Monday, February 28, 2005

RSS Bandit Wolverine beta installed

I just installed RSS Bandit Wolverine, unfortunately some of my most wanted features are on the postponed lists (the NightCrawler release)
* NNTP Support
* Synchronizing state should happen automatically on startup/shutdown
* Applying search filters to the list view
* Provide a way to export feeds from a category

Rumors about CMS and SPS merging

Rumors on CMS and SPS merging on CRN: The company is moving toward converging SharePoint Portal Server (SPS) and Content Management Server (CMS) functionality into a single "server system," due in 2006, CRN has learned. ...

Saturday, February 26, 2005

RSS, XML, SharePoint and other stuff last week

Let's compile another list of stuff which was delivered last week ( kind of as a personal reminder to check out later):
  • RSS 2.0 framework - this framework implements the RSS 2.0 specification as strongly typed class

  • Article about implementing IXMLSerializable
  • SPS Advanced Search Tools released by Matt Cosier, he also created a site for SPSAST

  • Useage statistics in SharePoint - Great article about all the hidden secrets of usage statistics

  • Article about SPS Calendar views

  • A discussion started after Scobles statement - You should be fired if you do a marketing site without an RSS feed., Eric Peterson answered with Scoble, who I normally enjoy reading, says something typical of RSS evangelist and Gartenberg agrees with Eric Peterson. Scoble responds with It is not about the RSS, stupid (Well not exactly with these words, but that's what I would say) and then back to Eric with I guess I misunderstood Scoble but ...

  • Bryant Likes released Reporting Services webparts 1.3

  • Template switch for CMS released on Gotdotnet

  • Tim Heuers wrote a posting What SharePoint Consultants ought to know

  • Through Patricks blog - IBF 1.5 download and IBF 1.5 resource kit available. Read about Patricks demo of IBF 1.5 on DevDays 2005
  • Alternative search engines for CMS

    I already blogged about some of the search engine alternatives for CMS (Microsoft Content Management Server)- here's a quick overview - for a previous comparison check out Musings about Search on the Server

  • MondoSearch - Commercial search engine for CMS - lots of features, easy to integrate into your .Net web applications (has a complete .Net SDK) but quite expensive. Other postings: Mondosoft .Net search kit and CMS Search with Mondosoft

  • Coveo Enterprise Search - Commercial search engine, if you have a small CMS site, less then 5000 pages, it is free. Again lots of features, but no direct .Net SDK. This solution becomes quite expensive when you have lots of documents/webpages to index. Related postings: Coveo Enterprise Search - my opinion

  • SharePoint Portal Server - You can use SPS to index CMS website as well as fileshares, Exchange, Lotus Notes,... But you probably won't buy SharePoint to simply index your CMS.

  • MCMS.Search - Free solution from Snowvalley, based on the DotLucene project (This is actually a port from the Java version Lucene)

  • Fulltext search for CMS - is a blogposting about how you can easily write your own CMS search implementation based on " target="_blank">DotLucene
  • Turning to the darkside - taking a Java programming course

    I'm currently following a Java programming course, ... so maybe the next couple of weeks you will see some Java related postings. There are a lot of misconceptions about Java in the Microsoft development community and I hope that taking a course will allow me to do some Java bashing with a thorough understanding of what I'm talking about ( Just kidding ...) By the way, for some recent .Net bashing check out James Goslings comments about .Net and Don Boxes comments.

    Some interesting links I'm going to explore the next couple of hours:
  • Javablogs

  • Spring Framework

  • Eclipse

  • Thinking in Java - Book from Bruce Eckel about Java programming

  • Pick up performance with generational garbage collection

  • PS Talking about the dark side of Java, check out Turn to the dark side Luke, it is your destiny

    MVP.XML project

    Mvp.Xml is a project developed by Microsoft MVPs in XML technologies and XML Web Services worldwide. It is aimed at supplementing .NET framework functionality available through the System.Xml namespace and related namespaces such as System.Web.Services. The complete project is available on the MVP.XML SourceForge site

    Friday, February 25, 2005

    Gates and Belgian Government about electronic ID card

    Interesting stuff

    "...We've now thoroughly researched the technical requirements, and I'm pleased to announce that we are moving forward to integrate e-ID technology into MSN Messenger. We're not sure yet when we will be able to deliver this integration, but developers here in Belgium and the United States have proven the concept and are working already on the actual solution. Thanks to the fine collaboration of people from Fedict [ Belgium federal ICT agency] and others in the government, we're making good progress...."

    Read more

    Wednesday, February 23, 2005

    Sample Chapter Microsoft SharePoint 2003 Unleashed

    I just stumbled upon a sample chapter from Microsoft SharePoint 2003 Unleashed, check it out

    MSDN Newsgroups down...

    Service Temporarily Unavailable

    We apologize for this inconvenience. Please try again later.

    Tuesday, February 22, 2005

    Why blogs rule - Synopsis from On the pod with Scobble

    I finally got around to listening to some of the stuff I downloaded - here's a quick synopsis about one of the podcasts I listened to, "On the Pod with Robert Scobble" (Check out other podcasts on GDayworld from the Aussies down under Cameron Reilly and Mick Stanic). At a certain point he's talking about the 5 pillars of conversational software or more specifically blogs:
  • Easy to publish - Traditional publishing software such as CMS is deeply engrained in corporate processes, blogs are more relaxed in the way it allows to publish information

  • Discoverable - It should be easy to discover new information - if you want to know if new information is published on a website, you have to actively surf to the site, with RSS feeds the information is coming to you

  • Linking behaviour - If you go to Technocrati you can find a subset of bloggers which talk about a certain topic and it becomes very easy through all the interblog links to find the most relevant information about the topic you are interested.

  • Permalinking - Each piece of microcontent on your site will have a permanent link, so you can reorganize the information without people losing the link to this information

  • Syndication - You can follow up on information a lot faster by using a RSS aggregator instead just using a browser to surf to the individual sites - the RSS aggregator will remove all the visual clutter on websites - it will automatically show new information - you can easily track them (add them items to review, for followup, etc...)

  • Unfortunately not everybody seems to share his viewpoints - check out his recent posting
    "I am so pissed.
    Yesterday I ripped the head off of a coworker. He works in marketing on a major Microsoft product. I'm not going to identify it or him.
    He called me yesterday and said:
    "Hey, Scoble, we've done a fun site but no one is linking to it."
    My first question?
    "Do you have an RSS feed?"
    "No, this site is for non geeks."
    At that point I just lost it. I think I swore a bit. I am so mad 20 hours later that I can't even remember what I said.
    That demonstrates an utter cluelessness about how hype gets generated. If you don't have RSS, how will anyone who is a connector build a relationship with your site?
    "Why don't you get your non-geek friends to link to it then?"
    I think he had heard that lots of press was reading blogs and wanted to get Walt Mossberg or Steven Levy to talk about this marketing site and figured he'd use me to drive traffic.
    Sorry, if you do a marketing site and you don't have an RSS feed today you should be fired.
    I'll say it again. You should be fired if you do a marketing site without an RSS feed.
    " Read more ...

    Sarbanes-Oxley, some more news

    Last month I wrote my first posting about Sarbanes-Oxley, which mostly talked about all the requirements associated with this legislation. I also mentionned some IT solutions which could speed up the adoption process for SOX, well it seems that more and more ECM vendors are adding SOX support to their tools, well 2 weeks ago Stellent announced the release of version 7.5 of their content management solution which promises better support for SOX (Read some more about it on CMSWire).

    Last week, one of business magazines here in Belgium, Trends/Tendances, had an article about Sarbanes-Oxley as well so I guess the interest in Sarbanes-Oxley is definitely hitting mainstrain. The comments about the implications of Sarbanes-Oxley definitely seem to be very varied:
  • Sarbanes-Oxley good for IT - in this article one of IT managers at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein talks about how SOX has speeded up the effort to connect different information silos within their company. I definitely think that this will be the most important challenge of the coming years, we have developed a lot of different systems and now we have to find a way to connect these and to build upon current investments. This is why things like XML, web services, SOA and Information Bridge Framework are very important.

  • In Making Compliance Sustainable - I think another important lesson is shown - developing a solution which supports compliance efforts such as SOX should be embedded into the corporate vision about how you go about knowledge management, document management, records management, information life cycle management, etc... If you develop a solution for a specific problem it should fit into your global vision.

  • Monday, February 21, 2005

    Another SharePoint blogger

    Another SharePoint blogger hits the blogosphere, Ed Hill - great first article about SSO by the way... Updated 23/02/2005 - just found another one through Daniel - Dan Winter is blogging, he's a SharePoint escalation engineer.

    Sunday, February 20, 2005

    Office 2003 and XML, MSCMS and SharePoint

    A lot of cool tools, articles and other stuff were released last week - here's a quick overview:

    Office 2003 and XML
  • XML tools addin for Word

  • XML tools addin for Excel - simplifies some tasks such as converting ranges to list with some quick customization, creating an XSD for a schema behind an active cell, refreshing XML maps in the workbook, or viewing the XML properties of a given cell

  • Word 2003 Sample: Transforming Word Documents into the XSL-FO Format - Transform word documents into XSL Formatting Objects, XSLFO can be used to transform the documents into html or pdf

  • Word 2003 Sample: Automating Word Tables for Data Insertion and Extraction -
    Use these sample files to learn how best to automate the creation and formatting of tables in Word. Get information about optimizing performance, populating a table with data, formatting table structure, linking table data, and extracting data from a table.

  • Using Excel 2003 XML tools addin version 1.1 - Article about the downloadable tools addin for XML

  • MSCMS(Microsoft Content Management Server)
  • MCMS Rapid Launch (Blog) and MCMS Rapid website - this tool allows for rapid development of MSCMS sites

  • Free online edition of Building websites with CMS (2 complete chapters in pdf format and a summary for all the other chapters)

  • SharePoint
  • Building webparts the smart way - Article about how to build webparts with Smartpart. One of the major disadvantages of traditional web part development steps is that building web parts this way requires extensive coding with respect to the UI you want to provide within the web part. At the time of writing, there is no designer available for developers to create the body of a web part in a very WYSIWYG manner - SmartPart provides you with a way to develop webparts through the use of usercontrols

  • UGS TeamCenter - these guys have a lot of webparts and some of them you can even download for free

  • U2U released their RSS feed generator for SharePoint

  • Digilink Revelation 1.5 released - this tools allows for offline usage of SharePoint libraries

  • I will probably updated my SharePoint Tools Galore list with all of the tools mentionned in this posting.

    Project scope groupware...

    Picked this up from Joels blog -
    Jamie Zawinski on Groupware: “So I said, narrow the focus. Your ‘use case’ should be, there’s a 22 year old college student living in the dorms. How will this software get him laid?”

    Coveo - February enterprise search promotion

    A while ago I wrote a posting about the features in Coveo Enterprise Search, it seems that these guys have some temporary price reductions (got it from Angus Logans blog):
  • 50.000 document license for 4999 USD

  • 100.000 document license for 9999 USD

  • Thursday, February 17, 2005

    Connected systems, Office 2003, SharePoint, InfoPath and XML

    Building connected systems with Office 2003 seems to be one of the new ways Microsoft is using to convince customers that they need to upgrade to newer versions of Office (Bill Gates even did a webcast Connected Systems and Office System). Microsoft is trying to revive developer interest in Office 2003 - they even had the first Office Developer Conference in Redmond (Read more about the reason behind it) Microsoft will try to use its partners resource to establish this goal - and it seems to be working - read woos Office developers.

    Some things I picked up from different blogs and reading articles about this whole hype:
  • XML will be everywhere - it is the glue that will connect everything together- so be prepared. The new development tools for Office will show developers why XML really matters - Office uses XML in the core with its own reference schemas, with smart tags, schema attached documents, with IBF. InfoPath is probably the best example of how you can use XML to create electronic forms - InfoPath is really a very smart XML editor. Learn XML, building XSDs, XSLT, XPath and XQuery, you will need it....

  • While building solutions with VSTO (Visual Tools for Office) - security is a key point. So you will need a solid understanding of digital signatures, code access policy, ...

  • SharePoint was mentionned a couple of times, I think it will be positioned more and more as the central information hub for all of the data in your company. I expect tighter integration with Biztalk for next versions so SharePoint will perform as UI on top of Biztalk or the newly announced WINOE workflow engine. For more info read Gates pins hopes on SharePoint. My favorite part of the article:
    "The SharePoint team is working on its next release of both SharePoint Services and SPPS. On tap is more and better integration between SharePoint and other business applications, especially content management, Microsoft officials have said. Microsoft also is working to deliver a Visual Studio Team System 2005 template for SharePoint team collaboration/team development by the time Visual Studio 2005 ships this summer. "

  • You should see the comments made in this posting -Application Suites versus Best of Breed Still Alive, in the same context. Microsoft is willing to compete head on with other portal solution vendors. I think we can expect a lot more out of the box functionalities in the next version of both SharePoint and CMS.

  • The last signicant announcement was the one about InfoPath, Mark Bower already talked about it, Gates went on to add more detail: InfoPath ‘with rich controls, on top of the Avalon runtime’, but also with the ability to ‘project onto classic HTML’. So InfoPath is likely to evolve into a Forms package that can target thin-client HTML delivery and rich client Avalon delivery. Finally a Microsoft forms solution which doesn't need extra CALs for every user - I guess this will finally make it an equivalent solution for Adobe Forms.

  • Sunday, February 13, 2005

    Distributed applications do and dont's (DevDays 2005)

    The last two presentations I saw at Devdays where "Distributed .Net applications Today and Tomorrow Part I&II" by Ingo Rammer (check out his blog), I have to say, these were definitely topnotch presentations. Ingo mainly talked about the technologies we are using today for distributed applications : ASP.Net webservices, .Net Remoting, Enterprise services and MSMQ. He talked about things you should be aware off when using these technologies and gave some practical tips & tricks - here a some of them.
  • When doing .Net remoting don't simply use a configuration file with the overloaded "new" operator. It is important to know if an object is created remotely, so make this visible within your code with the use of interfaces and a remoting helper object.

  • If performance is important maybe try Enterprise Services, 40000 calls/second on single CPU box vs 1500 in a .Net remoting scenario - Enterprise services is however slower in multiuser scenarios because of the way it enforces transaction locks (ES uses shared locks)

  • Disable http keep alives in IIS for maximum scalability - http keep-alives is reused by IIS to reuse existing http connections, it will disrupt transparent failover in a clustered environment

  • Do not use remoting of events to broadcast information - you will have the risk of deadlocks especially when you are broadcasting to more than 25 clients

  • When you need to develop SOAP based applications use ASP.Net webservices and not .Net remoting. .Net remoting uses a non-future proof version of SOAP (rpc-encoded) vs the document/literal SOAP for asmx (WSI compliant

  • Do not use WSE if you do not need to - WSE does not use the same model as Indigo and is not compatible between different versions

  • The preauthenticate property for webservices does not work when using windows challenge/response - with every response you will need to be authenticated again. A solution is the use of connectionsharing of requests. Look at unsafeauthenticatedconnectionsharing and connectiongroupname.

  • The impact of SSL as a security mechanism for webservices on performance is negligible, you will only get a performance hit on the first request (when performing the assymmetric encryption), the following requests will use symmetric encryption

  • Design your distributed applications from the standpoint that errors can occur

  • When using an NLB cluster watch out for the class C network affinity.

  • Avoid datasets and OR mappers in high load application scenarios, but they are helpfull in about 80% of all development tasks

  • Datasets are very memory intensive - using objects vs datasets, can be an in memory difference from 300 bytes (for objects) to 55 MB (for datasets)

  • ...

  • Amazing how much stuff was packed in one session (This guy seemed to agree - My impressions after the Developer Days in Belgium.)

    Well it seems that Ingo Rammer is doing a tour around Europe - check out - Ingo Rammer in Dublin - A great event :-), mmm Guiness....

    SharePoint CAML - why does it have to be so hard?

    I have been doing some customisation of Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) lately and I'm still wondering why Microsoft is still using this CAML stuff. Jonathan Summers totally expressed my feelings about CAML in Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) - The Crux Of The Office System
    "Very important, very fragile internal XML schema for which there is no graphical editor and if you screw it up you just blew your SharePoint installation".

    Things I consider to be very troublesome with CAML and site definitions:
  • How to deploy this stuff (Apparently a white paper will appear about it - Jonathan also mentionned something on his blog about a presentation in which WIX was used to deploy site definitions)

  • Changes only become visible after doing an IISRESET - or even worse not at all untill you create a new site

  • Some things which appear in the WSS SDK, just don't seem to work - e.g. alternatecss in ONET.XML

  • It is case sensitive - damn...

  • These XML site definition files are not quite small and are very hard to manipulate - notepad is my best tool up until now

  • For those of you who still want to do some SharePoint customisation with site definitions - Guidelines for templates and definitions is a must read as well as Customizing SharePoint Sites and Portals: Using templates and site definitions, part 2.

    Blogs, priorities and knowledge management

    Interesting post from Frederik about How could I have time for all this blogging? - I have to agree it's all about priorities and being able to organize all the knowledge you acquire in your day job. I guess that I use about 6 hours a week sifting through blogs and writing my own blog entries which are basically my own little knowledge base.

    Microsoft CRM 2.0 postponed until year end

    Via Angus - article on CNet News.Com - "Microsoft has shelved plans to release a 2.0 version of its customer relationship management software in March, saying it needs until the end of the year to finish the program." (Some more on

    Friday, February 11, 2005

    Microsoft CRM 2.0 postponed until year end

    Via Angus - article on CNet News.Com - "Microsoft has shelved plans to release a 2.0 version of its customer relationship management software in March, saying it needs until the end of the year to finish the program."

    Wednesday, February 09, 2005

    Tell me mighty blogosphere

    Matthew Cosier wants to know what he can put in technical presentation about SharePoint, I have some ideas:
  • Show some deep CAML stuff - creating custom views for existing lists at site definition level, adding webparts to site definitions,...
  • Adding an "Edit with Adobe Acrobat" to the menu in document libraries

  • Modify the menu in document libraries so that we you do an edit in word, a document is automatically checked out

  • Using Visio within SharePoint

  • Adding print functionalities to the dataview webpart

  • ...
    Off course you can also take a look at what Patrick and Jan showed on Devdays Benelux . And don't forget to put your presentations online, not everybody lives in Australia.... ;-)

    Why blogs matter...

    Here's another posting about blogs .... (For another posting check out Blogs vs Traditional forms of marketing )

    A couple of months ago, I did a presentation about blogs, one of the slides I showed was - "Blogs why should we care":
    From a company point of view:
  • Great way to deliver news and upcoming events - interactive marketing opportunities - blogs are part of growing ecosystem of communities (be it about common interests, products,...)

  • Use weblogs to deliver more information to customers

  • High level of interactivity with customers possible without much effort

  • Improve communication and collaboration within your company

  • From an employee standpoint
  • You can blog to stand out in the crowd - use blogs as your personal marketing tool

  • A handy tool to keep up to date about a very diverse number of topics - without having to do a lot of work

  • For developers - Blogs are an excellent example of distributed XML and webservice applications (Read the article about DasBlog in MSDN Architect Journal 1)

    Blogs are marked of one of the trends for 2005 - check out Hottest branding trends for 2005 - they were even mentionned in Fortune magazine (Why there's no escaping the blog) as the top trend for 2005 - Scobble got mentioned too - definitely check out his blog - Scobbleizer - Microsoft Geek Blogger

  • Monday, February 07, 2005

    Workflow in Office 12

    I already posted a couple of times about workflow in a Microsoft environment:
  • WINOE workflow prepared for Whidbey,LongHorn and Office 12

  • Workflow solutions on the Microsoft platform

  • and now Mark point to this article on InfoWorld "Future Office to boast workflow". What will be the impact on third party workflow vendors such as Captaris , K2..Net, Skelta, and others (For a complete listing check SharePoint tools galore v2)

    Friday, February 04, 2005

    Elixir - Outlook integration framework - more then vaporware?

    Elixir is the codename of a Microsoft project which would allow you to couple Outlook 2003 with other backend systems,... I first heard about when Patrick replied on a posting by Maxim about Niobe (See Managed API for Outlook? Not Niobi, Find the Elixir!). A couple of weeks later an article appeared about Elixir on, on which Microsoft Monitor added their comments.

    Anyway I still don't know what to make of it - how does this initiative relate to Information Bridge Framework for example? Anybody, any thoughts?

    ASP.Net 2.0 event

    Picked this up from Roy Dictus blog...
    Microsoft is organizing "ASP.NET 2.0 Experts On Tour", a 1-day event in many cities. On March 2, the event lands in Brussels.
    Entrance is free. See also

    Thursday, February 03, 2005

    Office solution accelerators have disappeared...

    If you go to the download pages of both Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals and the Office Solution Accelerator for Recruiting, you will notice that it says that you can know find the downloads on GotDotNet. Unfortunately I can't find them over there, anybody any ideas?
    Update: Found the code for Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals - go to this GotDotnet Workspace (Thanks Derek) and here is the code for the other one,Gotdotnet workspace for the Recruiting accelerator (The accelerator for recruiting is members only...)

    SPSvNext wishlist

    A couple of days ago, Heather published a prediction and wish list for the next version of SharePoint.
    Things she mentionned on her wishlist:
    (1) Late-Bound Security - people hate seeing links that they don't have privileges for
    (2) Better Search Interface - the SPS search engine is great; the interface for entering queries and seeing results is terrible
    (3) Better Customization Tools - You shouldn't have to manually alter CSS and XML files to expose additional functionality
    (4) No more DOS - template publishing should be cleaner... the current generation doesn't know how to use DOS...

    Ok, lets add my wishlist ... (Everybody feel free to add your own in the comments)
    (1) Possibility to attach events to every type of list and not only to the document library
    (2) Real multilanguage scenarios both on Portal as on the site level - come on Bill, just take a look at websphere and learn... ;-)
    (3) Give us single document security
    (4) More integration between the Portal and the WSS sites
    (5) An easier way to develop custom site definitions
    (6) Make it possible to develop webparts like normal usercontrols (this one will probably be done...)
    (7)A different licensing model - create license models which don't need the extra investment in CALS.
    (8)Possibility to replicate data between SharePoint Servers in different geographical locations

    Information Bridge Framework 1.5 (DevDays 2005)

    The session about Information Bridge Framework was largely a demonstration of the upcoming version IBF 1.5 (Patrick got a release the day before, pretty impressive to deliver a presentation like this overnight). I already posted about IBF a couple of months ago (See Office Information Bridge Framework and Information Bridge Framework the sequel) But lets recap, Information Bridge Framework (or IBF) is a framework which allows you to connect the unstructured work processes of information workers ( with tools such as Word and Excel) with the structured data which resides in different line of business (LOB) applications. Integrating with these different LOB is quite challenging and IBF provides you with a web service based framework to accomplish this difficult task.

    From the first session I followed (Connecting your business solution with the core platform) I already learned that developing IBF solutions is quite difficult with lots of steps. Building an IBF solution requires lots of different skillsets (Building webservices, windows forms, using smarttags, schema attached documents and using lots of XML and XSL) Microsoft seems to have understood this problem and now has a couple of wizards which can help.

    Different steps in developing an IBF solution:
  • Building IBF compliant webservices - these webservices only accept/return XML blobs which are compliant to certain IBF xsds

  • Generate services metadata - with IBF 1.5 you can generate this info through a wizard or with the metadata designer but you can also manipulate the raw xml schemas

  • Define entities, views and view-locators

  • Build your IBF client UI - use smarttags in combination with plain winform or html controls which are to be displayed in the taskpane (with Outlook in a separate pane)

  • Define the entry points to your IBF application - IBF search, smarttags or schema-attached documents

  • New features in IBF 1.5:
  • IBF support for InfoPath

  • URL moniker support for Internet Explorer (this means that you can use smart tags in your webpages which in turn can access IBF compliant webservices)

  • Serverless deployment - IBF 1.0 needed SQL Server to store IBF metadata, with IBF 1.5 it will be possible to store this metadata on the client

  • Better development support for xml transformations - IBF 1.5 offers the Biztalk mapper as a tool to create transformations

  • Blogs vs traditional forms of corporate marketing

    Picked this up from Seattle PI

    Microsoft's Robert Scoble was the keynote speaker at the Blog Business Summit in Seattle this morning.
    At one point after Scoble's speech, during a session featuring Chris Pirillo and Marc Canter, the discussion turned to the subject of weblogs vs. more traditional forms of corporate marketing. Someone in the audience asked, essentially, if anyone in marketing at Microsoft had lost their jobs under the assumption that weblogs like Scoble's were creating a more effective connection, or conversation, between the company and the outside world.

    "Not yet," Scoble answered.

    What would the marketing guys in your company say about this ... read more comments about the Blog Business summit,
  • Should businesses blog?

  • The Blog summit so far...

  • Full list with bloggers present at the summit

  • Wednesday, February 02, 2005

    Sneak preview of the future of web development (DevDays2005)

    Second session I followed yesterday - "Sneak preview of the future of web development", ASP.Net 2.0 or twodothoo ...;-) -,... nothing really new over here and I think most people who have been playing around with the beta builds of VS.Net will have to agree but again some little snippets of interesting information:
  • ASP.Net 2.0 will offer improved SQL cache invalidation - in combination with SQL 2000 you will be able to invalidate a cache at table level, in combination with SQL 2005 even at record level

  • I saw some demos off interesting features such as master pages, the new gridview control, membership service and the role management service

  • ASP.Net 2.0 provides extra services within the framework through the use of providers. They even told us that Microsoft will provide the code which is used to implement these providers so that we can extend the currently available providers

  • If you want to learn more, check out
  • MSDN ASP.Net developer center

  • Visual Studio 2005 Developer center

  • Official Microsoft ASP.Net site
  • Connecting your Business solution with the Core Platform - (DevDays2005)

    I wasn't completely sure what to expect about this second session, ... Well it seemed that this session talked mostly about the 2 main ERP products that Microsoft offers - Navision and Axapta and how you can connect your daily information worker tools - Word, Excel and Outlook - to them through the Information Bridge Framework (the version which was demonstrated was version 1.0 and well lets say that Murphy was definitely in the house). Things I noted down which I need to take a further look at:
  • XML ports for Navision 4.0 - I know I subscribed to a TechNet evening about this a couple of weeks ago, but unfortunately it got cancelled

  • Axapta Portal (first time I here a mention of this - is it SharePoint based I'm wondering?)

  • Navision definitely isn't IBF aware, so you have to create your own IBF compliant webservice layer around it (For those of you who don't now IBF, it stands for Information Bridge Framework)

  • Tuesday, February 01, 2005

    Keynote Bill Gates - Benelux Developer Conference 2005

    Developer days Benelux opened today with the keynote by Bill Gates, not a lot of surprises however during his presentation, although some interesting points where made:
  • Rate of adoption of new technologies is faster in the consumer area and Microsoft sees a lot of opportunities in this area. Companies which are mentionned as direct competitors are Nokia, Sony, Google and Apple

  • He mentionned SharePoint a couple of times during his keynote, the product definitely seems to be a success story and has been rapidly deployed in lots of organisations worldwide.

  • With each new release of a development platform (win32,.Net 1.0, .Net 2.0), the base platform incorporates more fundamental building blocks which will allow developers to step in at a higher level of abstraction. We will see this trend evolve in the next 5 to 10 years.

  • Developers will need more awareness of formal development methodologies. The gap between the models which describe the software and the actual code will become less wide, this means that we will experience in the future a much easier flow throughout the different stages of a software project, from definition study to the eventual coding

  • Bill Gates also mentionned the new e-Id (An electronic identity card based on smartcard technology) that is being deployed here in Belgium (It seemed that the same day some more news about i was made available, check out Bill Gates wil Belgische eId integreren in zijn software (only in dutch)

  • Off to Developer & IT pro days

    Now leaving for the Benelux Microsoft Developer & IT pro days, 2 days of technical sessions about topics such as IBF, SOA, ASP.Net 2.0 and hardcore sharepoint development. Expect some postings about it the next couple of days. For those of you who can't attend, you can also download the slides