Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Microsoft TechDays Tomorrow, Attend My ASP.NET AJAX 4.0 Talk

Yes, you have another opportunity to attend a free online event tomorrow- in fact, you have an opportunity to attend 24 hours of live webinars tomorrow! Starting at 1:00 PM Wednesday in New Zealand's timezone (which is really only about 2.5 hours from now) and ending at 5:00 PM in Seattle's timezone, Microsoft TechDays 2009 is a massive, world-wide online event that will deliver 24 hours of continuous Live Meeting presentations (that's 95 individual sessions). Speakers from around the world- including yours truly- will be talking about everything from web development to office development to mobile dev in 5 different tracks. My session, titled "Cranking ASP.NET Performance to 11...the Easy Way," will be brand new and it will focus on highlighting some of the fun new enhancements coming in ASP.NET AJAX 4.0. Specifically, we'll look at the roots of Ajax, seek to understand why the UpdatePanel isn't really Ajax, and then see how the new client-side features in ASP.NET AJAX 4.0 help us build "real," pure Ajax applications. I'll also toss a little jQuery in at the end for fun! To participate, you just need a computer and an Internet browser. You can register on the TechDay's website to get your free pass to the event and then be sure to look for my live session at 4:00 PM Central Time (9:00 PM UTC) in the Web Track. Plus, the best sessions win prizes! So even if you think I'm a boring speaker and you hate my topic, stop on by to vote for my session. See you tomorrow! TechDays 2009 Agenda

Monday, March 30, 2009

Telerik Training Summit at TechEd 2009

Are you planning on attending TechEd 2009 this May? Do you want to maximize your time in L.A. and get some professional Telerik Training? Then you don't want to miss the upcoming Telerik Training Summit! Created and hosted by the experts in Telerik training at Falafel Software, the Telerik Training Summit is going to be a 3-day, instructor-led training covering the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX. This is the best way to maximize your learning of the Telerik tools for ASP.NET AJAX in 2009.

The Summit will be held May 8th - 10th in Los Angeles (TechEd starts on the 11th) and- if you register by tomorrow- it's only $999. That's 24 hours of training + meals (breakfast/lunch) + facetime with one of the industry's leading trainers (Lino Tadros, MSFT MVP & Falafel CEO) for $999. And if you need even more incentive, Falafel has also arranged a $400 discount for TechEd if you register for the Telerik Training Summit!
Space is limited and demand is high, so talk to your boss, convince him/her that this training can't be missed and that you must be at TechEd this year (where we'll probably get another Windows 7 build and maybe even more .NET 4 details), and then register for the Summit now.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Silverlight Webinar Wrap-up, GridView, Docking, Chart, and Theming

As promised, here is the "recording" of today's LIVE webinar on the RadControls for Silverlight. Those of you that attended live may catch that this isn't exactly the same version of the webinar you watched- it's a "pre-recorded" version that I processed so we could get the video online faster. That said, I think the live version was a little better, so you are rewarded for your live effort. Today's event focused primarily on working with the RadGridView, RadDocking, RadChart, and Telerik Themes for Silverlight. The 75 minute session covered both OTB (out of the box) features and how you can configure features from code and XAML. It's a great "Step 2" for those of you that already feel comfortable with "Step 1." Enjoy the video and stay tuned for much more Silverlight content! Watch recorded Silverlight webinar on Telerik TV (bigger size) P.S. For those that asked during the live webinar about the ability to save RadDocking state, I've confirmed that the feature is actively being developed and should be available in an upcoming release (maybe even SP1). At the latest, you'll have the ability to persist Dock state and re-load it in Q2. Hope that helps.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Weekly Webinar: Working with Q1 Silverlight Controls

Here's your Telerik Weekly Webinar reminder. This week the topic is Silverlight and I will be your humble host for the online event. The goal for this week's webinar is to introduce you more thoroughly to the controls in the Q1 2009 RadControls for Silverlight (more than you saw in the Q1 Release Webinar), showing you more of the controls in the collection and exploring new topics like theming and skinning. I'll bias the time in the webinar to some of the more "important" controls in the suite- like RadGridView and RadChart- so it should be a good event for those of you looking to really accelerate your adoption of the Telerik Silverlight tools. And, of course, since it's a live event, I'll be taking your questions and we'll try to cover as much as we can in our hour together.

The event is at the "normal" time: 11:00 AM Eastern Time on Thursday, March 26th. The event will be recorded and will be on TTV by Friday, too.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Join Telerik at DevConnections this week

Hot on the heels of MIX is yet another opportunity for you to interact with Telerik "in the wild." This week most of the Telerik Evangelism crew (sans yours truly) is in Orlando for Spring DevConnections 2009. Telerik is in full-force at DevConnections this Spring with a full booth setup and plenty of t-shirts and prizes to give away to those of you that stop by. We're set-up in booth space 101, so feel free to stop by and check-out some of the new stuff just released in Q1. Further, you've got an opportunity to win a full Telerik Subscription License and learn about Telerik's WPF controls by attending a session tonight titled "Building Business Applications with WPF, Silverlight, and the Telerik RadControls." Telerik Evangelist and Microsoft MVP John Kellar will show you how to get started using the Telerik XAML controls and some of the cool features in these related suites. And this is a developer session- not a marketing session- so come ready to learn (and hopefully ready to win the grand prize)! Enjoy the fun in Orlando and stay tuned for some wrap-up comments later this week.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

MIX09 Wrap-up

Well, folks, another MIX has come and gone, and in it's wake is a lot of new (public) info that will take weeks (if not longer) to digest. If you've been following Telerik Watch, then much of the news shouldn't been a surprise for you. I was 3-for-3 on my "MIX Predictions":

  1. Silverlight 3.0 Beta (with H.264 and LOB support)
  2. IE8 RTW
  3. Azure updates
Clearly, there was a lot more news at MIX, and I encourage you to check-out my Day 1 Recap for all the details. There were some things conspicuously missing-in-action at MIX09, though. For instance, there were no updates on the Silverlight Mobile road map, the long delayed mobile version of Silverlight with .NET support (though I did get some updates from the MSFT PM that I'll share later). There was no pricing news for Azure. There was little talk or focus on the changes coming in .NET 4 (which puts its timetable in question). And there were no new VS2010 or Windows 7 news or public builds. Now, clearly, some of these items aren't exactly MIX "appropriate," but I think many people were hoping for new details on these topics. Guess we'll have to wait for TechEd in May for Microsoft's next chance to make some big public announcements. And when they do, I'll be there to bring you the news LIVE! View some pictures from MIX09

Friday, March 20, 2009

IE8 released

If you haven't seen the news by now, here's your quick heads-up that IE8 is now officially released. The news was part of the Day 2 keynote here at MIX09, but it was largely expected (and even predicted on this blog). The official release wraps-up a much longer than expected development cycle for the follow-up browser to the headache-inducing IE7. In fact, it was exactly a year ago, at MIX08, where I originally blogged about IE8 beta 1, so it has taken a full year to go from Beta 1 to RTW! Regardless, the process is done now and IE8 is official. If you've forgotten what's new in IE8, here's a quick overview of the major changes from IE7:

  • Big performance improvements in JS processing, page rendering, chrome speed
  • Many chrome changes (new address bar, Web Slices, Accelerators, etc.)
  • Security improvements ("InPrivate" browsing mode)
  • Big steps forward in standards support:
    • "Most" CSS 2.1 compliant browser
    • Beginning of HTML 5 implementation (XDR, local storage, etc.)
    • Passes ACID2
  • Compatibility mode for "headache-less" upgrades
Enjoy the final release and begin testing your sites today (if you haven't started yet). Telerik, of course, will deliver official support for IE8 RTW for all of the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX no later than Q1 2009 SP1. All controls are already largely compatible, but any lingering issues will be fixed for the upcoming service pack. If you do have trouble today, simply use the IE8 Compatibility Meta Tag to temporarily solve your problems. Download IE8 RTW from Microsoft today

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

MIX09 Day 1 Recap

Day one at MIX09 is almost in the bag- "just" the open bar TAO Party to go- and in its wake is a flurry of new information (some of which wasn't even presented at MIX). So while you could spend the next several hours trying to comb the interwebs to get a complete picture, I, your humble .NET commentator, will try to bring you the highlights and save you some time. MIX09 Day 1 Highlights & Announcements

  • Expression Web 3 (no release links)
    • New "SuperPreview" tool - compare a page rendering in multiple browsers (including IE6,7,8 and browsers that run on other OSs via "cloud services")
    • Stand-alone SuperPreview tool for IE testing only
  • Expression Blend 3
    • Preview available today (required for SL3 work)
    • New SketchFlow tools (for rapid prototyping)
    • Stand-alone SketchFlow Viewer (for easy prototype sharing and annotation feedback)
    • Native support for importing (and editing) Photoshop/Illustrator illustrations
    • XAML, C#, VB IntelliSense
    • Support for Behaviors and live-data at design-time
  • Silverlight 3
    • Beta 1 available today
    • TONS of news - too much for a quick recap, but some highlights:
      • RIA Services, Fit Client ("out of browser") support, Offline APIs, GPU acceleration, H.264 support, multi-touch support, deep linking framework, ClearType support (not in beta- but coming), and much more
    • Plugin size smaller than SL2 (despite all new stuff)
  • Azure
    • CTP updated
    • Full Trust .NET support, support for PHP/FastCGI, Support for relational data storage (via SQL Data Services), support for Geo-Location services
    • Commercial release on track for later this year
  • ASP.NET AJAX 4 Preview 4
  • Misc Microsoft Announcements

There you go! Day one in re-cap. Clearly there are a ton more details not listed here, but hopefully this is enough to get you started. If I missed something major, let me know and I’ll update the post with more details. Stay tuned for Day Two coverage.

LIVE from MIX09 kick-off keynote

It's that time again. Time for another fun MIX live blog! Like last year, the music is already blaring- not Johnny Cash, though...this year we're going all hip with a DJ mixing-up the tracks- the lights are spinning, and people are streaming-in and taking their seats. I'm already locked and loaded, ready to bring you as much coverage as I can. So grab some coffee, get comfortable in your cube, and then get ready to give your F5 key a workout. We'll get things started soon! 8:41 AM: DJ tunes still going. DJ welcomed the audience and forgot what time and day it is today- clearly not a morning person. All tweets with #mix09 are streaming across one of the huge screens, too. Here's your chance to be part of the fun...8:54 AM: Music, music, music...people are still pouring-in, but room is definitely getting full. Things should get started in about 5 minutes. In the meantime, bookmark http://visitmix.com/2009 to find all videos from MIX. 9:01 AM: No action yet. Looks like things will be starting a little late this morning.

9:03 AM: Here we go! Lights down. Bill Buxton, MSFT Research, taking the stage.

Continue reading LIVE coverage of MIX keynote

9:04 AM: Talking about how now is a good time to be focused on “experience [design].” Trying to make the case that it’s still a good time to invest in design in a down economy. I think you don’t have to do much to convince this audience, dude…

9:07 AM: Bill is giving us a history lesson now. Showing us great designers through history (such as Walter Teague from Kodak in 1926). Showing us guys that started companies around the time of the Great Depression. His key “one liner” is: Return on Experience.

9:09 AM: Interesting way to start MIX. All talk is about industrial design. Definitely showing more love to designers this year than last year. Looks like developers will need to wait a bit for the interesting news…

9:12 AM: Bill just claimed that at least half of this MIX audience is from the design background and that less than half are developers. Guess that’s why we’re still talking industrial design…

9:15 AM: “Our job is not to answer questions. Our job is to ask the right question to get to the right question to ask the questions that deliver the answer.” I see…

9:19 AM: “What do Canada and transitions have in common? They’re both dominated by the states!” If you didn’t guess from Bill’s joke, we’re talking about diagramming state transitions now.

9:22 AM: Ah! Finally some Microsoft news. Bill is finally going to share some details about how MSFT is addressing this idea of supporting UX design.

9:24 AM: Bill just threw in the towel for the Zune. “It’s not about the device. It’s about the software.” Clearly MSFT is shifting back to the idea of the “platform” vs. the device. No “official” news, though, just a clear directional statement from Bill.

9:28 AM: Bill has really spent 30 minutes talking nothing about MSFT. Leaving the stage now. A quick video and then ScottGu takes the stage. Very funny video! Hopefully this will be online soon.

9:31 AM: Scott is on stage and it’s finally time to talk tools! He’s going to cover three categories: Standards-based web, RIA, and something else. First-up, talk about standards-based web tools and tech.

9:32 AM: Expression Web 3. Exciting new feature is called “SuperPreview.” Supposed to help you design CSS that works cross-browser. Erik Saltwell, GPM from MSFT, on stage to demo the new feature.

9:33 AM: Erik is using Expression Web. SuperPreview makes it possible to basically use any browser rendering engine in Web (even side-by-side and overlay modes). Enables you to quickly compare a page in different browsers to look for visual discrepancies. SuperPreview can use cloud services to provide browser renderings even if you don’t have the browser installed on your PC! That includes previews from Safari on a Mac on your PC.

9:37 AM: Very cool demo. You can now actually test IE6/7/8 on the same machine without VMs. They’re going to make a standalone version of SuperPreview available for FREE today. Download the beta and check it out!

9:38 AM: Back to Scott. Now talking ASP.NET MVC.

9:39 AM: As expected, just announced ASP.NET MVC is shipping in v1 today. Now on to talking ASPNET v4 and VS2010.

9:40 AM: First ASPNET. Talking about what’s coming new in ASPNET 4 timeline. More control over ViewState, an update release for MVC, new AJAX features (client-side templates), and distributed caching (a.k.a. Velocity).

9:41 AM: Now VS2010. Code improvements, improved JavaScript support, SharePoint editing support, support for multiple web.config files (Test, Staging, Prod, etc.). No news here. Now on to talking IIS7.

9:43 AM: Shipping 8 new extensions for IIS7 this week, including tools for publishing to IIS from VS, new secure FTP tool, new WebDAV tools, etc. No details, though. Scott’s already moving on to talk about the MSFT Web Platform Installer (the unified installer for MSFT products). Version 2 ships today. Available at Microsoft.com/Web.

9:44 AM: Launching Web App Gallery. Will feature free .NET and PHP apps that you can run on Windows Server. Demo time…

9:46 AM: Somebody (sorry no name on screen) is on stage demoing the Web PI (Platform Installer). Yeah…demoing an installer…

9:48 AM: Cool thing is that the installer does allow you to directly install apps- “An App Store for the Web Server.” Install things like DNN or WordPress. Web PI will handle installing all dependencies- including PHP if necessary.

9:50 AM: Anybody can get their app listed in the App Gallery (and thus the Web PI). Criteria online. You host the code- Gallery just points to it. You tell Gallery the dependencies, though, and it handles providing those.

9:51 AM: Announcing Commerce Server 2009. And that’s it. One slide. Now on to Azure.

9:52 AM: Azure Announcements:Supporting PHP/FastCGI, Support .NET Full Trust, Supporting relational databases (via SQL Data Services), New .NET services you can use in Azure apps. Commercial release later this year.

9:53 AM: Scott’s now moved-on to talk about BizSpark (the free software program for start-ups launched last year). I think his time is running-out ‘cuz he’s moving quickly. Wrapping-up by brining on-stage Jeff Attword and Joel Spolsky to talk about Stackoverflow.com.

9:56 AM: Jeff and Joel are just giving an overview of SO, the process for building it, the current traffic they’re serving (it’s all running on 2 servers), etc. Sorta a plug for MVC, too. Just a site overview. Annnd, now the plug for BizSpark.

10:01 AM: Jeff and Joel are wrapping-up the infomercial and Gu is back on stage to talk Silverlight.

10:02 AM: Silverlight 3. Today MSFT is releasing new versions of World Wide Telescope and a new Virtual Earth SDK. Highlighting the “10,000s” of apps world wide built using Silverlight. Inviting Kevin McEntee, VP Web Engineering, from Netflix on stage to talk about Netflix’s success with Silverlight.

10:05 AM: Talking about why Netflix picked Silverlight. Wanted to support Macs. Wanted to support FireFox. Wanted to remove installer experience. Wanted a single player for all users. Highlighting SL features Netflix uses: adaptive streaming support, built-in DRM, etc.

10:09 AM: Kevin says Netflix is “shipping” a new version of their Silverlight video player every 2 weeks since no installer is required. Interesting…

10:10 AM: Netflix is eager to use new GPU support for scaling and stretching video in Silverlight 3. “Netflix loves Silverlight.” Quick demo of the player and now Scott is back.

10:13 AM: Silverlight 3 media Announcements: GPU hardware acceleration, Codec support for H.264, AAC, and MPEG-4, Raw bitstream Audio/Video API (build your own codecs), and improved logging support for media analytics. New product: IIS Media Services. Free. Designed to help you deliver the highest possible quality video at lowest TCO.

10:16 AM: Scott is now demoing the new IIS Media Services and Expression Encoder. Very cool production workflow for video. Smooth streaming and adaptive bit-rates are very impressive. Support for live video now also includes “Tivo-like” abilities to pause, seek back, etc.

10:21 AM: Scott is now inviting Perkins Miller, Sr. VP Digital Media at NBC Sports, on stage to talk about the NBC experience using Silverlight to broadcast the Olympics. Announcing renewal of Silverlight platform for 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics- will be broadcast in full HD (720p) with Tivo-like features.

10:27 AM: Scott’s back. Done with media. Now time to talk RIAs.

10:28 AM: Silverlight 3 RIA Announcements; GPU acceleration, perspective 3D, bitmap & pixel API, Pixel shader effects, Deep Zoom improvements. Time for demos. Scott is showing “gratuitous” effects demo with Silverlight.

10:30 AM: App Dev with SL3: Deep linking, navigation, SEO will be addressed (support all major search engines), Improved text quality (ClearType), multi-touch support, 100+ controls available, library caching support (supposedly for any DLL).

10:33 AM: Demo time. David Anthony, Co-Founder Bondi, and Scott Stanfield, CEO Vertigo, on stage to demo some Silverlight 3 features in a new app built for Bondi (who is in the business of making back issues of magazines available).

10:37 AM: This demo is the new “Hard Rock” demo for Silverlight. It’s a more functional Deep Zoom powered Silverlight demo. Not sure if it will be publically available. Definitely cool for showing-off more media/SL3 capabilities. Looks like covertocover.com will be the spot to find this.

10:40 AM: Oh man- playboyarchive.com launches tonight with 40 free back issues of the magazine running (I assume) on a platform similar to what was demoed today. Have fun with that…

10:41 AM: Blend 3 Announcements: SketchFlow, Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator import, Behaviors, Designing with data, Source code control, XAML,C#, and VB code intellisense (finally!).

10:43 AM: Jon Harris from MSFT is on stage to demo new features in Blend 3. Starting with SketchFlow. Enables you to build “flow of an application” in Blend. Enables you to add “Wiggly Controls” to page (very prototype looking).

10:47 AM: A SketchFlow player enables you to share your prototypes with clients. Free player- doesn’t require Blend. Makes it easy to build a prototype in Blend and then share (with animated transitions). Easy feedback, too. Users can directly annotate on screens and then send feedback to Blend user who can load and view feedback.

10:50 AM: People LOVE the new ability in Blend to export a SketchFlow to Word Document (for quick documentation of application design). Loudest applause so far.

10:51 AM: Showing Behaviors in Blend 3. Enables you to add action to controls without writing any code. Next, showing direct support for importing Photoshop and Illustrator files. Enables you to import specific layers, merge layers, etc. Layers remain editable in Blend. Showing live data binding abilities in Blend 3 designer.

10:58 AM: Wrapping-up the SketchFlow/Expression Blend 3 demo. His one-liner: “Expression Blend 3: From concept to completion.” Scott is back on stage.

10:59 AM: Data Improvements in SL3: Data-binding improvements, validation error templates, server data push improvements, binary XML networking support, Multi-Tier REST data support (aka RIA Services aka Alexandria). Demo time.

11:01 AM: Scott is demoing data features in SL3. Using Entity Framework for DAL. Creating DomainServices class in server project (auto-syncs with SL project). Running demo- BUILD ERROR! :) Quick recovery though and everybody a good laugh. Showing grouping in new default SL DataGrid, Binding via proxy object, etc. See older Alexandria demos to understand what’s being demoed today.

11:06 AM: Demo’s done. New announcement: SAP NetWeaver Silverlight support coming this year.

11:07 AM: Silverlight running outside the browser! SL3 includes native Fit Client support. Can run SL3 apps out of browser on Windows and Mac. Safe, secure, sandboxed environment. Built-in auto update support. Build offline-aware apps (detect if network is available). Integrate with underlying OS (hardware acceleration, multi-touch, etc.).

11:10 AM: Demo of SL3 out of browser. Tom Mara from KEXP (90.3 FM Seattle) is on stage to talk about how KEXP used SL3 to build a KEXP player. The SL3 out of browser install has a single install prompt- allows user to tell installer to add Desktop and/or Start Menu short cuts.

11:15 AM: SL3 runs in a standard Windows window shell (or Mac window shell on OSX). Apps look the same on Win and Mac. Apps fire event when network connectivity lost so you can handle changes to connectivity. Runs completely out of browser process, but does operate in browser security sandbox.

11:18 AM: Demo is done. Scott’s back to wrap-up SL3 talk. Going to tell us how all of the new features in SL3 impact its download size. New SL3 download size: 40KB smaller than SL2!

11:20 AM: SL3 schedule. SL3 beta available today. Expression Blend 3, SL3 tools for VS 20008, IIS Media Services all available today, too.

11:21 AM: And that’s it! Scott has left the stage and it’s now on to the breakout sessions. Hope you enjoyed the live coverage. Watch for more as the week goes on.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Telerik @ MIX09

Do you know what's happening this week? MIX09! And Telerik is here in full-force to participate in the fun. If you haven't been following the rumors leading-up to MIX, let me quickly catch you up on what's expected to be the big focus of the week in Vegas:

  1. First and foremost, everyone expects this to be the Silverlight 3.0 conference. Last year was the Silverlight 2.0 conference, so it only makes sense that MIX09 will be the follow-up performance. And when it comes to SL3, everyone seems to think H.264 support + improved LOB support will be the main focus.
  2. There is also some chatter that MIX09 will bring the official release of IE8. It's been sitting in Beta 2 for quite some time now, so MIX seems as good a place as any to finally release it.
  3. Finally, there is a bit of hope that MIX09 will bring more details about the plans for Azure. Microsoft introduced Azure in last year's OzzNote, so maybe he'll have an update this year.
As usual, I will try to bring you LIVE keynote coverage on Telerik Watch, so if you can't tune-in to the MIX video, keep your browsers locked here with finger over F5. I'll do my best bring you the hottest news from MIX in near real-time. Finally, if you're going to be at MIX09, too, we'd love to meet-up! Just drop me a line and we'll find a fun place in Vegas (are there any of those?) to meet and talk Telerik, Silverlight, and all things MIX. Stay tuned- much more MIX news to follow this week.

Monday, March 16, 2009

New Telerik training opportunities from Falafel

Looking for some in-depth, in-person training on Telerik's tools? Our good friends and partners at Falafel Software are your answer. They are about to launch a new series of in-person classroom training for the Telerik RadControls at their beautiful new state-of-the-art training facility in Capitola, California (near Santa Cruz). These 3-day classroom training sessions will teach you everything (and I mean everything) you need to know to build any application you can imagine with the RadControls. The next training is scheduled for April 6th and it will be covering the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX. There will be a WinForms session a few weeks later and then some more ASP.NET AJAX training in May and June. Class size is limited, though, so if you're interested in the training, you need to act quickly as seats are already filling-up. For a complete overview of the training schedule, the 3-day course outlines, and all other important details, check-out the Consulting Resources on Telerik.com. Enjoy the beautiful California weather and watch for more new Telerik learning opportunities to be announced soon!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Resources from Silverlight 2 training, Wrap-up

We had a great turn-out at yesterday's Silverlight 2 training (despite the ugly weather in Houston) and we did some serious Silverlight 2 learning. It was 4 hours packed with info, hands-on-labs, and good questions from the audience. We covered everything from the roots of Silverlight to the basics of styling Silverlight controls in Blend to the basics of data binding with web services. A big thanks to everyone in Houston that came-out yesterday to spend the afternoon with me! Hopefully you had a good time and learned something in the process. For everyone else, I'm making the HOLs (hands-on labs) I developed for this training available on Telerik Watch! There are 5 brand new labs in the archive. The first is a simple "Hello World" lab that makes sure you know how to start a new Silverlight project. The other four labs guide you through the process of building-up and styling a simple app called "OverShare" (a nod to my affection for Twitter). The labs are split-up like this:

  • Working with Silverlight controls and Silverlight Toolkit
  • Working with Blend and styling Silverlight controls
  • Data binding basics with web services in Silverlight
  • Accessing cross-domain services and improving the loading experience
Enjoy the resources and have fun becoming a Silverlight expert! Download the new Silverlight 2 Hands-on Labs

Friday, March 13, 2009

Vote for my TechEd BOF sessions

I'm activating the Telerik Watch army(?) to help put my "Birds of a Feather" sessions on the schedule at TechEd North America this May. I will be at TechEd this year as a "Microsoft Expert," but I've also submitted a few BOF sessions that I think the TechEd crowd will enjoy. To get them on the schedule, though, they have to be voted-in by the super fair online democratic process that enables you (the random- but clearly intelligent) web surfer to give the thumbs-up or thumbs-down. I'd, of course, appreciate it if you could help by voting for my two sessions:

  1. Build Great Web Applications Today
  2. Telecommuting: Is the grass really greener?
The first session will focus on the tough question of how do you build "great" web applications today with all the new technology options that are out there. Do you use Silverlight? ASP.NET AJAX? jQuery? And the second session (clearly less technical) will focus on exposing the truth and answering the questions about telecommuting as a .NET developer. I figure I've got some experience in this arena and I'd love to see an open dialog on the pros/cons of this "non-standard" working arrangement. Unfortunately, the voting form is much, much less than pleasant. You'll find my first session 10th on the list and my second about 50(!) spots below that (near the bottom of the list). I appreciate your help and I hope to see some of you at these sessions at TechEd in May! Vote for my BOF sessions now

Join me for Silverlight training TODAY (in Houston)

With all the hustle and bustle of the Telerik Q1 release, I forgot to plug my free half-day Silverlight 2.0 training that's happening today at the Microsoft offices in Houston! This four-hour training will cover everything from 101 to 301 and it will be a mix of presentation and hands-on labs (that I've created specifically for this training). The goal is to enable people that have never worked with Silverlight to learn everything they need to know to feel comfortable building "real" applications for themselves with Silverlight 2.0 (3.0 is off-limits for this training). The training will start at 1:00 PM local time and run 'til about 5:00 PM. The official title of this session is ".NET Dojo: Silverlight"- not my title, but it works, especially with the Telerik .NET Ninja motif. If you want to attend, you'll need to register, which you can still do online through Microsoft: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032405198&Culture=en-US I will be repeating this training in Austin on April 2nd, so if you're in the Austin area, watch for that registration soon. Otherwise, for those of you in driving distance to Houston, I hope to see you in a few hours at the training!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Telerik Q1 2009 (fully) released!

It's been a fun and exciting release week, and now all of the Q1 2009 release bits are available for immediate download on Telerik.com. That's 7 releases (8, if you count the new Telerik Visual Studio Extensions) all shipped to you this week, right on schedule! And did you see the news on the Telerik blogs? The "Downloads" section in your Client.net accounts has been revamped just in time for Q1 so that you no longer have to click through multiple screens and tabs just to download new bits. Go directly to your accounts and start downloading! All of the live, online demos have been updated, too! So for those of you just interested in "kicking the tires" before spending time downloading and installing, the demos are ready. Here are some quick links to get you started: RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX online demos RadControls for Silverlight online demos RadControls for WPF "online" demos (XBAP) RadControls for WinForms free trial Telerik Reporting online "demos" (rendered reports) Telerik OpenAccess ORM online demos Sitefinity CMS Demo Site (with demo Admin access) There is no online demo for the new Telerik WebUI Test Studio, so instead I'll encourage to watch the videos covering this new product on Telerik TV. Enjoy the release bits and don't miss the last Release Week webinar on Friday!

What's new in the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX and Silverlight in Q1 2009

Four webinars down, one to go. If you didn't get a chance to attend today's live webinar event, where we talked at length about the new and exciting stuff in Q1 2009 for the ASP.NET and Silverlight RadControls, it's now available on-demand on Telerik TV! We ran this webinar a little long- 75 minutes instead of 45- but I asked the audience's permission first! 80% of the audience wanted to see more tech content and demos, so what can I say- I give the people what they want. This recorded webinar covers all of the fun highlights in the Q1 releases and it even covers a few surprises! I'd tell you what they are here, but that would spoil the fun. If you're a web developer and you want to know why you should care about Q1, take a few minutes and enjoy this webinar. If you're more the hands-on type, the online demos for the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX are available now, so check them out and enjoy! Watch the What's New in ASPNET and Silverlight webinar on Telerik TV (bigger size)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Q1 Update, Bits available Thursday

A quick update for all of you eagerly waiting to get your hands on the Q1 2009 bits (and really, who isn't?!). The bits for all of the product lines are now ready and in the process of being uploaded to the Telerik distribution servers and they should be ready for download tomorrow, Thursday. As many of you know, our release process is multi-step:

  1. Final bits/installers/docs for release built
  2. Release builds (trail/dev) uploaded to Telerik distribution servers
  3. All Telerik subscription accounts updated to access new bits
Steps one and two are done, and only step three remains. That process should begin soon and the new bits should be available in your Client.net accounts on Thursday. In the mean time, if you want a "sneak peek" at what's coming the official Q1 builds, some of the release notes are already available on Telerik.com. Study them now (and attend the release week webinars) and you'll be ready to hit the ground running tomorrow! Q1 2009 Release Notes for ASP.NET AJAX Q1 2009 Release Notes for Telerik Reporting Q1 2009 Release Notes for OpenAccess ORM

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Q1 Kick-off Webinar & Intro to WebUI Test Studio

In case you missed the live event this morning (11 AM Eastern Time - sorry to those in Europe that were confused by the daylight savings time change in the US), we have moved quickly to make the on-demand resource available online. Enjoy the Q1 2009 release week kick-off webinar here or in "full definition" on Telerik TV and then join us for our next live webinar tomorrow, Wednesday, 11 AM Eastern Time, to learn what's new in the RadControls for WinForms and WPF in Q1 2009. And let me preface this recording by saying this is an overview webinar, so it is light on tech content (as some have pointed out). The rest of the webinars this week will have a lot more tech content and demos, so if you're looking for more "meat," join us everyday at 11AM this week. Watch the Q1 2009 Kick-off Webinar on Telerik TV (in "full" definition)

Q1 2009 Status Update

Looking for the Q1 2009 release? It's almost ready! All teams at Telerik are putting the final touches on the Q1 installers and builds and getting everything queued-up for deployment on Telerik.com. Expect to start seeing the first wave of products available for download on Telerik.com tomorrow, Wednesday. If there is any change to that schedule, I'll be sure to update you here directly. The Q1 2009 release is the biggest in Telerik's history with 7 new product suite releases shipping simultaneously. It's been a huge effort to coordinate all products and get everything ready for the release week, but I think the teams have done an incredible job. While you wait on the bits (please, save your F5 key), check out the up-to-date road maps of what you can expect to find in Q1: What's in the RadControls for WinForms in Q1? What's in the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX in Q1? What's in the RadControls for Silverlight Q1? What's in the RadControls for WPF in Q1? What's in Telerik Reporting in Q1? What's in OpenAccess ORM in Q1?

Q1 Webinar Week Starts Today!

The HUGE Q1 2009 release week has arrived! Gabe Sumner got things kicked-off on Monday with the Sitefinity 3.6 intro webinar, and I'll carry the torch today, Tuesday, with the "official" Q1 2009 Release Kick-Off webinar. In today's webinar, I'll give you a high-level look at what's coming in Q1 2009 across all of the Telerik product lines and then spend most of the time introducing you to Telerik's brand new WebUI Test Studio. So whether you're just looking to get a quick grasp on what's new in Q1 or if you're eager to see WebUI Test Studio in action- or you just want the latest news on the Q1 release status- this webinar is for you! Things get started today at 11 AM Eastern Time. You can reserve your seat now and then set your Outlook reminders so you're not late. We'll be starting promptly today since we have a lot to cover and we want to keep the event in the 30 - 45 minute range so you have time to attend the other webinars this week. We hope you are as excited about the big Q1 release as we are! Don't miss-out on the excitement and join me later today for a fun-filled live webinar event.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Weekly Webinar: Client-side Tips & Tricks for the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX

As usual, I'm a little late in "announcing" this week's weekly webinar, but at least I've got the MVP Summit excuse this time! Time waits for no man- or evangelist, as the case may be- so let me get straight to the details. Tomorrow's webinar will once again be brought to you by Telerik Evangelist Kevin Babcock and the topic will be "Client-side Tips & Tricks for the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX." And 'cuz I'm worn out from the MVP week, I'll once again let the session description stand on it's own: Join Telerik Evangelist Kevin Babcock as he takes you on a tour of the client-side capabilities of the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX. You'll discover how to achieve enormous performance gains by using the client-side API, and how to avoid post backs altogether by binding your controls to web services. Since the RadControls are built on top of Microsoft's ASP.NET AJAX Framework, using their client-side features is both easy and intuitive for ASP.NET developers. And now that Telerik has integrated jQuery into the client library, it is easier than ever to create rich, highly-responsive web applications in no time at all. This is a great session for anyone trying to better understand how to really get maximum performance out of the RadControls. Client-side programming is increasingly important if your goal is to build a rich, standards-based website, and fortunately the RadControls make it easy. As usual, the webinar is at 11:00 AM EST this Thursday, March 5th. Also as usual, the event will be recorded and posted to Telerik TV within a week of the live recording for your on-demand viewing pleasure. Enjoy the webinar and make sure you've got the big Q1 Release Webinar Week on calendar for next week! Register for the Client-side Tips & Tricks webinar now!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

LIVE from Microsoft MVP Summit 2009

Well, I'm "LIVE," but unfortunately I can't bring you live coverage of the event and it's keynotes (as I have at other events in the past). The "NDA-heavy" event does not leave much room for sharing, but rest assured that there are two Telerik Evangelists/Microsoft MVPs here to soak-up the info, chat-up the "big whigs," and make sure Telerik is well positioned to continue bringing you the best tools and components possible in 2009. For those unfamiliar, the MVP Summit is a chance for Microsoft to bring together all of it's MVPs (about 5,000 world wide, of which about 1,400 attend) and facilitate a few days of close interaction with the product teams and company leaders. It's one of the bigger "perks" of being a MS MVP, and I happy to get to check it out this year. In the mean time, Telerik Evangelism won't stand still! Kevin Babcock will be conducting this week's weekly webinar (Thursday, 11 AM EST) and he will be covering "Client-side Tips & Tricks for the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX." Should be a fun topic for any ASP.NET AJAX devs out there looking to better understand how to leverage the Telerik client-side features to build high performance, rich, standards-based apps. Look for a registration link on Telerik.com soon! And if you want to keep-up with all the MVP Summit action that can be legally shared, catch all the updates (including mine- yes, I do occasionally "tweet") on Twitter!