VSLive 2008, Day five

by Terry 5/16/2008 6:53:00 AM

Today the conference is sparsely populated, and hence the network works as advertised. My head is full. This is a figurative and literal truth. I managed to catch a head cold and suffered through the night last night. I have this last day of sessions to sit through on almost no sleep and burning eyes and sinuses. But, I have network, I can check in on the office and keep up with the world.

Today I am attending a session on creating ‘Order from Chaos, leveraging .NET 2.0-3.5’ with Rockford Lhotka as the speaker. Mr. Lhotka made an interesting comment this morning. Basically, code-reuse is not the ideal to strive for because technology is often changing to quickly beneath our feet. It makes sense in the case where I have sever applications that are jointly developed, for example. Overtime, as platforms and coding technologies change, those ‘reusable’ objects we create have to be scrapped or rewritten. Therefore, strive for code reuse only where it will be of benefit.

Ultimately, how you construct your business, data and UI layers make all the difference.

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Coding Practices

VSLive 2008, Day four

by Terry 5/15/2008 8:45:00 AM

Guess what? The network is down again at the conference. VSLive has always been a good informational conference. I have attended four times over seven years. Network has always been an issue at each. You would think the hotel IT vendors would get it right considering what they charge. I have a friend who owns a media vendor contract company in Seattle and Portland. I will need to ask what is up with the process and industry.

Obviously, if you see this, the network returned long enough to post.

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SQL Server 2008, VSLive, Orlando, Day three

by Terry 5/14/2008 8:13:00 AM

Some new features are now in SQL Server 2008 (beta as I write this).

Table Valued Parameters (TVP) are just that, parameters. They are more like objects that can be declared from a table definition. These TVPs can be passed to store procedures as a single value or marshaled to other clients as a whole.

The obvious advantage to this is large data changes. For example, I have an order and that order has a hundred order items. A stored procedure can be called that has two parameters; a TVP for the order header and a second TVP for all one hundred of the order items. This saves considerable back and forth travel time from a client. Ultimately, I think it can make transactions much more reliable.

In the past, I have done much the same thing, but less elegantly, with the somewhat more cumbersome use of XML objects passed into SQL Server 2000 stored procedures.

The Varbinary(MAX) FILESTREAM object declaration is pretty cool too. This allows BLOB data to be saved to the file system of the SQL Server, but still retain all the attributes of a varbinary object. The advantages are the blobs have transactional and SQL programmatic access, but are only limited to the size of space on the file system. I presume the disadvantage is that if the file system is not properly secured, the files can be edited outside of SQL Server, this was demonstrated, and therefore such edits, I assume, are not transaction secure. Being a beta product, it is too early to know for sure how that will be addressed.

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VSLive 2008, Day three

by Terry 5/14/2008 8:11:00 AM

I am frustrated with the on-site wireless connectivity. I seem to have said that before. The Lowes Pacifica Resort got it mostly working yesterday, but today it is unavailable again. It is annoying because I am trying to stay in touch with work and I want to avoid the $11 daily connection charges for my room. After all, I paid the disturbingly costly conference fee which is supposed to include high-speed wireless. As I write this I see the connections have all come back. If this gets posted you can assume it is live once again.

I am following the SQL Server tracks this morning. I make good use of SQL Server. I am less familiar with Oracle, but can use it well enough, but working in a largely Windows environment, Windows systems seem to work better with SQL Server. For the technology choice I had with the project I support at work, I made use of SQL Server and SQLXML for IIS. I have isolated and disconnected systems to support, so the XML feeds are easily saved to a file system and can be copied into disconnected networks. You can interpret that as a form of sneaker-net. In some cases, the data can go in on DVD, but only leaves as incinerated dust.

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VSLive 2008, Day one

by Terry 5/12/2008 7:24:00 AM

I have VSLive Gold Passport access. This gives me access to all presentations in the conference and I can move between them as I see fit. Today I am starting off with Windows Workflow Foundation, presented my Ken Getz, from MCW Technologies. I have seen Mr. Getz’s presentations many times over the last six years and he is quite a skilled presenter of complex information. Windows Workflow Foundation (WF, for Work Flow, I presume) is a way of graphically syncing a business or code logic with the code itself. This is done with XML under the covers of the hosting environment, in this case, Visual Studio 2005 or 2008.

If that means nothing to you, you will have to take my word that this is quite cool. I have used several development tools over the years and the technology to keep code in direct sync with the model of business workflow activity is priceless. Tools like Rational Rose could do this to a limited extent, but this was not done in real-time and with simultaneous reciprocal updates.

I often believe the Microsoft is going insane where it comes to its marketing and things like the desire to buy Yahoo. That is another story, but a few of my friends in Microsoft in a position to know believes the business goal for that acquisition makes sense. With Software development tools, Microsoft has got it and done it right. They have always treated the independent developers well with quality development tools and kits for low or no cost.

The continual progression of integrated visual modeling tools and development tools has been phenomenal. Microsoft has done this right, with one failing that I am aware of – the cross platform interoperability (read that as MS does not like non-MS code). Said another way, the tools work best (or sometimes only) if you are writing code for the Windows platforms.

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Orlando, Florida, Mothers Day

by Terry 5/12/2008 7:21:00 AM

I arrived in Orlando Sunday afternoon, from Seattle via Houston. I need to remember book direct flights when traveling on business across the country. The flight was good enough; I had leg room by requesting the exit-aisle seats, the flight was smooth and so on. However, on arrival in Orlando, it took nearly an hour to get my luggage, forty minutes to get my rental car (I followed the wrong signs to the Alamo desk and had to backtrack and find the right desk, which turned out I didn’t need at all had the electronic kiosk also been where I went the first time to get the car), then add ten more minutes to a twenty minute drive getting a little lost finding the hotel. I had a simple dinner and called my wife, apologizing, again, for booking travel on Mothers’ day and not having my family be able to come with me.

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About Terry Losansky

Terry Dee Losansky

I am a software architect, actively practice and teach martial arts and live in Snoqualmie, Washington. I have an amazing daughter who is the jewel of my life.

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