23 Apr 2010

Find Results Tweak - Now with less suck

extensionmanager I posted the other day about a Visual Studio add-in which I developed. When developing it, I used the add-in model which has a nasty side effect, it needs to be installed with a MSI. Visual Studio 2010 can also be extended with packages and these can be deployed using the VSIX format.

What is this magical new VSIX format? It is basically a ZIP file which contains everything you need plus a manifest which tells VS how to use it. What makes this much better is that VS handles the install itself, so no MSI is needed. It is also then listed in the Extension Manager and so can take advantage of the features there by being disabled/uninstalled easily, not that you would want to.

A great side effect of this is that the new extension model let me add a little more error handling to the tool to help out debugging it. To get the new version go to http://findresultstweak.codeplex.com

21 Apr 2010

Death of a SharePoint Developer

Originally from :http://rawsocket.org/pf/arquivos/2004_11_01_index.html I have had to explain many times in the last year why I, a normal developer, am involved with Information Worker which is (mostly) a SharePoint group? I am involved because I believe that the idea of a SharePoint Developer is a fast dying one and soon, people who call themselves a SharePoint Developer will be using it just as a way to justify higher consulting costs more than anything else.

I do not think this is because SharePoint usage is dying, rather the growth (maturity and adoption) of SharePoint is causing SharePoint developers to die off. This is not because SharePoint is so user friendly we no longer need custom code, because we still need custom code in SharePoint. The two reasons for my thinking this is based on two questions, “What SharePoint development really is?” and secondly “What Microsoft is doing about SharePoint development?”.

What is SharePoint development really? In SharePoint versions past (2007 and before) you would develop code for SharePoint using development concepts unique to SharePoint. Now that SharePoint has matured, development of the code for SharePoint involves concepts that are universal to development. There are two examples which come to mind which highlight the maturity of development concepts. First is web parts, which are now the same as ASP.NET web parts, and secondly is web services (and OData if you have SharePoint 2010). Both of these concepts are the exact same as used by many other products made by Microsoft and other companies. For example if you understand how to get data from Twitter, with OData in SharePoint 2010 you will understand how to get data from SharePoint. Yes, you will have some specific bindings/API’s/code that are SharePoint specific but the concepts, which is the difficult part to learn, are the same.

I mentioned two questions and the second is about Microsoft and it’s strategy for SharePoint development, in particular their 2010 strategy (Visual Studio 2010 + SharePoint 2010). A SharePoint developer used to have to go and download special files, install them, fixed issues, try installing again, fix more issues, have special machines or virtual machines to run SharePoint on and so on. The actual process of just writing code for SharePoint meant that you became elite because you had to go through a ritual of fire before you could start. Microsoft have really made SharePoint 2010 development simple and more importantly easy to start with, both by making SharePoint run natively on Windows 7 and also by including everything you need for development within Visual Studio 2010 from day one. It is as hard start wring code for SharePoint now as it is to make a WPF application!

What I am trying to convey is that previously a SharePoint developer had “paid their school fees” by learning so much that was so specific to the process of SharePoint development that they actually had earned a special title. Now that all those barriers have been removed, the title of SharePoint developer no longer applies, we are all just developers now!

20 Apr 2010

Tweaking the Find Results window in Visual Studio 2010

Visual Studio is filled with goodness and happiness and a lot of that is available for tweaking, so you can get the maximum goodness, via the Tool -> Options menu. One of the things which doesn’t have any visible options is the formatting of the way the results are displayed:


The problem, as indicated above, is a ton of white space, long file paths, no column information etc… Wouldn’t it be great to tweak how that can be displayed? Thankfully Sara Ford found a way to do exactly that via the registry. So you could tweak it to actually display the way you want it!


In my tweaked way it is far more condense with just the filename (no more path), less whitespace (since I am showing only a summary of results) and I also included the column info. The problem is that editing the registry is not user friendly :( This gave me a chance to write my first Visual Studio add-in, which gives you an option inside Visual Studio to set it.


What is really nice is that while you configure the format, the preview window will update and show you how it looks so you do not get any surprises when you save it! If you would like to find out more about it you can go to the site on CodePlex at http://findresultstweak.codeplex.com/

12 Apr 2010

Installing TFS 2010 Basic on a Laptop

I decided that I would like show how easy it is to install TFS 2010 on a laptop in an upcoming presentation, but I also want to use that TFS installation for demo’s which is a worry – what happens if the install fails? So what I decided to do was create a video of me installing TFS, this way I can show the video and not worry about my demos not working because of some demo failure. As I am such as nice guy, I decided to share it with everyone on YouTube, so here is the video:

05 Mar 2010

Free Visual Studio and TFS training?

Blue Einstein Man Pointing a Stick at a Presentation of a Flying Saucer Clipart Illustration S.A. Architect will be offering FREE training covering Visual Studio and TFS in both 2008 and 2010 versions! This will be done in real life, so you will need to travel to somewhere in Johannesburg and so to figure out where, all you need to is click Yes on the S.A. Architect home page.  Once some numbers have been worked out a venue can be found and it can be arranged!

The only catch is you will need to give up a Saturday for this, and myself and fellow Team System MVP, Zayd Kara, will be there to help or annoy you ;)

08 Dec 2009

Presentation Data Dump

Over the last year I have done a number of presentations and recently some of uploaded them (unfortunately I cannot upload all, as some contain NDA information) to SlideShare so here is the collection of presentations from the last 15 months or so, in no particular order:

  • ASP.NET Dynamic Data
  • JSON and REST
  • What’s Microsoft CRM all about?
  • Source Control 101
  • SQL Server Integration Services
  • What’s new in the .NET Framework 3.5 SP 1

Click the read more link to see and download them...

ASP.NET Dynamic Data





What’s Microsoft CRM all about?

Source Control 101

SQL Server Integration Services






What’s new in the .NET Framework 3.5 SP 1

28 Nov 2009

Dev4Devs - 28 November 2009

Well today is the day! Dev4Dev’s is happening at Microsoft this morning and I will be speaking on 10 12 new features in the Visual Studio 2010 IDE. For anyone wanting the slide deck and demo application I used you can grab them below.

The slide deck is more than the 6 visible slides, there is in fact 19 slides which cover the various demos and have more information on them so you too can present this to family and friends :)

20 Oct 2009

VS2010/TFS2010 Information Landslide Begins

image001 Yesterday (19th Oct) the information landslide for VS2010 & TFS2010 began with a number of items appearing all over: