityDataSource
Ace server and AJAX control developer Matt Berseth has reskinned his grouping grid with CSS only as described in his 4 New Grouping Grid Skins: Vista, Bold, Win2k3 and Soft post of June 5, 2008. Here’s the Vista version:
You can run a live demo here in Matt’s new ASP.NET Grouping Gallery.
I haven’t tested the list control with the EntityDataSource, but I believe it should bind with little or no modification.
David Sceppa Reports on Chalk Talk for Entity Framework Provider Writers
Dave’s Entity Framework Provider Updates post of June 5, 2008 reports:
The theater was so full with attendees that we ran out of seats. Representatives from DataDirect, IBM, Oracle and Sybase were in attendance. Over the course of the chalk talk, we addressed a number of general questions before attendees spoke directly with the representatives from the various provider writers. DataDirect announced that they will release an update to their Oracle ADO.NET provider to support the Entity Framework in Q3 of 2008. Both IBM and Sybase demonstrated their provider's accessing their data stores via the Entity Framework.
Perhaps Oracle has changed their collective mind and intends again to offer an Entity Framework-enabled version of OracleClient.
John Papa Delivers a Primer on Silverlight 2 Databinding
John’s detailed Data and Silverlight 2: Data Binding article dated June 5, 2008 for Red Gate Software’s Simple-Talk site is an excerpt from his forthcoming Silverlight 2 Data Binding book for O’Reilly.
The Beta 2 data binding enhancements described in this What's new in Silverlight 2 Beta 2? post of June 4, 2008 by Silverlight project manager David Pugmire greatly increase the prospects for the use of Silverlight with line of business forms.
Added 6/6/2008: John’s Silverlight 2 SDK Beta 2 Documentation post of June 5, 2008 announces that the docs are available here. It’s not at all common for Microsoft to release SDK docs before the corresponding runtime, so I assume we can expect the runtime and SDK with the Go Live license later today.
Updated 6/7/2008: Sure enough. Scott Guthrie’s Silverlight 2 Beta2 Released post of 6/6/2008 (7:50 PM PST) announces the availability of the download of Microsoft Silverlight Tools Beta 2 for Visual Studio 2008, which installs:
- Silverlight 2 Beta 2
- Silverlight 2 SDK Beta 2
- KB950630 for Visual Studio 2008 RTM or KB950632 for Visual Studio 2008 SP1 Beta
- Silverlight Tools Beta 2 for Visual Studio 2008
The preceding bits work with .NET 3.5 SP1 Beta 1.
Silverlight Tools Beta 2 for Visual Studio 2008 includes:
- Visual Basic and C# Project templates
- Intellisense and code generators for XAML
- Debugging of Silverlight applications
- Web reference support
- WCF Templates
- Team Build and command line build support
- Integration with Expression Blend
- Enhanced Setup with upgrade support
Updated 6/7/2008:John Papa’s What’s New in Silverlight 2 Beta 2 Tools post of June 6, 2008 hightlights these new features from Mike Snow’s detailed and fully illustrated What’s new with Silverlight Tools Beta 2! post:
- There is much new added support for debug vs release builds of XAP’s. This includes:
- You can now add a Silverlight 2 ready WCF project from a project template
- When converting a project from Beta 1 to Beta 2, you will be prompted for conversion confirmation
- XAML now reports error. Woohoo!!! (yes, I am easily satiated)
Install Expression Blend 2.5 June 2008 Preview requires a separate installer.
Updated 6/7/2008:Mike Tulty and Mike Ormond have updated their 52 screencam episodes on Silverlight development. Mike Taulty’s Silverlight 2 Beta 2 Available plus Refreshed Screencasts post of June 7, 2008 has links to the updated player and files.
Josh Heyse Extends the LinqDataSource to Support a Richer DynamicFilterRepater for ASP.NET Dynamic Data
Another from the How Did I Miss This? department: Josh, who’s a developer for Catalyst Software Solutions in Chicago, wrote a four-episode series about A Richer DynamicFilterRepeater for ASP.NET Dynamic Data.
The project grew out of Josh’s desire to use the feature on a new RAD Web site project:
The project is a short duration web site with fairly standard data entry, searching, and detail views. The Dynamic Data Framework fit the requirements well except that the dynamic searching controls did not have the required features needed for the project. I started investigating how hard it would be [to] add the following search features:
- Searching ranges (ListPrice > 10 AND ListPrice < 500)
- Searching in a list of possible values (Class in (‘L’, ‘M’))
- Partial text searching (Color LIKE ‘B%’)
Here are links to his initial four posts:
- A Richer DynamicFilterRepeater: Part 4 - Custom DynamicFilterControls & Expressions
- A Richer DynamicFilterRepeater: Part 3 - DynamicFilterControl
- A Richer DynamicFilterRepeater: Part 2 - Advanced Parameters
- A Richer DynamicFilterRepeater: Part 1 - Extending the LinqDataSouce
Josh updated the code to the April 2008 release and added a ColumnContains control with these two posts:
- A Richer DynamicDataFilter - Part 5 ColumnContains
- A Richer DynamicFilterRepeater - Updated for April Release
Josh made the following comment in the ASP.NET Dynamic Data forum about the development time saving gained by using ASP.NET Dynamic Data:
I believe .. Dynamic Data in conjunction with LINQ-to-SQL reduced our development time by about 40%. [Emphasis added.]
A nice vote of confidence for this new ASP.NET RAD feature.
Parallel Extensions Team Produces Two-Part Channel9 Video Series on Parallel Fx
The deck for the series says:
Here, we meet some of the key engineers of the Microsoft Parallel Computing Platform (which includes the Parallel Extensions for .NET...): Lead Developer Joe Duffy, Developer Huseyin Yildiz, Developer Igor Ostrovsky, Program Manager Stepehn Toub and Program Manager Ed Essey.
We dig deeply into a lot of topics related to parallelism and conconcurency and how the new additions to the platform enable developers to exploit multi/many core processors in an elegant way.
Following are links to the two episodes:
- Inside Parallel Extensions for .NET 2008 CTP Part 1
- Inside Parallel Extensions for .NET 2008 CTP Part 2
PLINQ and Parallel Fx Ray Tracing Demos Included in June 2008 Parallel Extensions CTP
The Parallel Fx June 2008 CTP includes two additional ray tracing sample built on the two original ray tracers developed by Luke Hoban and described in the "Luke Hoban Gets the Most Complex LINQ Query Award (and PLINQ Compatibility)" topic of my LINQ and Entity Framework Posts for 10/2/2007+ post.
You can read more about the new samples in the Parallel Fx team’s Ray Tracer samples in the June 2008 CTP post of June 5, 2008
Managed Extensibility Framework for Dependency Injection/IoC CTP Released to Code Gallery
Here’s how the Code Gallery Home page for the Managed Extensibility Framework describes the June 4, 2008 release:
The Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) provides developers with a tool to easily add extensibility to their applications and with minimal impact on existing code. The application developer can define extension points according to the functionality required of an extension, while the extension developer uses those points to interact with the application.
MEF enables this extensibility to take place without creating a hard dependency in either direction. Applications can be extended at run time without recompilation, and extensions can be used by multiple applications sharing the same extension requirements. MEF also allows an application to delay the loading of an extension while still examining its metadata, enabling efficient traversal of large catalogs of extensions.
In other words, it’s a Dependency Injection Pattern/Inversion of Control Container for .NET.
Steve Naughton Provides SQL Server 2005 Versions of His ADO.NET Dynamic Data Attribute-Based Permission Series
You can download an archive with either SQL Server 2005 or 2008 from Steve’s new Update to Visual Studio 2008 Project Files post of June 5, 2008. The original files required SQL Server 2008.
Added 6/6/2008: Steve’s DynamicData ForegnKey_Edit Default Values post of June 6, 2008 shows two approaches to providing Insert forms with default values for foreign key values.
Nithya Sampathkumar Outlines Velocity STP1 Features in New Team Blog
Nithya’s Project "Velocity" CTP1 Features post of June 4 provides a detailed outline of the capabilities of this new distributed cache framework. You can download the Velocity bits, checkout the new Velocity forum, and get samples from links on the Data Platform Developer Center’s Velocity page.
The Data Platform group appears to be producing almost all new Microsoft frameworks.
Updated 6/6/2008: Dare Obasanjo provides a detailed analysis of Velocity in his Velocity: A Distributed In-Memory Cache from Microsoft post of June 6, 2008. Many points he raises apply to the general topic of caching objects in memory, not just distributed caches.
Rob Conery Close to Completing LINQ to SubSonic
In his SubSonic: RIP? post of June 4, 2008, Rob says rumors of the death of his SubSonic scaffolding platform for ASP.NET are greatly exaggerated. In fact, the SubSonic 2.1 Release Candidate 1 became available yesterday. Rob goes on to note:
Today, as a matter of fact, I'm tackling (and hopefully solving) one of the core IQueryable bits that's holding me back from a full Linq To SubSonic implementation. It's not easy, this LINQ stuff, but I'm getting there!
Rob also makes it plain that SubSonic != ASP.NET Dynamic Data, although he does recognize that the products have a great deal of overlap.
Added 6/6/2008: Rob added a very detailed post about SubSonic 2.1’s Migrations feature that mimics Ruby on Rails database schema updater of the same name in SubSonic: Using Migrations of June 5, 2008.
SharePoint Extensions v1.2 for Visual Studio Available for Download
Get Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Tools: Visual Studio 2008 Extensions, Version 1.2, which Paul Andrew announced on June 4, 2008. And, if you don’t already have it, download Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Tools: Visual Studio 2005 Extensions User Guide, Version 1.1 to learn how to use the tools. The VS 2008 version has the same feature set as that for VS 2005.
SharePoint and its Web Parts are becoming increasingly important as the presentation layer for data-intensive applications. These extensions consist of:
Tools for developing custom SharePoint applications: Visual Studio project templates for Web Parts, site definitions, and list definitions; and a stand-alone utility program, the SharePoint Solution Generator.
For fledgling SharePoint developers, there’s a Silverlight-enhanced New Introductory SharePoint web site for .NET Developers that offers a detailed Introduction to SharePoint Products and Technologies for the Professional .NET Developer whitepaper and links to other WSS 3.0 resources. Quickstarts and Screencasts are “coming soon.”
SQL Server 2008 Plus Other Servers and Tools Get a New Logo
The Microsoft branding team unveiled an official new logo for SQL Server 2008 at TechEd 2008. The new symbol portion of the logo (officially called "dynamic grid symbol") is part of a larger branding strategy designed to help customers and partners distinguish server products in Microsoft’s overall product portfolio.
Other members of the Server and Tools Group’s product line will use the same “dynamic grid symbol” in different colors.