Friday, October 31, 2008

Telerik Watch Minute: Augmented reality WPF demo

Every now and then, our developers like to build something that's just "cool". Something that pushes them to learn and implement new technologies. For the PDC 2008 Show Off competition, the crafty WPF developers at Telerik built a very interesting "Augmented Reality" demo. Much of the demo simply shows-off the cool interaction between physical world and virtual WPF-based assets, but it also gives us a chance to highlight a few RadControls for WPF in action. Hope you enjoy the quick demo and more importantly enjoy the RadControls!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Telerik Watch Minute: Interview with Jan Blessenohl, OpenAccess ORM

While at PDC 2008, I had the fun opportunity to sit down with some of the Telerik product team guys and put them on camera for you to meet. First up for your viewing pleasure is OpenAccess ORM Team Lead, Jan Blessenhol. In this short(ish) 20 minute interview, Jan explains to us what OpenAccess ORM is, why it's unique, and then does a live demo showing us how OpenAccess' basic Forward Mapping features work. If you're interested in knowing more about Telerik's new ORM product, this is a great place to start. And I also need to make a quick production note. We had a couple of "glitches" in this recording that I reget. First, the audio for much of the video is much poorer quality than it should be because I forgot to record the microphone in my hand. Second, the lighting was bad and I forgot to pull-out the 'ol camera light. Finally, the HDD recorder battery died during the shoot so we had to "append" the ending- as such, it looks a little different that the rest of the video. I apologize for all the tech trouble and hope you can still enjoy the video. Expect better quality next time!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Telerik Watch Minute: Special PDC Edition

I only have a few minutes before running to the next PDC party, but I wanted to share with you a quick video live from PDC 2008. We've got a lot more video content on the way, but for now, enjoy the introductions to the Telerik Evangelism crew and even the Team Lead for Telerik's new OpenAccess ORM product. Plus, don't forget you can watch PDC live at Telerik's booth during the show's expo hours!

LIVE from PDC 2008 Keynote 2 (Sinofsky, Guthrie, Treadwell)

Welcome back for another live blow-by-blow account of a PDC 2008 keynote. Today's keynote promises to be much more interesting and developer friendly than yesterday's as ScottGu, Steven Sinofsky, Ray Ozzie, and David Treadwell take the stage. We're in our seats and things should get started soon, so settle-in and get ready for the updates. 8:29: Things are about to get started. They're making the announcement and dimming the lights. 8:32: Here we go. Exciting .NET and Windows video is playing. Much higher energy than yesterday already! Video is showing-off a lot of MS partner apps built using .NET, WPF, WF, etc. 8:35: Video's over, Ozzie is taking the stage. Already promising some "surprises" today. Also reviewing what was introduced yesterday and reminding us of yesterday's announcements. Calling yesterday a look at MS "backend" innovations, today will be a look at "frontend" innovations. 8:37: Ozzie is reflecting on how important "personal PCs" have become to everyday life and business. Starting to build the case for how WIndows has always been able to flex and adapt to the times. Saying Windows is ready to adapt to the Internet focused era. 8:40: "It's our objective to make the connection of the PC, Phone, and Web more valuable than the sum of their parts." Ozzie is now describing the advantages of PCs for delivering applications. Says real value has been delivered b/c PCs enable people to combine their apps for increased functionality. "The advantage of the PC will always be it's ability to enable consumers to richly create and consume information." 8:42: Now moving on to describe the advantages of the web for delivering applications. "The web's unique value is it's ability to assemble the world's people...and enable people to connect and share." 8:43: Finally, the advantage of the phone. "The phone is always with you and ready for your spontaneous actions." "The phone's most unique value is it's ability to handle your spontaneity." 8:45: Ozzie is saying the next gen MS services and platforms will tie all three platforms together to deliver a better unified experience. "We're investing to make Windows the best way to build applications for PC, Phone, and Web." Talking about Windows taking on a more "appliance like behavior" for downloading and handling applications. 8:47: Saying we're going to see today how MS is going to make web apps "installable" and enable devs to take web apps offline. That should be cool. "We're proud of where our Windows platform is going." Ozzie is wrapping-up his intro and getting ready to hand-off to the other keynote speakers. 8:50: First up, Windows 7! Steven Sinofsky is now on stage. Showing us the outline for his segment. Includes path to RTM at the end. Stay tuned! "We're going to show you how Win 7 brings you a personalized experience, how it's enables you to find and organize data, and then how it enables you to connect to devices." 8:51: Julie Larson-Green is now on stage with Steven to do the first demo of Windows 7. Everybody just perked-up! 8:53: Julie is showing us the new Windows taskbar and new way Windows manages windows. Similar to VS toolbar docking but for actual application windows on the desktop. You finally have the ability to re-order applications on the taskbar! Finally. 8:55: Now showing the new Windows Explorer. Content is now organized in "Libraries." Libraries can span USB drives, external drives, other computers, internal storage, etc. Explorer more tightly integrates search (looks a lot like Firefox inline search). 8:57: New networking tech called "Home Group." Enables all Win 7 and printers in your house to automatically connect. Just connect to your network and you'll be automatically connected to all devices on the network. Sounds a bit like Bonjour from Apple. 8:58: One observation: searching for files is happening lightening fast. Not the same search and wait experience of Vista. Wonder if that will be the case with "real" non-demo files. 9:00: Julie is now showing us some integration between a Motorola phone and Win 7 using the new "Device Stage." It's like the Vista "Welcome to Vista" window customized/tailored for specific devices. Explorer now shows unique icons for each device type (like showing an actual Motorola ROKR icon in the explorer). 9:02: Showing new theming mechanism for Win 7. Just an enhanced version of what exists in Vista. Also adds support to save and export themes to share with others. 9:04: Next, System Tray. Win 7 gives you complete control over System Tray. Only icons you put in Sys Tray will be displayed. You can rearrange, remove, etc. Pop-up alerts now all routed to Windows Action Center. You control which alerts you want to allow to be displayed in System Tray. 9:05: Now showing Windows 7 touch support. Using an HP Touchsmart PC. Win 7 automatically translates touch in to mouse features for programs that don't understand touch commands. Programs that are programmed to recognize gestures can do more with touch commands. IE 8 supports touch "flicks" for navigation, for example. The new Windows 7 Paint (the one with the RibbonBar) also supports touch for "finger painting." 9:10: Showing the globe multi-touch app (seen before on Surface). Looked very jumpy. Not sure if that's the HP fault or if Win 7 is still struggling to accurately process multi-touch. Guess we'll find out soon. 9:11: Julie is done. Back to Steven. Introducing the new Windows Live Services concept. Guess we'll hear more later from David. 9:14: Sinofsky is starting to talk about the transition from Vista to 7. "We got a lot of feedback at the RTM of Vista. A few blogs. Some news. Oh yeah, and some commercials." That got a light chuckle from the audience. 9:15: Still defending that MS was pleased with progress of VIsta, but acknowledging they've learned some key lessons: Ecosystem readiness (didn't give 3rd party enough time to prep for Vista)- not a problem in 7 b/c it's compat with Vista Standards- Talking about work MS has done to embrace standards in IE8, WordPad (OpenXML), etc. Compatibility- Talking about UAC. Says MS went too far (at least as far as developers are concerned). Says even though transition was hard, it moved the ecosystem forward. Scenarios- Trying harder in Windows 7 to make "key scenarios" better (like home networking) 9:20: Listing new features in Win 7 for developers: Ribbon UI, Jump Lists (right-click menus in new taskbar area), Libraries, Multi-touch/Ink/Speech, DirectX (what Sinofsky calls MS' modern view of GDI) 9:24: Time for a video! Showing Autodesk case study and how they've used multi-touch to enhance their software. Pretty short. Pretty bland. Just showing reverse-pinch zoom and multi-touch rotation. 9:27: Windows 7 is focusing on "fundamentals." Decrease memory footprint, disk I/O, and power consumption. Increase speed, responsiveness (especially in Start menu, Taskbar), and scale (ability to use up to 256 processors). Steven is now going to do his own demo. Starting by showing us he can run Win 7 on a net tablet (note: demos are not running on the PC he showed). 9:31: Can now use BitLocker protection on removable memory sticks. Showing that you can create VHDs natively from within Windows Disk Manager (that got a big applause from the audience). Can even mount and boot from VHDs (again natively) with Win 7. 9:33: Improved support for managing multiple monitors and high-DPI screens. Very tepid audience applause. You can now use shortcut to zoom Windows (similar to ZoomIt utility). Improved support for connecting to projectors (via WindowsKey + P shortcut). Support for multi-monitor Remote Desktop (huge applause for this feature). 9:37: Time for path to RTM talk! First, pre-beta for everyone in audience today. Pre-beta is "M3" build. Path from M3 is M4, Beta, RC, RTM. Beta is going to ship early next year (2009). Will be broadly distributed. Will be looking for lots of feedback (via Feedback tool). 9:41: Sinofsky is not committing to -any- new info about when Win 7 will ship. Just repeating "3 years after Vista GA." That's a bummer. Wrapping-up the Win7 talk now. Leaving us with the "Window's 7 Seven Calls to Action." 9:45: That's all for Sinofsky. He's handing things of to The Gu who is now taking the stage. 9:46: Starting with interop talk. Saying that they're making it easy to blend managed .NET code and native C++ code. Releasing an update for MFC in Win 7 and better support for large code bases and parallel processor programming in VS 2010 (now the official name). 9:48: Reviewing the .NET 3.5 SP1 and what that shipped. Saying .NET 3.5 SP1 will be built-in to Windows 7. Not .NET 4? 9:50: Scott is now doing a demo. It's a photo viewer application (a la Picasa). He's going to add more functionality to it taking advantage of Windows 7 features. Starting by adding a ribbon (this is a WPF app, by the way). MS is shipping a new WPF RibbonBar control this week, too. Not sure how this is Win 7 specific. Really just looks like a WPF demo, so should work in Vista or even XP. 9:53: Okay, here's some Win 7 specific functionality. Adding "Jump List" support. Simply requires defining tasks in your App.xaml file. The tasks show-up when you right-click your program in the Windows Taskbar. Seem very easy to implement. Just as some contextual short-cuts for your app. 9:54: Now showing some WIndows multi-touch. Again, multi-touch looks very jumpy. Starting to look like multi-touch (at least on the HP) is not nearly as smooth as on the iPhone or on Surface. Just showed multi-touch support working in photo app. Didn't show any code for how you handle custom gestures. Simple gestures (like finger clicks) work for free. 9:57: Shipping new WPF toolkit today. Includes a WPF data grid (finally!). RibbonBar shipping this week will be CTP. Will work on XP, Vista, and Win 7. 9:59: Starting to talk .NET 4. Going to ship Deep Zoom support for WPF (didn't see that coming). Going to enable you to run multiple versions of CLR code at the same time. More talk about strong interop support in .NET 4. A nod to MEF (the Managed Extensibility Framework). Finally, much improved tooling in VS 2010. And for those that haven't yet heard, VS 2010 will be built in WPF and support multi-monitor setups. 10:02: Scott is going to do a VS 2010 demo now. All PDC attendees are getting a VS 2010 CTP this week. Demo is showing how you can leverage new VS 2010 WPF rendering to create a richer visual experience in the code editor. By simply creating a class, he can extend VS with WPF to make the formatting of code comments much richer. Pretty good audience reaction to the comment formatter (or "ScottGu Mode" as he's now dubbed it). People are loving this new customizability of VS. 10:05: The extensibility framework that makes the extensibility of VS 2010 possible will be part of .NET 4 (MEF). Can be used in your own apps. 10:07: Time for a partner demo. Nick Lansley from Tesco (a large global grocery company) is going to show a "Next Generation Grocery Shopping" experience. Demo is running on HP Touchsmart PC again. All touch interaction. 10:09: It's really not (just) a grocery shopping app. It's being described as a "family hub" application. Share calendars, notes, -and- build grocery lists. Showed how you can use the web cam to scan a product bar code and find products. While it looked a little demo slight of hand, people loved the idea and gave it huge applause. 10:13: ScottGu is back on stage. Talking about improvements coming in IE8 and ASP.NET. Most of this you've already seen or heard about (like Dynamic Data, MVC, jQuery, and REST support). He's spending a little time now talking about jQuery. Announcing the official release of the jQuery Visual Studio IntelliSense support. Download it today. 10:15: Talking next version of ASP.NET. Most of this was covered in yesterday's ASP.NET 4 break-out session, and most of this content is not new. You've seen a lot of this online before (like the new ability to control ControlID, improved ViewState handling, better CSS support, etc.). Says the Velocity distributed caching support will be provided in .NET 4, too.

10:18: On to Silverlight. Announced this morning a new IIS feature called IIS Smooth Streaming (a video feature). Netflix launched today their new Instant View feature running on Silverlight that works on both Mac and PCs (good news for all you Netflix users out their on Macs). Shipping Silverlight Toolkit this week, too (includes Chart, Treeview, and about 10 more basic controls).
10:21: WYSIWYG Silverlight editing coming to VS in VS 2010. Scott also just dropped the bomb that they're about to show (later today) how you can run Silverlight outside of the browser (start the Adobe Air comparisons).
10:23: And with that, Scott is done. David Treadwell is now on the stage to talk about Windows Live Services (which I think will really focus on Live Mesh). He's starting with an overview of what Live Services are and the different Live Service types (like Identity, Directory, Search, etc.).
10:27: David's content is dragging a bit (especially after the excitement of Steven and Scott's presentations). People are starting to stream out of the keynote. Plus, it looks like the keynote is going to run long (supposed to be over in 2 minutes). We'll stick through it all to bring you full coverage.
10:32: Finally we get to Live Mesh. Says this week MS will start talking a lot about how devs can use Mesh Services to enhance their own applications (basically providing sync support). Today they're also announcing the "Live Framework," the way you'll access all Live Services (including Mesh). David's inviting Ori Amiga from Live Services team at MS to show us a demo of enhancing a Windows app (same photo app from the GuNote) with Live Services.
10:35: Ori is showing some C# code for using Live Services. Seems straight forward enough. Even showing some LinqToLiveServices. The root is a reference to an instance of the "LiveOperatingEnvironment" class. People are mildly impressed with the demo.
10:37: Showing how syncing automatically syncs data between two PCs (in this case, changing some meta data on a photo object) and from his phone to the PC (in near real time). Pretty cool- audience was pretty impressed. Ori definitely saved this segment of the keynote.
10:39: Next up, Anthony Rose, Head of BBC Online Media is taking the stage to show us how to "Live Enable" a web application. Showing the BBC iPlayer and a new proof of concept version that uses Silverlight and Mesh to deliver media content to all your devices automatically.
10:42: iPlayer using integration with Live to get Live Messenger friend list and Mesh infrastructure to deliver content, share preferences, notify friends of new content you're watching. Basically, Mesh enables BBC to focus on the content experience and leaves the complicated networking tasks of distributing content and notifications to MS and the Mesh layer. Mesh will even remember how much of a video you've watch on your phone and sync the video on your PC to that point so you can resume watching. People liked that idea.
10:45: BBC is done. David is back. Keynote is now running 15 minutes late. David is quickly wrapping up. Download the Live Framework CTP later today at Mac version of Mesh client launching today, too.
10:47: Another (!) demo. This time a guy from the MS Office team. Going to show us how Office 14 is using Live Services to enhance the Office experience.  Announcing today that MS will be shipping Office Web apps with Office 14. Will be lighweight versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoin, and OneNote.
10:49: Office Web Apps will make it easy to view and collaborate on Office docs online. Changes made in Office (proper) automatically sync (again in near real time) to the Office Web version.
10:52: It's not clear if Office Webs will enable you to create new content. Also not clear what they're using to build Office Web Apps (Silverlight? ASPNET AJAX?). Office Live Workspace look a lot like Google Docs dashboard (and SharePoint). And some clarification arrives- they -are- using Silverlight and they are enabling (at the very least) document editing online.
10:55: The Office Web Apps really do look a lot like the desktop counterparts. Pretty impressive.
10:58: Office Web App demo is done. Ray Ozzie is back to wrap things up and end this fun (but long) keynote.
I think that's most of what's going to be covered today. I hope you enjoyed the coverage!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Visit the Telerik PDC!

I said last week that we'd be bringing PDC to you in a way we've never done before, and today we've flipped the switch. We know many of you can't make it to LA for PDC, but we don't want you to miss out on the fun at the Telerik booth. So for the entire PDC Expo, we'll be streaming LIVE video from our booth! It's almost like you're at PDC in the Expo Hall hanging out with us in our booth...almost. Okay, so it's not as good as being here, but we think it's a cool way to help you experience PDC 2008 and kill some time at work (not that any of you would do that...of course). Enjoy the live stream from PDC and watch for some more video updates soon.

LIVE from PDC 2008 Keynote

It's finally here! After being cancelled last year, Microsoft has put together a PDC show that promises to make-up for lost time. With some people calling the new technology that Microsoft is introducing this week as big as .NET was back in 2000, there is no question that the developer excitement at this event is high. So sit back and get ready for a week's worth of live PDC coverage, starting with today's keynote. We're settled-in with the 6500 other PDC attendees and they're getting ready to start the show. Enjoy the coverage and stay tuned for more updates as the week goes on!

8:33 AM: People are still streaming-in. They've announced that we're about start. Some very bland electronic music playing- no Guerillas here.

8:37: Here we go! Ray Ozzie is on stage to get things kicked-off. Talking about how transformational the tech Microsoft is introducing is going to be. And now thanking us for being here, blah, blah...

8:39: Ray is trying to relate with the audience. Talking about how he used to be "one of us." Making the case for choosing Microsoft. Essentially, an elegant way of saying "no one ever got fired for picking Microsoft." Covering all of the things MS has done over the years in response to new tech/platforms (i.e. devices, mobile, etc.) and building the case for how MS is going to do it again for the era of services. Very clear the key message for PDC is going to be Software + Services (with heavy emphasis on services).

8:44: Ray is painting the picture for how the web has become central to business (foundation for buying in to services and the cloud). Trying to suggest that in today's global, connected environment, it's just too expensive (for many companies) to build the infrastructure they need. Main point: the cloud is a significantly new approach to infrastructure and is not some trendy term being assigned to the way things are already being done today.

8:50: Now saying MS has accumulated lots of experience and expertise in building and managing services in supporting their own global business. Point is to suggest even though MS is new to providing "external IT" services to devs, they're not new to managing them.

8:53: Wow! A keynote mention and nod to Jeff Bezos and Amazon for their cloud services. Ozzie says MS and others will be standing on Amazon's shoulders as they move in to cloud services.

8:54: And the first "announcement"! Windows Azure. A new cloud OS, i.e. Windows in the cloud. Tepid reaction from the crowd. I think people didn't know how to react.

8:55: Azure will be like Windows in the sense that MS will treat it like a platform and embrace 3rd party development on top of it. Ray just suggested the groundwork being laid for cloud computing today is going to set the stage for the "next 50 years" of software development.

8:57: You do not run Azure on your own PC/servers. Runs in MS datacenters (it's a service). Being released today as a CTP. Looking for feedback to buildout service features going forward. Ozzie says Azure will be the "highest availability" and most "globally friendly" version of Windows.

9:00: The Azure Services Platform is made-up of Live, .NET, SQL, SharePoint, and Dynamics CRM Services, all built on top of Azure. New .NET logo, by the way! Looks like a blue wave or spiral, or something abstract like that.

9:02: Demo time. Amistad (something incredibly hard to say and spell) from MS is now on stage to go in to more details about how Azure works. People are cracking-up at his bright red shoes.

9:07: Amistad (sp?) is still covering Azure detail. Too much detail for a keynote if you ask me. He's also just reading his cue cards- not very well prepared to be a keynote speaker (at least that's the what it sounds like).

9:08: So, while Amistad is still covering the ins and outs of how MS has built a network capable of delivering the Azure service, let me make a programming note and mention that I'm low on laptop batt (forgot to charge last night after the PDC parties). So if live updates stop, fear not. I'll keep writing and post the updates as soon as we get back to the booth. Now back to listening to Azure details...

9:11: Okay, now a demo! Stephen (something) from MS is on the stage and is showing us a "Hello World" app for the cloud. It's an ASP.NET app that he's going to run on the cloud.

9:13: There will be a "offline" replication of the cloud that can run locally on your dev boxes for testing/debugging (with all services available in the cloud). Enables familiar VS debug experience. When ready to publish, you "Publish" in VS (creates some meta data and a code package) and then deploy via a "Development Portal" MS website. for a live demo.

9:16: Jonathan Greensted is now on stage to how off a new app his company has built running on Windows Azure: It's a Silverlight app that enables you to track people via bluetooth (I think). It's not clear yet how they're using Azure.

9:19: Okay- a web service layer is running on Azure that all Bluehoo clients communicate with. Showing us how easy it is to scale service. Just "upgraded" Bluehoo from 2 instances to 20 via a simple configuration file change. Says that's all they need to do to handle the PDC load that's about hit (we'll see)! You can download Bluehoo later today.

9:22: Amistad (I know that's not his name) is now back on stage. Summarizing Azure and wrapping up his segment.

9:24: Bob Muglia (from MS) has taken the stage to talk about the Services stack on top of Azure. Starting with another history lesson of computing...

9:28: Okay folks- hit the battery wall. Check back soon for more updates. I promise I'll get a full charge for the next keynote!

12:05 PM: Recharged, so let me fill you in on the last portion of the keynote (you really didn't miss much):

  • Shawn Davison, VP at Red Prairie, demoed a new Contoso app that was running on Azure and consuming Microsoft Workflow Services. The demo was okay, but not particularly impressive for a keynote.
  • Microsoft made it clear they're EYODF (Eat Your Own Dog Food) with their new services offering. Showed a demo of a new version of System Center (codenamed "Atlanta") using some of the MS services. You can see a live demo at
  • More MS guys going on and on- Oslo was only mentioned in passing. Someone compared the significance of the launch of Azure to the launch of Windows NT in 1992.
  • Key theme of Software + Services is "Power of Choice"
Really, it wasn't a great keynote. Many of the MS speakers were reading directly off of the teleprompters (literally waiting for their next line before talking) and overall there wasn't much energy in the keynote presentations. A bit of a slow way to start the big PDC week. Tomorrow's keynote should be better, though, with ScottGu and Steven Sinofsky taking the stage to (presumably) talk .NET 4 and Windows 7 (among other topics). Keep it tuned here for the live coverage.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sneak Peek Telerik PDC Badge: i am .NET Ninja

If you're attending PDC this year, one way you can participate in the fun is by collecting and sporting "custom badges." Adam Kinney announced the new Microsoft "initiative" (technically called "PDC Badges") on his blog a few weeks ago and described it like "Xbox Achievments" for a conference. Basically, it goes like this:

  • Your PDC badge holder has room for an extra badge below your name tag
  • You can collect badges from different places for doing different things during PDC
  • You can display your badge of choice proudly in your PDC badge holder
  • At the end of PDC, you have a cool collection of badges to show-off on Flickr
Telerik has decided to get in on the fun and offer a very exclusive PDC badge, only for the most worthy of PDC attendees. Based on the popular Telerik ".NET Ninja" t-shirt (which we will also be giving away at PDC), the "i am .NET Ninja" badge will truly be the badge to collect and show-off in your PDC badge holder. To get yours and tell the world your are a .NET Ninja, stop by the Telerik booth (#401) and we'll welcome you to the dojo!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Join Telerik at PDC 08

Your next chance to meet with the Telerik crew is just around the corner in the sprawling metropolis of LA. Telerik will be in full force at PDC 2008 and we'd love to meet some of you at the event. Telerik is a Gold Sponsor of PDC 08, so we'll have another big booth on the expo floor. We'll be located in booth space 401, but you can just look for the booth where all the .NET Ninjas are gathering and you'll be able to find us. At the booth, we'll be showing demos of many of our Q3 release features, demos of our new OpenAccess ORM product, and we'll be playing some games to give away 5 full subscription licenses! For my part, and the part of my Evangelism Team, we'll be working hard to bring you live updates from the show. I'll try my best to bring you some more keynote live blogging, shots from the expo floor, early reactions to all of the big MS "announcements" (Olso, .NET 4, Windows 7, etc.), and even some regular video updates. We also have a very special tool in the works that is going to put you at PDC like we've never done before, so stay tuned for the reveal and keep your RSS readers locked-in here for all the latest news from PDC!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Telerik Watch Minute: Special Edition from Bulgaria

Even with the .NET speaker circuit "Fall Travel Season" in full-swing, I'll still work hard to bring you regular Telerik Watch Minute updates. This update comes live from Sofia, Bulgaria, home to DevReach 2008 and Telerik HQ, of course. While I usually like to mix a little news with some code updates in TWM, this past week has just been packed with news, so I needed the full "bite size update" to cover all of the important items. From the official release of Silverlight 2 to the release of Telerik's Q3 2008 beta for the RadControls to OpenAccess ORM, even at a fast clip this week's update need a full three minutes to cover it all. So get ready for a lot of info, enjoy the change in scenery, and then watch for new updates from PDC in about a week! Click here to watch at native HD size

Thursday, October 16, 2008

ASP.NET MVC Beta now available

This is a busy week for Microsoft releases. With Silverlight 2's official arrival still hot out of the oven, Microsoft appears to have today released the ASP.NET MVC Beta. I say "appears" because none of the "big" MS bloggers have yet to comment on this release. In fact, as of this moment, the Beta is not even announced on CodePlex. Fellow Telerik Evangelist Kevin Babcock pointed the release out to me, and sure enough, it's live and ready for downloading on Microsoft's servers. This is the sixth "release" of the fledging MVC framework, and with it we get slightly more polish than what Preview 5 provided. Among some of the changes from Preview 5:

  • TempData is now interfaced so different TempData providers can be used (and so TestData can be more easily tested). The default TempData provider is backed by ASP.NET session.
  • Fixed OutputCacheFiltering so that it works correctly in authorization scenarios (i.e. the user is always authenticated for methods with the Authorization attribute).
  • New namespace created for HTML helper methods: System.Web.Mvc.Html
  • New default model binder added to handled complex model types (saving you the need to create lots of custom binders).
  • Template now creates a Scripts folder by default to store all JavaScript files
For the complete list of changes in the beta, be sure to read the helpful 14 page release notes. No word yet on when we can expect the final release of ASP.NET MVC, but enjoy the beta bits. Maybe we'll get more details at PDC in a couple weeks.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The wait is (finally) over, Silverlight 2 released

While we were getting ready for Day 2 of DevReach here in Bulgaria earlier today, Microsoft finally got around to releasing one of its most highly anticipated new technologies in years, Silverlight 2.0. By now, there is little new I can tell you about Silverlight, so be sure to review all of my posts on this technology that have been accumulating for the last couple of years. There you'll find all the info you need to get started with Silverlight 2.0. But if you're new Telerik Watch and Silverlight, let me just summarize quickly: the most significant change in Silverlight 2.0 (from 1.0) is the addition of cross-browser, cross-platform .NET.

As far as timing goes, Silverlight 2.0 is shipping a little later than Microsoft had originally (publicly) planned, and with fewer features, too. The sophomore plug-in is delivering much of what application developers need to start doing "real" development in Silverlight, but there is still much work to be done to make Silverlight a productive LOB platform. With Silverlight 2 now behind us, it's time to start addressing those "gaps" (such as offline application support and increased access to system resources) and looking forward to Silverlight 3.0!
But I'm probably getting a little ahead. Right now we can celebrate the "official" arrival of the 2.0 plug-in and start doing some "real" Silverlight development. And with the plug-in official, what do you think of Silverlight 2.0? Is this the milestone you were waiting for to start using Silverlight or do you still need more?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Join Telerik at DevReach 2008 this week

Do you know what's happening this week? If you don't, RTFPT (read the * post title). It's DevReach week! Starting today, Telerik and are hosting the 3rd Annual DevReach conference here in Sofia, Bulgaria. This year's event is loaded with excellent sessions from speakers like Tim Huckaby, Lino Tadros, Stephen Forte, Carl Franklin, and, of course, yours truly, and well over 400 people have packed the International Events Center to see them. Now, clearly, if you're not already here, you probably won't make this year's event, but we'll be recording some of the sessions and putting them online for your viewing pleasure. Hopefully we'll have the first of the video up by Wednesday.

During my time this year, I'll be doing 3 sessions: "ASP.NET AJAX, Silverlight, and the Future of Web Development (updated)", "ASP.NET MVC: Red Pill or Blue Pill?," and "What's Next for Web Development," a .NET Rocks panel with Carl Franklin, Miguel Castro, and Shawn Wildermuth. Slides and code should be available on my blog as soon as I can upload them, so check back later for those.
DevReach is always a great conference and a great time, so you're really missing-out if you're not here. Stay tuned for more updates as the week roles along!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Telerik reveals new product line: Telerik OpenAccess ORM

Big- no-  HUGE news today. For some time now Telerik has been alluding to a new product line that will be joining the Telerik offering in Q3 of this year, and now the veil is finally lifted! In Q3 2008, Telerik will introduce Telerik OpenAccess ORM. That's right, Telerik is moving beyond UI components to do for data development what we've done for UI development. Telerik OpenAccess ORM, formerly Vanatec OpenAccess, will make process of developing a robust, scalable, datastore-agnostic data layer as easy as building rich, high-performance UIs for ASP.NET, WinForms, WPF, and Silverlight with the RadControls. We know we're not the only game in town for ORMs, but just as we entered the UI component market and corrected the oversights of "incumbent" vendors, we plan to enhance the ORM experience for .NET developers and bring Telerik's trademark service, documentation, and support to .NET ORMs.

This is an exciting time for Telerik and we're very eager to ship this product to you. We know there are going to be lots of questions after today's announcement, so stay tuned to Telerik Watch and the blogs for lots of additional details in the coming days and weeks leading up to the Q3 release. For now, spread the word and get ready for "more than you expect" in you data development!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Todd Anglin on MVC, Ajax, Silverlight, WPF, Web Browsers

One of the things I did while in India back in May was sit down with a video crew to film a quick interview for The interview has finally been processed and published online and made available for your viewing pleasure. A few quick notes about the video:

  • It was shot in mid-May 2008, so obviously, the info is dated to that period (though most of the content remains relevant today)
  • The video was shot in an old dressing room backstage at the Indian Institute of Science after days of marathon sessions, and the interviewer specifically asked me to not look her direction (she was sitting to the left of the camera). So if I look like I'm trying to not look at the questioner during the video, that's why.
  • The video is about 12 minutes long and it covers a lot of topics. I think it starts with browsers, then moves on to Ajax, MVC, and then WPF and Silverlight. Feel free to skip to the parts that interest you.
The video was shot to help generate content for the site, a new developer portal launched by Saltmarch Media shortly after the Great Indian Developer Summit concluded. You can find other videos on the site from some of the other speakers I shared the event with, so spend a few minutes looking around if you've never seen this resource before. Other than that, enjoy the info-packed interview! Watch the interview video now

Friday, October 03, 2008

Session Replay: RadGridView for WinForms Overview

The on-demand version of this Wednesday's RadWebinar on RadGridView for WinForms has finally been processed and been made available online. You can still, of course, download the original source file, but if you don't want to wait on a 650 MB download, feel free to use this streaming resource for instant access. To effectively see the code captured in this video, I suggest you run the video in full-screen mode. Alternatively, you view the video in its native size (1600x1200) by following this link (opens in new window). Enjoy this nearly 2 hour resource and stay tuned for more video in the future!

Build a WinForms app, Win $500

Get your attention? It's really just about as easy as it sounds. Telerik is running a new contest to see how creative you can be with the Telerik RadControls for WinForms. All you have to do is build a WinForms application with Telerik's RadControls for WinForms, send us some screenshots and a description of how you used the RadControls in your project, and you're entered to win! The first 50 people to submit entries will automatically get 5,000 Telerik Points, too, so don't wait to submit your apps. You've got one month (the contest ends October 31st), so review the full contest rules and then get busy! There's a $500 Amazon gift card on the line!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

RadGridView webinar follow-up (update)

Today Lino Tadros from Falafel held the first RadWebinar on Telerik's RadGridView for WinForms. The event went very well and we hope that everyone that attended enjoyed the format and was able to learn something new about RadGridView. If you weren't able to make today's event, or if you'd just like to study the material presented in-depth, Lino has gone the extra mile and prepared PDF courseware and numbered demos for your reference. You can download those resources below. The video of today's event will be available online soon, too. It will take some more time to process the video for online viewing, but to avoid any delays (and to have access to the "full size" video), you can download the "raw" GoToWebinar recording below. A lightly edited version will be available for online viewing in the coming days. Enjoy the content and keep your RSS readers tuned-in for the next RadWebinar details! Download PDF courseware [3 MB] Download demo code [1 MB] Download RadWebinar video (MOV) [650 MB] UPDATE: The online version of the webinar is now available for those that want to stream it.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX SP2 released

As I promised last week and mentioned yesterday, the second service pack for the Q2 2008 RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX has just been released. The primary focus of this service pack release is delivering complete support for Google's new Chrome browser, so again, if you need that support, download and install this release right away. A few additional things have made it in to SP2, too, beyond the normal bug fixes. Among the most interesting (in my opinion):

  • Memory leak fixes across all controls for better IE performance
  • New client-side event in RadCombobox: OnClientTextChanged
  • Image editor functions (crop, resize, etc.) provided with RadEditor can now be used outside of Editor!
  • Many new client- and server-side events in RadGrid
  • New EmptyDataText property in GridBoundColumn (for setting null text at the column level)
  • New AutoPostBack property in RadRotator
So, I guess I was wrong last week when I said there was "nothing" new in this release. But in this case, I'm happy to be wrong. Enjoy the extra goodies in this SP2 release and keep an eye out for the Q2 2008 beta soon. Read full Q2 2008 SP2 release notes