Want to Win a Copy of my Book Beginning ASP.NET 4 in C# and VB?

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Tuesday, August 03, 2010 1:08:42 PM in: Imar's Blogs

I still have a number of copies of my latest book Beginning ASP.NET 4 in C# and VB waiting on my desk for someone to read them. Want to win a copy?

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Book Review: Professional Application Lifecycle Management with Visual Studio 2010 By Mickey Gousset et al.

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Sunday, August 01, 2010 2:33:44 PM in: Book Reviews

Ever since it was announced, Professional Application Lifecycle Management with Visual Studio 2010 was high on my list of books to read. I've been using Visual Studio, and team Foundation Server since the first releases of the products, but really needed to dig a little deeper in some of the core concepts. Because the Visual Studio 2010 release is quite large with lots of new features, especially in terms of ALM and TFS, I was on the lookout for a book that showed me what's new, and how to use it. It turned out that this book, by Mickey Gousset and others, is an excellent guide to many of the new features in Visual Studio 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2010.

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Using Virtual Restore to Attach Databases Directly from Backup Files

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Sunday, August 01, 2010 1:16:04 PM in: Product Reviews
About a week ago I was introduced to Red Gate's SQL Virtual Restore 2. SQL Virtual Restore lets you mount live, fully functional databases direct from backups without the need for a physical restore.
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Follow my Articles About Dynamicweb CMS, eCommerce and Extensibility

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Sunday, August 01, 2010 12:30:26 PM in: Imar's Blogs
You may have noticed that in the past couple of weeks I am posting less frequent on this web site, imar.spaanjaars.com. The reason for the absence of new content is my other, new content project: articles about Dynamicweb CMS and eCommerce.
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Making Application Configuration Easier Using the Castle DictionaryAdapter

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Friday, July 30, 2010 12:17:07 PM in: ASP.NET 4
If you've done any development in ASP.NET, you're probably aware of the presence of the <appSettings /> element in web.config that enables you to store centralized configuration settings. You can use that element to store settings such as e-mail addresses and sender names for outgoing e-mail, settings that determine whether or not to send e-mail in certain conditions, default page sizes and a lot more. While this feature greatly decreases the troubles typically associated with configuration settings in multiple deployment scenarios (development versus a production environment for example), you can use an external component called the Castle DictionaryAdapter to make using the appSettings element even easier.
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How Do I Make a Full Table Row Clickable Using jQuery?

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Wednesday, July 28, 2010 8:04:14 AM in: JavaScript
Back in 2004, I wrote an article about making a full table row clickable using JavaScript, so you could click anywhere in the table row to browse to a new page. That solution used quite a bit of in-line JavaScript to accomplish that task which adds to the size and complexity of the page. Since then, the JavaScript landscape has changed quite a bit with the introduction of JavaScript libraries such as Prototype and jQuery. Because my initial article is in the top 10 results for "full row select javascript" on Google, I figured it made sense to write a new, cleaner and more modern version of it using one of those libraries: jQuery.
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6 Tips to Improve Code Downloads for your Blog

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Thursday, July 01, 2010 1:45:28 PM in: Imar's Blogs

Don't you just hate it? You read an interesting programming related article on the web that comes with source code. You downloaded the source so you can look at it later. When you open the file later, you've long forgotten where you got the file, or which concept it was supposed to demonstrate. Worse, the download contains a gazillion files, making it pretty impossible to find the stuff you're looking for yourself. Rather than two or three files demonstrating the topics originally discussed in the article you read, you're faced with a gazillion ReSharper cache files, useless .suo and .user files, obj folder and more. Take, for example, this article "Using Dynamic Views In ASP.NET MVC 2" (note: I am not picking on the author here personally; it's just an example I ran into recently that shows most of the problems I face with code downloads; it's easy to come up with many other examples). The relevant code is only 18 lines long (7 in the View and another 11 in a controller class), yet when you unpack the zip file you get 79 files. Granted, some are needed to run the example as an MVC site, but with a bit of clean up, the number of files can easily be reduced to 27 plus 1 by following these simple tips.

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Welcome to the WebMatrix - Introducing Microsoft's new Web Stack

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Tuesday, June 29, 2010 10:55:03 AM in: WebMatrix

Ever since Microsoft released ASP.NET in 2002, web developers have been able to use a powerful platform to build a wide range of web applications and services. But this power comes at a price. Getting started with ASP.NET takes quite some time and effort. Before you can run your first Hello World page, you need to download and install a lot of software, taking up quite a bit of time and bandwidth. You need Visual Web Developer (Express), you need SQL Server (Express or any other version) and you may need IIS if you want to test out more realistic scenarios, some of which require special privileges for the account you use on your machine. Once you have all the tools, the real work begins. My latest book, Beginning ASP.NET 4 in C# and VB needed 803 pages to take you from a developer newbie to a competent ASP.NET web developer.

In other words, you're facing quite some hurdles when you want to start developing web applications on the Microsoft platform, especially if you're a hobbyist web developer.

To make the Microsoft stack more appealing to beginning web developers, Microsoft is introducing WebMatrix.

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Using Grouping instead of Distinct in Entity Framework to Optimize Performance

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Monday, June 28, 2010 11:10:18 AM in: ASP.NET 4
On a number of pages on this web site I display a list of articles. For example, the home page shows a list of all articles from all categories. The FAQs page shows articles from the FAQs category only. Internally, the content items in the database (sorted in the Content table) are linked through a junction table to the Roles table. This enables me to publish content targeting specific roles. Anonymous users see content for the Anonymous role only, while, for example, I as the site administrator can see content that is assigned to the Administrators role only. I use this in order to add content to my site which is not public yet.
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Sketch and Prototype Tools Review - Part - 6 - And the winner is...

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Friday, June 25, 2010 1:28:55 PM in: Product Reviews

Over the past couple of weeks I've been reviewing a number of Sketch and Mockup Tools. You can find the complete series here:

For now I won't be reviewing any other tools as I haven't worked with them (extensively) enough to say something useful about them. Thanks to everyone who contributed suggestions for additional tools to review.

To close off the series, I'll briefly recap the five tools and give my opinion of the one(s) I liked best.

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