MSDN and TechNet Live Present: Highlights from "The New Efficiency" Launch

by dboynton 10/30/2009 11:38:00 AM

imageWhat’s that? Couldn’t make it to one of the regional launch events for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Exchange Server 2010? Never fear. Your second chance is on its way.

Microsoft recently announced that it will be holding two “best of launch” events in the central region over the next couple of months featuring content from the so-called “New Efficiency” launch events. The content will be for both developers and IT professionals. These events will focus on:

  • Windows 7: It simplifies everyday tasks, improves productivity and works the way you want it to work.
  • Windows Server 2008 R2: It delivers new functionality and powerful improvements to the core Windows Server operating system to help organizations increase control, availability and flexibility for their changing business needs.
  • Exchange Server 2010: Achieves new levels of reliability, reduces cost and drives productivity.
image image image

These events will be held in Des Moines, IA and Omaha, NE. To register for these free events, use the links below:

TechNet Events Presents >
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Introducing to Windows 7
  • Introduction to Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Introducing Exchange Server 2010


11/11/2009 Des Moines, IA
12/3/2009 Omaha, NE
MSDN Events Presents > 
1:00 PM – 4:30 PM
  • Taking Your Application to the Next Level with Windows 7
  • Light Up Your Application with graphics, Multi-Touch and Ribbon on Windows 7
  • What’s New and Changed in Windows Server 2008 R2?
11/11/2009 Des Moines, IA
12/3/2009 Omaha, NE

And what launch would be complete without some great giveaways? Register and attend the event for you chance to win:

  • Netbook! Dell Mini 10 – US $329.00 ARV
  • Zune! Zune HD – US $289.00 ARV
  • Games! Halo 3 ODST for Xbox 360 – US $49.99 ARV
  • Books!
    • Windows 7 Inside Out – US $49.99 ARV
    • Introducing Windows 7 for Developers – US $39.99 ARV

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Architecture | Events | Windows 7

MIX 2009 Keynote Announcements: Day 2

by dboynton 3/19/2009 6:56:15 PM

What a difference a day makes. Where yesterday’s MIX 2009 keynote with Bill Buxton and Scott Guthrie dropped almost too much information on the audience, today’s keynote was much more balanced, focusing on a particular browser and a great story about good design making a positive change in the world.

Dean Hachamovich and Internet Explorer 8
IE8_logo The keynote this morning kicked off with Dean Hachamovich announcing the RTW of Internet Explorer 8. This has been a greatly anticipated release of Microsoft’s new browser since it was officially shown to the world for the first time at MIX last year (has it really been a year already?!?). To be perfect honest, my reaction to IE8’s launch has been pretty much, “Meh.” But after what I saw this morning, I am actually really looking forward to installing the released version. Here are some of the highlights from Dean’s portion of the keynote:

  • The new browser can be downloaded manually from It will also be available via Windows Update as an optional install. The really great news is that Dean said the final release bits will be available for those of us running Windows 7 beta via Windows Update as well. Supported operating systems include Windows XP, Vista and Windows Server.
  • The majority of the the new features in IE8 were driven directly by customer feedback about how they use the web. Using customer feedback to drive product enhancements is not unusual for Microsoft, but you can see a definite focus on making IE8 intuitive and easy to use for everybody. Some of the enhancements include:
    • Both the address and search fields provide comprehensive historical information as well as informational suggestions to get the user more information about the content they’re interested in.
    • The tabbed browsing experience has been enhanced through color coding. As a page opens pages in new tabs, the main tab and additional tabs share a common color, helping the user more easily keep track of the information they’re working with.
    • Pages in different tabs run in their own, isolated space. This keeps a fatal error on one page from taking the entire browser, and thus, other pages down.
    • IE8 seems to render standard web pages as fast or faster than other browsers. This has been my experience as well. However, Dean didn’t address the JavaScript performance issues this morning—I personally think this is an area for the product team to focus on in the next release.
  • IE8 is the most secure browser Microsoft has ever released, and if the information Dean presented this morning is to be believed, it is the safest browser on the market today. A white paper on browser security that provide more details can be found at NSS Labs.
  • There are also some very cool developer features as well, including:
    • Full support of the CSS 2.1 specification
    • A comprehensive rendering test suite with the W3C organization consisting of 7,000+ tests, many of which show IE8 to implement web standards better that other browsers.
    • Web Slices: These are mini applications that drop a button in the browser under the address window and bring content and web applications directly to the user without them having to navigate to the primary web site.
    • Accelerators: When highlighting content in a web page, a smart tag of sorts pops up providing several interesting options, including getting a map relative to the content, searching for more information on the content and even translating the content into another language.

Deborah Adler and ClearRx
When the launch of IE8 was complete, Bill Buxton returned to the stage to introduce Deborah Adler. Deborah is a graphic designer who used a near tragedy in her family to make an extremely positive change for people.

ClearRx Deborah told the story of how one evening several years ago, her grandmother accidently took her grandfather’s prescription medication and nearly died. Deborah realized that the reason this incident happened is because both her grandparents were on the same medication, but they were on different doses, and the prescription medication bottles used by all pharmacies at the time are extremely difficult to read and understand. Her grandmother was lucky. Unfortunately, many people die each year by taking taking their prescription medication incorrectly or accidently taking the wrong medication.

As part of her Master’s thesis, Deborah setout to use her design skills to make a prescription medicine bottle that would help avoid these incidents from happening again. I won’t recount the whole story because it’s already been told in detail elsewhere.

However, Deborah’s talk was very thought provoking because, ultimately, what she did wasn’t beyond what most of us are capable of doing. She simply identified something that was obviously wrong, looked at practical ways to to address the issue through better design and found a company that was willing to help her bring her vision to life, that company being Target and the ultimate product being the ClearRx prescription bottles used at their pharmacies.

As software professionals, we see poor design everyday and choose to live with it, choose to accept it. I enjoyed Deborah’s talk because it inspired me to look at software I use all the time and try to find better, more intuitive ways to enhance it. I don’t think I will ever save lives like Deborah did with her design, but all of us can clearly have a positive impact on our users’ daily lives by developing technology that actually helps them do their jobs better.

So that wraps it up for the MIX keynotes this year. Of course, MIX is still going on and we’re all working through what all the new technology we’ve seen over the past couple of days means to us. I’ve personally had several really interesting conversations with people about Silverlight 3, but I am absolutely stoked about Expression Blend 3. I’m working on getting the bits downloaded so I can start building some Silverlight applications. Of course, everything I learn will eventually end up here, so stay tuned.

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RIA | Expression Blend | Events | Silverlight

MIX 2009 Keynote Announcements: Day 1

by dboynton 3/18/2009 6:40:11 PM

MIX 2009 kicked off in Las Vegas this morning with a bang. There was a virtual avalanche of announcements made about key products and technologies that will have a lasting impact on web and interactive developers and designers over the next year. Bill Buxton and Scott Guthrie tag teamed a very full keynote session, and while I’m personally still trying to digest everything we heard, I wanted to provide you with a summary of all the announcements made this morning. I’m sure this will prompt many follow-ups over the next few days and weeks as I get a chance to dig deeper into Expression Web and Blend, Commerce Server 2009, Azure and, most of all, Silverlight 3.

Bill Buxton
BillBuxton The theme for MIX this year is “Return on Experience,” and that is precisely what Bill Buxton of Microsoft Research focused on during the opening minutes of today’s keynote. Bill began by presenting a new and far more compelling discussion about why user experience (UX) matters (or should matter) in all the software we build. He talked about the history of industrial design and pointed out that some of the most innovative and successful products ever created address the needs of individual people and provided unparalleled simplicity and intuitiveness in their design. Bill also showed that there is a long history of companies and products being very successful during times of economic strife, mentioning several companies founded just before or during the Great Depression which are still in business today.

Bill finished his portion of the keynote by restating Microsoft’s commitment to delivering exception user experience in all of our products, citing that growth in user experience professionals at Microsoft has grown by 150% over the past 7 years.

Scott Guthrie
Scott_Guthrie “The Gu” came on stage after a particularly funny video which featured him, among other things, disco dancing and getting his hair teased, and started right in with Microsoft’s state of the art in what he termed “the standards-based web.” Major announcements in this space include:

  • The preview of Expression Web 3 is available for download today!
  • SuperPreview is a new tool that is part of Expression Web 3 that will allow web developers to comprehensively test their web pages for cross-browser compatibility before publishing them online. If the designer is working from an image mock-up of a page, they can do a side-by-side comparison of the mock and their designed page. They can even overlap them to get a better idea of who close they’ve come to implementing the intended design. Even more cool than that, they can preview the page in many different browsers. SuperPreview will render the page in any locally installed browser and will even connect to a cloud service to render the page in a browser you don’t have on your machine. For example, if I have IE8 and FireFox 3 installed on my machine, but I want to see how my page would render in Safari, SuperPreview will pull a Safari instance from the cloud to show the output. This is going to make SuperPreview invaluable to web designers.
  • The ASP.NET MVC 1.0 framework shipped this morning and is available for immediate download for free.
  • A series of improvements for ASP.NET 4.0, including:
    • Enhanced web form development
    • Integration of ASP.NET MVC and AJAX
    • Distributed caching
  • Enhancements to Visual Studio 2010 for web developers, including:
    • New and enhanced tools for JavaScript, AJAX and JQuery development
    • SharePoint developers become first class citizens in the IDE with new development tools for MOSS
    • New publishing and deployment tools, including the ability to keep multiple web.config files specific to a deployment environment, i.e. development, test, staging and production
  • General availability of the Microsoft Web Platform Installer 2 beta. This awesome little application provides you with the ability to get all the tools and technologies for developing web applications for the ASP.NET platform in one place—no more jumping from web site to web site trying to find the installers. Just click on a check box, hit the Install button and you’re there!
  • Microsoft Commerce Server 2009 available today.
  • Customer-driven enhancements to the Windows Azure Service Platform, including:
    • FastCGI/PHP and .NET full trust, allowing applications to share data and resources much more easily
    • SQL Data Services will adopt a more familiar ADO.NET interface, making a true relational database in the cloud
    • Windows Azure is schedule to ship this year!

As if this wasn’t enough, Scott moved into his talk about Silverlight 3, the preview of which is available today. Here are the highlights:

  • There are over 10,000 web sites in the world today using Silverlight, and there are over 300,000 developers and designer actively developing with Silverlight.
  • A new Silverlight version of the World Wide Telescope, previously available only in WPF, is going live today.
  • A new SDK for integrating Microsoft Virtual Earth into your Silverlight applications will be available for download this week.
  • Silverlight 3 will provide cross-platform support for hardware acceleration.
  • Silverlight 3 will include the H.264, AAC and MPEG-4 codecs; it will also include a raw bit-stream audio and video API which will allow developers to create custom codecs in managed code if they need/want to.
  • Silverlight 3 includes enhanced logging capabilities for managing application access analysis
  • IIS Media Services
    • This will be a free download that will enable any IIS7 web server to provide smooth video or audio streaming services
    • Media Services will provide advanced logging, bit-rate throttling and edge caching
    • Media Services applications will be developed and deployed using Expression Encoder, so the experience will be familiar and seemless
  • There are several enhancements to Silverlight 3 in graphics, including:
    • GPU acceleration and hardware compositing
    • Perspective 3D, essentially moving 2D objects in the UI in a 3D space
    • An API for bitmap images and pixels
    • Shader effects
    • Hardware acceleration for Deep Zoom
  • There are also several new features in Silverlight 3 that will make RIA development even easier, including:
    • “Deep linking,” which is the ability for a user to link to a specific place inside a Silverlight application
    • Navigation and search engine optimization
    • Improved text quality
    • Library caching support
    • More than 100+ controls available from Microsoft, not counting those made by partners
  • Silverlight 3 will ship with the native ability to run outside the browser. A Silverlight application running outside the browser implements the same security model as Silverlight in the browser, and even has built-in automated update abilities. Yep, drop a new version of the application on the web server and the Silverlight app on the user’s machine automatically updates. Say goodbye to complex deployment issues for desktop applications!
  • The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver will be streamed live and on-demand using Silverlight
  • And, in what was possibly the most incredible news I heard all morning, with all of these new, incredible features, the Silverlight 3 installer package is actually 40k SMALLER than the Silverlight 2 installer. I guess there really is something to rigorous code review practices!

Finally, The Gu finished up the keynote this morning with a look at Expression Blend 3 CTP. Here are the highlights:

  • Blend 3 will include a new tool called SketchFlow, which will allow you basically create a digital “cocktail napkin” design of your application, visually mapping interactions between different application windows, share these drafts with customers, enter feedback directly into the form and send the feedback to designers in Blend. From where I was sitting, this looked a lot like the work item management tools in Visual Studio Team System. You’ve heard of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)? How about DLM: Design Lifecycle Management!
  • Support for Silverlight development in Eclipse, both for Windows and the Mac OS.
  • New data-binding tools in Blend 3 support the ability to connect to sample data or generate sample date. You can also edit the test data right in the design environment, giving designers unprecedented testing capabilities.

Every bullet point above could easily be a separate post, and I intend to do as many as I can. Anyway, that’s the summery of this morning’s announcements, and there are more coming tomorrow. The links to many of the products above are not live yet. I’ll do follow-up posts with links to the goods as they become available. Until tomorrow…

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XamlFest St. Louis is Wicked Cool!

by dboynton 2/2/2009 12:56:00 PM

This past week, a veritable bomb of XAML-related info exploded in the Microsoft offices in St. Louis as XamlFest came to town. This two-day training seminar featured John Pelak, a Microsoft Architect Evangelist from Boston and a whole lot of XAML coding.

XamlFest1 XamlFest is a training program that was created to introduce developers and designers to eXtensible Application Markup Language and the Microsoft technologies that use it, namely Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Silverlight 2. More so than other technologies, this kind of program is necessary because designing and building applications using XAML is very different from previous UI technologies. XAML is extremely powerful and getting your hands around what it can do and how it does it can be intimidating. Thus, the XamlFest agenda takes you through an introduction to the XAML language and how it is used in WPF and Silverlight. It also shows you how you can use Visual Studio 2008 and Expression Blend 2 to develop more quickly and efficiently.

The event was attended by approximately 60 people both days, filling the training room at the Microsoft office to near capacity. Those who attended were primarily developers, but there were a few designers in the mix as well. John kicked things off on Thursday morning by showing some demonstrations of WPF applications, giving the attendees a solid feel for what can be done with the technology. After that, it was all WPF. We focused on laying out an interface in XAML using containers and controls, and then how to use .NET managed code (in this case, C#) to implement functionality for those controls. Right after lunch, I did a walk-through of Expression Blend 2, a designer-centric tool for doing visual XAML design. This talk covered productivity tips and tricks in the Blend UI, custom style and resource management, custom control development and UI animation using storyboards and the timeline tools. Finally, John took us home on day one with a great overview of databinding in WPF using custom collections and lists.

Day two was completely focused on Silverlight. We started off with an overview of Silverlight 2 and moved quickly into building a Silverlight application. We worked through the basics of how Silverlight applications are built inside of a web page and moved quickly to showing how we could pragmatically port the WPF application we worked on the day before to Silverlight 2. While not everything works the same, we were able to, over the course of the morning, replicate all the functionality of the previous day’s application and even add a few additional features. John finished up right before lunch, so I took over for the afternoon session.

XamlFest2As it was a Friday, I thought we’d have some fun and work on a “real” application using the skills presented over the previous day-and-a-half. I laid out a project to build my band, Lake 32, a media management application for our web site. Basically, I wanted a Silverlight 2 application that would bind to an underlying data sources for music, video and pictures, as well as a means to let people sign-up for our electronic newsletter. I encouraged everyone to form into groups and work together to develop a visual concept and collaborate to design and develop the application. The kicker is that the teams have a week to submit their application to a Live Mesh folder I setup for them and the best designed application, to be judged by the guys in the band, will be put on our home page. I was excited that most of the group stuck around and worked on this, the final team packing up three hours later. I can’t wait to see what all these teams come up with!

I had several conversations with XamlFest attendees over the course of the two days and everyone seems to have enjoyed the training and got a lot out of it. John did a fantastic job engaging the group and getting them to code along with him. I know I speak for many that the words, “This is wicked cool! Ship it!” spoken in a thick New England accent will stick with me for a long time to come. I mean, I said it to my kids this weekend when they rearranged some furniture in my library. They didn’t get it, but I don’t care.

While this XamlFest is over, John and will be working together to try and put this event on in other cities throughout the central region of the country, and hopefully XamlFest will be coming to your town soon. I’d like to personally thank all the folks in St. Louis for coming and participating in this event. It never ceases to amaze me what a vibrant and engaged community we have here in St. Louis. Until next time, XAML ON!

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Events | Expression Blend | Silverlight | Windows Presentation Foundation

Jeff Fattic Talking Application Lifecycle Management at St. Louis DNUG

by dboynton 1/22/2009 3:20:39 PM

Are you free this coming Monday night? If so, I’d like to ask you out…to attend the St. Louis .NET User Group meeting. This month’s speaker is Jeff Fattic, a Technical Team Lead at Quilogy in St. Charles. Jeff’s talk is entitled Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Exposed. Here is the abstract:

Most statistical organizations estimate the historical rate of software development project success at 33%! What factors contribute to this? Poor requirements, lack of formal process, insufficient testing, insufficient training, and much more! Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) is the combination of formal process and specialized tools used to make software development projects more successful. While it requires some additional effort and investment, it can help your development department get to market quicker, meet governance criteria, improve quality, meet and beat budgets and schedules. In this discussion, I hope to show you how to use Visual Studio Team System to cover many of the aspects of Visual Studio Team System.

ALM is the most important topic that not nearly enough people discuss, and Jeff brings considerable experience to the table in this discussion. This should be a great talk and I hope to see a full house. Here are the meeting details:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Microsoft Offices
Three City Place Drive, Suite 1100
St. Louis, MO  63141

5:30 PM – 6:00 PM: Welcome
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM: Program

This month’s meeting is sponsored by Talentporte. I’ll see you there.

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Architecture | Events | Application Lifecycle Management

Barack Obama's Inauguration to be Immortalized by "We, the people" and Photosynth

by dboynton 1/19/2009 11:05:00 AM

Regardless of your political affiliation or perspective, tomorrow, Tuesday, January 20, 2009, is going to be truly historic as Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. Officials in Washington D.C. estimate that as many as three million people may be there in person tomorrow to witness the event, with hundreds of millions more watching on television and via the Internet. Because of the historical significance of this event, Microsoft and CNN are partnering to capture it for all posterity using one of the coolest technologies around, Microsoft Photosynth.

microsoft-photosynth-logoTo review for those who aren’t familiar with Photosynth, it’s a technology from Microsoft Research that takes a collection of digital photos, analyzes them and the stitches them together to create a three dimensional representation of the space in the photos. To illustrate, imagine setting up a camera on a tripod in the middle of a room. Then you start rotating the camera slowly and shooting a picture every three to four degrees until you go in a complete circle. Then you take the camera and shoot close-ups of objects in the room like pictures, artwork, furniture, etc. When you upload all these photos to “the synther,” they are organized and put back together to recreate the room digitally, allowing you to step into the space. The close-up photos are also included in the synth, allowing you to zoom in and view them in detail. Reading about Photosynth is one thing, but actually seeing it in action is another. Here is a synth of the Sphinx in Egypt done by National Geographic. Note that you will need to install the Photosynth viewer for this to work.

What does this have to do with Obama’s inauguration tomorrow? Well, CNN will be collecting digital photos being taken by both professional photographers and regular citizens in attendance and using them to create a synth of the event. That’s right, people just like you and me will participate in documenting the moment when Obama is sworn-in. Anyone with a cell phone camera standing on the Mall tomorrow morning will be able to contribute to capturing this historic event. Here’s how it will work:

  1. Take a photo of the moment when Obama takes the Oath. If you have a zoom or telephoto lens, then take three pictures, wide-angle, mid-zoom and full-zoom.
  2. As soon as possible, email your photos to Please be aware that you can only send one photo per email and the size limit for the photo is 10MB. Also, be sure to include your name if you want to be included on the list of contributors.
  3. All photos used in the synth will be posted at

InauguralConcertSynthThe synth will be constructed as photos start coming in from the event and will be posted on the CNN web site URL above, as well as on the “magic wall” during on-air broadcasts.

Also, as was announced this morning, the Presidential Inauguration Committee (PIC) has chosen to stream the inauguration live from their web site using Silverlight 2, its most high profile use since the Summer Olympics last year in Beijing.

Update:  I just found out that Linux users and Mac PowerPC users will be able to watch the inauguration via Moonlight today. Get all the details from Ben Waggoner's post from this morning! Thanks to Josh Holmes for passing this along to me.

Want to get a feel for what this will look like when it’s done. posted a synth this morning of the “We Are One” inaugural concert held at the Lincoln Memorial yesterday afternoon. You can view the synth here. It is really cool how far back away from the actual concert you are to start with and how you can zoom into the space and see the details.

When this all comes together, this will be the single most documented moment in history, which seems appropriate considering the historic significance of the occasion. What’s more, we will be able to experience it not in two dimensions, but three. Not quite as good as being there in person, but darn close.

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"SharePoint Saturday" Scheduled for February in Leawood, Kansas

by dboynton 1/14/2009 11:40:00 AM

SPSaturdayKC My friend and colleague Clint Edmonson is working with community leaders to put on a great learning event called SharePoint Saturday on February 7th at Centriq in Leawood, Kansas, just outside of Kansas City. This event, targeted primarily at SharePoint developers and architects, will cover a wide variety of topics and will be presented by a great assembly of SharePoint luminaries, professionals and Microsoft MVPs.

Here is the current lineup for the day:

Session Level Session Type Speaker Name Session Title Session Abstract
100 Development Corey Roth Deploying Code in SharePoint This talk walks new SharePoint developers through the process of deploying web parts and user controls in SharePoint.   In this talk, you will learn how to build features and wsp solution packages as well as an introduction to code access security.
100 Special Interest Cara Miller Redesigning the Sharepoint Interface This session will show you how to effectively modify the sharepoint interface to serve the unique needs of your organization and it’s brand.
200 Administration Tony Lanni SharePoint Backup & Recovery and Governance With SharePoint quickly becoming the preferred platform for team collaboration, protection from unexpected data loss is a vital concern for today’s administrators. Otherwise, organizations will be left grappling with crippling data loss and system downtime while dealing with the risk of lost intellectual property and wasted employee productivity. How can you ensure that your SharePoint backup policies are governed appropriately by your organization’s business processes to promote intelligent, automated, and independent system protection?
Whether your organization already has an existing SharePoint implementation in place, or you are pursuing a new implementation, the overall strategy of a successful SharePoint 2007 deployment needs to be approached in a very unique manner. SharePoint can become so popular within an organization so fast that without the proper governance model you can have numerous sites with sprawling content, no standard metadata, no content management policies, and inadequate security policies. Can you reel SharePoint back in after you get to this point? That is why enforcing governance within your organization is so critical and the sooner this is done the better. Effective SharePoint governance encompasses numerous different topics, and this session will focus on a number of key areas aimed at delivering the return that you would expect from your enterprise-wide collaboration and portal platform.
200 Development
Todd Kitta Business Data Catalog Development This session will cover development options for the Business Data Catalog. This will include the BDC APIs as well as discussions around BDC custom actions which can facilitate backend data manipulation.
200 Development
Becky Bertram Introduction to SharePoint Web Content Management Development Becky will explain how the Web Content Management (WCM) features of SharePoint can be used to create a public-facing Internet site, and demonstrate how to create a basic page template using SharePoint Designer and Visual Studio.
Special Interest Matt Bremer Aggregating Site Content Across Site Collections without Code There are a number of reasons to use Site Collections in SharePoint 2007. A side effect from this decision, however, is that it is difficult to aggregate content across them. In this session you will learn how to use the Data View Web Part connected to the SharePoint search web service to aggregate content across site collections without code and still respect your list and site security.
200 Administration Todd Ingersoll & Mike Henthorn Navigating the Migration waters, what types of migration option are available for me? In this session we will present the various SharePoint Migration methodologies.  We will focus on comparing the various migration apps available including discussing particular migrations from other apps including SharePoint ‘03, CMS, File Shares, Lotus Notes and Stellent.  A few live demos will be given during the presentation.
200 Administration Ram Gopinathan Securing SharePoint Deployments This session will cover topics on MOSS Security, you will walk away from this session with some guidelines and strategies that could be applied to secure your MOSS deployments
    * Overview of Farm topologies,
    * Server Hardening,
    * Configuring Farm in Least Privilege Mode
    * ForeFront Security For SharePoint
    * RMS integration to sharepoint to protect portal content
    * Securing Server to Server Communications
    * Securing Client to Server communications
200 Development Mike Knowles Developing Custom Editors for SharePoint Web Parts Mike will discuss options for developing the presentation, storage, and retrieval of Web Part properties within the SharePoint Web Part Tool Pane. Code examples will show how to add simple properties to the existing panels, and how to develop a custom Editor Part to display your editor within its own panel. Use of the Publishing AssetUrlSelector within a Web Part Editor Part will also be demonstrated.  
All source code will be available online after the event at:
200 Development
Daniel Larson Programming Dynamic AJAX Applications using the SharePoint Platform AJAX is a powerful programming model that lets users interact with your software in realtime, enabling productive communication and collaboration without the need for postbacks. In this session, Dan will show you how to Microsoft’s AJAX Library to develop rich internet applications using standard browser technologies. We’ll also look at the SharePoint AJAX Toolkit, which will make AJAX programming in SharePoint a breeze.  The SharePoint AJAX Toolkit is a professional open-source framework developed by Daniel Larson to abstract the hard parts of AJAX into a reusable library. It’s also the core foundation of commercial products he develops at NewsGator. This session is designed for experienced ASP.NET programmers who want to bridge the power of ASP.NET AJAX with the Windows SharePoint Services platform. We’ll look at the SharePoint AJAX Toolkit, example applications, and supported techniques for developing AJAX applications on WSS and MOSS.
300 Special Interest
Errin O’Connor
Building Your SharePoint Platform as a Service You’ve heard of software as a service (SaaS); now it’s time to think about SharePoint as a service (SPaaS). Is your organization’s SharePoint deployment an intranet solution, enterprise content management system, knowledge management solution, collaboration solution, business process automation platform or hybrid of the above? Your SharePoint platform should be built as a service to meet the business and functional requirements of your organization.
300 Special Interest
Michael Lotter
Building a framework for your InfoPath 2007 Web Based Rorms With the maturity of the new versions of SharePoint and InfoPath brought web based InfoPath forms and the reality of deploying an electronic form based solution in the enterprise.  If anybody has gone down this path you quickly realize that having the forms browser based really is the tip of the ice berg.  In this session we go into the details about building WCF framework to allow InfoPath forms to reach out and communicate with other applications and how you could read the content of your InfoPath forms and message bodies when being processed by WF workflow.
Architecture Karthik Venkataraman Architecting an Internet Facing Site with Web Content Management (WCM) in MOSS 2007 This session explores the challenges commonly faced implementing an internet facing site in MOSS with WCM capabilities. The key concepts covered include team-based development with source control integration, configuration of three-tier development architecture, customized deployment actions for different environments and securing a production environment. Other topics that will be briefly touched upon include WF integration, best practices, and important considerations while designing a WCM system.
300 Special Interest David McCollough & Dennis Bottjer Enabling Variations on a Multilingual Publishing Portal A “what-we-learned” deep dive from recent project experience where Variations were enabled to support the multilingual requirements of an Internet Portal.  We will discuss configuration, patches, replication issues, performance, custom code, and testing.  The majority of our material will be from real world experience and the school of hard knocks!
300 End User John Stover
Data and Views and Forms – Oh My!  Building robust applications for MOSS and WSS using the Data View Web Part in SharePoint Designer.

Did you know that you can write complete applications without writing any actual code? Connect to a web service, a database, or another SharePoint site to get or update data easily using SharePoint Designer 2007.  This session will cover the basics of this little understood and underutilized gem of SharePoint!  See real world solutions, tricks, and see how to create an anonymous registration form that also tracks the ad source - done in SharePoint without writing any code!  While this session is for any power users – developers are encouraged to attend!  Quit working so hard to accomplish tasks that can be done with a few mouse clicks.

As you can see, there will be something for everyone who works with SharePoint. To learn more about SharePoint Saturday, check out the event’s web site. If you’re ready to register for this free event, you can do so here.

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Architecture | Events | MOSS | Office Development

XamlFest Coming to St. Louis in January 2009

by dboynton 1/6/2009 10:06:00 AM

After speaking at the St. Louis Day of .NET last month on building WPF and Silverlight applications using Expression Blend, I had several people come up to me and, very excitedly, tell me how they wish there was more in-depth training available for not only Blend, but for XAML (eXtensible Application Markup Language).

Well, your wishes have been granted.

XamlFestLogo I'm very pleased to announce that we'll be hosting a two day free training event called XamlFest at the St. Louis Microsoft offices from Thursday, January 29th to Friday January 30th. This will be a classroom style event led by fellow Softie John Pelak and, to a lesser degree, myself. We'll be going in depth on the XAML markup language and how it is used in both WPF and Silverlight 2.0 applications. We will also go deep on how to use Expression Blend to visually design application interfaces.

Here's all the information on the event:

The event will take place on Thursday, January 29, 2009 to Friday, January 30, 2008.

This event is targeted toward software developers and designers who want to learn more about XAML, Windows Presentation Foundation, Silverlight 2 and Expression Blend 2. We can accommodate 40 people for this session and registration will be accepted on a first come/first served basis.

Date Time Topic
Thursday, January 29th 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Introduction to WPF, XAML, Expression Blend
  10:30 AM – 10:45 AM Break
  10:45 AM – 12:00 PM Building Visually Rich Applications: The role of the Integrator in building "designable" applications
  12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Lunch, Mingle, Prizes
  1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Instructor-led WPF walk through and assisted development
  3:00 PM – 5:00 PM Assisted development
Friday, January 30th 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Introduction to Silverlight, Data Binding, LINQ
  10:30 AM – 10:45 AM Break
  10:45 AM – 12:00 PM

Platform Centric Design Best Practices: Creating WPF and Silverlight XAML for Web and Local Client Solutions

  12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Lunch, Mingle, Prizes
  1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Instructor-led Silverlight walk through and assisted development
  3:00 PM – 5:00 PM Assisted development


Microsoft North Central District: St. Louis, Missouri
3 City Place Dr., Suite 1100
St. Louis, MO 63141
Phone: (314) 994-1800
Fax: (314) 991-8762

To register for XamlFest, send an email with your contact information to Only 40 seats are available, so be sure to register early if you want to attend. Also, we ask that, if you find you can't make it for the session, please let us know so we can let someone else come in your place.

Please register early, because we anticipate the seats filling up fast. I look forward to seeing at XamlFest at the end of this month.

<XamlFest />: Bringing the Out-Of-This-World Power of XAML Down to Earth

by dboynton 9/19/2008 4:09:00 PM

XamlFest I am an old school Windows developer. I spent a large percentage of my career actually writing software to run on Windows desktops, some of it for internal use at large enterprise IT shops, some for sale in the consumer market. Since the release of .NET earlier this decade, my primary outlet for delivering Windows solutions have been WinForm projects in Visual Studio, and while they are very practical and capable of delivering great functionality, incorporating an intuitive and memorable user experience tends to be difficult. Certainly I can leverage GDI+ or even DirectX to build some compelling UI features, but on a typical project timeline where the ship date was a week ago and the budget has long been in the red, we tend to settle for the status quo and deliver what we can.

This is one of the reasons why I was so excited when I first got my hands on Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). This was truly a game-changing technology for developing rich, interactive experiences on the desktop. One of the most powerful aspects of WPF is that fact that the UI layer is designed and implemented in eXtensible Application Markup Language, or XAML. This XML-based markup language gives you with the ability to not simply mock up the UI, but to build the UI, exactly they way you want it to look. And what's more, XAML provides the capability to use transitions, timelines and event triggers so designers and developers alike can implement UI level effects and activities without this code residing in the business layer or even in the UI code behind files.

Sounds great, right? So why hasn't WPF taken over the world yet? It's very simple: WPF is new. Really new. And big. Really big. The object model for WPF itself is intimidating, but then when developers who've worked with standard visual design tools for the past fifteen years get their first look at XAML, the standard response is, "Wow, I don't have time to learn all that."

Enter <XamlFest />
<XamlFest />is a free two day seminar being hosted around the country to help show that XAML and WPF are not overwhelming or even particularly hard. If you live in the central part of the US, you can attend <XamlFest /> in Houston, Texas. Here's the 411:

Monday & Tuesday October 6th and 7th

The capacity for this event is 40 people and registration is done on a first come/first served basis.

Microsoft South Central District: Houston, TX
One Briar Lake Plaza
2000 W. Sam Houston Pkwy. S. #350
Houston, TX 77042
Phone: (832) 252-4300
Fax: (832) 252-4545

Daily Agenda

Date Time Topic
Monday, October 6th 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Introduction to WPF, XAML, Expression Blend
  10:30 AM – 10:45 AM Break
  10:45 AM – 12:00 PM Building Visually Rich Applications: The role of the Integrator in building designable applications
  12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Lunch, Mingle, Prizes
  1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Instructor-led WPF walk through and assisted development
  3:00 PM – 5:00 PM Assisted development
Tuesday, October 7th 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Introduction to Silverlight, Data Binding, LINQ
  10:30 AM – 10:45 AM Break
  10:45 AM – 12:00 PM

Platform Centric Design Best Practices:

Creating WPF and Silverlight XAML for Web and Local Client Solutions

  12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Lunch, Mingle, Prizes
  1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Instructor-led Silverlight walk through and assisted development
  3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Assisted development


You can register at the following link:

This program was originally intended only for Microsoft partners, but is now open to everybody. If you don’t have a Microsoft partner account, please send an e-mail with the names and e-mail addresses of your attendees to Don’t forget to mention you are attending the Houston event.

<XamlFest /> Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What if I don’t have Visual Studio?
A. No problem, every attendee leaves with Visual Studio 2008 Pro!

Q. What if I don’t have Expression Blend?
A. Again, no problem! Everyone leaves with Expression Studio 2.

Q. What if I don’t have an idea for a starter project?
A. We’d like you to leave with something personal, but if nothing comes to mind that’s OK too. It’s the main reason we’re planning a few guided sessions where you can fallow along with us. These sessions should take no more than two hours, so if something sparks your interest you’ll still have time left for assisted development.

Q. What if I don’t have a laptop?
A. You can still participate in the training in the mornings and lunch, but assisted development in the afternoon is a harder problem to solve. We have no problem with people pairing up, so you might want to check with friends or co-workers to see if there interested.

Q. Can I just come for the training and skip assisted development?
A. XamlFest is about empowering designers and developers to deliver great user experiences and we believe a key component is hands-on assisted development. If you are unable to participate in the afternoon sessions please wait until the day before the event to register. This will give others the opportunity to sign up first, and if there’s still space available you’re welcome to join us.

<XamlFest /> -- Come as you are, leave Xamlized!

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Events | Windows Presentation Foundation | XAML

Follow-Up to Pluralsight Next Web Roadshow Event

by dboynton 6/18/2008 9:36:00 AM

I'd like to thank everyone who came to the Next Web Roadshow event we held in St. Louis last week. The turnout was phenomenal and, based on your feedback, it looks like the material was very useful and on topic.

As promised, our presenter, Mike Henderson, has posted a set of links to resources from his presentation.

For the sake of simplicity, I'm re-posting Mike's links here:

WPF Information:
MSDN WPF samples
Code Project's WPF Pages
Vista x64 Forums on WPF
XCeed's WPF Wiki

Good WPF-related Blogs:
Josh Smith
Mike Hillberg
Beatriz Costa
Tim Sneath 

Silverlight Information:
Silverlight splash screen + dynamic content sample 
Silverlight Cream 
MSDN Silverlight Dev Center
Silverlight 2 Controls Source Code

Good Silverlight Blogs:
Brad Abrams
Expression Design + Blend
Joe Stegman
Mike Harsh
Mike Taulty
Scott Guthrie

ASP.NET Information:
MSDN ASP.NET Code Gallery
123ASPX Index 
4 Guys From Rolla

Good ASP.NET Blogs:
DotNet Slackers
Scott Mitchell

Programming WPF 
Essential WPF 
Apps = Code + Markup 
Professional ASP.NET 3.5
ASP 2.0 Website Programming 
Essential ASP.NET

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Events | Silverlight | Windows Presentation Foundation

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