Monday, June 19, 2006

2006 Lang .NET Symposium to Expose Blinq for ASP.NET

Blinq—the prototype of a new Microsoft LINQ-based tool for autogenerating data-intensive ASP.NET Websites—will be one of the topics covered at Microsoft's 2006 Lang .NET Programming Languages And Compilers Symposium to be held on the Redmond campus July 31 to August 2, 2006. According to Polita Paulus—the developer of ASP.NET 2.0's GridView, DetailsView and FormView controls who's presenting a paper on Blinq at Lang .NET:

Blinq is a tool for generating ASP.NET websites for displaying, creating, and manipulating data based on database schema. Just point Blinq at a SQL database and it will create a website with pages that display sorted and paged data, allow you to update or delete records, create new records, and follow relationships between tables in your database. You don't need to write SQL queries to use Blinq; LINQ will generate optimized queries for you that request just the data you want to show. Blinq uses the May LINQ Community Tech Preview to access data. The code Blinq creates is simple and easy to customize to fit your needs.

Polita announced the availability of the Blinq 1.0 code download, which "prototypes functionality we are building into our next version of ASP.NET," in a June 15, 2006 "Building a data website? Try Blinq!" post in the ASP.NET forum. You can get more details on Blinq at the ASP.NET site's Sandbox project's forum and download the code here. Polita also has started a new Blinq Preview Forum for support and feedback.

The following screen capture shows the default home page for a Blinq 1.0 Website autogenerated from the Northwind sample database with minor customizing edits applied to the DefaultStyles.css stylesheet (click the image to display the full-size version).

Each table generates TableName.aspx, TableNameDetails.aspx, and NewTableName.aspx files. The Menu control to the left has buttons that open a DetailsView to insert a new record in the table. The screen capture below shows NewCustomer.aspx with data for a new Customers record.

Clicking a menu button opens a GridView for the selected table. The Customers.aspx page below displays the added BOGUS customer record.

Stay tuned Click here for a link to a forthcoming new technical article about Blinq from FTPOnline's .NETInsight newsletter.

More About 2006 Lang .NET Microsoft's Thottam Sriram is the conference chair and Erik Meijer is the program chair for 2006 Lang .NET, which immediately follows OSCON (the O'Reilly Open Source Convention) that's scheduled for July 24 to 28 in Portland, OR. (Note that the tentative dates in my May 17 update to the "Erik Meijer Promotes LINQ at Expo-C 2006" post have changed from August 1 to 3 to Monday, July 31, to Wednesday, August 1, 2006.)

Thottam is the "new program manager who will be owning Reflection, Reflection Emit, CodeDom, etc." A list of OakLeaf blog posts about Erik Meijer, which include links to his other recent LINQ presentatrions, is here. Of course LINQ is one of the Symposium's "areas of interest."

Noted LINQ luminaries presenting .NET 3.0 and Orcas papers are Anders Hejlsberg, "Language Integrated Query (LINQ) and C# 3.0" and Paul Vick, "Visual Basic: Where are we going, where have we been?"

Other highlights are Mike Barnett's "Spec#: Why Every Language Should (Will) Have Contracts" presentation, Gary Flake's "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Imminent Internet Singularity", and John Gough from the Queensland University of Technology "Dealing with Ruby on the CLR."

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