Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Two Microsoft .NET Developer Events in DFW, You Must Attend

If you are a budding .NET developer looking to kick start your career in 2011 or advance your career on Microsoft .NET technologies, here are two great events right here in DFW that you must attend.

Windows Azure 2 Day BootCamp : 16th and 17th February 2011

This is a 2-day deep dive program to prepare you to deliver solutions on the Windows Azure Platform. We have worked to bring the region’s best Azure experts together to teach you how to work in the cloud. Each day will be filled with training, discussion, reviewing real scenarios, and hands on labs.

More Details and Registration here.

Dallas Day of Dot Net : 4th and 5th of March 2011

With Phil Haack kicking off the 2 day event with ASP.NET MVC 3, it got 2 days of immersive .NET programs including but not limited to “Windows phone, Azure, C# 4.0, HTML 5, Asp.Net MVC 3, WPF, Silverlight”. The event is priced at $200, but all proceeds go towards helping a cancer patient.

More Details and Registration here.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. -Gandhi

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Releases From Microsoft For Web Development

Microsoft released an array of new Products and releases mostly targeted for .NET Web developers. Read the full Announcement at Scott Gu's Blog.

Here is a summary of  release contents :

  • ASP.NET MVC3 - The latest version of the MVC for ASP.NET, featuring a new view-engine "Razor".
  • IIS Express 7.5 – A simplified developer focused version of IIS that does not require admin rights to run and debug code from Visual Studio.
  • NuGet - An open source package manager designed to make it easier for .NET developers to find, install, and use open source libraries for projects. One of the best and is our favorite.
  • Orchard 1.0 - The Orchard Project is Microsoft-sponsored project dedicated to creating open source applications and reusable components in .NET. Orchard 1.0, a .NET based CMS, is its first project.
  • SQL Server Compact Edition 4 – SQL Compact edition gets much simpler to use and deploy. Best deal is that Zero installations required and can be used now in multi-threaded environments.
  • WebMatrix – This is definitely a major product,  aiming to make developing .NET web applications fun and simple.  It comes packaged with IIS Express, ASP.NET and SQL Server Compact.  Develop your own or download and install a variety of community applications

That’s a really a huge basket of goodies.

Getting Started With Google App Engine on Windows

If you are planning to get started with Google App Engine on Windows, this note that I have written last year may help. 

I will be using Python for my development, so will be installing App Engine environment for Python.

  • Install Python 2.6.4 version from I was little tempted to have the latest version 3.1.1 but read in the release notes that 3.1.1 by design is NOT backward compatible. So it may not work with Google App Engine. So just stick to 2.6.4
  • Install PIL Module required for Image manipulation on Google App Engine.
Google App Engine SDK for Python

Install Google App Engine SDK from Google App Engine Downloads page. Latest version at this time is 1.3.0 released on 12/14/2009. 

Update:  Latest version of Python is 2.7.1 and App Engine SDK on Python as of 13 January 2011 is 1.4.1

This is all we need to start over working on Google App Engine. We can use Google App Engine Launcher to create a new app, run the app or even deploy the app to Google App Engine.  We can just use the IDLE editor that comes with Python installation to view and edit Python files.

It may just take about 10 minutes for both of these installations.

If you are really serious about developing apps on Google App Engine, then it may be helpful to use an IDE and some source code repository. So keep going : 
  • Tortoise  is a nice Subversion client for Windows and you can download it from
  • If you don’t have a SVN or other repository, try unfuddle. Its really great and Free.
  • Of the available IDEs, I really liked Aptana Studio.  You can get it here: Aptana Studio . Once studio is installed, get PyDev plugin from Plugins tab on the studio.
It may take about another 10 more minutes to install Tortoise, Aptana and setup SVN repository. 

Hope that helps.

Wow! Microsoft Excel Turns 25

Wow! Microsoft Office Excel application is 25 years old. Excel is my favorite and one of the best software applications I have ever used. Its incredibly rich, powerful and yet brutally simple.

Congratulations and Thank you Excel Team and Microsoft.