Developer .NET UPDATE, December 5, 2003

Developer .NET UPDATE—brought to you by SQL Server Magazine

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DevConnections -- 2004 Date Announced

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Windows & .NET Magazine Connections -- 2004 Date Announced

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December 5, 2003--In this issue:

1. Developer .NET Perspectives

  • Whidbey's Alpha Bits

2. Announcements

  • New--Microsoft Security Road Show!
  • Work with SQL Server?

3. Event

  • Receive a Free Identity Management White Paper!

4. New and Improved

  • Secure ASP.NET Applications

5. Contact Us

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

Sponsor: DevConnections -- 2004 Date Announced

DevConnections = Microsoft ASP.NET Connections + Visual Studio Connections + SQL Server Magazine Connections.

Spring 2004 DevConnections will be held April 18 - 21 at the Hyatt Grand Cypress in Orlando, FL. Be sure to save these dates on your calendar. Early registrants will receive the best discounts plus access to all three conferences for one low price.

Attend DevConnections and succeed in your job:

  • Get tailor-made solutions for your most pressing challenges
  • Compare your current strategies to best-practice advice from the world's top .NET gurus
  • Networking gatherings with your peers will help you uncover additional tricks and tips
  • Focused, technical, and in-depth content ensures you won't waste your time
  • Learn real world advice from experts in the field as well as insights from Microsoft product architects who built .NET technologies
  • Conference session details and speaker information is already on the Web. Go online today or call 800-899-5325 or 203-268-3204.

    http://www.devconnections.com

    1. Developer .NET Perspectives

    by Bill Sheldon, [email protected]

  • Whidbey's Alpha Bits
  • In "Yukon Gold" (http://www.winnetmag.com/article/articleid/40945/40945.html), I discussed a few of the changes coming in Yukon, the next release of SQL Server. In this column, I want to tell you about a few of the changes coming in Whidbey, the next release of Visual Studio .NET. I could easily spend an entire series of articles discussing the upcoming changes, but I'm going to limit the coverage for now because Whidbey is still an alpha version.

    Unlike servers, which simply become out of date, development tools require backward compatibility. Microsoft's goal for Whidbey is 100 percent backward compatibility. What's interesting about this goal is that from the Whidbey alpha bits I've seen, the Whidbey developers seem to be on track to achieve this goal.

    At the same time, the Whidbey developers are thinking forward and trying to expand the application developer's universe of tools by offering new features and enhancements. For example, Whidbey is continuing to narrow the difference between building applications for desktops and building applications for mobile devices. Microsoft wants every control that's currently part of Visual Studio .NET to automatically support a compact state in Whidbey. Microsoft wants this support in both Web applications and smart applications (i.e., WinForms).

    This support, however, comes at a price: Each control will be larger to encompass the code that recognizes and adapts to the appropriate device, and each control will have still more properties to customize. And keep in mind that having a default format available for a device doesn't mean you're going to want to use that format. In addition, although a common environment can decrease the amount of time you spend developing an application, it won't change the amount of time you spend testing that application.

    One of Microsoft's claims is that Whidbey's new code-generation wizards can decrease the amount of code you write by 70 percent. I don't like such misleading claims because they don't address what really matters in development: time. Notice that the claim isn't that the wizards will reduce development time by 70 percent. You probably won't save much time because you'll have to run the wizards, customize the generated code, develop additional features if needed, and test the application. In development, project schedules rarely get shorter because of new tools. Instead, feature lists get longer. And the more powerful the tools, the more powerful the applications you're expected to develop.

    The good news is that Whidbey looks like it will provide many new powerful tools. Whidbey will feature several new capabilities on the ASP.NET side alone. The changes coming to ASP.NET are dramatic. For starters, Whidbey will provide better integration between the various code behind the pages. The Whidbey developers have even stopped referring to the coded elements of ASP.NET pages as "code behind" the pages. They refer to this code as "code beside" the pages.

    Other ASP.NET changes range from the macro to the micro. An example of a macro change is the introduction of Master Pages, which act as a template for other pages. An example of a micro change is the inclusion of Web parts for personalizing Web projects.

    As I explained in "Islands, Rivers, and Animals"
    (http://www.winnetmag.com/article/articleid/40792/40792.html), Whidbey encompasses changes in not only the next version of Visual Studio .NET but also the next version of the Windows .NET Framework. Thus, Whidbey developers are making changes in the .NET languages. For example, Visual Basic .NET will have additional debugging features, and Visual Basic .NET and Visual C# .NET will feature a new generics model.

    To get a feel for Whidbey's new environment, you can download the Whidbey alpha bits and run sample code. Before you do, however, heed these warnings:

  • Don't install the bits on any machine you aren't willing to reformat. I recommend that you use a clean virtual machine because the alpha bits aren't 100 percent backward compatible yet.
  • Don't use the alpha bits to build anything but demos on. As the original Visual Studio .NET release demonstrated, major changes can occur between the alpha and beta versions. If you want to get an early start on your next generation of applications, you should wait for the beta version, which is tentatively scheduled for release in early 2004.
  • To download the alpha bits and learn more about Whidbey, check out these links:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnaspp/html/aspnet-bindyourdata.asp
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/asp.net/whidbey/idechanges.aspx
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/vbasic/whidbey

    Sponsor: Windows & .NET Magazine Connections -- 2004 Date Announced

    The Spring 2004 Windows & .NET Magazine Connections event will be held April 4 - 7 in Las Vegas at the new Hyatt Lake Las Vegas. Save these dates on your calendar. Early registrants will receive the greatest possible discount.

    For more information, please visit us online or call 800-505-1201 or 203-268-3204.

    http://www.winconnections.com

    2. Announcements
    (brought to you by SQL Server Magazine)

  • New--Microsoft Security Road Show!

  • Join industry guru Mark Minasi on this exciting 20-city tour and learn more about tips to secure your Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 network. There is no charge for this event, but space is limited, so register today! Sign up now for our December events.

    http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/security2003dec

  • Work with SQL Server?

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    https://secure.pentontech.com/nt/sql/index.cfm?promocode=scep283xmc

    3. Event
    (brought to you by SQL Server Magazine)

  • Receive a Free Identity Management White Paper!
  • Are your existing identity-management and access-control solutions fragmented, duplicated, and inefficient? Attend this free Web seminar and discover how to automate and simplify identity creation, administration, and access control. Leverage your investment in Microsoft technologies and benefit from greater security, improved productivity, and better manageability. Register now!

    http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars/identity

    4. New and Improved
    by Shauna Rumbaugh, [email protected]

  • Secure ASP.NET Applications
  • PortSight, a business unit of Moravia IT, released PortSight Secure Access 1.1, an ASP.NET component that lets developers secure applications and Web content and manage user accounts. The product supports Forms and Windows authentication. It includes authorization, auditing, and delegation features as well as a Web-based user management interface and reusable ASP.NET controls (e.g., dialog boxes, logon and registration forms, password controls). Developers can store user preferences and create and manage multiple user catalogs. Pricing for PortSight Secure Access 1.1 is $249. The product runs on Windows 2003/XP/2000. Contact PortSight at [email protected] or on the Web.

    http://www.portsight.com

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    5. Contact Us

  • About Developer .NET Perspectives -- [email protected]
  • About the newsletter -- [email protected]
  • About technical questions -- http://www.sqlmag.com/forums
  • About product news -- [email protected]
  • About your subscription -- [email protected]
  • About sponsoring UPDATE -- contact Kate Silvertooth at ([email protected])
  • This email newsletter is brought to you by SQL Server Magazine, the independent source of technical, how-to information for SQL Server developers and administrators. Subscribe today.

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    Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.

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