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IUpdateable has moved to ericnelson.wordpress.com Please visit http://ericnelson.wordpress.com UK
Reminder that this blog has moved and check out www.sixweeksofazure.co.uk
Just a gentle reminder that this blog has moved to http://ericnelson.wordpress... (as I still get folks contacting me via here) and a shout out for a great initiative (probably!) I’m pulling together to offer six weeks of FREE technical and commercial help to UK companies to explore the Windows Azure Platform starting in Jan 2012. Check out http://www.sixweeksofazure.... ......

Posted On Friday, November 4, 2011 9:21 AM

Agile Development and Testing Breakfast Sessions in Birmingham Manchester Dublin London in May and June
My colleague Giles is speaking at a series of breakfast meetings on Using Tooling to drive Agility across the Development Lifecycle. This session is one of several during an 8:40 to 10:30 “elongated” breakfast :-). The sessions are free and hopefully one is taking place near you: Birmingham, 11 May, Regus, Brindley Place, Birmingham, B1 2JB Manchester, 13 May, Regus, Peter House, Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 5AN Dublin, 22 June, SQS offices London, 30 June, 7-11 Moorgate, London, EC2R 6AF Giles ......

Posted On Thursday, May 5, 2011 5:10 PM

Fancy a job in the Microsoft UK ISV technical team?
If you are: a senior technologist (Application Architect, Senior Developer or similar) with strong experience in developing solutions using the Windows platform (Visual Studio, SQL Server, IIS etc) fancy working for Microsoft UK and are not put off by these pictures of my team (and it is before 1st May 2011) then I would highly recommend you check out the job posting for two positions as Architect Evangelists in my team. My personal ideal “new colleague” would also: Enjoy online FPS gaming and be ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 27, 2011 3:39 PM

Two UK centric LinkedIn discussion groups you really should join
If you are: Involved in developing software products (aka an Independent Software Vendor) or Considering a “move to the cloud” or both! Then you should consider joining one or both of these Microsoft UK created LinkedIn groups intended to foster discussion amongst your peers in the industry. Both groups are fairly new but growing and there is already some great discussion happening on them. UKISVDEV - Developers, Software Architects and CTOs in UK ISVs This group is for UK based developers, software ......

Posted On Thursday, April 14, 2011 10:32 AM

UK hosted Twitter Q&A on Cloud–12pm to 1pm on Friday 15th April

[These days I’m mainly active on my teams blog – but I will highlight the best over here]

Tomorrow there is a Twitter Q&A session from 12pm-1pm. A team of Microsoft experts (alas minus me as I'm on holiday) will be taking over the UK TechNet Twitter handle @ASKTechNetUK to answer your queries. More info on the team blog.

Posted On Thursday, April 14, 2011 10:21 AM

Upcoming FREE UK events and training in March for the Windows Azure Platform
I just summarised them on my team blog. Definitely worth checking out as there is a good mix to choose from! March 31st should be the best of the best (IMVHO) ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 9, 2011 10:00 AM

FREE Three Days of online SharePoint 2010 Developer Training March 14th to 16th
Over on my team blog I just posted another great opportunity. If you are UK based and work for a company that creates software products and want to dig into SharePoint 2010 development for FREE with a great UK based SME (subject matter expert) then register today. The training is 100% free and you don’t need to leave the comfort of your office/house/starbucks (other coffee shops with wifi do exist) – yet you still get to ask plenty of questions ......

Posted On Thursday, February 10, 2011 11:16 AM

Making the most of next weeks SharePoint 2010 developer training
[you can still register if you are free on the afternoons of 9th to 11th – UK time] We have 50+ registrations with more coming in – which is fantastic. Please read on to make the most of the training. Background We have structured the training to make sure that you can still learn lots during the three days even if you do not have SharePoint 2010 installed. Additionally the course is based around a subset of the channel 9 training to allow you to easily dig deeper or look again at specific areas. ......

Posted On Thursday, February 3, 2011 10:22 AM

The king is dead, long live the king–Cloud Evening 15th Feb in London
Advert alert :-) The UK's only Cloud user group The Cloud is the hot topic. You can’t escape hearing about it everywhere you go. Cloud Evening is the UK’s only cloud-focussed user group. Cloud Evening replaces UKAzureNet, with a new objective to cover all aspects of Cloud Computing, across all platforms, technologies and providers. We want to create a community for developers and architects to come together, learn, share stories and share experiences. Each event we’ll bring you two speakers talking ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 2, 2011 1:59 PM

Save the dates – Tech.Days 2011 23rd to 25th of May in London
In May Microsoft UK (and specifically my group) will be delivering Tech.Days – a week of day long technical events plus evening activities. We will be covering Windows Phone 7, Silverlight, IE 9, Windows Azure Platform and more. I’m working right now on the details of what we will be covering around the Windows Azure Platform – and it is shaping up very nicely. There is a little more detail over on TechNet – but for the moment, keep the dates clear if you can. P.S. I think the above is called a “teaser” ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 2, 2011 1:49 PM

Announcing a brand new LinkedIn group for UK based ISVs – join today
If you are developer, software architect or chief technology officer in the UK and work for a company that develops software products (which we often call ISVs) and use Microsoft technologies in your products and would like to be better connected with your peers and the Microsoft UK ISV technical team then please pop over to LinkedIn and check out the new group we have created. (NB: You will need to register on LinkedIn if you haven’t already done so). You can go direct to the group or just type ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 25, 2011 10:32 AM

99 technical resources for developers and architects inside ISVs

Over on my team blog I just posted the first cut of “99 technical resources for developers and architects inside ISVs”.

Whilst some of the content is ISV specific and/or UK specific, its still probably of more general interest.

Check it out.

Posted On Friday, January 14, 2011 4:26 PM

Free Windows Azure training in Reading, UK on the 25th of May for partners
The 6 weeks of Windows Azure training is full (500 registration in around a week) but it turns out we have a few places free on the 25th if you can make it to Reading. 14 places when I last checked (today, 5th May). Register now if you can make it. Workshop Outline Module 1: Windows Azure Platform overview Module 2: Introduction to Windows Azure Module 3: Building services using Windows Azure Module 4: Windows Azure storage Module 5: Building applications using SQL Azure Module 6: Introduction to ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 5, 2010 9:27 PM

FREE Windows Azure Platform Compute and Storage through the Cloud Essentials Pack for Partners
It can be difficult to find something to look forward to in January – but this year it was a little easier as a) I got lots of great Xbox 360 games and b) the Windows Azure Platform element of the Cloud Essentials Pack for Microsoft Partner Network partners went live. I have previously explained what the Cloud Essentials Pack is and how you can access – but at the time I couldn’t share the details of the Windows Azure Platform element. The Windows Azure Platform element is now available. It gives ......

Posted On Friday, January 14, 2011 3:50 PM

FREE three days of online SharePoint 2010 development training for UK software houses Feb 9th to 11th
I have been working to get a SharePoint development course delivered online in February and March – online means lots of opportunities to ask questions. The first dates are now in place. The training is being delivered as a benefit for companies signed up to Microsoft Platform Ready. It is intended for UK based companies who develop software products* Agenda: Day 1 (Live Meeting 3 hours) 1:30 - 4:30 • Getting Started with SharePoint: Understand why and how to start developing for SharePoint 2010 ......

Posted On Friday, January 14, 2011 3:17 PM

Merry Christmas everyone
I would like to wish anyone and everyone who visits this blog (even the spammer) or who I have had the pleasure to work with in 2010 (or for that matter 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006… 1996) A very Merry Christmas and a fun and healthy New Year Picture brought to you by Bob Cratchett - alias colleague, friend and inspiration Andrew Fryer ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 21, 2010 9:48 AM

Slides and links from ISV Windows Azure briefing on the 13th Dec 2010
A big thank you to everyone who attended yesterdays “informal” briefing on the Windows Azure Platform. There were lots of great discussions during the day and I know we al certainly enjoyed it. This post contains (ultimately) the slides and links from yesterday. Slides: Davids on Windows Azure all up Eric on SQL Azure (which fyi is hosted on Windows Azure Blob Storage) Links and Notes Start following the UK ISV technical team (our blog and twitter accounts) http://bit.ly/firststopuk Sign up to Microsoft ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 14, 2010 11:39 AM

Register now for the FREE Tech Days Online Conference January 20th
The perfect solution to the “January blues” is a good solid few hours learning about great technology. The 'Build an app for that' Online Conference is exactly that, featuring demo-rich sessions on building applications for the browser, Windows 7, and Windows Phone 7. There are three tracks letting you choose which sessions are most relevant to you - whether you're just considering client development with Silverlight, or you've already got stuck in to an advanced project. We'll also explore new form ......

Posted On Thursday, December 9, 2010 1:27 PM

FREE technical update event on Windows Azure, SQL Server 2008 R2, Windows Phone 7 and more on the 25th Nov
Just a brief reminder that if your company makes commercial software (in other words, you don’t just develop it for your own employees use) then you should check out the FREE technical event my team is putting on next Thursday (25th Nov 2010). We also with have an Xbox 360 with Kinect to give away plus free books and other goodies. I’m currently looking after the Xbox and have so far resisted peaking in… but I make no promises! :-) Note that we have gone for zero breaks with the intention of making ......

Posted On Thursday, November 18, 2010 2:25 PM

Microsoft Platform Ready booth at TechEd Europe – and a FREE book
Next week (8th to 12th Nov 2010) at TechEd in Berlin there will be lots of great sessions, lots of superb labs, lots of fascinating BOFs and lots of booths – including the awesome and hugely exciting Microsoft Platform Ready booth. I will be linking up with colleagues from across Europe and the USA to make sure we can get the message around the excellent benefits of the Microsoft Platform Ready to as many ISVs* as we can during the week – plus give away some great prizes. If you are attending TechEd ......

Posted On Friday, November 5, 2010 10:08 AM

FREE Technical Update Event for UK Independent Software Vendors, 25th Nov in Reading
My team is pulling together a great afternoon on the 25th of this month to help UK ISVs get up to speed on the latest technologies from Microsoft and explore their impact on product roadmaps. The session is intended for technical decision makers including senior developers and architects. Technologies such as the Windows Azure Platform, SQL Server 2008, Windows Phone 7, SharePoint 2010 and Internet Explorer 9.0 will be represented. Check out the agenda and register before all the seats vanish ......

Posted On Monday, November 1, 2010 1:36 PM

FREE workshop on using Bing Maps with SQL Server and SharePoint on November 2nd in Reading

It is surprisingly easy to visualize your data with Bing Maps – once you have the right knowledge. We have a great training opportunity coming up in November to give you that knowledge. Find out more on my teams ISV blog.

Posted On Thursday, October 21, 2010 11:31 AM

45minute video on introduction to Windows Azure and running Ruby on Rails in the cloud
Last week I presented at Cloud and Grid Exchange 2010. I did an introduction to Windows Azure and a demo of Ruby on Rails running on Azure. My slides and links can be found here – but just spotted that the excellent Skills Matter folks have already published the video. Watch the video at http://skillsmatter.com/pod... P.S. I really need to shed a few pounds ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 27, 2010 10:11 AM

Being Agile with Visual Studio 2010 training from Ivar Jacobson International March 18th
A colleague just pointed me at something a little different. Ivar Jacobson International are delivering their first training using Visual Studio 2010 in Reading next month (March 18th and 19th, 2010). I found this particularly interesting because of some “history” I have with Ivar Jacobson. I hosted a dinner table with him at an evening event of a large Microsoft UK conference a few years back. It sticks in my mind as whilst Ivar was interesting to talk to, he was also pretty negative towards a lot ......

Posted On Monday, February 8, 2010 9:30 AM

Slides and Links for Windows Azure Platform session at Software Architect 2010
Today (20th Oct 2010) I delivered a 90min session to architect on the Windows Azure Platform. Are you an ISV? ISV = Independent Software Vendors - that is you write some kind of product that you sell to more than one customer. My new team is all about helping ISVs and we have a team blog and brand new twitter account which I will increasingly be found on. If you are an ISV, please fave the blog and follow the twitter account. And if you are an ISV please keep an eye on (and sign up to) http://bit.ly/ukmprhome, ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 20, 2010 9:52 AM

First UK Online Tech Days is this Friday – three free tracks of Windows Azure Platform goodness
[Updated 8th Feb with the three LM 2007 room links – enjoy] meet:sip:splank@microsoft.c... meet:sip:splank@microsoft.c... meet:sip:splank@microsoft.c... For many developers Friday is about a beer with colleagues over lunch or maybe leaving that little bit earlier to ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 6, 2010 1:30 PM

Slide and Links and next steps for Lap around the Windows Azure Platform session at UK Tech Days
Yesterday (5th Oct 2010) I delivered a short (45mins) session on the Windows Azure Platform. Big thanks to all who made it to the far side of beyond in London to attend the afternoon session. I think the event turned out rather well with my old team doing a top job as always – ably supported by our CEO Steve Ballmer doing the keynote :-). For folks wondering, Martin Beeby (IE9) is one of the two chaps that took my old role when I moved to the ISV team in August. Are you an ISV? Speaking of ISVs (Independent ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 6, 2010 9:45 AM

Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 Launch Date is Monday 12th April

Which is fantastic news. I’m really looking forward to it especially as the UK team are planning to put on a great week for UK developers with the help of the fantastic UK community. More details to follow (just keep an eye out for #uktechdays on twitter!)

Check out the UK Visual Studio 2010 page.

P.S. That is a launch date not an RTM date.

Posted On Thursday, January 14, 2010 1:05 PM

Step by Step sign up for the MSDN Subscriber offer for the Windows Azure Platform
You can learn the Windows Azure Platform and develop against it locally on your own machine using only the SDK and a copy of Visual Studio (details here) – but at some point you will want to deploy your application to the cloud and understand how it is managed etc. At which point this offer may be just what you need. Windows Azure Platform Benefits for MSDN Subscribers If you are an MSDN Subscriber then you have free hours/storage etc for Azure – once you activate your benefit. MSDN Subscribers can ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 13, 2010 5:21 PM

Step by Step sign up for the 25 hour free Windows Azure Platform Introductory Special
You can learn the Windows Azure Platform and develop against it locally on your own machine using only the SDK and a copy of Visual Studio (details here) – but at some point you will want to deploy your application to the cloud and understand how it is managed etc. At which point this offer may be just what you need. Windows Azure Platform introductory special offer: This allows anyone to try the Windows Azure Platform at “no charge”. The offer will end on July 31st 2010. Included each month at no ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 13, 2010 3:39 PM

Slides and Links for Windows Azure Platform Best Practices for DevCon London
Yesterday (28th Sep 2010) I delivered a short (50mins) new session on best practices for the Windows Azure Platform. Big thanks to all who attended – I think we had fun I will expand this post with some additional links when I have a little more time but I wanted to get the main bits in place – oh, and download the free ebook. Slides Windows Azure Platform best practices by ericnel View more presentations from Eric Nelson. Links For more resources and information http://bit.ly/startazure If you are ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 29, 2010 10:56 AM

Windows Azure Platform Online Conference has moved to 8th Oct from 20th Sep

Public service announcement :-)

This online conference has now moved to 8th Oct. Steve explains why along with an updated agenda.

Posted On Tuesday, September 14, 2010 5:29 PM

TRAINING: “Hardcore Entity Framework” in London with Julie Lerman, 22nd October
Entity Framework 4.0 (EF4) it the strategic .NET ORM from Microsoft. Hmm…. the “strategic” word. I will come back to that. However the important bit of news is we have Julie Lerman at Microsoft in London on the 22nd October devoting a full day to training on “Hard Core Entity Framework 4”. It’s a rare visit so if you’re interested in learning about the data stack from a recognised world-wide authority and author on the topic then register now (£300). Now back to that word “strategic”. As developers ......

Posted On Friday, September 10, 2010 12:17 PM

SyncToBlog #14 Just a little more on cloud
Just a few randoms on cloud I bumped into: Blogger Jeremy Geelan has come up with the Top 250 Players in the Cloud Computing Ecosystem and the Top 50 Bloggers on Cloud Computing. Windows Azure Security Whitepaper is live The paper provides a technical examination of the security functionality available from both the customer's and Microsoft operations' perspectives, the people and processes that help make Windows Azure more secure, as well as a brief discussion about compliance New version of Access ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 7, 2010 2:52 PM

Two days of classroom based training in London on the Windows Azure Platform for £100 (Sep through April)
I just posted details of 2 weeks of FREE training in October delivered via Live Meeting but we also recognise that some folks prefer classroom based training. Hence we have scheduled four two day workshops from September through to April. This two-day intensive instructor-led workshop provides delegates with an early opportunity to gain insight into the nature and benefits of the Windows Azure Platform. Delivered through workshop style presentations and hands-on lab exercises, the workshop will focus ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 7, 2010 9:35 AM

FREE 2 Weeks of Windows Azure Platform training delivered online – 11th to 25th October
Back in May and June I jointly run a highly successful (IMVHO) training programme on the Windows Azure Platform over a six week period for UK developers (Check out some stats/background). We have been discussing how we can take that format forward and I am pleased to say we have our first “spin off”. Namely the “Windows Azure Platform – Accelerated Virtual Training Workshop” which will take place in October. Yippeee. The training will be delivered over a two week period and combines instructor led ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 7, 2010 9:16 AM

Update on the Windows Azure Platform online conference on the 20th of September
UPDATE on 14th SEP: Steve has had to move this to Oct 8th At the start of August I made a call for speakers for a multi track online conference on the Windows Azure Platform (which resulted in a great bunch of speakers stepping forward!). However at the end of August I changed job and I am no longer pulling this conference together – that role falls on the shoulders of my replacement Steve (actually I was replaced with Steve and Martin – I always knew I was worth two evangelists if only in weight!) ......

Posted On Friday, September 3, 2010 10:52 AM

I’m back from a couple of weeks holiday… and I am starting a new job
[This email uses the word fab too many times] I am just back from a fab “two centre holiday”. First up was Cumbria, mainly the fells rather than the lakes. Absolutely beautiful. Rained every day :-) Next up was the North York Moors. Absolutely beautiful. Rained every day :-) Definitely recommend the format – although maybe with less rain :-) Which brings me to my change of job which started this week (Aug 2010). The last two years were fab Back in July 2008 I switched from being an ISV Architect ......

Posted On Friday, August 20, 2010 10:05 AM

Free mini-SPA event, Sept 10th London
I adore the annual BCS SPA conference but unfortunately missed the last two years. One of the things they do is rerun for free a mini-SPA of some of the best sessions. I would definitely recommend popping along especially if you are London based. Details and how to register ......

Posted On Friday, August 20, 2010 9:22 AM

Real World Entity Framework 4.0 and ASP.NET 4.0: Interview with Howard Baines
One of my colleagues pointed me at Howard Baines as a recent example of a web consultancy already using Visual Studio 2010 and Entity Framework 4.0 to build web applications. I managed to grab a little time with co-founder Clive Howard (on twitter) to talk through some of the decisions, especially as I was intrigued to learn that they started out on Open Source Software including Ruby on Rails before switching to the .NET Framework. We discuss: Why switch to the .NET Framework? Entity Framework 4.0 ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 4, 2010 1:45 PM

Maybe see you at DDD South West this Saturday 23rd May
In my “work role” I often speak at events/conferences but I rarely get to just be an attendee soaking up the information from other speakers. This Saturday is the latter though. I am heading down to Taunton (a little over an hour for me) to attend http://www.dddsouthwest.com/. I do have an “official role” of sorts – I am the “room counter”. Which means you should easily spot me. I will be the one with my socks off using fingers and toes to get a tally of the folks attending each session. Now back ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:21 AM

Call for speakers for UK Windows Azure Platform online conference on 20th of September
I have decided to try and put together a top notch online conference delivered predominantly via UK based speakers, inspired by the very enjoyable and useful community driven MVC Conference http://mvcconf.com/ (see my write up) What I need now is top notch session proposals from folks who know what they are talking about and ideally are UK based. Which means – you! Possibly :-) The plan is: The conference will take place 10am to 5pm UK time, delivered using Live Meeting and recorded for on-demand ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 4, 2010 11:46 AM

Meet the Fockers – I mean, my team
My boss Marc posted a summary of my team – or in his words “a round up of where our crack team of highly-visible ninjas will be concentrating their efforts on your behalf”. In total we are now eight. Ok, nine if you count Marc. Although IMHO seven is a much nicer number but I digress (thankfully I finally no longer associate the number 7 with the movie Se7en – it has taken a while but the recent run of Magnificent Seven movies has helped!). I have a change of focus as we enter a new Microsoft FY. ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:30 PM

Professional Scrum Developer (.NET) Training in London 26th to 30th July
This looks rather fun (Thanks to Martin for prodding me about it). Adam Cogan and Martin Hinselwood will be presenting the first Professional Scrum Developer course in the UK next month. The folks attending will be split into teams and go head-to-head to deliver units of potentially shippable work in four two hour sprints. Which to me just sounds like huge fun! And… it makes use of Visual Studio 2010. Martin has posted more details over on his blog ......

Posted On Monday, June 28, 2010 5:33 PM

6 Weeks of Windows Azure comes to and end – and some stats to ponder on
On Monday (21st June) we had our last Live Meeting for the 6 weeks of Windows Azure training virtual training we have been running out of Microsoft UK. Monday pretty much hit the mark of what we were after for the final day – good technical content mixed with a fair old sprinkling of fun. As a reminder, Adrian lost 3-1 in the “Students vs the SME” homework battle. Admittedly I was determine to make sure Adrian lost :-) This may sound a little corny, but I did want to thank all those who took part ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 22, 2010 9:55 AM

Inaugural Financial Services Microsoft Architects/Senior Developer Community meeting, London July 1st
A new community has popped onto my radar, created and delivered by James Burns, a top chap I have known for many, many years. The aim of the community is to foster dialogue between Architects and Senior Developers across Financial Services in the UK. The format of the first event is a mix of short high level presentations on hot topics that we hear across Financial Services and networking with a few drinks and canapés. It is free to attend for all Architects and Senior Developers. If you wish to ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 22, 2010 9:09 AM

Great opportunity to try Windows Azure over the next 7 days if you are a UK developer – act today
Are you a UK based developer who has been put off from trying out the Windows Azure Platform? Were you concerned that you needed to hand over credit card details even to use the introductory offer? Or concerned about how many charges you might run up as you played with “elastic computing”. Then we might have just what you need. 7 Days of access to the Windows Azure Platform – for FREE (expires June 6th 2010) If you are accepted, you will be given a Windows Azure Platfom subscription that will enable ......

Posted On Friday, May 28, 2010 9:39 AM

Great User Group if based near Gloucester + Links from Entity Framework 4.0 session
I had a really fun evening doing “my final” EF 4.0 session last night (26th May 2010) at GL.NET based out of Gloucester (although secretly I made it into a IronRuby and Windows Azure session). They are a great crowd and Jimmy makes for a fantastic host + it is a very nice venue (Symantec offices in Gloucester, lots of parking, good room etc) + free pizza + free SWAG + trip to pub afterwards (the topics were very varied!). What more could you ask for? The next session is June 16th and will be on multi-tenanted ......

Posted On Thursday, May 27, 2010 10:46 AM

Conversation with David Chappell on Windows Azure and Cloud Computing
My colleague David spent some time with David Chappell recently and recorded a short interview which is now available on Channel 9. Watch now on Channel 9. They cover off: IaaS vs PaaS Private vs Public Cloud Applications that are not a great fit for Windows Azure and those which are. The threat of Public Cloud to IT departments Not bad for 10minutes :-) ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 25, 2010 4:16 PM

New London based .NET User Group – first meeting June 2nd on MEF
A new .NET User Group is starting up in Canary Wharf - CWDNUG. It plans to focus on technology for financial services such as: WPF & Silverlight. F# & other alternative languages. High volume systems & complex event processing. Agile tools, methodologies and experiences. Open source systems that you can use (or that need your help!). Upcoming releases from Microsoft (WP7, VS2010, TPL). The first meeting is on June 2nd and Marlon (WPF MVP) will be speaking about MEF. Register today as ......

Posted On Thursday, May 20, 2010 9:27 AM

Slides and links for Looking at the Clouds through Dirty Windows :-)
Tomorrow (Friday 23/4/2010) I am delivering a session at the Cloud Grid Exchange in London at SkillsMatter (A top training company and superb supporter of development communities). To be perfectly honest – I’m more interested in attending than presenting as the sessions and speaker line up look great. But in the middle of all that I will be doing the following (rather cheekily named) session: Looking at the Clouds through dirty Windows Many developers assume that the Microsoft Windows Azure Platform ......

Posted On Thursday, April 22, 2010 4:06 PM

Register now for the FREE UK Windows Azure Self-paced Interactive Learning Course starting May 10th
[Suggested twitter tag #selfpacedazure] We (myself and David Gristwood) have been working in the UK to create a fantastic opportunity to get yourself up to speed on the Windows Azure Platform over a 6 week period starting May 10th – without ever needing to leave the comfort of your home/office. The course is derived from the internal training Microsoft gives on Azure which is both fun and challenging in equal parts – and we felt was just too good to keep to ourselves! We will be releasing more details ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 20, 2010 8:01 AM

Open Source on .NET evening at UK Tech Days April 14th #uktechdays
That fine chap http://twitter.com/serialseb is pulling together an interesting evening of fun on the Wednesday in London and I for one will definitely be there. Lots of goodness to learn about. If you are a .NET developer who still isn’t looking at Open Source, then the 14th is a great opportunity to see what you are missing out on. Current program: OpenRasta - A web application framework for .net An introduction to IoC with Castle Windsor FluentValidation, doing your validation in code CouchDB, ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 30, 2010 5:32 PM

Slides and Links from SQL Azure session at BizSpark Azure Day in London
A big thanks to all who attended my two sessions on SQL Azure yesterday (29th March 2010). As promised, my slides and links from the session. SQL Azure Overview for Bizspark day View more presentations from Eric Nelson. Related Links: UK Azure Online Community – join today. UK Windows Azure Site Start working with Windows Azure SQL Azure maximum database size rises from 10GB to 50GB in June TCO and ROI calculator for Windows Azure SQL Azure Migration Wizard ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 30, 2010 11:44 AM

FREE Windows Azure evening in London on April 15th including FREE access to Windows Azure
[Did I overdo the use of FREE in the title? :-)] April 12th to 16th is Microsoft Tech Days – 5 days of sessions on Visual Studio 2010 through to Windows Phone 7 Series. Many of these days are now full (Tip - Thursday still has room if rich client applications is your thing) but the good news is the development community in the UK has pulled together an awesome series of “fringe events” during April in London and elsewhere in the UK. There are sessions on Silverlight, SQL Server 2008 R2, Sharepoint ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 24, 2010 9:21 AM

Free Windows Azure event next Monday in London (29th March)
I just heard that we still have spaces for this event happening next week (29th March 2010). Whilst the event is designed for start-ups, I’m sure nobody would notice if you snuck in :-) Just keep it to yourself ;-) Register using invitation code: 79F2AB. Hope to see you there. The agenda is looking pretty swish: 09:00 – 09:30 Registration 09:30 - 10:15 Keynote ‘I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now....’– John Taysom, Active Seed Investor 10:15 - 10:45 The Microsoft Vision for Cloud Computing ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 23, 2010 2:14 PM

Rob Blackwell on interoperability and Azure
At QCon in March we had a sample Azure application implemented in both Java and Ruby to demonstrate that the Windows Azure Platform is not just about .NET. The following is an interesting interview with Rob Blackwell, the R&D director of the partner who implemented the application. UK Interoperability Team Interviews Rob Blackwell, R&D Director at Active Web Solutions. Is Microsoft taking interoperability seriously? Yes. In the past, I think Microsoft has, quite rightly come in for criticism, ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 23, 2010 1:28 PM

Live examples of the Windows Azure Platform running Java and Ruby on Rails
At QCon in March we had a booth focused on interoperability out of which came the idea to create an application implemented in both Java and Ruby on Rails, running on top of the Windows Azure Platform. Nothing fancy, just an application to capture attendees view on Microsoft and Interoperability. It was implemented by Active Web Solutions, long time fans of Azure. Wroth a quick squint :-) Check out the related links below for info to get you up and running. Check out The Java version http://ukinterop.cloudapp.net/ ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 23, 2010 1:25 PM

Slides and links from Cloud Computing Congress session on Windows Azure Platform
On Tuesday (16th March 2010) I presented on Azure to a none technical audience at the Cloud Computing Congress. Great audience, lots of folks, lots of questions during and after – although it did feel odd to do a session with no code :-) Lots of people asked me for my slide deck – which is a 30minute none technical overview. Windows Azure In 30mins for none technical audience View more presentations from ericnelson. Or skydrive: or download link. Related Links: Steve Ballmer on Cloud Computing – ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 17, 2010 2:43 PM

Getting PhP and Ruby working on Windows Azure and SQL Azure
When Windows Azure was first released in 2008 the only programming languages you could use were .NET languages such as Visual Basic and C# and the applications you built had to run in Partial Trust (Similar to ASP.NET Medium Trust). In the interim we have made a number of changes including allowing applications to run in full trust, native code is now supported (no longer had to be managed code such as C#) and we support FastCGI applications. Which means: Windows Azure supports the Internet Information ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 2, 2010 7:41 PM

Guest Post: What's IronRuby, and how do I put it on Rails?
[UPDATED 10th March 2010: Edd produced a 2nd post on using IronRuby with WPF/.NET ] [You might want to also read other GuestPosts on my blog – or contribute one?] On the 26th and 27th of March (2010) myself and Edd Morgan of Microsoft will be popping along to the Scottish Ruby Conference. I dabble with Ruby and I am a huge fan whilst Edd is a “proper Ruby developer”. Hence I asked Edd if he was interested in creating a guest post for my blog on IronRuby. If you should stumble across this post and ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 2, 2010 11:15 AM

Open Space Code day on Azure in Birmingham was great fun – thanks all
On Saturday 35(ish) developers met up on rainy day in Birmingham to take part in an Open Space Code day on the Windows Azure Platform. Around 5 of us had experience of Open Space meetings or developing for Azure prior to the day – and I think only two of us had experience of both :-) As I was on point to keynote the day and make sure it was a success, I did turn up with a few concerns matched by a good deal of excitement. My primary concern was that people would expect to be trained – and the Open ......

Posted On Monday, March 1, 2010 4:18 PM

Open Space Technology meets code
I’m not 100% sure who first came up with idea of an Open Space Coding Day – but I first heard about it from Alan Dean back in mid 2009 and I‘m working on the assumption it was his idea. It is a good idea. Thank you Alan. On Saturday (27th Feb 2009) I was lucky enough to help deliver one. The day was themed on Azure but otherwise followed a fairly standard Open Space format. For the vast majority of folks present it was their first exposure to an Open Space format event. Wikipedia summarises the format ......

Posted On Monday, March 1, 2010 4:15 PM

Links from .NET Developer Network session on Azure
A big thanks to everyone who came along last night (Feb 25th 2010) to the .NET Developer Network and to Guy for inviting me along and being a great host. I had lots of fun and enjoyed it being so interactive. As promised, some links relevant to the conversations during the evening and the many questions. I will also do a post on Monday summarising the many “limits” we discussed on instances, roles etc: New Windows Azure Platform online community in the UK – ning hosted community site for UK fans ......

Posted On Friday, February 26, 2010 2:52 PM

Jesse Liberty Silverlight Tour of the UK and Ireland in April
I was presenting at the excellent .NET Developer Network in Bristol last night run by the awesome Guy Smith-Ferrier. Guy reminded me of this awesome news which needs broadcasting widely – Jesse Liberty is in town in April. Sweet. Stolen directly from Guys post: “Jesse Liberty, Silverlight Geek (Microsoft US Developer Evangelist for Silverlight), is doing a tour of the UK and Ireland in April to coincide with Microsoft UK's week of TechDays (#techdays) events. Jesse is speaking at Bristol, London, ......

Posted On Friday, February 26, 2010 9:44 AM

In person events Feb through April 2010
Just a brief note about events where you can expect to see me over the next few months in the UK (and TBH this post will be helpful reminder to me!) February DotNetDevNet - Thursday 25th February 2010 – talking Windows Azure and SQL Azure Azure Open Space Coding Day Feb 27th – coding on Azure March Qcon London 2010 March 11th – manning the Interop stand CloudCamp London March 11th – just being nice to people :) Cloud Computing Congress March 16th – talking on Azure DevWeek March 17th and 18th – talking ......

Posted On Monday, February 22, 2010 3:49 PM

FREE Microsoft UK Tech Days April 12th to 16th in London, including Windows Phone 7
While I was on holiday last week we announced Tech Days. Tech Days is shaping up to be something rather good. It is a week-long series of free events run by Microsoft and technical communities to “Celebrate and inspire developers, IT professionals and IT Managers to get more from Microsoft technology” You can attend for 1 day or all 5 days. You can just attend the developer days or mix it up with the IT Pro days. It is entirely up to you. I will be doing my bit delivering sessions on Azure, Entity ......

Posted On Monday, February 22, 2010 3:16 PM

Slides and links from Entity Framework 4 session
On Monday 15th Feb 2010 I gave an overview session on Entity Framework 4 for the Developers Group. A big thanks to those who attended and asked great questions. My slide deck from the session: Entity Framework 4 In Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 View more presentations from ericnelson. A related set of screenshots from the demos I gave (or at least, a similar set of demos I did in Oct 2009): Dev305 Entity Framework 4 Emergency Slides View more presentations from ericnelson. Related Links: 101 EF4 Resources ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 16, 2010 1:21 PM

UK MSDN Flash Podcast made it onto Zune.net
Great to see the MSDN Flash Podcast I host has made it onto Zune.net – even if I can’t access it myself as I’m in the UK :-( However a US colleague pinged me about it and sent me the following. Looks rather grand :-) The latest episode was on Azure – and I’m thinking about spinning off a second podcast show just on Azure. Related Links: UK Azure Online Community – join today. UK Windows Azure Site Start working with Windows Azure ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 16, 2010 11:20 AM

MSDN Flash Podcast 020 – David Gristwood and AWS talk Azure
On January 1st I switched focus to 100% Azure. My friend and colleague David Gristwood has been firmly focused on Azure through 2009 working with early adopters. We decided to record a podcast talking about what we are up to and how Microsoft UK has been helping early adopters using deep dive labs, workshops and training. We also have a stab at describing the Windows Azure Platform in 1 minute (I hopelessly overrun by 100%) and we finish with an interview between David and Active Web Solutions (AWS). ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 9, 2010 10:38 AM

Try Windows Azure in February and Win for the UK!
[Advert: Interested in Azure? Based in the UK? Be amongst friends -> http://ukazure.ning.com/] I just stumbled upon some work by my US colleagues and CodeProject to create a competition around deploying applications on the Windows Azure Platform. Looks to me like it is open to UK developers – hence I would encourage you to have a shot at winning and bringing the prizes back to Blighty. Give Windows® Azure a try in February and you could win an HP TouchSmart laptop (approximately $1000 USD value) ......

Posted On Monday, February 8, 2010 12:55 PM

Part 3: What are your plans for using the Windows Azure Platform?
On January 7th 2010 I kicked off a survey on Cloud Computing and the Windows Azure Platform (Now closed). I promised to share the results which I will do over four posts. This is the third of those four. Part 1: Is Cloud relevant? Part 2: How well do you know the technologies of Microsoft, Amazon, Google and SalesForce? Part 3: What are your plans for using the Windows Azure Platform? Part 4: My analysis Which of these Windows Azure Platform technologies have you already evaluated or plan to evaluate ......

Posted On Thursday, February 4, 2010 2:30 PM

Free UK Azure Training Workshops in Reading and Edinburgh in February
As part of Microsoft UKs Azure Awareness Week in February (2010) we have three training workshops for partners taking place. I have added them over on the new Fans of UK Azure community site. Don’t delay – I expect the places to vanish quickly! February 23 Tuesday Reading Free One day Accelerated Training Workshop for Partners February 24 Wednesday Reading Free One day Accelerated Training Workshop for Partners February 25 Thursday Edinburgh Free One day Accelerated Training Workshop for Partners ......

Posted On Thursday, February 4, 2010 10:28 AM

Q&A: What are the UK prices for the Windows Azure Platform
Lots of folks keep asking me for UK prices and to be fair it does take a little work to find them (You need to start here and bring up this pop up) Hence for simplicity, I have copied them here (as of Jan 29th 2010). Note that there are several rates available. The following is “Windows Azure Platform Consumption” Windows Azure Compute Small instance (default): £0.0728 per hour Medium instance: £0.1455 per hour Large instance: £0.291 per hour Extra large instance: £0.5819 per hour Storage £0.091 ......

Posted On Friday, January 29, 2010 10:03 AM

Part 2: How well do you know the technologies of Microsoft, Amazon, Google and SalesForce?
On January 7th 2010 I kicked off a survey on Cloud Computing and the Windows Azure Platform (Now closed). I promised to share the results which I will do over four posts. This is the second of those four. Part 1: Is Cloud relevant? Part 2: How well do you know the technologies of Microsoft, Amazon, Google and SalesForce? Part 3: What are your plans for using the Windows Azure Platform? Part 4: My analysis How well do you understand each of the following Cloud Services? How relevant do you think each ......

Posted On Thursday, January 28, 2010 4:00 PM

New Windows Azure Platform online community in the UK
There is a really strong interest in Cloud Computing and Azure in the UK – but it doesn’t appear to be supported by an online community. Well, at least I couldn’t find an active community. Hence I decided to go and create one. Or at least create the skeleton of one: http://ukazure.ning.com/ Right now you can: Give a “Shout out” to what you are up to with Azure. I’m certain folks would like to know. Watch UK produced videos on Azure including interviews with early adopters Check out upcoming UK events ......

Posted On Monday, January 25, 2010 4:41 PM

Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4 book available and it is from a UK author
Many, many months back UK based Alex Mackey (Australia now has him) mentioned that he was starting work on a book about Visual Studio 2010 which would also be his first book. I remember at the time thinking “Poor chap – I wonder if he has the slightest idea of what he has let himself in for!?”. Why did I think that? It was certainly no reflection on Alex who is a top class developer and speaker. However, writing a book is IMHO a mammoth undertaking if it is not your day job. It can consume every ......

Posted On Monday, January 18, 2010 12:48 PM

New User Group in the North East of England – 20th Jan Silverlight and Hyper-V
I love to see new user groups created but as a Geordie I'm especially pleased to hear of the creation of North East Bytes (NEBytes) - http://www.nebytes.net . The intention is to help Developers and IT Pros in the community with the constant battle to learn, stay current and broaden their knowledge. They meet every third Wednesday of the month at Newcastle University which happens to be where I did Computer Science – which brings back fond memories of the bar and the (very dangerous but hugely fun) ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 6, 2010 9:59 PM

How developers learn survey results – interesting
In June 2009 we created a survey for UK developers to tell us how they prefer to learn about technology which we used as input into planning for a number of activities in the UK in the second half of the year. I just “rediscovered” the raw data and thought it was interesting enough to share more widely. Top level: Most folks are generalists Web is “where it is at” for many We each have to invest a lot of time in learning technology Search trumps colleagues for answers Few of us have certifications ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 6, 2010 5:34 PM

Happy New Year and a thank you for making 2009 great fun
Have a fantastic New Years Eve this evening and a successful and fun 2010 (The above is the North Yorkshire Moors in 2009 as it should be – sheep and snow) Thanks to everyone who read my blog in 2009 (and my other VB blog), left comments, followed me on twitter, listened to my podcast (and even some of you subscribed in ITunes which my daughter finds scary) and in general made me feel that there was indeed somebody out there listening to my ramblings. It is very much appreciated. And a special thanks ......

Posted On Thursday, December 31, 2009 3:41 PM

Visual Studio 2010 Beta period extension is good news
Soma has announced that we will be extending the Beta period of Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4. We will be adding a Release Candidate with a broad “go live” license, which will be publicly available in the February 2010 timeframe. Whilst I would love to have Visual Studio 2010 RTM yesterday, I am really pleased to see that we are taking decisions that publicly demonstrate that we are quality lead on this release. I want Visual Studio 2010 to be as near to perfect on release as we can. I ......

Posted On Friday, December 18, 2009 10:03 AM

MSDN Flash Podcast 016 – Phil Leggetter talks Real Time Web with Silverlight
Phil and I discuss the real time web and consuming real time data from a Silverlight client. “Real-time data can be consumed in a number of ways but there are a few techniques that are better suited to an RIA. A publisher/subscriber hub is one way of subscribing to data but this technique requires the subscriber to be running a web server which isn't possible from Silverlight or any other RIA technology. Continuously polling a resource is the most common way to check if the data you are interested ......

Posted On Thursday, December 17, 2009 11:00 PM

UK MSDN Podcast finds a new home – info on subscription details, ITunes, Google Reader etc
I have been producing a regular (regular for me anyway!) podcast on development topics for a good few months now. I have been hosting it on a small (and cheap) UK podcast hoster http://www.podcastfm.co.uk with mixed results. The two big issues were download speeds and a showstopper – it often went down for several hours at a time. Obviously this couldn’t continue. I have therefore now moved off podcastfm and over to channel 9 who actually do a pretty decent job of podcast hosting. This has consequences ......

Posted On Thursday, December 10, 2009 12:03 PM

FREE MSDN Flash eBook of the best 13 technical articles of 2009
[16th Dec 2009 – have spotted a small final missing } in the Office XML sample code. Will get that updated with any other changes ] The UK MSDN Flash developer newsletter contains great short technical articles written by UK developers both inside Microsoft and in the broader developer community. This eBook pulls together these great articles in one place. There are thirteen articles in this second edition covering Python, Inversion of Control, Behavior Driven Development, Silverlight and more. You ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 8, 2009 1:57 PM

SQLbits conference in Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales. 19th to 21st November
SQLbits is a great conference. This time around there is three distinct days and it happens to be taking place in my part of the world, just “over the bridge” in Wales at the marvellous Celtic Manor (which feels very American – in a good way). Training Day on the 19th with all day sessions (£199 if you register before Sept 30th) SQL 2008 and R2 on the 20th (£99 if you register before Sept 30th) Community Day on the 21st – for FREE Don’t delay, register today. Oh and I hope to see you on the Saturday ......

Posted On Thursday, August 27, 2009 12:08 PM

AltNetUK conference was a great way to spend a weekend
Last weekend (August 1st and 2nd 2009) I went into London to attend the Alt.NET UK Conference or more specifically two separate but related days. This was my first ever Alt.NET conference and I absolutely loved it. It was exciting to be around so many enthusiastic and smart individuals discussing software development with an open mind and a desire to help those around them. No elitism, no stuffiness, just developers doing what they do best – talking about (and doing) development. It reminded me of ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 5, 2009 9:57 PM

Slides and links for Entity Framework 4 session for .NET Developer Network UG
Last night (3rd Dec 2009) I was lucky enough to be speaking at my local (and most excellent) user group http://www.dotnetdevnet.com/. There were plenty of mince pies and lots and lots of swag to give away – plus great questions and chats in the breaks. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Slides: Entity Framework 4 In Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 - ericnel View more presentations from ukdpe. Links from the session: Install VS2010 Beta 2 http://bit.ly/vs2010b2 LINQPAD beta for Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 http://linqpad.net/Beta.aspx ......

Posted On Friday, December 4, 2009 9:04 AM

Feeling very Christmassy today – decorated the team logo
It is already December 3rd, we have 4 trees up around the house (courtesy of the local woods and a recent storm) and tonight I will be presenting on Entity Framework 4 at the Christmas meeting of the Bristol .NET Developer Network user group (Just noticed session is full – I had best check my demos next!). Which lead me to do two things: 1. Gather up as many developer books as I could find to give away this evening – i found a lot! 2. Decorate the team logo (original art work by the talented DeepFat ......

Posted On Thursday, December 3, 2009 1:26 PM

Free Online and Offline .NET, SQL and Azure Training Resources from Microsoft
I was asked a little while back to pull together the best training resources for .NET development to feed into a MSDN UK site. I thought it would be useful to share here as well. By no means everything is listed but sometimes less is more :-). Enjoy: Top Tip: Watch out – these are sometimes big downloads. For instance I just downloaded a high def PDC2009 session at 600MB! I recommend you check out Free Download Manager – it is a great open source tool for working with large files. Offline Training ......

Posted On Monday, November 23, 2009 10:04 AM

UK MSDN Flash Poll for November 18th: Do you think you will develop solutions for SharePoint 2010?
SharePoint development has always been a little bit “lumpy” but Visual Studio 2010 and SharePoint 2010 plan to make thing much easier – yet offer more control and power. There are some great resources popping up to help you get started such as: Get Started Developing on SharePoint 2010 10 great modules plus documentation for the beta of Sharepoint. Sharepoint development with Visual Studio 2010 Including 14 great walkthroughs. But – will you be one of those developers targeting SharePoint ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 11, 2009 10:32 AM

UK MSDN Flash Poll for November 4th: How excited are you about Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4

Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 is now available for download – but are you excited?

Posted On Thursday, October 29, 2009 12:30 PM

Picture of me
Someone on twitter just asked - “I like your caricature but what do you really look like”. Brace yourselves! 1st the caricature: Which was done from this shot from a couple of years back (notice how the double chin vanished in the drawing – sweet): Now the real thing, me taken in August at “the mothership” in Reading: ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 27, 2009 6:34 PM

Free WPF, Silverlight and 3.5 SP1 training for UK Developers
At the start of 2009 we worked with InnerWorkings to help over 7000 UK developers get access to free training in C# or VB. As there are at least 100,000 UK developers (depends who you ask), we decided to again partner with InnerWorkings to bring you free training in WPF, Silverlight and .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. I am a big fan of the InnerWorkings approach which embeds a set of programming challenges into the Visual Studio IDE. Maybe not for everyone but certainly is an interesting and engaging alternative. ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 27, 2009 5:56 PM

Slides and links from Windows Azure Platform Storage session
I delivered a session on Windows Azure Storage and SQL Azure Database at the UK Azure user group on the 6th of October. A big thanks to everyone who attended – and for putting up with my last minute improvisation when we realised that 2/3rd of the audience were actually brand new to Windows Azure (and presumably therefore brand new to the user group) Links: www.azure.com Main site and where you register to get tokens. Remember you need separate tokens for Windows Azure and SQL Azure. Or… a more streamlined ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 7, 2009 1:44 PM

Two great UK conferences – yet so different! Bathcamp and Software Architect 2009
Last Saturday I attended BathCamp near Bath and Tues through Thursday I attended Software Architect 2009 in London. I loved both conferences yet they are so very different. Hence (in a blokey way) I thought it would be interesting to summarise and compare. I was an invited speaker for Software Architect (my sessions) and proposed and had a session accepted on the day at BathCamp. BathCamp Software Architect Comment Price £20 £1000ish Location A field behind a pub near Bath! Many folks camped overnight. ......

Posted On Friday, October 2, 2009 1:05 PM

Midnight and the Azure and Entity Framework decks are now final and available for download
You might have been following this series of posts on my preparation for Software Architect 2009. Well, this evening while sitting in a small hotel room in London (with no window and a dodgy tv) I completed both presentations and made them available for download on Slideshare. You can find them both here. P.S. I still need to add links to that page ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 30, 2009 12:20 AM

Countdown to Software Architect 2009 – the last day retrospective
This is one of a series of posts on my preparations for sessions on Azure and ORMs at Software Architect 2009. The plan vs actual for day five (The last day): Play, play, play with the technology. PART DONE Produce outline skeleton demo sequence for both sessions PART DONE Produce a backup VM “just in case” :) DONE Run through both presentations for rough timing (mainly to figure out talk to demo ratio) PART DONE Look into this annoying bug which appeared to have started after I installed Silverlight ......

Posted On Monday, September 28, 2009 2:51 PM

Countdown to Software Architect 2009 – Day four and the slides are done
This is one of a series of posts on my preparations for sessions on Azure and ORMs at Software Architect 2009. The plan vs actual for day four (Thursday): Produce final drafts of each deck and post them so delegates can check out what I’m covering. DONE (link below) Play, play, play with the technology. DONE (a little) Read, read, read DONE And… produce outline skeleton demo sequence DONE (a little) The good bit: The best bit was getting the drafts of both decks “done” – done in the sense that I ......

Posted On Friday, September 25, 2009 9:52 AM

Countdown to Software Architect 2009 – Day three was Entity Framework 4 day. I love it!
This is one of a series of posts on my preparations for sessions on Azure and ORMs at Software Architect 2009. The plan for day three: Nearly got it all done. However I ended up spending more time on EF4 than I had planned as … there is a lot of it! Gather up good posts and samples for EF 4 (will likely blog this out) DONE Play with EF 4 as much as my day allows DONE Revisit EF 4 deck post play DONE And a late night re-read of the three Azure storage documents from way back (will add links in the ......

Posted On Thursday, September 24, 2009 9:09 AM

Countdown to Software Architect 2009 – Day two and my love for Boot from VHD
This is one of a series of posts on my preparations for sessions on Azure and ORMs at Software Architect 2009. The plan for day two: The Tuesday plan vs actual was … 100% spot on. Install Entity Framework CTP on Windows XP Mode. SUCCESS Install VS2010 into a Boot from HD Windows 7 VHD (Yep… back to plan A as I would much prefer to use VS2010 without a VM but also without installing it direct on my host Windows 7 which I want to keep reasonably clear) SUCCESS Revisit both decks. DONE Play with Entity ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 23, 2009 9:23 AM

Entity Framework Interview – yep, this is what I look like!
In March 2009 I presented on Entity Framework V1 and a little V2 at DevWeek 2009. MikeT caught me on camera while I was there. I have (rather embarrassingly) only just got round to publishing the video. Ultimately I run out of excuses and was only left with … I’m shy :-) I presented an updated version of the deck earlier this Month (May) which you can view here along with additional links ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 20, 2009 4:16 PM

Countdown to Software Architect 2009 – Day one summary and the eureka moment
This is the second in a series of posts on my preparations for sessions on Azure and ORMs at Software Architect 2009. In case you don’t want to skim through the whole post, the main things I learnt in day one are: 1. Never forget that install errors can be caused by something as simple as a corrupt file! (My “battle” outlined below) 2. Virtual PC RC for Windows 7 isn’t perfect. It doesn’t like working with a VM created on an older version. (Details below) 3. There are some nice storage explorer tools ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 22, 2009 11:50 AM

Countdown to Software Architect 2009 – the quiet before the storm
Next week I am presenting two sessions at Software Architect 2009. Both sessions are new, new in the sense that I am creating them this week and new in the sense that whilst they are on topics I have experience with, in each case there is a significant new element for me to learn. I thought it would be fun and interesting (to me anyway!) to keep a diary of my preparations to get these sessions in good shape. The two 90minute sessions are: Design considerations for storing data in the cloud with Windows ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 22, 2009 10:06 AM

UK MSDN Flash Poll for Sept 16th 2009: How do you do Unit Testing?
[From a suggestion by Ian Cooper] There are many different approaches to unit testing software, from manual testing to Test Driven Development. In many organisations the developer of the code will unit test their own code, however in some organisations a unit test will always be created and performed by a second developer or a full time tester. What approach do you commonly follow ......

Posted On Thursday, September 10, 2009 10:02 AM

MSDN Flash Podcast Show 006 – Eric Nelson discusses Visual Studio 2010, Parallel, Language Parity and Azure
This show is a bonus edition. It includes a brief overview of the announcements this week around Azure at the Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans and then a 30minute interview recorded at Qcon 2009 in London earlier this year. This time around, I am the interviewee for a change. Many thanks to Ryan Slobojan and InfoQ for letting me take the original video interview and create a podcast from it. If you prefer, you can watch the video on the InfoQ site. I was asked the following: Eric, what's ......

Posted On Thursday, July 16, 2009 2:21 PM

UK National Rail Enquiries in Outlook 2003 and 2007 using .NET 3.5 SP1 - sweet
My group has been working with http://www.nationalrail.co.uk and one of the first deliverables is this beauty, an add-in which integrates Microsoft Outlook 2007 and 2003 with the UK’s National Rail timetable web service to deliver Software + Service in action! Interestingly, the add-in is built using .NET 3.5SP1 which is a fairly hefty dependency to take, but it enabled the application to be delivered much more easily against Outlook. You can find out about Outlook development at our development ......

Posted On Monday, July 13, 2009 3:48 PM

SQL Azure and SQL Azure Data Platform in a simple diagram
In March 2008 we announced SQL Server Data Services. In October 2008 we renamed it to SQL Data Services, part of SQL Services. In July 2009 we renamed it to SQL Azure Database, part of SQL Azure. Same technology, same team – smarter naming :-) Smarter because people were getting confused between SQL Data Services and ADO.NET Data Services (totally different “things”) and the OS you will use in front of SQL Azure is Windows Azure. I wonder what will happen to .NET Services ......

Posted On Friday, July 10, 2009 7:52 AM

DDD SouthWest in full colour video with sound and everything
I previously posted about what a great job Guy and his team had done with DDD SouthWest and the excellent work of DDD. Chris King has created a great video montage of the event and for some weird reason they have me and Gary Short on the thumbnail at time of posting (My word I need to shed a few stone and get my hair cut and get more sleep and more sun and… ) Well done Chris! Enjoy ......

Posted On Thursday, July 9, 2009 10:14 AM

Expression Design + WPF + Silverlight + Touch + Bizspark = startup heaven?
I had an opportunity to catch up with UK Software Startup IPrinciples. IPrinciples specialises in building Rich Internet Applications (RIA) on the Microsoft Platform, predominantly using Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) but also using Silverlight. I have known Richard and Paul who run IPrinciples for many years and I have been impressed with what they have been building over the last year using XAML. When I last popped in I had my trusty Flip Mino with me and I took the opportunity to interview ......

Posted On Thursday, June 25, 2009 10:09 PM

Only 7 days left to take advantage of great offers on Visual Studio - UK only
ADVERT ALERT but hopefully a useful one … Don’t delay, buy today! And that ends my attempt at marketing and coming up with catchy slogans. What do you mean, it has been used before! :-( More seriously, I just got confirmation that some great offers put together in the UK for Visual Studio end this month. You can see the detail at the offers site but I think the following pictures do a better job of summarising the three offers on that page that expire June 30th: “Step Up” – shown as “Get a lot more ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 23, 2009 8:54 AM

MSDN Flash Podcast Pilot Show 3 Bonus Edition on Windows 7 Compatibility
This is the third podcast pilot to accompany the fortnightly MSDN Flash newsletter. This is an example of a “bonus edition” which we will from time to time interleave with the regular fortnightly podcasts. The good news is we now have a permanent subscription courtesy of Feedburner which will work with ITunes and regular RSS readers. Feedback good and bad is always welcome. And yes, the audio quality isn't going to win a prize. Still working on that :-) Enjoy. Show Notes: This is an interview with ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 10, 2009 5:09 AM

A proper thank you to Guy and the team for DDD SouthWest … and VB won!
After attending DDD SouthWest I went on a weeks holiday before I got a chance to blog out a “thank you” for a great event. Guy Smith-Ferrier and his team did a sterling job delivering a great multi-track event. For me it was: Extremely well organised Good food Great location (an amazing school in Taunton – nothing like the school I went to!) Lots of tracks, lots of choice, lots of knowledgeable speakers Fun yet professional Guy has written up a summary which included a link to some statistics about ......

Posted On Monday, June 8, 2009 7:47 AM

Open Source Framework and Library Recommendations
As the technical editor for the UK MSDN Flash I get surprisingly free rein to decide what content to place in it . I suspect one day they will notice – but I will enjoy it while it lasts. Every 3 months or so I do a special edition of the Flash, and this week I chose to go with “Open Source Frameworks and Libraries”. I have written before on Microsoft and Open Source and the rosy future I see ahead and I decided it was time (long overdue?) to give some of the great OSS for .NET developers wider visibility. ......

Posted On Friday, June 19, 2009 5:22 AM

Slides and links for Windows Azure session for GL.NET
Had a great time Wednesday night delivering a session on Azure and SQL Data Services at GL.NET. Admittedly I run over hugely but I enjoyed it and I much prefer lots of questions along the way. The venue is very good. The MessageLabs offices offer a pretty decent sized room, wireless internet and a good projector. Jimmy makes for a very friendly host and the folks that attend are equally good guys and as a bonus, the pub is near by :-) In summary, if you develop software using Microsoft.NET and you ......

Posted On Friday, June 19, 2009 4:38 AM

UK MSDN Flash Poll for June 17th 2009: How many monitors do you use for developing software?
I have a couple of days leave coming, hence the early poll to accompany the Flash next week. I bumped into an old colleague who now has a six monitor setup in his home for developing software – which made my “notebook + 19inch monitor” setup look a little sad. Especially as I share that monitor with an Xbox 360 and a PC gaming rig. Your chance to sneak in a vote. I was wondering if folks would like me to organise a full hardware (multi-question) survey via the Flash in the future? I for one would ......

Posted On Thursday, June 11, 2009 8:38 AM

32minutes of me at Qcon talking on Visual Studio 2010, VB, F#, .NET 4.0, Parallel, Azure
Back in March I presented at Qcon 2009 in London which is a great conference. I also was interviewed which is now up on InfoQ. TBH – it isn’t a bad interview yet at the time it felt awful right from the first moment when after agreeing the opening question before the camera rolled, I got asked something completely different :-) Then it went pretty broad :-) You can watch the video on the InfoQ site which includes a transcript. The questions I was asked were: Eric, what's going to be coming up in ......

Posted On Monday, June 8, 2009 6:46 AM

Suggestions so far for UK MSDN Flash Special Edition on Open Source Software for developers
Back in February we did our first special edition of the UK MSDN Flash focused on Free Software for developers (Which was our most popular edition for years!). The next special edition will be June 17th and the focus will be Open Source Software for developers with a bias (slight!) towards some of the great work on Codeplex and a heavy bias towards frameworks that you can include in your application or help you get the job done. The technical author will be Sara Ford (fingers X’d) who is the programme ......

Posted On Monday, June 8, 2009 5:18 AM

Slides and links for Future of Web Applications session on Windows Azure at Bristol
Just about finished putting together my session for the FOWA tour in Bristol. I have only 50minutes. Which means I need to speak fast + demo fast + … remove some slides by 9:30 tomorrow :-) Slides: Windows Azure - Ericnel View more OpenOffice presentations from ukdpe. Links: Learn about the Azure Services Platform and access the SDKs etc Play with Windows Azure – http://www.azure.com Watch the MIX 09 recordings http://live.visitmix.com Need development tools? Students can get Visual Studio through ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 2, 2009 4:35 PM

UK MSDN Flash Poll: How interested are you in User Interface design?
The topic this time around is “How interested are you in User Interface design?”. This poll came about after a visit to a local (Bath, UK) software startup which has at least as many user interface designers as developers which made me realise just how much things have moved on over the last couple of years. Certainly 3 years back a “similar” software startup would have been developer heavy and most likely have had no user interface designers. Expectations today are that applications (web and rich) ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 2, 2009 3:08 PM

DevWeek 2009 Interview with Simon Brown on Software Architects
Simon Brown founded http://www.codingthearchite... which is a great site for developers moving into the world of Software Architecture. I had a chance to catch up with him at DevWeek in London and we chatted about the session he was delivering to developers on architecture. We also got onto the question of “Should Software Architects code?” > ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 20, 2009 11:16 PM

DevWeek 2009 Interview with Richard Blewett on Workflow 4.0
I had a chance to catch up with Richard, founder of http://www.rocksolidknowled... at DevWeek in London. He had been speaking on Workflow 4.0 using the Visual Studio 2010 CTP and (despite that) was sounding very positive about the future of Workflow ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 20, 2009 7:25 PM

UK MSDN Flash Poll: What will you be using for your data storage in 2010 for new applications?
I have just put together the poll for next weeks MSDN Flash thanks to a suggestion by http://twitter.com/philpurs... . We have had an explosion of viable storage technologies for Windows development over the last 12months, both for traditional OnPremise deployment and for deployment to The Cloud. What do you think you will be doing in 2010 for new applications? Sneak in your vote now ahead of the newsletter (and tell me if I missed out an obvious choice!). Thanks ......

Posted On Friday, May 15, 2009 11:02 AM

Slides and links for session on Parallel Development with Visual Studio 2010
I delivered a session on parallel at NxtGenUg Birmingham last night. As well as covering the new features in Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0 I also gave a heads up on Axum, an incubator project for a new programming language for parallel development as well as a brief look at Concurrent Basic, a research project from Microsoft. You might also want to check out a post I did introducing Axum. The main links: Parallel team http://blogs.msdn.com/pfxteam/ MSDN site http://msdn.com/concurrency Concurrent ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 13, 2009 2:12 PM

UK MSDN Flash Poll: As a developer, what do you think of IE 8?
I don’t do much web development these days (with the exception of when I am thinking about Windows Azure) and I certainly haven’t battled with complex html+JavaScript across multiple browsers for a long, long while. On the other hand, my colleague Mike Ormond is pretty immersed in such things and only today (29th April 2009) published a video on an Introduction to the IE8 Developer Tools and yesterday announced a competition for IE8 developers (Win an Xbox Elite + fame!). I was curious (as was Mike) ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 29, 2009 3:22 PM

FREE Windows 7 Application Compatibility training and drop-in clinic in the UK in May
I have been thinking about Windows 7 application compatibility this week and that included an interview with Dave Allen in the partner team which touched on the labs he is running in the UK. The next lab starts May 11th and is split into: Monday 11th May: Training Day on Windows 7 Application Compatibility – limited to 16 attendees with a maximum of 2 attendees per ISV Tuesday 12th May – Friday 15th May: Windows 7 Application Compatibility drop-in clinic – limited to 20 attendees with a maximum of ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 28, 2009 12:04 PM

What developers should be doing in readiness for Windows 7
[Update 29/04/2009: I recommend you also take a look at the supersite Windows 7 RC Review and Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 which allows Windows XP applications to run unchanged] I apologise. I’m sorry. I sympathise. I do, really. I completely understand that: Discovering an application is broken that previously used to work great is simply not fun and Fixing the application to work again is also simply not fun Especially if you didn’t originally write the application or if you did, it was many years ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 28, 2009 11:23 AM

Interview with Dave Allen on Windows 7 compatibility
Dave Allen works in Microsoft UK helping partners build solutions which take advantage of the latest technologies from Microsoft. He also happens to be a mate, a jolly nice chap and is leading our efforts in the UK to help partners get their applications working on Windows 7. I sat down with him on Thursday of last week (23rd April) and quizzed him on the thorny subject of compatibility. Check out this companion post I did on resources for getting ready for Windows 7. When did you first start looking ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 28, 2009 11:00 AM

Are you a UK startup interested in FREE software, FREE briefing (5th May, 9th June) + FREE interesting geeks?
Then I have a great offer for you. It includes: Two Microsoft UK geeks. Well used, odd scratch but still in good working order. Choice of two 10am to 4pm technical days in London in May and June presented by the above geeks Information on the day about the fabulous Bizspark offer for startups from Microsoft. :-) Let me explain. I bumped into my old buddies Keith Burns and David Gristwood yesterday. We got talking about the work they are doing around Bizspark in the UK. Turns out they have slots free ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 28, 2009 9:49 AM

I see a rosy future ahead for Microsoft and Open Source
Before I joined Microsoft I worked at a software development company that focused on delivering large, mission critical systems on… Unix. My work environment included Gnu Emacs, Gnu C and C++ and Gnu Make, all products from the Free Software Foundation (FSF). My home environment was similar - a mix of PCs running early versions of Linux and BSD Unix. As a company and as individuals we were fans of the work of the FSF because not only were their products very good but as developers we also had unfettered ......

Posted On Friday, April 24, 2009 2:12 PM

FREE .NET eBook now online with Slideshare
I blogged on Monday about the new UK MSDN Flash eBook. It is now on Slideshare which IMHO does a really nice job of hosting pdf files. Enjoy. NB: you can view it full screen – bottom right icon. UK MSDN Flash eBook Best Technical Articles #1 View more documents from ukdpe ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 22, 2009 4:36 PM

FREE MSDN Flash eBook with 13 technical articles spanning dynamic languages to game development to cloud computing
[The official announcement is in this Wednesdays MSDN Flash – but why wait!] Every two weeks we send an email out to tens of thousands of UK based developers. This email is called the MSDN Flash. The Flash contains many useful sections including a 400 to 500 word technical article on a developer related topic either written by a member of the Microsoft UK technical team or a member of the broader UK developer community. We have had some great articles over the years which to some extent end up “hidden ......

Posted On Monday, April 20, 2009 5:06 PM

Is 2010 the year of C# and … BBC Basic?
I did a poll on the 8th of April which asked the question: What language would you choose to use 12 months from today if you were given the chance to develop a brand new application and you were allowed to choose the programming language? The result was rather interesting. Over 50% of you went with C#, three times more than Visual Basic (.NET), with C++ coming in a distant 3rd. BBC Basic scored rather well. I think this recognises that for many of us we miss the interactive environments that came ......

Posted On Monday, April 20, 2009 4:49 PM

UK MSDN Flash Poll: How good are your estimating skills?
A long, long time ago I used to take pride in my ability to estimate how long it would take to code something (which worked well!) and be pretty much spot on. With older eyes I suspect I used to overestimate how long it would take and then pad the time to fill it – but I digress :-) These days though, my ability to estimate time to code is pretty much shot. I blame a) a few years of playing with whiteboards as an application architect and b) I only ever code in alpha/beta technologies and all that ......

Posted On Monday, April 20, 2009 4:23 PM

Just back from holiday… and great “I’m a PC” adverts :-)
I spent last week enjoying the sun (and rain and wind and fog) in Yorkshire and managed to pretty much avoid email/work all week which was great. I did manage a little “evangelism” during the week though. My dad has an old compaq notebook which has been playing up for months. I decided to use Live Mesh to create a copy of his files and rebuild it using a Windows 7 Beta DVD I had handy. After sourcing just one driver from the hp site (for the wireless card) it is now running great and he is blown ......

Posted On Sunday, April 19, 2009 10:19 PM

Visual Basic books in the UK were top sellers in the lead into Christmas

I was looking at some statistics on developer book sales in the months leading up to Christmas 2008. Overall C# outsold VB (there are a lot of C# books to choose from!) BUT VB 2008 had three of the top five slots including the number one slot. Unfortunately I can’t share the data but I felt it was worth sharing the good news :-) Well done VB!

Posted On Thursday, April 9, 2009 3:19 PM

Slides and links from my Qcon London talk on Entity Framework
Last week I gave a talk at Qcon London entitled ORM, EDM, ESQL, Entity Framework, LINQ to SQL, LINQ to Entities - confused? In the session I wanted to make a few points worth summarising here: ORM usage by Windows Developers is low compared to other platforms I believe this will change significantly now Microsoft has an offering ORM can be very productive but also dangerous I showed a demo which looked at lazy vs eager vs explicit loading vs projection Entity Framework is more than an ORM – the ORM ......

Posted On Monday, March 16, 2009 2:10 PM

How much does Team Foundation Server REALLY cost vs SourceSafe?
I was discussing with one of our TFS specialists the costs of going down the route of Visual Studio Team System and Team Foundation Server – specifically in the context of comparing it with purchasing Visual SourceSafe (VSS). This conversation was kicked off by the poll I did in the UK MSDN Flash on source control system usage. The results were pretty interesting with 37% using Microsoft products (21% using SourceSafe, 16% Team System) and 32% Subversion. I wanted to explore the SourceSafe vs Team ......

Posted On Thursday, April 9, 2009 2:58 PM

Feedback wanted on the February Microsoft UK training offer with InnerWorkings
Back in February 2009 I worked with Sarah Roxburgh in my team and InnerWorkings to deliver a great free offer on .NET training to UK developers. The offer opened up a huge chunk of the InnerWorkings learning catalogue for free and for a limited time to UK developers. The InnerWorkings approach is unusual (unique?). It integrates into Visual Studio, sets you real programming challenges and then marks your attempts. All backed up with well written help and carefully selected links for when you get ......

Posted On Sunday, April 5, 2009 9:18 PM

My thoughts post Devweek 2009. Or rather my one thought – Ruby Rocks
Devweek is my fave multi-day developer conference in the UK and attracts great speakers such as Aaron Skonnard, Neal Ford and Tim Ewald. Which is why I always feel a little humble that I get the chance to present there. This time around I delivered three sessions (See my discussion of what to expect + slides and links posts) and I also did something completely new to me – I interviewed fellow speakers during the conference with a view to getting the best bits published “somewhere”. A big thanks to ......

Posted On Monday, March 30, 2009 4:29 PM

Upcoming UK developer and architect events in April and May
I previously posted about the fantastic conferences which the UK Developer Community lay on under the brand of “DDD”. Today I spotted that WebDD (Saturday 18th April) is now taking registrations – act swiftly, I expect this to fill. I also spotted that the rest of my group have finalised the speakers and agenda for the annual Architect Insight Conference in London on May 8th. This is IMHO the must attend event in the UK if you are an Architect in the UK (Be that an Enterprise Architect, an Infrastructure ......

Posted On Monday, March 30, 2009 2:29 PM

Post QCon 2009 London – does Microsoft smell?
Last week I spoke at QCon London on Entity Framework. QCon 2009 was a very good event but I personally felt last years was a little more fun, a little more controversial, a little more edgy. However it was still a great event – except for one thing. <Minor rant on> QCon (and I’m pointing at my fellow speakers here) has an odd way of ignoring the existence of Microsoft when it comes to doing cool stuff. An attendee to QCon might easily leave thinking Microsoft had nothing to offer at all for ......

Posted On Thursday, March 19, 2009 5:06 PM

Speaking at DevWeek 2009 in London – hope to see you there
Next week (23rd March 2009) I am speaking at DevWeek 2009. DevWeek is a great conference which attracts top notch speakers (plus me – I feel such a fraud whenever I present there!). It is IMHO the best developer focused conference we have in the UK and I can’t wait to get there and soak in the great sessions + catch up with familiar faces + meet plenty of new ones. Be warned. There is a rumour that we are being given some new toys (Flip video cameras) to play with while we are there. However don’t ......

Posted On Thursday, March 19, 2009 4:46 PM

Windows Azure and SQL Data Services Talk for .NET Developer Network
On Monday I gave a session on “Windows Azure and a little SQL Data Services” for the .NET Developer Network in Bristol with the main focus being on storage. Thanks to all those who attended – and I hope to be back in the audience next month :-) The main links I wanted to share were: www.azure.com and specifically the downloads: Windows Azure SDK Visual Studio tools and templates The table sample I showed using StorageClient is available for download along with a walkthrough screencast Code sample ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 10, 2009 3:31 PM

What do you think of when you hear DDD? (UK)
When you hear “DDD” what do you think of? Do you think “Domain Driven Design” or “Drop Dead Date” or perhaps even “Dichlorodiphenyldichloroet... Well Wikipedia lists over 20 possibles but oddly enough does not list “DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper!” – which is the one I wanted to make sure you were all aware of. DDD is a series of first class community events that take place in the UK – created and delivered by UK developers for UK developers. The first event was DDD1 which was delivered in May 2005 ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 3, 2009 9:18 AM

Opportunities to meet and listen to the Microsoft UK Developer Evangelists
As well as official Microsoft UK events, the UK team often appear at user group meeting and 3rd party conferences. We have plans to make it much easier for you to find all the events we are speaking at but in the meantime I have created a UK gig list for the next few months – which currently represents 20 sessions on everything from Parallel FX to Windows Azure. Hope to see you there ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 17, 2009 12:16 PM

My analysis of the recent Visual Basic Survey + an extra graph :-)
I documented the results from the recent Visual Basic survey we carried out in the UK but decided not to include any conclusions I drew from it as I was curious to see what folks thought – which made for some good comments and emails. Thanks. I also spotted a couple of short articles: Tim Anderson in the UK picked up on it - and gave some useful links on our support policy for VB6. Thanks Tim. InfoQ also did a short article on it – essentially the summary was “There is a lot of VB6” :-) Now my turn. ......

Posted On Thursday, February 26, 2009 3:46 PM

Parallel Development with .NET 4.0 slides and links
On Tuesday I gave a session on the parallel enhancements coming in Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0, specifically the Parallel Task Library and PLINQ. Thanks to all those who attended and acted as my “guinea pigs” for this session :-) The main links I wanted to share are: Download VS 2010 CTP and Remember to set the clock back or Download Parallel Extensions June CTP for VS2008 Join in the discussion forums Team blog http://blogs.msdn.com/pfxteam/ MSDN site http://msdn.com/concurrency Overview Of ......

Posted On Thursday, February 26, 2009 2:54 PM

Results of the Visual Basic Survey: Part 2 Visual Basic 6.0 Usage Today
This is part 2 of 3. Part 1 – Language and Framework Usage Part 2 – Visual Basic 6.0 Usage Today (This one!) Part 3 – Move from Visual Basic 6.0 to .NET ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 18, 2009 2:07 PM

Results of the Visual Basic Survey: Part 3 Move from Visual Basic 6.0 to .NET
This is part 3 of 3 Part 1 – Language and Framework Usage Part 2 – Visual Basic 6.0 Usage Today Part 3 – Move from Visual Basic 6.0 to .NET (This one!) ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 17, 2009 3:19 PM

Results of the Visual Basic Survey: Part 1 Language and Framework Usage
In January we created a survey to understand how folks were using Visual Basic 6.0 and Visual Basic .NET in the UK. This survey was sent out to individuals we “suspected” had Visual Basic 6.0 heritage but it was also widely advertised through the MSDN Flash to UK developers. This does not (nor was it ever intended to be) a survey across all platforms. The focus was very much Windows developers – therefore we would expect to see low usage of Java etc. We got plenty of great data and I wanted to share ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 17, 2009 1:52 PM

Battle of the ORMs slides and links
Today I delivered a session on the ADO.NET Entity Framework as part of a “Battle of the ORMs” session at the Developer Group in Reading, UK. Wasn’t really a battle, more a friendly get together over cake :-) Thanks to all those who attended and to the the other presenters – I learnt a lot! The main links I wanted to share are: Main ADO.NET Entity Framework site including “How To” videos Well written overview article My previous posts on Entity Framework Entity Framework v2 features http://blogs.msdn.com/efdes... ......

Posted On Monday, February 16, 2009 3:21 PM

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

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

My list of useful free software for windows developers
In the UK I am the technical editor for the MSDN Flash. This weeks edition was a special focused on free software. I gathered together some of the best downloads based on recommendations from friends, colleagues and customers (which in case you were wondering is an overlapping group of individuals) plus a few of my personal favourites. I have tried to get something for everyone. From fairly generic utilities such as Free Download Manager and Unlocker, specialist tools such as SketchPath for XPath ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 4, 2009 1:29 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 http://geekswithblogs.net/IUpdateable
I created my first technology blog back in July 2004 over on http://blogs.msdn.com/ericnel 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

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