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IUpdateable has moved to Please visit January 2009 Entries
Secure your Visual Basic 6.0 investment with Microsoft .NET
Over the last couple of months I have been working with Sarah in my group to pull together something which hopefully will help the many companies in the UK who continue to have a significant investment in Visual Basic 6.0 - and we did it with virtually no budget thanks to some great help and encouragement from Artinsoft, Code Architects and Avanade. Check out what we created if you are based in the United Kingdom and still have Visual Basic 6.0 applications running your company. Some of the highlights: ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 28, 2009 8:28 PM

Five hours of webcasts on Windows Azure
For 12 of my years in Microsoft I worked with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). ISVs get their own site, which from time to time contains some great online webcasts. If you are a developer and you are new to Azure Services Platform, then there are five great Webcasts to take a look at. Part: 1 Azure Services for Developers: Fundamentals Part: 2 Azure Services for Developers: Developing a Windows Azure Application Part: 3 Azure Services for Developers: .NET Services ......

Posted On Thursday, January 22, 2009 3:49 PM

Survey on the usage of Visual Basic 6.0 in UK companies
[Survey is live from January 21st to January 26th, 2009] I have been working with my marketing colleague Sarah to create a survey to better understand the current reliance on Visual Basic 6.0 in the United Kingdom and what plans companies have to move to .NET (or not!). The survey is a little over 20 questions but should only take you a minute or two to complete. As an incentive we have a number of four day Visual Basic 2008 training courses as prizes worth £1640 – very nice. Remember it is just ......

Posted On Thursday, January 22, 2009 1:43 PM

Anybody for some free (and clever!) Visual Studio 2008 training?
In the UK we are working with InnerWorkings to create a great offer of training to UK developers. We still have some stuff to sort out but I am hopeful that we will be able to share the details of this in the next few weeks. In my previous depth role we used InnerWorking successfully to help early adopters get up to speed with the core technologies which we then built on with our own labs, briefings and workshops. We were very impressed with the inventive format they use and the quality of the training. ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 5:40 PM

SlideShare on SQL Server 2008 for Developers
Just testing out SlideShare for making ppts more discoverable. This is the deck I did for the NxtGenUG Southampton. You can also get the links from What do you think? A useful way for us to share decks as well as on MSDN? SQL Server 2008 Overview View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: sql) ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 5:36 PM

First published book on ADO.NET Entity Framework
If you are following my blog or watched me present, you know I believe that Entity Framework will be a significant technology for .NET developers (even if EF v1 at times is incredibly annoying!). However we have been hampered by the lack of books available. I am waiting patiently for Julie to have her book published – except I have not been waiting patiently at all! Hence I was really pleased to discover this morning that Joydip now has his book in print, ready to buy in the UK. This covers off Entity ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 5:32 PM

LINQ to Entities is the strategic choice
In 2001 we first demonstrated Object Relational Mapping (ORM) technology for .NET – ObjectSpaces. However it has taken 6+ years to get to the point where we have released an ORM. Actually we released two. The release of Visual Studio 2008 in November 2007 gave us our first shipping ORM – LINQ to SQL. The release of Visual Studio 2008 SP1 in August 2008 gave us our second shipping ORM – LINQ to Entities or more specifically, the ADO.NET Entity Framework. Which reminds me of waiting for a bus. You ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 5:26 PM

QandA: How can I use LINQ with new data types in SQL Server 2008 such as the geospatial types?
This one has come up a few times. LINQ to SQL and LINQ to Entities in V1 do not currently support the newest types added to SQL Server 2008 nor do they support your own User Defined Types. More specifically: LINQ to SQL does not support the hierarchyID, geospatial, table or time types. UDTs are not supported. It does support the new DateTimeOffset , DateTime2, and Date types (NB: I have not tried this and I think it may require SP1) LINQ to Entities does not support hierarchyID or geospatial. I haven’t ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 5:21 PM

QandA: How do I debug ADO.NET Data Services?

It is great that so many folks have started investigating Data Services and the Entity Framework as a result of the MSDN events we have been delivering. Which does also mean I keep getting asked “Why doesn’t mine work?” kind of questions.

The good news is the team did a comprehensive post to help you diagnose your issues.

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 5:19 PM

QandA: How do I use ADO.NET Data Services with LINQ to SQL and enable read/write
ADO.NET Data Service gives you the ability to do: Read/Write with ADO.NET Entity Framework Read only with LINQ to SQL The reason it is read only for LINQ to SQL is that Data Services needs to object model that it is exposing to implement IUpdatable. LINQ to SQL does not. There is a solution – you need implement IUpdatable for LINQ to SQL. This isn’t necessarily as bad as it sounds – if you can narrow down the implementation to how you are using LINQ to SQL. MikeT had a stab at doing just this back ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 5:18 PM

Entity Framework mapping scenarios
One thing I like to get across when I talk about the ADO.NET Entity Framework is that in V1 the Designer does not support all the capabilities of the underlying Entity Data Model (EDM) – and hence you will sometimes need to “roll up your sleeves” and start editing the underlying XML files (CSDL, MSL, SSDL) that make up an EDM. There is a document which will help if you find yourself needing to do this - Entity Framework Supported Mapping Scenarios. Summary: This white paper enumerates the supported ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 2:53 PM

QandA: How to return multiple result sets from a stored procedure using LINQ
This one has come up for both LINQ to SQL and LINQ to Entities. The scenario is a reasonably common one. How to handle something like this: CREATE PROCEDURE [dbo].[ReturnMultipleRS] AS select * from customers select * from products LINQ to SQL: The solution is to add a method to the DataContext using a partial class. Thankfully the Swiss MSDN team have already explained this one in great detail. Enjoy. LINQ to Entities: The easiest approach is to download the ADO.NET Entity Framework Extensions which ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 2:47 PM

LINQ to Relational….
In October 2008 I summarised LINQ to SQL vs LINQ to Entities as: If you only care about SQL Server AND you have complete control of the “shape” of the db schema AND the application will live at most a few years, then LINQ to SQL is a good choice. LINQ to Entities would also work. If you have virtually no control of the “shape” of the db schema OR you are working against a RDBMS other than SQL Server OR you are building an application that will live many years, then LINQ to Entities is the best choice ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 2:43 PM

ADO.NET Entity Framework and Data Services in one slide
I wanted a high level diagram which allowed me to talk about how the technologies worked together, worked apart, cover off areas such as multiple SSDLs, multiple EDMs etc. Not perfect – but proved useful ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 2:37 PM

ADO.NET Entity Framework and large databases ... fine with 400 tables/views
I keep talking about Entity Framework and I keep getting asked about large databases. I have a stock answer based on work by an early adopter and some other stuff – but I kept meaning to try this out myself. I was about to give it a whirl when I decided to do a quick search (as TBH I am pressed for time today) and came back with this post from Julie – which pretty much matches the limited testing I was about to try. Julie tested the design tool with 400 tables and views Model generation < 1 min ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 2:29 PM

Fiddler and ADO.NET Data Services
It was my colleague MikeT who put me on to Fiddler a while back and it has proven to be really useful for my work with Data Services. By chance I just came across this example in which Shawn uses Fiddler to look at performance issues. At which point I decided Fiddler definitely needs a “shout out” :-) You will find MikeT using it in many of his ADO.NET Data Services screencasts over on Channel9. P.S. Nice work by Shawn to host a Silverlight sample ADO.NET Data Services over NorthWind using Entity ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 2:26 PM

Concept map of rough edges in ADO.NET 3.5 SP1
We have a rather impressive set of new technologies for working with data – LINQ, LINQ to SQL, LINQ to Entities, Data Services, ASP.NET Dynamic Data etc. What I am finding is… they don’t all get on with each other as well as you might have thought. My current battle is using ADO.NET Data Services with LINQ to SQL which is a) clearly something you might want to do and b) is something that isn’t going to work for you straight out of the box ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 2:22 PM

MSDN Library Download For Visual Studio 2008 And .NET Framework 3.5 SP1
I admit it was past midnight when I went looking for this download and maybe that impacted a little on my ability to find it - but 10 minutes of my life is too long!!! I expected there to be an obvious link on MSDN as it feels like something a lot of folks will want to do – but I didn’t find that obvious link and in the end resorted to a search on which brought it up as the second link down. Lesson learnt – search don’t navigate :( Here it is: Download details: MSDN Library for Visual Studio ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 2:18 PM

The best feature in SQL Server 2008 is sqlps.exe?
I am beginning to think it could be humble sqlps.exe. SQL Server 2008 includes powershell support – it is very, very nice. I have barely scraped the surface of sqlps but I know it is a feature that needs to be more widely talked about. You can launch from the GUI by right clicking on an object and sqlps will start at just the right spot. How about a dir of my databases: Or even better – a dir of the parameters of a stored procedure: To find out more you can check out the PowerShell Overview or Dan ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 2:11 PM

Microsoft Sync Framework 1.0 – in a nutshell
This is a shameful cut and paste from from August 2008 for the simple reason that awareness of this stuff is very low amongst developers I meet. Peer-to-peer synchronization support: Beyond the traditional hub-and-spoke synchronization support built into Sync Services for ADO.NET. v2 now supports peer-to-peer synchronization. The focus with this part of the API is collaborative applications. For example, ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 2:07 PM

LINQPad - my best friend :-)
What I wanted when I started out with LINQ was a “Query Analyser” for LINQ – rather than keep writing code inside Visual Studio. I can’t tell you how excited I was when I discovered LINQPad back in July 2008. It is written by Joseph Albahari who wrote C# 3.0 in a NutShell. It is an amazing tool – it does so much more than I expected and appears to be rock solid. Exactly what I was looking for. A big thanks to Joseph. Even better – no install needed! Dimecasts has two videos to help you get started: ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 1:58 PM

LINQ Overview Concept Map
The world of LINQ in a concept map ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 1:45 PM

What you can expect from IUpdateable
In my previous post I explained a little history of why this blog has come about – but now I wanted to explain why the heck you might read it :-) You should expect: Information on the very latest developer related technologies for building applications for Windows – client, server and cloud. A strong bias towards data - Object Relational Mapping, “Data in the Cloud”, Syncing data, RDBMS systems, N-tier data etc. Specifically I will be initially covering the ADO.NET Entity Framework, ADO.NET Data ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 1:39 PM

Hello from
I created my first technology blog back in July 2004 over on when I was an Application Architect inside Microsoft UK. At the time I had been with Microsoft 8 years, I was very focused on early adoption work with SQL Server 2005 and was looking for a broader way to help developers in the UK. A blog seemed to be a great way of doing this and I used it to share my learnings, thoughts, advice, best finds etc. throughout the beta of SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005. ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 1:08 PM

MSDN Poll: What type of software development work are you currently doing?

Poll question for the UK MSDN Flash for the 21st of January. Thanks in advance for taking part.


Posted On Saturday, January 17, 2009 5:12 PM

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