Room for reference
May 29, 2004
  The Google Store!!.. Today, when I was doing routine browsing I came across the site Google Store This is the official shopping site of Google. I never knew about this before so thought of mentioning this in blog, even google has got a store where in we can find many google accessories, wearables, Kids stuff etc featuring Google Doodle logos...Its nice one...

So use Google to get some goodies... 
May 28, 2004
  Get familiar with FxCop.. Worried about any Bad code in .Net Application..FxCop is here to prevent.

FxCop, is a code analysis tool that checks managed code assemblies for conformance to Microsoft .NET Framework design guidelines. FxCop team has just released a new version, 1.30, that has many nice improvements and is considerably faster at analyzing large applications.

Here, I want to mention one thing..I was playing a role as white-box tester in one of my earlier project on .Net (Its a tough job!!). Code-Review analysis and reporting is one of the key task for a white-box tester, by making use of earlier FxCop version I managed to complete my task easily and more efficiently. Thanks to Gotdotnet where we got the FxCop tool.

Here in today's blog I am just going to list out the mail improvements and features in the new version of FxCop.

- Perform analysis through Introspection
- Faster code analysis and supports multithreaded analysis
- Ability to resolve missing dependencies
- Powerful dataflow analysis
- Many UI Improvements
- More rules, rule topics and rule fixes

To know more on FxCop 1.30, zap to the MSDN Magazine June 2004 issue.

For a complete list of new features visit FxCop Team Blog 
May 25, 2004
  Bill Gates on Blogs.. First of all, What is blogging about?
"blog" is short for Web log. It's a medium in which an author writes a journal-style Web site with provisions for readers to respond. These Web logs are becoming quite valuable in the software community for sharing ideas.
A blog is an easy-to-use web site, where you can quickly post thoughts, interact with people, and more.

Check out the April 2004 issue of MSDN Magazine on All About Blogs and RSS

Now a days there are so many blog sites available.. For e.g. MSDN Blogs where you can find interesting blogs authored by Microsoft Guys, another one Gotdotnet Blogs here also there are many Microsoft Blogs, Here in gotdotnet blog I regularly used to visit a blog authored by the inventor of IUnknown Don Box.

The blogs I visit regularly:

- Paul Vick: The VB Guy's Panopticon Central
- Brian William's The Galactic Patrol
- Justin Lovell's The Grumpy Coder
- Anand M's .Net from INDIA
- Vishal Joshi's .Net dump yard

and lot more...

Yesterday I read an article Now, Gates has a crush on blogs in economic times, Its a nice article that describes about the growth of blogs.

Now, Start creating your own blogs and keep sharing your thoughts...:)
 
May 21, 2004
  Get Ready for YUKON - Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Yesterday I had a nice time of 2 to 3 Hrs by going thru the new features and advantages of the next release of Microsoft SQL Server (Code Named "YUKON"). Microsoft says that the next release of SQL Server will be a new paradigm for database development. This version of SQL Server is integrated with .NET Framework which will enable database programmers to take full advantage of .Net Base Class Libraries. Using the CLR integration, many tasks that were difficult to perform in T-SQL can be better accomplished using managed code plus two news types of database objects aggregates and user defined types that are introduced in this version.

More product details and features of YUKON here

For new development features read on Overview of SQL Server YUKON

What are the major benefits for developers like me??

The integration of CLR with SQL Server provides several major benefits to database developers:

Enhanced programming model: The .NET languages are in many respects richer than Transact-SQL (T-SQL), offering constructs and capabilities previously not available to SQL developers.

Enhanced safety and security: Managed code runs in a common language run-time environment, hosted by the database engine. This allows .NET database objects to be safer and more secure than the extended stored procedures available in earlier versions of SQL Server.

User defined types and aggregates: Two new database objects which expand the SQL Server's storage and querying capabilities are enabled by the hosting the CLR.

Common development environment: Database development is integrated into future releases of the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET development environment. Developers use the same tools for developing and debugging database objects and scripts as they use to write middle-tier or client-tier .NET components and services.
I expect that in the final version of SQL Server Yukon, an updated version of Visual Studio.NET will include special SQL Server projects containing the appropriate references that can load into the Visual Studio .NET IDE.

Performance and scalability: Because managed code compiles to native code prior to execution, you can achieve significant performance increases in some scenarios.

The following are some experts on SQL Server YUKON:

Transact-SQL is no longer be required to write SQL Server stored procedures, triggers, and user-defined functions. You'll be able to create these objects using any of the .NET languages -- VB.NET, C#, C++, or even COBOL.NET -- and compile them into .NET assemblies.

One important benefit of relying on the .NET Common Language Runtime is that it can verify that all code hosted by SQL Server won't cause any memory usage errors that would bring down the server. In addition, SQL Server will benefit from the CLR's robust support for versioning and security.

Data access in Yukon will be based on a new set of managed interfaces in ADO.NET. This new set of ADO.NET classes will be grouped within a namespace that is currently being called System.Data.SqlServer, and these classes will interact directly with SQL Server's internal query processing mechanisms.

SQL Server will also leverage the Common Language Runtime's code access security model. By default, code doesn't have any permissions to create a graphical user interface, create threads, access the file system, or call unmanaged code. The only permissions implemented are those granted for in-process SQL Server data access.

Altering assemblies will not be allowed to invalidate persistent data or indexes. For example, suppose you have an indexed, computed column that relies on a .NET function to perform the computation. Changing or dropping this function would invalidate any data stored in that index. Dependencies are tracked, and you can't drop an assembly if dependencies exist.

In Yukon, you can encapsulate your middle-tier logic within server-side components and still have all the advantages of running as compiled machine code, not interpreted Transact-SQL. This won't make much of a difference for code that's primarily performing data access; the goal for Microsoft is that CLR data access code will execute as fast as the equivalent code written in Transact-SQL.

Relying on .NET code won't hamper the scalability of your SQL Server database operations. Yukon's ability to handle a given number of concurrent users with a given set of hardware resources will be as good as (or better) than that of SQL Server 2000.

A new developer tool called the SQL Server Workbench will support deployment of assemblies to multiple servers and will contain a powerful subset of Visual Studio.NET capabilities for code management. It's too early to tell what the SQL Server Workbench will actually look like, but it will most likely resemble the user interface currently available in Visual Studio.NET.

Learn more on YUKON's XML Support Features Goodbye to Middle-Tier Logic

There are lot more features and advantages for YUKON, I need to dig more on net for YUKON...
 
May 19, 2004
  Happy to know the news from INDIA.. Today I am very much in a happy mood to read the news "INDIAN President appoints Manmohan Prime Minister". Earlier I was worried about hearing the news of Sonia (Gandhi), the Italian Born Indian Citizen heading to the premiership. Me being an INDIAN Citizen (INDIAN Born) I was reluctant to accept her as Prime Minister. Now I appreciate her stand for stepping down to accept the post.

It was known to everybody that Manmohan Singh, the former Finance Minister and author of the post-1991 economic reforms and, admittedly the cleanest man in Indian politics. WE believe that Our country will be safe in Dr. Manmohan Singh's hands."

Hope INDIA will continue shining and grow in economy and Information Technology.
 
  Visual Studio .Net - Code Name "Whidbey" Earlier in one of my blog, I was mentioning about the code name "Whidbey". Now I got a chance to explore the features and updates we got on Microsoft's next release of Visual Studio .Net ("Whidbey"). The code name for next version of Visual Studio is "Orcas" (What is it??).

As Microsoft says, The code name "Whidbey" release of Visual Studio will radically improve developer productivity while continuing to provide full access to the Microsoft .NET Framework.
This release of Visual Studio and the Microsoft .NET Framework offers innovations and enhancements to the class libraries, common language runtime (CLR), programming languages, and the integrated development environment (IDE). In addition, this product also provides a deep support for next release of SQL Server code name "Yukon" by enabling developers to write stored procedures using managed code. Now we can even say that our SQL Stored Procedures are also managed.

Microsoft Developer Tool Roadmap

This release of Visual Studio 2005 ships with .Net Framework 2.0, the current version of Visual Studio 2003 has got .Net Framework 1.1.

Get more about Whidbey here

In my earlier blog on "ASP .Net 2.0 - Revealed", This 2.0 version of ASP .Net is what expected on Whidbey. Now about the new language enhancements to C# on Whidbey, the Whidbey release of C# will support generics, iterators, partial types, and anonymous methods. New compiler features for Whidbey enable developers to do things like disable compiler warnings directly in code or verify ECMA/ISO conformance. Whidbey will also include several productivity enhancements include refactoring, code expansions, code formatting, enhanced IntelliSense, and much more. The debugging experience has also been improved with new features like enhanced datatips, debugger visualizers, design-time expression evaluation, and more.

The Top 10 best features introduced in Visual Studio .NET Whidbey are:

1. Refactoring
2. Edit and Continue
3. ClickOnce
4. Smart Tags
5. Code Snippets
6. Exporting IDE Settings
7. Line Revision Marks
8. Temporary Projects
9. Data Inspection Improvements
10. Docking Window Changes

Visit Here for A Programmer's Introduction to Visual Studio .NET "Whidbey"
Know more on C# capabilities available in Whidbey here

Soon I will be getting some findings on the next release of SQL Server "YUKON" and will be posting it here very quick!!
 
May 18, 2004
  Unit Test .Net Application using NUnit Hope many people, fellow .Net developers might heard about this great tool NUnit. I have used NUnit for one of the .Net testing project that I was working before joining the current project in US. This is a clean tool and make the unit testing of our .Net code so easy. NUnit enables to write tests and not worry too much about how we’re going to get back their results.

Currently at version 2.1, NUnit provides us with a set of base classes and attributes that enable us to abstract away our unit tests and concentrate on the code that actually does the testing. The beautiful thing is that moving from our current coding/testing style to NUnit style requires little learning and is very easy to master.

So how do we turn our code using NUnit style?

- Download and install NUnit (free download at sourceforge.net).
- Add a reference to the nunit.framework.dll to our testing project.
- Add a using clause for the NUnit.Framework workspace in a new class file.

This is very useful and a must to use tool for all .Net developers...

Get more information on NUnit features and usage @ MSDN Magazine April 2004 Edition

An article by Steven A. Smith on the unit-testing tool ans .NET
Get Test Infected with NUnit: Unit Test Your .NET Data Access Layer

More on NUnit official site here

Interesting... 
  Microsoft offers free e-Learning.. Yesterday I was browsing through our Microsoft site for some new knowledge feed..While doing that I happened to see a new site from Microsoft dedicated for e-Learning.

This is an Official Microsoft e-learning format allow us to build skills and achieve goals through a flexible, continuous training experience..Presently most of the training courses are for IT-Professionals, But hope soon there will be more course for developers too.

Need to visit this site regularly for more updates on training courses..

Microsoft e-Learning 
May 17, 2004
  Microsoft and Continuous learning Sometimes I used to think like whether I did a mistake of choosing software carrier?!!. This is because all software majors especially Microsoft releasing new technology, new languages, updated versions etc day by day. This makes all software programmers and developers to keep on learning the latest stuff, sometimes I feel its a pain in butt.:-)
But on other side learning the latest keeps us brightest and best.

Ok..Coming to my today's blog..Microsoft has released new code names for the latest updates for its existing technologies. Introducing the new releases/updates to its great developers, Microsoft used to present them with jazzy code names..For e.g. SharePoint Portal Server was introduced with a code name as "TAHOE" (I remember the project GILS I did along with my mentor suman using SPS, those are gr8 days) and present My Services was introduced as "HAILSTORM" (I remember by then colleague swami who initiated a project on HailStorm, good stuff).

I just happen to know about the latest code names from Microsoft for its next release of software components and those are as follows:

Longhorn - This is the next release of Microsoft Windows Operating System.It is the first operating system built with managed code and the first to host a new storage sub-system (code named "WinFS") that revolutionizes the concept of a file system. The pages for Longhorn are written in a new declarative markup language, code-named (so many new stuff, lots to learn, right:) "XAML" (Extensible Application Markup Language). Each and every XAML tag corresponds to a .NET Framework class and comes with a collection of methods, properties and events. Longhorn represents a landmark in the history of Windows Operating System.

Explore Longhorn

Indigo - The upcoming version Longhorn will include a unified programming model and communications infrastructure for developing connected systems. This infrastructure is code named "Indigo". One of the key benefits of Indigo is it provides a unified programming model and protocol stack for all common language runtime (the great CLR)-based remoting technologies. Indigo is the next step in evolutionary path that started with COM, COM+ and MSMQ.

More on Indigo

Avalon - This is an integral part of Longhorn, consists mostly of a new collection of classes added to the .NET Framework. The most important new namespace for Avalon programming currently have names like MSAvalon.Windows, MSAvalon.Windows.Controls and MSAvalon.Windows.Media (These might change before long horn reaches final release). We can mention this as a presentation subsystem in the next version of Windows.

Learn more about Avalon here

Last but not the least

WinFS - This is a revolutionary File Storage System that lets users search and manage files based on content. As mentioned in Longhorn para earlier, this comes with the next version of Windows allows users to perform search based on metadata irrespective of type of file or creator of the file. This is going to be the basic building block for all applications on Longhorn. One small feature of WinFS, When you copy a Word document to your My Documents folder or some where in the work station which is running WinFS, information about the file will be put into the WinFS store so that applications can perform searches based on the files properties. We can say that WinFS is an advanced version of Share Point Portal Server with respect to document searching.

Check out more on WinFS here

More here too WinFS

But there is still some thing named as YUKON and WHIDBEY..I did not get a chance to read on these..Will write more on this sometime later..Lots of stuff to learn..hah!!

 
  ASP.NET 2.0 Revealed.. Microsoft is all set to release the next version of ASP.NET, the 2.0 Version will enable us to do more magic on the Web. Microsoft says that the aim of this new version ASP.Net 2.0 is to reduce the amount of code required to accomplish common Web Programming tasks by 70% or more. But I feel this needs lot of thinking for programmers..Even though coding task is reduced!!!

I found a nice article on this latest version in MSDN Magazine June 2004 Edition. Here Jeff Prosise provides a broad overview of what we can expect in ASP.Net 2.0, with more focus on selected areas and sample programs to highlight the key features.

I found it very interesting and amazing..

An Overview of the New Services, Controls, and Features in ASP.NET 2.0 
May 16, 2004
  Hotmail using C# When I was discussing with my friends about accessing/retrieving exchange server e-mails through .NET, we were wondering how can we retrieve Hotmail e-mails using ASP.NET or C#...I went on to net searching for a solution to achieve this...

I came across an interesting article that talks about this solution, Here you can find the information on Connecting HTTPMail Hotmail Gateway, Parsing MailBox folder list, enumerating folder MailItems and much more...This has got a downloadable sample C# source code as well.

A HTTPMail client under .NET

Happy reading... 
  My Contributions to MSDN India As I have mentioned in my first blog about my interests on writing articles..Now a days I am spending most of my free time in preparing useful articles especially in .NET. I had contributed and still continuing my contributions to MSDN INDIA. Currently I am working on the preparation of article in following topics..

Cryptography and Microsoft .Net
ASP.Net UnExpected Error Handling

Hope I can complete this very soon and post the same in MSDN INDIA.

Read my MSDN INDIA contributions

Please pass on your comments, If you feel like.. 
  Know about XMLSS.. I was wondering how to display the contents of an asp page in Excel format without using server side Microsft Excel Automation Object. This was asked in an interview question to my friend..I read a nice example article at Microsoft to achieve this using Microsoft Office Web Component (OWC) XMLSS (XML SpreadSheet)..very interesting...

Use ASP to Build Spreadsheet XML for Client-Side Display

This is very useful and interesting to learn.. 
May 15, 2004
  Trip to NYC.. Last week I went to New Jersey to visit my friends working for Merrill Lynch. Also my intention was to visit New York city as well. I spent 3 full days during that trip (for this I took one day off) and I really enjoyed the trip to fullest. It was a amazing trip and it will there in my memory for long.

I covered almost all the must see places in New York City, here I need to thank all my friends for their support and kind. I took lots of snaps to be specific there are around 140 snaps that I took with the help of my first Digital Camera Fuji Fineplex 3800. All photographs came amazing...

You can have a look at these photographs @ the following URL..

http://community.webshots.com/user/mcg2000

Please provide your comments, if at all you feel like..

Thanks. 
  The Power of Community In the programming world (as I am a programmer developer), new technologies are brought to our attention almost every day (especially from Microsoft). Every now and then, however, a new technology comes along that generates enough excitement in the development community that we spend our days and night mastering it. It takes a special technology to inspire this kind of commintment and for many in the development community, .NET is one of those technologies.

Community is a force in itself. Community just happens. By Community I mean here is a User Group. Almost from the moment .NET was introduced at the Professional Developer's Conference (PDC) 2000, .NET user group started popping up all over the world. Myself and my project team started working on .NET PDC version and developed many applications by then. Microsoft didn't go out and started these groups-they just happened. .NET is one of those rare technologies that has everyone motivated. These user group make their group members to share their .NET Experience with other peers. The success of the community replicated all across INDIA and around the world. Today there are user groups in almost every major cities from Chennai to Bangalore to Kolkatta to Cochin.

In the end, community does what community has always done: It captures your excitement and spreads it to others. Its a wonderful experience.

I want to mention here about activities I am involved in .Net User Groups, I am one of the Managers of .Net Bloomington User Group(we call it as .Net-BUG!!)

Also, I am an active member of the following .Net user groups:

.Net User Group Chennai
.Net User Group Bangalore
.Net User Group Hyderabad
.Net User Group Ahmedabad
.Net User Group Mumbai
.Net User Group Indore

I invite all my friends, .NET enthusiasts to join their local user group and feel the excitement and learn by experience.
 
May 14, 2004
  Me and my first blog! Like all books and application cover letters, an introduction to blog entry is bound to be usual, a standard and I can even say a tradition. So let's get it over with as quickly as possible.

I Varadarajan Sampath (prefer to call as Varad) am the author of this web log (blog). Since this blog will most likely be more towards the technical information, happenings around than any personal, I'll start with the professional side of my life: my current job is Systems Analyst on the Microsoft Technology Solutions at Satyam Computer Services (one of the premier IT Company in India), although I've been around working on Microsoft Technologies (6 years and counting) have done a variety of projects. I've been with Satyam Family for 3 years now, most of it closely associated with projects done for Microsoft using .Net and Pocket PC solutions. For a long while, my primary interest is on Architecture and Designing some innovative solutions using Microsoft .Net. Recently I've been focusing more on writing articles on ASP .Net, MS Compact Frame work etc along with .Net community activities. In my professional IT Career, I have worked with major clients like CGU Insurance, Merrill Lynch & StateFarm Insurance Companies. I had a very good experience working on these client projects, learnt a lot on my professional and personal improvements.

On the personal front, I live in Chennai, TN, INDIA (the world's largest democracy nation) with my parents. But when started this blog today (05/14/04), I am in US working on a client project. I do have a life outside of work, but I think let those details come into the blog naturally as interests rather than presenting that here in the first blog.

 
a blog on Technology of Microsoft & much more..

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