Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dev Day Cork - Follow Up and Downloads

The recent dev day was a great success and feedback was excellent so I am planning to hold another in the new year. Many thanks to the great speakers and attendees who contributed to the day.

The code and slides are available from here

As always if you fancy doing a talk for MTUG Cork please get in contact

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dev Day - MTUG Cork 13 Oct

I am happy to announce that MTUG Cork are running their first “Dev Day” on 13 October at the Cork International Airport Hotel. This is a day of talks aimed at developers working with Microsoft technologies primarily.

We have a number of speakers lined up including two MVP’s covering Windows Mobile 7 and SQL Server. We also have speaker from a start up who will cover the ups and downs of using Azure. The list of speakers will be finalized over the next few weeks.

The event will start at 2pm and finish at 8pm to minimize the impact on the working day

I have finalized the line up for the Dev Day and we will have 4 speakers covering the following topics

  •     Azure: From Ground to Cloud
  •     WCF
  •     Silverlight Development on Windows Phone 7
  •     The Incidental aka Accidental DBA

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dynamics CRM 2011 - First Look

CRM 5 is now know as Dynamics CRM 2011 and you can see a preview of it here
The screens can be seen about 8 mins in. The outlook screen looks very busy.

Also of note CRM Online will be available in the UK and Ireland towards the end of 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

SQL Server Express - Profiler

SQL Server Express does not come with a profiler however AnjLab have just released a new version of their great free open source profiler here.  Well recommended

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Reporting Services - Shared Datasets

Shared datasets which were introduced in Reporting Service 2008 R2 allow a dataset to be shared across reports improving performance and avoiding the typical duplications of common querys and joins you find in most reporting services projects. Like most things in Reporting Services they are pretty easy to use.

The following is an example of how to use shared datasets with the AdventureWorks database. A shared dataset is populated from the ProductSubCategory table which can then be resued across reports avoiding constants querying and code duplication of data that changes infrequently.

In solution explorer right click on shared dataset to add a new shared dataset as shown

In my example I created a simple product list report and populated it’s dataset using the following sql
SELECT   ProductID, Name, ProductNumber, MakeFlag, Color, SafetyStockLevel, ProductSubcategoryID  FROM         Production.Product WHERE     (ProductSubcategoryID IS NOT NULL)

I now want to display the product sub category in the report which I could do by joining to the table SubCategory table however I can use the shared dataset by adding it to my report as shown

and  adding a textbox with the following expression which uses the SubCategoryID from the product dataset to lookup the SubCategory from the shared dataset.
=Lookup(Fields!ProductSubcategoryID.Value, Fields!ProductSubcategoryID.Value, Fields!Name.Value, "ProductSubCategory")

Hopefully this simple example highlights the advantages of using shared datasets in reporting services.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Going Deeper into Visual Studio 2010 - Cork MTUG 1st June

There was a lot of developers unhappy with the content at the recent VS 2010 launch and as a result of that Paul Fallon is coming to Cork on 1st June to do a two hour talk/overview/briefing on the core .NET Framework and VS 2010 changes.  

Paul will be covering ASP.NET 4.0, WCF, Entity Framework, Parallel Extensions and Windows Workflow 4.0

I am not sure how he will fit it all in but rest assured it will be worthwhile attending. Attendance is free and you can register here

Thursday, May 20, 2010

ASP.NET 4.0 - Menu Rendering Problem - controlRenderingCompatibilityVersion

 I really like the way the menu control in ASP.NET 4.0 renders and having upgraded an existing site in Visual Studio  2010 I was confused for a while as to why it was not rendering as I expected. Having checked I was using the new stylesheet I discovered when I viewed the html source that the upgraded site was rendering the menu as a table  whilst 4.0 was rendering it as a list.

Bingo found the problem the upgrade sticks the line  controlRenderingCompatibilityVersion="3.5" clientIDMode="AutoID"  in the web.config file which as the name suggest controls rendering compatibility. Removed this and it worked

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

ASP.NET Dynamic Data and Oracle

I thought some people may be interested in this. I had a go at using ASP.NET Dynamic Data against an Oracle database.

Firstly I installed Oracle Express with its demo HR data. I could see the database and its contents using server explorer in Visual Studio. However I was not able to select Oracle as a data source when I went to add the Entity Model to my project.

Once I installed Progress DataDirect Connect Oracle driver I was able to use that to create my entity model.  If you try this and get the “could not resolve sid” error trying using xe as the sid.

I generated the model and modified the global.asax as normal and ran the project. First impression are great as and in the example below you can see the Region foreign key drop down has been created and populated.

BTW – I used VS 2010 for this not sure about VS 2008

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dynamics CRM Talk - MTUG Mid West

I am heading up to the Shannon next week to give a talk on Microsoft Dynamics CRM to the Mid West MTUG group.

The talk will act as an introduction to CRM and will also cover XRM .i.e. building line of business applications using Dynamics CRM. Attendance is free with more details and registration here

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Jesse Liberty - Silverlight Geek coming to Cork

We are extremly lucky to have Jesse Liberty coming to Cork on April 23 to do a Silverlight talk to the MTUG user group. Like all our talks attendence is free however you do need to register here to attend.

Jesse's blog is here

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

MTUG Cork Talks - VS 2010 Launch and Silverlight

We have a busy time in MTUG Cork coming up in April with the Visual Studio 2010 Launch and Jesse Liberty aka "The Silverlight Geek" coming to Cork on April 21 and 23 respectively.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday, March 04, 2010

VS 2010 RC ASP.NET - Tab Control Designer Bug

I just discovered there is a bug in the RC version of VS 2010 it is not generating the designer code for controls within an Ajax Tab Control. Have a look here

In VS 2008 the following

<:asp:TabContainer ID="TabContainer1" runat="server" ActiveTabIndex="1">
<:asp:TabPanel runat="server" HeaderText="Contacts" ID="TabPanel1">
<:asp:UpdatePanel ID="UpdatePanel1" runat="server" ChildrenAsTriggers="false" UpdateMode="Conditional">
<:asp:TextBox ID="txJoe" runat="server">

Will generate the following line in the designer code file
             protected global::System.Web.UI.WebControls.TextBox txJoe;

However in VS2010 this does not get generated and so you cannot access the control in your code behind file. Hopefully we will get a fix soon and don't have to wait for the RTM.

ASP.NET - Dynamic User Controls Talk 31st March

Niall Merrigan is coming to Cork to do a talk on dynamics user controls on 31st March. This will be a level 200-300 talk with lots code so well worth attending if you are a developer.

Attendance is free and you can get more details and register here

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Azure - First Impressions

Cormac Keogh of Microsoft gave a great overview of Azure to the Cork MTUG User group last week and the slides are available here

I must confess I have not tried Azure yet however my initial feeling is that it does not provide much in comparison to hosted Dynamic CRM/XRM.

With Azure the charging structure is complex and confusing and there is no cap on how much you will be charged. So if you don’t configure your web and worker rolls correctly you could end up spending much more than expected.

Also I can’t see what “heavy lifting” Azure does compared to using  XRM as a SaaS development platform.  If you use Azure to build a SaaS application then you don’t see to get anything above and beyond ASP.NET and hosted SQL Server.  Whilst the hosted SQL Server option has potential if you wanted take advantage of the built in Azure failover it falls short in that it does not include Reporting Services. You also need to build/integrate you own customer payment methods.

I still believe that XRM is a great development platform for on premise or hosted  LOB applications.

The next MTUG event is an ASP.NET talk on Dynamic User Controls by Niall Merrigan who has promised me lots and lots of code. You can register here

Monday, February 15, 2010

Azure Overview - MTUG Cork 23rd Feb

Cormac Keogh is coming to Cork on Feb 23rd to give an overview of Azure to the Cork MTUG userg group.

The event kicks off at 7pm in the Imperial Hotel and attendence is free however you do need to register
to attend

Cormac is the Architect Evangelist in the Developer and Platform Group in Microsoft Ireland.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Entity Framwork now supports stored procedures that return data

The new version of the Entity Framework in VS 2010 can now automatically create entities from select stored procedures which return data. Prior to this release it only supported mapping to insert and update stored procedure although L2S did.

Simply goto the designer model and right click then Add then Function Import. Select the stored procedure name and get columns names. This will create an entity class to hold all the data returned by the stored procedure.

Friday, January 22, 2010

XRM Talk 2nd Feb Cork

On 2nd Feb I will be giving a talk on how to build line of business applications rapidly using Microsoft CRM to the MTUG user group in Cork.

Dynamics CRM is a great platform for tracking activities and tasks related to business entities and for building applications which consolidate data from a variety of back end systems. While  Sharepoint is a great collaboration platform it can often be used in scenarios where CRM would be more appropriate.

The talk will also cover the deployment options for XRM applications and how ISV’s  can use it to develop SaaS applications

The event is free to attend but you do need to register

Hope to see lots of MTUG members there if only to give me some stick!

Friday, January 15, 2010

RegEx Tool - Expresso

A great tool for regular expressions is Expresso which you can get on a 30
day trial from

Well worth a look