David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small.  

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  • Good WPF 4.5 cookbook from Pavel Yosifovich

    I was looking for a book to bring me up to date with WPF and XAML and talking to my publishers, Packt Publishing, then offered me the Windows Presentation Foundation 4.5 Cookbook by Pavel Yosifovich. I was hoping to review this book sooner, however Christmas and illness got in the way, so here is my slightly late review.  In simple terms, this was an excellent book for me.  I write in both C# and VB.Net (more VB than C#).  I’ve never used WPF or XAML except in the designers from Microsoft and my work is basically hacking those tools without enough experience.  There are lots of features that I could not get working, so I simply coded around them with my 10-20 year old programming knowledge.  This book has enabled me to change this. The book is 437 pages long excluding the index and there are 80 “recipe's” in the book.  While you can dip in and out at random, as with all good knowledge acquisition, starting at the beginning offers the best platform to understand the more complex...
  • Tech days 2010 – UK, covering Virtualisation, Office 2010, Windows 7, SQL Server 2008 R2, Visual Studio, the Essential Mix, Rich Client and Windows Phone

    Registration for UK Tech Days events from 12 th to 16 th April is open!. UK Tech Days 2010 is a week-long series of free events run by Microsoft and technical communities to celebrate and inspire developers, IT professionals and IT Managers to get more from Microsoft technology.  Our day events in London will cover the latest technology releases including Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, Microsoft Office 2010, Virtualisation, Silverlight, Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 plus events focusing on deployment and an IT Manager day. Please visit our website for full details: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/techdays and follow what’s happening @uktechdays   The agenda looks like this: Monday 12th April Tuesday 13th Wednesday 14th Thursday 15th Friday 16th IT Pro Days Virtualization Summit Office 2010 - the next wave Windows 7 - Deployment SQL Server 2008 R2 - The Platform Raising the profile of IT Dev Days Visual Studio 2010 Launch Visual Studio 2010 and .NET The Essential MIX Rich Client Windows...
  • Developer Events in September and October in the UK

    I just saw this, so thought I would pass it on: Join other developers at free regional Microsoft Technical Events to receive technical know-how demos from Microsoft experts, insights into our latest technologies and a chance to meet and talk to other developers. Events nearest to you MSDN Event: Rich Internet Applications with Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 Location: Reading Date: 2 September 2008 MSDN Event: Rich Internet Applications with Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 Location: London Date: 4 September 2008 MSDN Event: What's New in Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1? Location: Reading Date: 2 October 2008 MSDN: What's New in Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1? Location: Bristol Date: 22 October 2008 MSDN Roadshow Re-Run Location: London Date: 24 October 2008 ttfn David Technorati Tags: Developer , RIA , Rich Internet Applications , Visual Studio 2008 and .Net 3.5 , Service Pack 1 , Microsoft , Events
  • Want MIX08 in the UK? Then come to ReMix08 in Brighton on 18th and 19th September and save if you book an early bird place now

    I love what goes on at these events. It would be good to see you there. Here is the little advert: Final chance to save £110 . Very limited Early Bird places left - don't say we didn't warn you! 1,000 web developers, designers, development managers and technology evangelists are going to take the media they love to the next level. Why? Because ReMix UK 08 is getting bigger and better. Scott Guthrie Developer Track Bill Buxton Design and UX Track For Designers, Developers, the Community and Beyond Work Julie Howell, Fortune Cookie • Brendan Dawes, Magnetic North • Paul Foster, Microsoft Evangelist • Guy Smith-Ferrier, Capella • Tim Regan, Microsoft Research • Mike Taulty, Microsoft Developer Evangelist See the website for the growing list of speakers... What's in the mix • Panel discussions to Interactive Mash Ups • Designers and developers hand-in-hand to • All day VJs to conceptual walls • Open Source project, CodePlex • Backnetwork to Moo cards • Photosynth master classes to Microsoft Surface • Our...
  • New SQL 2008 training for UK partners

    Hi, I know I’ve been away a lot recently (closing the year end and then doing some travelling for work), but while cleaning my inbox (ohh, 2500 mails processed, replied too, filed and actioned – yee har!) I came across this and it is bang up to date. SQL 2008 is going to be the hot, hot, hot product for a few months, along with how it sits with other BI solutions, such as SharePoint and PerformancePoint. To help you get started, here are some training opportunities : SQL Server 2008 Database Infrastructure and Scalability This three-day training course will help database administrators understand how to exploit the new performance, scalability, manageability and high-availability enhancements introduced in SQL Server 2008. They will also learn how to exploit these capabilities, ensure application scalability and how to manage a database using the new features. Click here Introduction to SQL Server 2008 BI Solution Development This three day course is designed to give developers the confidence to tackle a BI project...
  • Silverlight Adoption Expected to Triple .. especially when you look at what is in V2

    Forward looking statements are always risky, but I do see Silverlight popping up all over the place. Even the next rev of the theme for this website will be based on Silverlight. in a recent article Evans Data claimed that Silverlight Adoption Expected to Triple . Evans Data official says Microsoft's support of its products will drive the growth of the company's alternative to Adobe Flash over the next 18 months. Despite Adobe Flash's dominance in the world of rich Internet applications, Microsoft's competing offering, Silverlight, is expected to triple its market share, according to a market researcher. In an interview with eWEEK, John Andrews, president and CEO of Evans Data, said that over the next 12 to 18 months, Silverlight should triple its market share. "Flash is the incumbent, the leader," Andrews said. "If you look at Flex, AIR [Adobe Integrated Runtime], Silverlight and Eclipse RCP [Rich Client Platform], all of them have smaller market share. But if you look at the next...
  • Making peace between web designers and developers - watch the movie

    This is a nice simple cheeky movie: ";" galleryimg="no" mce_src="http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/WindowsLiveWriter/Makingpeacebetweenwebdesignersanddevelop_E257/videofe25ed816e48.jpg"> It is all about and the finding some . Enjoy David Technorati Tags: Developer , Designer , Harmony , Web-harmony , XAML , Expression
  • Understand the key security engineering activities that you need to be aware of in application development. Written by a Microsoft UK employee - "The Developer Highway code" as a download or a traditional book

    It you write code then you need to understand how to write secure code. If you want to understand how to write code that is secure by design then you need to seek the help of people who "have been there". Microsoft has helped thousands of people write applications that do not leak information and Paul's book has helped even more. The Developer Highway Code , written by Paul Maher of Microsoft, is a concise handbook that captures and summarises the key security engineering activities that should be an integral part of the software development process. This companion guide should be a must for any Developer, Architect, Tester etc. undertaking software development...The book is presented in easy to read checklist form, covering essential guidance on writing and releasing secure code. The book has been downloaded by over 100,000 people and over 20,000 actual books are out there ... and now it has been updated!! In case you are still not convinced, please read the following endorsements: “The developer...
  • If you liked the Deep Zoom (aka Sea Dragon) tool, then you will be blown away by the preview of the Deep Zoom Composer

    I created my Star Wars Deep Zoom preview and really liked it, but then contacted the author of the site to see how I could add more pictures and control the layout &/or host it myself. Normally when I ask these sorts of questions I get a response about "later" and "out of beta", but instead I got pointed to these 3 articles and I have to say Wow!! You can see what someone can do with this technology at The Hard Rock Cafe - http://memorabilia.hardrock.com/ Download the Preview of the Deep Zoom Composer What is the Deep Zoom Composer? Deep Zoom Composer allows you to quickly import your own images, arrange and position them to your liking, and export the final output as either a Deep Zoom Image or Collection that can be fed into Silverlight's MutliScaleImage control. This means that you too can use your own images and display them using our Deep Zoom technology. Download the Deep Zoom Composer However, having done this I needed a simple user guide. At this point the blog Expression Blend...
  • PhotoZoom using Silverlight and DeepZoom (aka SeaDragon) technology - mine is on Star Wars, but we could create a SBSC one

    The above technology is built using Silverlight 2.0 beta that was announced at MIX08. You can upload photos or import via an RSS feed. I did the later, bit it occurred to me that we should start something like this for SBSC and ISV partners. To see the effect, go to http://photozoom.mslivelabs.com/Album.aspx?alias=Doverton&album=1 and then zoom in and out using the +/- in the top left corner or the scroll wheel on your mouse. It is quite amazing! Hat tip to Steve for this one ttfn David Technorati Tags: SeaDragon , DeepZoom , PhotoZoom , Silverlight , MIX 08 , Developer , SBSC , Star Wars , Community , ISV
  • How to Report a Problem Page in IE8 with the Report a Problem Webpage for Internet Explorer 8.0 Beta Add-On

    I've spent the day using IE8 and while it is faster, some pages have problems. If your seeing this, download this add-on to submit to Microsoft. Report a Webpage Problem Internet Explorer 8.0 Beta Add-On The Microsoft Report a Webpage Problem Internet Explorer Add-on allows the user to submit a report to Microsoft for webpages they believe are having rendering problems, scripting errors, or various other types of problems Download details: Report a Webpage Problem Internet Explorer 8.0 Beta Add-On To use, go to the tools menu and select Report a Webpage Problem Then you get to submit a page like this: thanks David Technorati Tags: Beta , Microsoft , IE8 , Internet Explorer , Application Compatibility , Support
  • Microsoft SQL Server Data Services - more online services announced this week

    This is one big week for developers (as Mix was always going to be). We now also have data services in the cloud ( http://www.microsoft.com/sql/dataservices/default.mspx ) On-demand Scalability SQL Server Data Services (SSDS) are highly scalable, on-demand data storage and query processing web services. Businesses use storage resources as needed transforming large upfront capital and operations expenditures into much smaller on-demand costs. On-demand storage and access Store and query your data virtually any time, anywhere on the web. Use and pay for storage resources as you go. Scales easily as your data grows Take advantage of virtually no restriction on the amount of data stored. Use the same service interfaces for your storage needs at any scale. Easy to manage Easy to use web-based service for provisioning, deployment, and monitoring. Lights-out manageability and commodity hardware for lowest service cost. Business-ready SLA SQL Server Data Services are built using robust Microsoft SQL Server database technologies...
  • Training announcement for ISV who are developing or planning to develop on the Windows Live Platform (Silverlight, Live Controls, Live ID, Messenger, Spaces)

    Another entry from the ISV blog - this time for developing on the Windows Live platform Training announcement for ISV who are developing or planning to develop on the Windows Live Platform. The Partner Readiness have just announced the release of the Windows Live Platform Services course. This 1.5 day deep dive covers the core technical aspects of Windows Live Platform Services including: Overview of Windows Live Silverlight Streaming Windows Live Controls Windows Live Tools for Visual Studio Windows Live Data (Authentication/Delegation model) Live ID Quick Apps Deep Dive (dev.live.com/quickapps) Messenger Presence Spaces APIs Dates currently scheduled are: 28–29 April (London) https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/details.aspx?publisher=12&delivery=242857&site=UK&lang=en-uk 14 -15 May (Altrincham) https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/details.aspx?publisher=12&delivery=242858&site=UK&lang=en-uk 9-10 June (London) https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/details.aspx?publisher...
  • Technical RollUp : March 2008 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms (Windows, virtualisation, Active Directory, Core, Debugging, Terminal Services, Vista SP1 changes / new / implementation guides)

    As always, from the Technical RollUp : March 2008 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms blog posting. I've removed all the KB article stuff and it is worth pointing out that towards the end of the list are all the docs associated with what has changed with Windows Vista SP1: Blogs and information Windows Virtualization Team Blog http://blogs.technet.com/virtualization/ The World Simplified is a Virtual World http://blogs.technet.com/virtualworld/ Ask the Directory Services Team http://blogs.technet.com/askds/ Ask the Performance Team http://blogs.technet.com/askperf/ Microsoft Enterprise Networking Team http://blogs.technet.com/networking/ Ask the Core Team http://blogs.technet.com/askcore/ Microsoft Advanced Windows Debugging and Troubleshooting http://blogs.msdn.com/ntdebugging/ Terminal Services Team Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/ts/ The Hot Blog http://blogs.technet.com/hot/ Downloads Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP1 Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Service Pack 1 (WSUS 3.0 SP1) delivers updates to...
  • Application Resources for Windows Server 2008 Launch (2 days to go)

    I was asked the other day about how to make sure if an application is likely to work on Vista or Windows Server 2008 and this blog entry has some of the answers. You may notice things like the App Compatibility toolkit and the cookbook. Between these, you should get all the information you need to ensure applications that work on current and future platforms. Resources for Windows Server 2008 Launch We at Microsoft are on the verge of releasing one of the most powerful and reliable products in the history of the company, Windows Server 2008. Containing numerous improvements and new features, Windows Server 2008 is a product everybody can be proud of. As an ISV, what’s the best way you can get up to speed and research these many improvements, and be aware of any possible application compatibility issues you might run into? Here are some resources to help you with these questions: Windows Server 2008 Product Page : This is the main Microsoft home for Windows Server 2008 as a product. You can find the many links...
  • Study: .Net overtakes Java

    I saw this and thought I would share it. It gives some positioning of .Net vs Java. There is more to the article that that listed below, but the interesting statements for me was .Net >50% and Java 20%. Oh, and additional to that pure .Net @ 12% while pure Java was at 3%. Ouch!! Study: .Net overtakes Java Microsoft's .Net software development platform is more popular than Java in the enterprise, according to one industry analyst firm's report detailed on Wednesday Info-Tech Research Group said its research found .Net the choice over Java among enterprises of all sizes and industries. Entitled, "It's Official: .Net Roasts Java's Beans," the study explored the relative prevalence of Java and .Net across different types of enterprises and found .Net has gained considerable market share and become the favourite of many enterprises. In conducting its study, Info-Tech said it recently surveyed more than 1,850 organizations of different sizes. Info-Tech's research is not sponsored, a...
  • Office from the past, ODF and OOXML (Office of today and tomorrow) and why is organic growth nearly always bad for software and why re-writing is not good either

    As I have said many times in the past I used to write document conversation tools. I believe this gives me a valid reason to be able to pass comment on the ODF/OOMXL debate that is raging at the moment. If these types of questions interest you, have a look at the book I talk about later ( In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters (UK) or here for US link ) Lets start with some history about the Office 97-2003 file formats. Joel was writing about this today ( Why are the Microsoft Office file formats so complicated? (And some workarounds) - Joel on Software ). Note that part of what he has commented on is the fact that the documentation for the binary file format is now available from Microsoft: Why are the Microsoft Office file formats so complicated? (And some workarounds) This item ran on the Joel on Software homepage on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 Last week, Microsoft published the binary file formats for Office . These formats appear to be almost completely insane. The Excel 97...
  • Microsoft DreamSpark - Free developer tools for students around the world. Think of the opportunities!!

    I heard about this a day or two ago and I have to say this is a MASSIVE move for Microsoft and something that can only do good. As a student you can now download, at no cost, the professional Microsoft development tools. That is all there is to the programme, however this is a dream come true for many educational institutions. Just think of the opportunity - help them implement all this software, when the software is free to the students!! Channel8 described it as : How would you like a free copy of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 ? How about the entire Microsoft Expression Studio ? Not enough...... how about Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and more? For once, something that sounds too good to be true really is this good and really is true. Starting today (or soon in some areas), students worldwide will be able to download our professional development and design tools for free ! It's called DreamSpark and it is upon us. For information on the project from PressPass: PressPass: What is the thinking behind Microsoft...
  • Business Contact Manager Team Blog - good information, including SQL and VBA tools, Smartphone and product information

    I was hunting for an answer to a questions someone asked me and I came across this the BCM Team Blog. Below are some of the recent posts. It is worth adding to your RSS feed list. Troubleshooting BCM for Pocket PC/Smartphone Get Business Contact Manager with Outlook Standalone How to Change BCM Polling Interval? Happy Holidays Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2007 SP1 is Live Business Contact Manager Team Blog ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , BCM , Business Contact Manager , Office 2007 , Office System , CRM , Small Business
  • Time to Nominate your solutions for the Awards at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference!

    You may remember people who have one awards at the Worldwide Partner Conference before - is it your time now? I saw Steve Morrow (my boss) has put some great information on the UK ISV blog and while he is thinkking about it from a purely ISV point of view, you could apply under any of the categories. Time to Nominate your Applications for the Awards at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference! Time to submit your entry for the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference Awards program! This is a great way to get some free PR. As a finalist or winner you’ll receive promotions that identify your company as part of an elite class of Microsoft partners. Logos will also be displayed in Microsoft Solution Finder. The nomination process is open NOW and closes on 4th April 2008 . Finalists for the 2008 awards will be announced on June 9, 2008. Winners will be announced and recognized at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston, July 7-10, 2008. Go to Award Submission Tool For a full list of the award categories...
  • Is your network going to be IPv6 ready?

    You remember IPv6 - it was that thing that people didn't like in Vista and tried to turn it off? Well it is coming and it is coming quickly. I saw this and thought I would remind everyone that what you know about IPv4 is no longer going to be enough. Is your network technology and software up to the task? Switch To IPv6 On Internet's Root Servers Begins The current version -- IPv4, which can accommodate 4.3 billion addresses -- would have run out of addresses by 2012, experts predict. The switch to a new Internet address format has begun, as Web overseers look to provide a pool of virtually unlimited addresses to support the growing number of Internet-connected devices. On Monday, records written in IPv6 were added to the Internet's root servers, making it possible for the first time for computer systems to communicate via the Web using only the new format, the London-based BBC news agency reported. The development marks a milestone in the conversion from IPv4. Switch To IPv6 On Internet's Root...
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 VPC Image

    I saw this and thought I would share for those who had not seen it - Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 VPC Image Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 VPC Image Get familiar with the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 release: Preview Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 in a Virtual PC (VPC) image. Overview This Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 preview leverages Release Candidate (RC0) code in a Virtual PC image. The demo is designed as a one-computer setup with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 server and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 client for Microsoft Outlook. Note: Although the image can be utilised on a single PC or laptop computer, it is strongly suggested that the image be run using an external USB 2.0 hard drive for best performance. If you do not have an external drive, you can run the image locally on the host computer; however, you will experience a decrease in performance. Contents This VPC contains the following: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 (RC0) Microsoft Dynamics CRM Laptop and Desktop Client Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK (C:\CRM Tools\SDK...
  • Register Now for the Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008 UK Launch Event

    I saw this in the Technet newsletter and thought I would pass it on: The launch of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 is drawing near and we are pleased to announce the three main launch activities to help you learn more: 1) The main launch event on 19 March at the ICC Birmingham - register now 2) The TechNet and MSDN Roadshows in April and May - pre-register now 3) The Virtual Launch Experience also on 19 March - pre register now ttfn David Technorati Tags: Events , Windows Server 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008 , Launch
  • Heroes Happen Here - Where are you?

    If you don't know about the Heroes Happen Here :: Home campaign then you are very much behind the times. The Launch events for SQL Server 2008 (errrm), Visual Studio 2008 and Windows Server 2008 are fast approaching and so is your customers ability to buy and use them - do you understand what, why and when? If not, go to the website and see how your customers can benefit and why you should learn more about the product and what you can do to improve your business with these products. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Heroes happen here , Heroes happen {here} , Heroes , Windows Server 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008
  • UK MSDN Events (Windows Live, Silverlight, Hyper V, Smart Client, Black Marble, Security, Visual Studio 2008 and .Net 3.5)

    I know I should have posted these earlier, but ho-hum - sorry!! 29 January, Reading : MSDN- Building Services: .NET FX 3.5, SOAP, REST, and Beyond . 29 January, Bristol : VBUG -'Code Access Security for Protecting Web Applications'with Chris Seary . 30 January, Birmingham : MSDN - Developing on the Windows Live Platform . 31 January, Reading : Vista Squad UG- Silverlight 2.0 & Hyper V Introduction . 31 January, Bradford : MSDN -What's new in Smart Client Development . 31 January, Bradford : Black Marble's Annual Technical Update for Microsoft Technologies . 31 January, Bradford : Black Marble - Ed Gibson, Microsoft's Chief Security Advisor in the UK . 05 February 2008, Reading : MSDN- What's new in Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Fx 3.5 for the Web Developer . ttfn David Technorati Tags: Events , MSDN Events , Windows Live , Silverlight , Hyper V , Smart Client , Black Marble , Security , Visual Studio 2008 , .Net 3.5
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(c)David Overton 2006-17