20 March 2009

IE 8, ASP.NET MVC, Silverlight 3 Beta and More

For those of you who have been following the MIX conference this week, there have been several new (final and beta) releases.  So far, the ones most interesting to me personally include:

  • Internet Explorer 8 (final) – there are some great improvements in this version of IE that you can read more about here.
  • ASP.NET MVC 1.0 (final) - ASP.NET MVC enables you to build Model View Controller (MVC) applications by using the ASP.NET framework. ASP.NET MVC is an alternative, not a replacement, for ASP.NET Web Forms that offers the following benefits:
    • Clear separation of concerns
    • Testability - support for Test-Driven Development
    • Fine-grained control over HTML and JavaScript
    • Intuitive URLs
  • Silverlight 3 Beta - this is a preview release which continues Silverlight’s track record of rapid innovation - introducing more than 50 new features, including support for running Silverlight applications out of the browser, dramatic video performance and quality improvements, and features that radically improve developer productivity.

    There are also several related tools/frameworks that can be utilized along with Silverlight 3 (Beta) to improve the overall experience.  Some of these include:
  • Microsoft Web Platform Installer 2.0 Beta - the Microsoft Web Platform Installer 2.0 (Web PI) is a free tool that makes it simple to download, install and keep up-to-date with the latest components of the Microsoft Web Platform, including Internet Information Services (IIS), SQL Server Express, .NET Framework and Visual Web Developer. In addition, install popular open source ASP.NET and PHP web apps with the Web PI.

16 March 2009

Omaha Team System User Group

The next Omaha Team System User Group meeting is going to be held Tuesday, March 24th at Farm Credit Services of America.  Jeremy Novak will be presenting on Acceptance/Service Level Testing using Remote Test Runner.

Here are the details:

Presentation: Acceptance/Service Level Testing with Remote Test Runner – Using an automated acceptance testing framework allows you to separate the task of creating test data from the test framework.  Your business owners can concentrate on creating the test data that gives them the assurance the product being tested meets their needs leaving developers to create the associated unit tests.

This presentation will be covering a new automated testing tool for use with Visual Studio – Remote Test Runner (RTR).  RTR builds upon the data-driven testing features currently built into Visual Studio Professional and higher.  RTR provides a nice, intuitive interface for running data-driven tests, even if you don’t have Visual Studio installed.  The test results can be reviewed in a summary or detailed view.  The detailed view is similar to the output provided by FitNesse, if you’re familiar with that product.  If you’re making use of continuous integration, you can integrate the acceptance tests into your automated builds ensuring all tests are executed with each build.  If you have code coverage turned on, then coverage of your acceptance tests will be tracked as well.

Remote Test Runner will be released as an open source project on Microsoft’s CodePlex site the night of the presentation.

Speaker: Jeremy Novak, FCSA
Jeremy Novak has over 15 years of software development experience and is current employed as a Developer/Web Programmer by Farm Credit Services of America.  He is interested in learning about all things.

I hope to see everyone there!

13 March 2009

Free ASP.NET MVC Tutorial

Scott Guthrie recently announced a new ASP.NET MVC book that he co-authored with Scott Hanselman, Rob Conery, and Phil Haack.  Scott wrote the first chapter, a 185 page end-to-end tutorial that walks through the creation of a complete ASP.NET MVC application.  As part of his agreement with Wrox to write this chapter for free, he asked that they make the tutorial available as a free download.  Nice!

You can read the details in Scott’s post here.  You can download the free PDF tutorial here.

05 March 2009

TFS Admin Tool v.Next

For those of us who use the Team Foundation Server Administration Tool, we know how much of a time saver it can be.  If you have not used the TFS Admin Tool, hosted on CodePlex, here’s a quick description:

The TFS Admin Tool allows a TFS administrator to quickly add users to all three platforms utilized by Team Foundation Server: Team Foundation Server, SharePoint, and SQL Reporting Services, all through one common interface. The tool also allows administrators to change the current permissions on any of the three tiers, identify any errors, and view all of the users and their permission sets across Team Foundation Server, SharePoint, and SQL Reporting Services.

The TFS Admin Tool is getting a boost.  Specifically, there are several people, myself included, gearing up to work on a defect regarding SQL 2008 support (click here for details).  The next release will include the fix for this defect along with fixes for a few other defects currently in progress.

What we would like to see is more community involvement around this product.  We want to hear your ideas and suggestions.  If you’ve made any source code updates to help improve the product, we’d like for you to upload those as well.  If you maintain a blog or Facebook page, tweet on twitter, etc. then help us get the word out that we’re looking for everyone’s ideas and support.  The project coordinate, Michael Ruminer, has posted more details here.

01 March 2009

Microsoft MVP Global Summit

Microsoft MVPs from all around the world have began their descent on Seattle.  Tomorrow starts the 2009 Microsoft MVP Global Summit which will run from March 1st thru March 4th. 

Having been a Microsoft MVP (for Team System) for only a few months, this is my first Summit and I am happy that I am able to attend.  I am not completely sure what to expect but what I hope to get out of it is the opportunity to meet a lot of other software professionals with a passion for technology and learning.  Based on my conversation with the first MVP I’ve met so far on this trip, Jay Smith, it doesn’t appear that it is going to be a problem :-)

I also look forward to meeting some of the people that helped develop the technologies that I make use of on a daily basis – e.g. Visual Studio Team System and Team Foundation Server.  I have no doubt that I, along with the other attendees, will have plenty of questions to ask.  This is a great opportunity to gain knowledge of what’s currently being used today as well as what’s coming down the road.  As always, I look forward to sharing this information (barring any NDA’s, of course :-) with fellow co-workers and acquaintances.