Monday, May 23, 2005


ASP.NET 2.0 and VWD = Under Development

I am always curious to know about what goes into building a terribly good software, the time, the energy, the focus, the commitment, the passion…….specially something which really impresses me or something I really like.

Read this excellent post from Scott Guthrie describing how tests are run under Microsoft for any upcoming product and specifically ASP.NET 2.0 and Visual Web Developer, for example here is an excerpt from his post.

“My team uses an internally built system we affectionately call “Maddog” to handle managing and running our tests. Post Whidbey my team will be looking to transition to a VSTS one, but for right now Maddog is the one we use.


My team currently has 4 labs where we keep approximately 1,200 machines that Maddog helps coordinate and keep busy. The machines vary in size and quality – with some being custom-built towers and others being rack-mounts. Here is a picture of what one row (there are many, many, many of them) in one of labs in building 42 looks like:

The magic happens when we use Maddog to help coordinate and use all these machines. A tester can use Maddog within their office to build a query of tests to run (selecting either a sub-node of feature areas – or doing a search for tests based on some other criteria), then pick what hardware and OS version the tests should run on, pick what language they should be run under (Arabic, German, Japanese, etc), what ASP.NET and Visual Studio build should be installed on the machine, and then how many machines it should be distributed over.

Maddog will then identify free machines in the lab, automatically format and re-image them with the appropriate operating system, install the right build on them, build and deploy the tests selected onto them, and then run the tests. When the run is over the tester can examine the results within Maddog, investigate all failures, publish the results (all through the Maddog system), and then release the machines for other Maddog runs. Published test results stay in the system forever (or until we delete them) – allowing test leads and my test manager to review them and make sure everything is getting covered. All this gets done without the tester ever having to leave their office.”

Now that’s awesome, read the post for some more insights that we would probably don't know otherwise.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


With or Without Cookie!

In his latest article on MSDN, Dino Esposito discusses when it is useful to have Cookieless sessions in your ASP.NET application such as:

"With cookieless sessions, you can now deploy stateful applications that work regardless of the user's preferences about cookies. As of ASP.NET 1.x, though, cookies are still required to implement forms authentication. The good news is that in ASP.NET 2.0 forms authentication can optionally work in a cookieless fashion."

and discusses when it can be a problem to use Cookieless sessions:

Read the complete article here


SW Explorer Automation (SWEA)

Found this excellent tool known as SW Explorer Automation (SWEA). SWEA creates an object model (automation interface) for any Web application running in Internet Explorer. The tool can be helpful in debugging and testing a data driven ASP.NET applications. It easily automates tedious form filling. The tool records the automation script and generates C# or VB.NET code from it.Dont know what I mean. Check out the online demo
Click here to view the website, Download Developer's guide, Download API Reference

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


ASP.NET Development Helper

Nikhil Kothari (Lead Developer ASP.NET Team) has written a new Browser Helper Object (BHO) which displays it to the developer when an ASP.NET application is running in Debug Mode, aswel as the ability to View/Hide Trace Information and Show/Hide View State Information with a click of a button.

Here is an excerpt from his blog:

"...such as the ability to hide trace information from the page (useful if that interferes with your page layout), and view it in a separate window, as well as the ability to see view state in a decoded form. The latter is especially useful for control developers to analyze their view state and control state usage. I already spotted a couple of things we could potentially pack better in GridView."

More Information, screenshots and download on Nikhil's blog

Sunday, May 15, 2005


The Code Room Episode 2: Building Mobile Apps and Bluetooth Enabled Kiosks

The pressure cooker of The Code Room is back, this time coming from the Westfield Mall in Seattle. Four experts on Windows Embedded, Compact Framework, and ASP.NET are challenged with building a fully functioning kiosk that can be accessed from a Bluetooth phone application to search for products available in the mall and then use the phone to take a picture of the product and send it to the users MSN Spaces site.

Watch this 2nd Episode
First Episode

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


The .NET Show featuring SQL Server 2005

Check out my newest post on The .NET Show featuring SQL Server 2005 on the .NET Foundry

Click here to watch the show.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


ASP.NET 2.0 :: Personal Web Starter Kit

ASP.NET 1.1 featured Starter Kits, these are ready-to-customize pre-built applications from ASP.NET Team demonstrating the best practices for building applications using ASP.NET 1.1.

For ASP.NET 2.0, there are Three Starter Kits currently available to download namely:

Bil Evjen has written two white papers on Personal Web site Starter Kit.

Following are a few snapshots of my website using PWS Kit

Monday, May 09, 2005


GridView Examples for ASP.NET 2.0 & skmFAQs.NET

Two nice articles by Scott Mitchell are posted on MSDN

GridView Examples for ASP.NET 2.0

skmFAQs.NET: An ASP.NET FAQ Application

Check 'em out!

Thursday, May 05, 2005


Microsoft My Learning

Just after I finish writing the previous post, I received an email from Microsoft giving me free access to 3 online books which was promised at the time of activation of my Visual Web Developer Express Beta 2 copy.

Title: Introducing Microsoft® ASP.NET 2.0
Author(s): Dino Esposito
448 pages
ISBN: 0-7356-2024-5

Title: Introducing Microsoft® Visual Basic® 2005 for Developers
Author(s): Campbell, Swigart, Horrocks, Hatchard, Bernhardt, O'Brien, and Rugless
2004, 288 pages
ISBN: 0-7356-2058-X

Title: Writing Secure Code, Second Edition
Author(s): Michael Howard, David LeBlanc
2003, 650 pages
ISBN: 0-7356-1722-8

Learning ASP.NET 2.0 and Demo of ASP.NET 2.0

Here are the two resources for learning ASP.NET 2.0

ASP.NET 2.0 Beta Quick Start

ASP.NET 2.0 Presentation Series

Scott Guthrie Product Unit Manager on Web Platform and Tools team on ASP.NET shows off some of the new cool features of ASP.NET 2.0 on Channel 9. Check them out in this video

Over 100 ASP.NET Articles

Found this brilliant resource on FTP Online carrying over 100 ASP.NET articles spanned across 4 pages.

The link carries article for both ASP.NET 2.0 as wel as ASP.NET 1.1/1.0

Happy Reading!

Browser Security Test Tool

Found this Excellent Browser Security Test Tool. It performs deeps scanning of your browser for any vulnerabilities, I recommend it to everyone!

Caution: It opens annoying new browser windows and popups, and your Antivirus program might also warn you about a script trying to execute. But the test is safe and only checks for browser vulnerabilities. For more information visit the FAQs

Safe Surfing!

Sunday, May 01, 2005


Portal Framework and Web Parts

ASP.NET 2.0 ships with an awesome new framework knows as Portal Framework, giving you the choice to select the contents you want and personalize the portal to your preference. Introducing Web Parts. Web Parts are ideal for designing pages with objects that the end-user can open, close, minimize, maximize or move from one part of the page to another. Below are some snapshots from my example to make things clear. (click an image to enlarge in a new window)
When you first open the page you see the page in its default layout

Selecting 'Close' from the dropdown that appears at the top of each object closes the Web part which cannot be recovered even if we close the browser.

Select 'Catalog Display mode' from the dropdown to enable editing on the page, now all the objects which have been closed will appear as a checkbox list, you can click on 'ASP.NET 2.0 Beta Preview' and Click 'Add' to re-appear on the page.

Additionally you can drag and drop objects on each defined web parts to re-arrange the layout to your choice.(awesome!)
Download the code

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