Tuesday, July 29, 2008

LINQ and Entity Framework Posts for 7/28/2008+

Note: This post is updated daily or more frequently, depending on the availability of new articles.

“Generate Web Sites Automatically” Cover Story About ASP.NET Dynamic Data for Visual Studio Magazine

My “Generate Web Sites Automatically” cover story for the August 2008 issue of Visual Studio Magazine is available from the above link or by clicking the cover image.

Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1's new ASP.NET Dynamic Data templates automatically generate code for DataGrid, ListView, DetailsView, and FormView display and editing controls on dynamic pages derived from a master page and CSS stylesheet. Dynamic Data leverages AJAX to smooth page transitions and delivers scaffolding for codeless, key-based page routing with Entity Framework or LINQ to SQL object/relational mapping tools.

Read more about it in my “Generate Web Sites Automatically” Cover Story About ASP.NET Dynamic Data for Visual Studio Magazine post of July 29, 2008

“A Vote for Transparency” Guest Opinion for Visual Studio Magazine’s August 2008 Issue

My “Guest Opinion: A Vote for Transparency” about Entity Framework’s overdue move to more transparency in its design process for the August 2008 issue of Visual Studio Magazine is available from the above link or by clicking the cover image.

My take is that the Data Programmability group’s Entity Framework team could have saved themselves considerable grief, consternation, and bad press if they had initiated the Entity Data Model and Entity Framework project with the Astoria Team’s approach.

Read more about it in my “A Vote for Transparency” Guest Opinion for Visual Studio Magazine’s August 2008 Issue post of July 29, 2008.

Lazy Loading With The LazyList

LINQ to SQL log to debug window, file, memory or multiple writers

Overloading Entity Framework Methods: More GetObjectStateEntries

Implementing IExpandProvider for NHibernate.LINQ

Handy Visual Studio Add-In to View Office 2007 Files

Steve Naughton Completes His Dynamic Data and Field Templates  Series with an AutoCompleteFilter Web Service

Steve’s An Advanced FieldTemplate post of July 29, 2008 is the final episode of his three-part Dynamic Data and Field Templates Series. In part 3:

[W]e are going to use the AutoCompleteFilter web service from Dynamic Data Futures example to make an AutoCompleteText_Edit FieldTemplate. What this will do is look up values in the column that we are editing for matches i.e. if we had a column for category names and we typed in con we may get list like Condiments, Confections, Containers etc.

The first two parts are:

  1. The Anatomy of a FieldTemplate.
  2. Your First FieldTemplate.

Michael Arrington: Yahoo, Intel and HP Hype Vaporware in the Cloud

TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington posts Cloud Computing Test Bed: Live Notes From The Conference Call, a blow-by-blow account of a July 29, 2008 conference call announcing participation by Yahoo, Intel and HP in “a globally distributed, Internet-scale testing environment designed to encourage research on the software, data center management and hardware issues associated with cloud computing at a larger scale than ever before.”

My comment to the post is:

This is simply hype to prevent the real players, Amazon, Google and Microsoft (and potentially IBM) from monopolizing the PR chips. IBM’s Blue Cloud “initiative” started with similar blather from the flacks and, as far as I can determine, went nowhere.

Mike’s later HP, Yahoo, Intel Launch Cloud Computing Test Bed post the same day has more agitprop about the six erstwhile “centers of excellence.”

GigaOm’s Stacey Higginbotham’s HP, Yahoo and Intel Create Compute Cloud post of the same date has additional background on the project, which will restrict “access to academics and research institutions trying to build out services and work within the clouds.”

The test bed project has the same odor as IBM’s Blue Cloud project that IBM announced last year. Here’s my recent take on Blue Cloud from my All’s Quiet on the SQL Server Data Services Front post of June 17, 2008:

Backstory: IBM’s November 15, 2007 announcement of its Blue Cloud distributed computing initiative generated 754,000 hits for the past year with a Google search on ibm “blue cloud”. Only 39,300 hits occurred in the past three months, which indicates quickly diminishing interest as Big Blue failed to expose its purported service to actual users.

A possible reason for the reduced press coverage is the company’s schizophrenic view of cloud computing, as reported by RedMonk’s Michael Coté in the “IBM and cloud computing” topic of his May 27, 2008 IBM Tivoli Pulse: Tivoli product updates and cloud confusion article for SearchDataCenter.com. Meanwhile, Amazon and Google maintain their headlock on what cloud mindshare there exists among developers.

According to a subsequent IBM press release, IBM opens Africa’s first “cloud computing” center, second cloud center in China, IBM currently has three “cloud computing centers” in Dublin, Beijing, and Johannesburg.

That’s a lot of computing horsepower for a customer list limited to “Wuxi City of China, Sogeti, the Local Professional Services Division of Capgemini, the Vietnamese government institutions and universities, and iTricity, a computing host service company based in the Netherlands.” It’s surprising that IBM couldn’t come up with a more inspiring customer list.

Jamie Thompson Posts a SQL Server Data Services Console Application on Codeplex

Jamie’s SSDS demo code now on Codeplex post of July 29, 2008 contains a link to the source code for a simple .NET console project that creates an authority and container, and then adds a entity to the container.

Mike Taulty Posts Four More ADO.NET Data Services Screencasts

So far, Mike hasn’t gotten around to posting about these four Screencasts added to his Channel 9 collection on July 29, 2008:

  • ADO.NET Data Services (VS08 Sp1 B1), Optimistic Concurrency: With Data Services, it's most likely that you'd use an optimistic locking strategy for the underlying data and the framework has built-in support which we take a look at here.
  • ADO.NET Data Services (VS08 Sp1 B1), Batching: We can cut down the number of HTTP round-trips that we make from client to service by using the batching feature of Data Services. A service exposes a $batch endpoint that we can send multiple "CRUD" operations to in a single HTTP request.
  • ADO.NET Data Services (VS08 Sp1 B1), Service Operations: Service operations provide a way in which we can add to the core functionality of Data Services in order to expose your own arbitrary functionality by writing server-side functions that can still be invoked (with parameters) via the URI. Here, we take a quick look at how we can do this.
  • ADO.NET Data Services (VS08 Sp1 B1), Query Interceptors: Query interceptors (and change interceptors) allow us to plug code into the dispatch mechanism server side in order to run some of your own code as part of returning a result set or modifying data. Here, we take a quick look.

Here are the fist five from the “Mike Taulty Posts Five ADO.NET Data Services Screencasts” topic of LINQ and Entity Framework Posts for 7/24/2008+:

Danny Simmons on dnrTV: Entity Framework Screencast Part 2

In show 118 of July 28, 2008, Dan Simmons on The Entity Framework Part 2, Danny “demonstrates using the Entity Framework with ASP.NET applications and web services” in a 55:10 screencast that covers the following topics:

  • Danny starts by moving the Northwind.edmx files and a partial entity class to a separate assembly with a reference from an ASP.NET Web Application which uses the EntityDataSource as a data source to bind a GridViewControl.
  • He continues at 14:00 with an ASP.NET Dynamic Data Web application, explains issues with disconnected operation at 19:00 and does a disconnected demo at 13:00.
  • Creating a Web services app with ADO.NET Data Services (Astoria) starts at 26:00.
  • Creating a WCF Service Application starts at 45:45 with GetOrderById() and UpdateOrder() operations.

The earlier Dan Simmons on The Entity Framework Part 1 of July 14, 2008 was an introduction to the Entity Framework.

Amazon SimpleDB Update Adds New and Improves Features

The Amazon Web Services Blog’s New features come to Amazon SimpleDB post of July 28, 2008 discusses SimpleDB’s new-found sort capability and does-not-start-with operator and points to a page with the following list of new features:

  • Query Sort: Amazon SimpleDB now supports the sorting of query result sets on a single attribute.
  • Query “does-not-start-with” operator: Amazon SimpleDB now provides the new comparison operator “does-not-start-with.”  For example,  [‘title’ does-not-start-with ‘Old’].
  • Increased number of predicates in query expressions: Amazon SimpleDB increases the number of predicates allowed in query expressions from 5 to 10.
  • Increased number of comparisons per predicate in query expressions: Amazon SimpleDB increases the number of comparisons per predicate allowed in query expressions from 5 to 10.
  • XML-restricted character handling: Amazon SimpleDB now automatically Base64 encodes strings that contain XML-restricted characters. This ensures responses with restricted characters are successfully returned.

Mike Taulty and Mike Ormond Post 52 Silverlight Screencasts: Eight with Data or LINQ Overtones

The “Two Mikes” have been busy capturing content for a series of 52 (as of July 29, 2008) screencasts for download from the Screencasts for Silverlight 2 list. Here are the eight that are most relevant to his blog topics:

Three New Tech-Talk Interviews from Tech*Ed 2008 Developers

Three new Tech-Talks of peripheral interest to developers using LINQ and Entity Framework or related technologies posted July 28 and 29, 2008 are:

  • REST and SOAP…Battle Royal or Peas in a Pod?: Ron Jacobs discusses REST and SOAP with Bob Familiar: the differences, the similarities, and how Windows Communication Foundation supports these distributed networking protocols.
  • Introducing Velocity: a Distributed Caching Platform: Join us as we present project "Velocity," an explicit application cache that provides increased performance, scale and availability. With Anil Nori, Muralidhar Krishnaprasad, Subramanian Muralidhar, and Nithya Sampathkumar.
  • The Road to Oslo: The Microsoft Services and Modeling Platform: Microsoft's "Oslo" project aims at creating a unified platform for model-based, service-oriented applications. This new approach will affect the next versions of several products and technologies, including the Microsoft .NET Framework, Microsoft Visual Studio, Microsoft BizTalk Server, Microsoft System Center, and more. Although many details of "Oslo" won't be public until later in 2008, this session provides an overview of what Microsoft has revealed so far. Along with a description of the problems it addresses, the session includes a look at several new "Oslo" technologies, including a general-purpose modeling language, role-specific modeling tools, a shared model repository, and a distributed service bus. With David Chappell and Ron Jacobs.