Thursday, October 29, 2009

Installing Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate was a breeze

VS2010 comes in three flavors with increasing capabilities, Professional, Premium and Ultimate. Ultimate can do everything the others can and much more.

With the gathering of stuff in the clouds VS 2010 is built-in with capabilities to master the clouds by supporting Windows Azure.

It's only a short hop from now to launch time (March 2010) but it is worth trying it out.

Although it was a marathon installation experience (some 4 hours are so with two or three boots), it went on well on my Windows XP with Sp3 without a hitch except for the fact that Silverlight 3(one of the many programs in the installation package) failed to install. Yes, there was one more thing. The last message screen had a button which would take me to some documentation that failed as well. Anyway this time around the experience may be even termed pleasurable.

Here is a screen shot of the latest of the Visual Studio products.

Download Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional here.

Download Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Premium Beta 2 – Web Bootstrapper here

Download Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate Beta 2 Web Bootstrapper here

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Competition in the clouds for Microsoft - Amazon RDS

Microsoft cannot sleep comfortably. There is assault from all flanks- be it mobile, be it OS, be it the venerable Office, almost anything one can think of. Now SQL Azure has a competitor. Amazon Web Services is out with a relational database service, the Amazon RDS. It is still in beta and seems to do everything that SQL Azure will and can do: infrastructure provisioning, software maintenance, etc. What's more MySQL 5.1 database, the darling of open source gang will get stronger as it takes up center stage for Amazon RDS.
Also it is not 1GB or 10GB database, you can start up with 20GB if you want. It's going to cost money. Looks like it can range from 11c/hr to $3.10/hour depending on the size of the database you want to take to the clouds.

Sign up here for Amazon RDS

When you sign up you will be agreeing to use the following:

Amazon RDS
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
Amazon Simple Storage Service

Even if you don't use the latter two, you may have to pay for ECC since RDS uses ECC for CloudWatch Metrics.

After this you will be allowed to explore Amazon RDS

What about the tool to use to work with Amazon RDS?

You can use the MySQL tools to work with the RDS. For monitoring the usage, you use CloudWatch.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oct 2009 CodeCamp a grand success

This was my second attendance at Code Camp at DeVry in Fort Washington (Oct 17) and I found it extremely interesting.The joie de vivre was contagious and all pervasive; the attendance was massive; the tracks were plenty and plenty of tracks covering most of everything about Microsoft products. The organizers must be congratulated for their excellent work.

I attended and sampled the various talks and the impression I carry is very positive. There were tracks for the beginners as well as for those who were already adept with many years of field experience.

I attended the following talks:

In Joshua Lynn's, ‘Advanced Workflow Process in T-SQL', he discussed the subtle differences between Exec and sp_executesql; executing dynamic strings; inversion of control, DQSM etc.

Miguel Castro did an excellent job of uncovering the innards of ASP.NET in his 'Understanding ASP.NET Under the covers'. He had seriously prepared and the talk (mostly on HTTP) was very informative and detailed.

John Angelini in his 'XAML Animation' did a good job of explaining Xaml animation both using Code and Expression Studio. I wish I were nearer to the screen. The code is too crowded to see from a distance.

Tim Dodd's 'Case Study: Clouds Demystified' was very informative. This was mostly infrastructure related and would have been more interesting if a portion of the talk was spent on laying the ground work for the general audience.

Chris Rolon's 'Introduction to SQL Azure' was very informative as he described his own experience in working with this product which is still in CTP. His presentation was clear and concise.

Well, I plan to attend the Code Camp coming April and if any of you are near Philly or South Jersy, I urge you to register with

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Do you want to create a web page with Microsoft CDN?

Recently Microsoft placed javascript files that can be used to create web pages a la ASP.NET AJAX on their CDN. You can use them for free and create web pages. This article shows you how with an example and some background information. You can also access jQuery from the CDN.

Read this article [brought to you by].

Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX on M CDN

Web page on IE 8.0

Web Page on other browsers

Oct 22, 2009 Updated the link

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

EnterpriseDB ratchet up its Postgres Plus Standard Server one more rung

With the release of v8.4 today this open source database is moving ahead full steam. The new release is reported to include many new features such as,

Parallel Database Restore
Per-column permissions
Per-database collation
ANSI SQL 2003 windowing functions
Provide pre-integrated and pre-installed enterprise add-on modules
Value integrated testing of add ons
and many, many more...

Download page for Postgres Plus Standard Server 8.x is

For getting one-up on working with EnterpriseDB read my comprehensive earlier articles on this product at:

Monday, October 12, 2009

You want to chart XML Data?

You can use Microsoft's Chart Control in ASP.NET 3.5 and craft your chart with ease. The following article brought to you from Packt Publishing shows you how. You can chart both attribute-centric as well as element-centric data with this chart control. The article also shows the code you need to write to add title and configure the axes.

Microsoft Chart with XML Data

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Finally SVG in Visual Studio

I really liked SVG from the time it surfaced. Few tags are all that is needed for stunning graphics and amazing animations that can be scaled up and down. It's cute. Previously (even now, perhaps) all kinds of plug-ins were needed for visualizing, but now it appears that VS studio supports SVG files and what is more you can get even intellisense support.

According to the referenced link the author extrapolates that it would work in VS 2010. With the VS 2010 on my Windows 7 RC, it could not be repeated. However, the browser (internal as well as IE 8.0) seems to recognize the svg canvas. The intellisense also seems to work (so,so) but perhaps the SVG.xsd file may still have some cleaning up remaining.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Ground to SQL Azure Migration with SSIS

With the popularity that SQL Azure is gaining [over 2 mega hits on Google today], one of the first things you may want to do is get your hands on to the product and get some experience creating databases, creating tables, populating tables, etc. Various tools have emerged, briefly summarized here and available in detail elsewhere on the internet and the MSDN forums. One such option is to use the SQL Server BI' s Integration Services [built for the specific purpose of integrating enterprise database resources]. This article brought to you from Packt Publishing shows the details of taking a table from SQL Server 2008 to SQL Azure using the Integration Services template in Visual Studio 2008.

Slice and dice with Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts

You want to visualize your data and make business decisions using your data on the backend server, but you are not an experienced BI developer using Microsoft SQLServer's BIDS or Visual Studio. Well, you can do nearly the same thing using your Excel product. You can look up data on an ad-hoc basis using Pivot Table and Pivot Charts using Microsoft Excel. If you want to know the mechanics of doing it, read the detailed article brought to you by

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX debut on CDN

Microsoft's ASP.NET launched a new Microsoft AJAX CDN service that provides caching support for AJAX libraries (ASP.NET AJAX and jquery) recently.

Google, Yahoo and AOL have been doing the same for quite sometime. The idea of hosting these files on CDN is to distribute your javascript and css libraries on several servers around the world and serve the user with requested information from a location nearest to the user. This is the main advantage of a CDN, delivering content from a location closest to the user to reduce delay. The CDN's are a combination of software and hardware.This is mostly used for content that does not chage over time significantly. The content servers are provided by such companies as Akamai, Mirror Image Internet, Limelight etc. It was rumored that Microsoft has an interest in Limelight but it appears many more are interested.

  • Google hosts several popular ajax libraries at the Google site. These libraries hosted on Google CDN can be used for animations, easier DOM navigation, Gadgets, etc.

  • Dojo Toolkit organization hosts its javascript and style related files on the AOL CDN. If you need to use Dojo this may be easiest place to start with. These are also on Google CDN.

Read my article where I used javascript hosted on AOL CDN and the style sheets from my intranet to demo jQuery inside a DOJO accordion.

  • Yahoo's YUI (Yahoo User Interface) library hosts its Javascript and CSS on Yahoo CDN. Read more about Yahoo CDN here..

Friday, October 02, 2009

Mahatma Gandhi - Champion of the under dogs

To day is the day we should remember Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948). He was the root cause for India coming out of the occupation by the  British Empire and find itself once again as one nation under the sun. He was a straight shooter and did not mince  words. He has to his credit many quotes, the one I like is this,

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

India has entered a new era of prosperity but we should always keep in mind how Gandhi overcame the odds against him, and the nation. We should remember that he did it in a manner that is gentlemanly,  unique and original.

Read his autobiography on

Read my Cold Fusion articles

Not the low-temperature nuclear fusion articles but the down to earth Adobe's Cold Fusion. Presently it is version 9.0 but the articles I wrote a couple of years ago are still useful. In fact I am planning to revisit Cold Fusion 9 to savor the enhancements.

I hear there is even a <cfspreadsheet> tag to interact with all kinds of data. This and the <cfchart> tag should be a very interesting combination. To get the latest on Cold Fusion and find out what's new read this article by Ben Forta.

In the mean time brush up your skill set reveiwing the following articles.

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