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Quest Software’s Toad Extensions for Visual Studio 2010

Quest Software has released Toad Extensions for Visual Studio 2010 with the following functionality:

“Toad Extension for Visual Studio gives Oracle developers and DBAs the full benefits of Visual Studio 2010 Data Tools with their Oracle databases. Visual Studio’s offline database design, development and change management features ensure that all of their database changes are managed and tracked—in sync with their application code—making life as a Visual Studio developer much simpler for both Visual Studio developers and Oracle DBAs. Schema design is kept in Source Code Control in Team Foundation Server and database management is made much easier with PL SQL syntax colorization, refactoring, schema compare and schema deployment tools. What's more, Toad Extension for Visual Studio will unify users' Oracle processes with their organization’s application life-cycle management methodology–ensuring consistency, efficiency and the delivery of high-quality applications.”

A great addition to Visual Studio for all of you that are using .NET with an Oracle DB. Get more info at http://toadextensions.com/.


Windows Azure AppFabric April 2010 Release is Live

Windows Azure AppFabric (Access Control + Service Bus) April Release is Live. Read more about it on Windows Azure AppFabric blog, download the bits here or just check out what this release brings.

Great New E-book Previews Available

In case you are interested in Windows Phone 7 or Visual Studio 2010, I recommend you to check out these two e-book previews:

Enjoy the reading!

Playing around with OData in SQL Azure

As you might have heard Microsoft has announced @MIX conference a new protocol for data sharing and exposure in a RESTful manner. It is called Open Data Protocol (OData for short), published under Microsoft Open Specification Promise (OSP),  and in case you need more information just visit the official www.odata.org web site. Official description of the protocol is as follows:

“The Open Data Protocol (OData) provides a way to unlock your data and free it from silos that exist in applications today, making it easy for data to be shared in a manner that follows the philosophy of Open Data. OData enables a new level of data integration and interoperability across a broad range of clients, servers, services, and tools.”

The nice part of the new protocol is that it is gaining wide adoption and Microsoft teams have also included support into the following applications: SharePoint 2010, Windows Azure Tables, SQL Azure and SQL Server Reporting Services. For additional producers, also from other vendors, check this site.

Even nicer part is how easy it is to expose your SQL Azure database via OData. What you need is, of course, SQL Azure database account (for exposing data) and then you can sign-up on the www.sqlazurelabs.com site to “enable one checkbox”…


And voila, your data is exposed as OData, and all the URI querying fun can begin:


Powering your Facebook app with Windows Azure

A Windows Azure Toolkit for Facebook apps was released on the Codeplex portal and it enables you to quickly develop Facebook apps that run on the Windows Azure platform.

Check it out and put “the cloud power” behind your Facebook app….

Visual Studio 2010 Feature Builder Power Tool

A new power tool named Feature Builder for Visual Studio 2010 was just published on the Visual Studio gallery site.

This power tool helps you easily create rich Visual Studio extensions which you can share with others on the Visual Studio Gallery. These extensions can include tools (Visual Studio automation), code (your sample code or binaries you wish to share with others) and a map (a set of steps your users will want to follow to get the best experience with your extension). You can use this power tool to quickly package up sample code with custom menus, or take the time to create complete automated guidance experiences targeted toward a specific technology.

It comes in two flavors for VS Professional/Premium and Ultimate separately. Go check it out if you have the need to extend Visual Studio IDE functionality.

That Time of the Year is coming again …

Well I am not talking about Easter ;), I am thinking about our developer related tour that we do each year in the CEE (Central & Eastern Europe). This year we start with Bulgaria, at their own event Microsoft Developer Days (KUDOS to the guys organizing the event, it is the biggest one in Bulgaria and one of the most professional ones) and then we move forward to other countries ...

This year we managed to get different speakers from Microsoft and local MVPs on board, so it is going to be educational, fun and crazy… Check details @ www.msdevdays.com!


DevDays 2010 The Hague

Start Developing for Windows Phone 7

You are now able to download the Silverlight 4 RC, the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP, and Expression Blend 4 Beta to get ready and develop for Windows Phone 7.

Totally cool, since Silverlight will be supported on the phone and you will be able to develop applications right out of Visual Studio, so no new learning for you…. On top of it, Expression Blend 4 will be available especially for designing UI of the phone apps…!

Playing Games on Windows Phone 7 Series

Wow! Check out this video of Eric Rudder’s speech at TechEd Middle East. It shows how games and overall user experience can span different devices: PC, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox. As it can be seen Windows Phone 7 will have Silverlight and XNA support enabled and everything will be accessible through Visual Studio via a clear, simple API!!!

Great demo and definitely excellent feature set for the new Windows Phone 7.

Microsoft Research and Cloud Computing

There some interesting projects going on in Microsoft Research (MSR) that are focusing on Cloud Computing. Still in early phases but hopefully we will see the production implementation of the ideas in the products in the future:

  • “Inside the Cloud” – a cloud mouse (device) that will enable you to browse cloud data;
  • “Cloud Faster” – a new communication protocol (DCTCP) mainly for data centers that optimizes transfers between multiple servers.

If you have couple of minutes now-and-then and Cloud Computing interests you, make sure to add MSR sites to your “Favorites”.

Microsoft Application Architecture Guide, 2nd Edition

I just had the time to quickly review the 2nd Edition of Microsoft Application Architecture Guide. It was published already back in Oct’09 and it thoroughly describes all key aspects of the Application Architecture on Microsoft Platform. Available freely on-line or via Amazon, Barnes & Noble or BORDERS.

A must read and have (for reference) for any solution architect or developer focusing on Microsoft platform!

patterns & practices Developer Center

LG’s Windows Phone 7 Series

First hints about the new Windows Phone 7 Series came to live on the Engadget Show, where Aaron Woodman showed pre-production prototype of the LG’s Windows Phone 7 Series…. The mania continues ;) and I can’t wait to get one of the new phones in hand…


New Web Application Toolkits Available!

Web Application Toolkits help ASP.NET web developers quickly complete common tasks.  Each Web Application Toolkit download contains reusable assets - i.e. controls, class libraries, endpoints etc. and a sample application that shows how to use them.

So far the following Toolkits were available: IE8 Extensibility, Bing Search, REST Services, Mobile Web Applications, Template-driven Email, Social Web Apps, FAQs. Based on the feedback from the community, some new toolkits were created that are available on the new Web Application Toolkits Portal:

    • Calendars 1.0 – adding calendar functionality to your web sites;
    • Bing Maps 1.0 – full support of the Bing Maps;
    • Freemium Apps 1.0 – enabling easy transition from free to paying offers.

    Nice additions that can save you lots of time!

    Windows Phone 7 Series is announced!

    About an hour ago Steve Ballmer announced the Windows Phone 7 Series at the MWC conference (check out the recording here). I must say that it looks really, really awesome combining all experiences together with a really smooth user interface…

    Can’t wait to get one of these babies, but until then check it out at http://windowsphone7series.com/.

    Gartner: Maturity of AJAX Technologies and RIA platforms

    In case your next investment or product will include inter-/intranet facing components (which app today doesn't ;)), it is interesting to check out the latest Gartner report on the evolution of AJAX Technologies and RIA Platforms. Good Read!

    The Report: MarketScope for Ajax Technologies and Rich Internet Application Platforms

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