FREE Building Real-World Cloud Apps with Windows Azure e-book (Jan 2014)

Not the one I did back in 2010 (which is now horribly out of date!), rather a shiny new one which walks you through a patterns-based approach to building real-world cloud solutions. It covers the development process as well as architecture and coding practices.

Download the E-book (PDF) and optionally the companion Fix It Project

The content is based on a presentation developed by (the awesome) Scott Guthrie

  • Norwegian Developers Conference (NDC) in June of 2013 (part 1, part 2)
  • and at Microsoft Tech Ed Australia in September, 2013 (part 1, part 2)


My first northern technology get together…or rather net-together …

…was fabulous.

Hence I just wanted to give a shout out for Digital Union (“The voice of the digital and creative sector in North East England”) who put on the excellent Summer Net-Together in Gateshead last week. Sunshine, great venue, great food, great people and a chance to understand a little more about the digital scene in the region now I have moved up here.

And as a direct result of one conversation (you know who you are!), I will be making the time to dig into in the coming weeks.

Finally a thank you to my company Waterstons for allowing me to take one of the free tickets they received as members of Digital Union.

Fix to blank LightSwitch app bug with Visual Studio 2012

I needed to populate a database I’m designing with some test data and thought to myself “LightSwitch will be ideal to knock out some screens”.

One hour later I got a LightSwitch screen to actually display! Until then all I got when running it in Desktop mode (the default) was a blank window hosting Silverlight (right click to verify)

After lots of searching and playing around I found the answer near the end of this very long thread

  1. Navigate to the Client.Properties folder inside your project
  2. Open OutofBrowserSettings.xml
  3. Change <SecuritySettings ElevatedPermissions=”Required” /> to <SecuritySettings ElevatedPermissions=”NotRequired” />
  4. And you may also want to then make the file readonly

 Now, when this happens again I will be able to find my own post to resolve it! Enjoy!

P.S. This isn’t specific to Visual Studio 2012 … but the post title corresponds to how I was searching :-)

Blend for Visual Studio 2012 nice touch #1

[Really I’m just testing out twitterfeed which has failed for me… but I needed something to post on :-)]

I’m just skimming through some blend tips by Mike from 2010 and  spotted a nice touch in Blend for Visual Studio 2012 I hadn’t noticed before (amongst no doubt hundreds of improvements :-))

When working with grids and rows (or columns) you now get a lovely visual indicator with in place editing, rather than needing to visit properties.

circa 2010 (from this post)


circa 2013

image image

Accessing SharePoint from the browser…

SharePoint was created by Microsoft when a) Internet Explorer (IE) was by far the most widely used web browser on Windows PCs (I was at Microsoft during the “browser wars” which lead to IE being dominant in 2001 when SharePoint emerged) and b) people pretty much only ever used PCs to browse the web. Oddly enough for many years, SharePoint worked great when accessed from a Windows PC using IE and … sometimes was simply impossible to use when you strayed too far away from this pairing.

Roll forward 10+ years and things have changed significantly. In the course of their day to day lives people use many devices and many browsers.  Across my tablet, phone, desktop development pc, laptop and gaming pc I use at least 5 different browsers.

The good news is the SharePoint development team were well aware of this change and in recent versions and updates have worked hard to allow SharePoint to be used from a variety of browsers.

Last Friday this topic came up at the Back to basics with SharePoint session held at my office in Durham. Which caused me to have a look for a succinct summary of cross browser support across different versions of SharePoint. My timing was spot on. Joel has just published  a blog post which contains his SharePoint Browser Comparison Report Card. Screenshot here – but really just to encourage you to visit his post.

Thanks Joel.

Back to basics with SharePoint event in Durham, Friday 24th May

At Microsoft (not surprisingly :)) we used SharePoint extensively to support the work of individuals, teams, groups and organisations. It was simply how we got things done. How we managed complexity, how we collaborated, how we remained productive.

What did we do before SharePoint? Well, we used a lot (and I mean a LOT) of server shares. Yes, you can get stuff done but it isn’t efficient, it isn’t fun and it is fraught with dangers. Unfortunately many companies still operate this way. Indeed many companies that have SharePoint are barely using the capabilities it offers to help run their businesses.

Which is why I am pleased to see the bespoke development team in my new company taking time out from coding to run a series of events which are “code free” but look at how organisations can benefit from adopting (and better still embracing) SharePoint. If your company is based near Durham then they are most definitely worth checking out.

Next session is:

Back to basics with SharePoint: Supporting business processes using SharePoint >>>
11.45am, Friday 24th May, Waterstons Durham office

P.S. And the ginger cake they serve up at these events is fabulous!

Live streaming 13th and 14th Dec – Windows Store App Development for iOS Developers

During the last 6 months I have been working with  iOS developers building the first wave of Windows 8 applications for the Windows Store. Pretty much all of them have told me that they enjoyed making the transition to XAML/C#/.NET and Visual Studio 2012.

I have previously posted Resources for iOS developers but today and tomorrow there is something special going on.  The Big Nerd Ranch and Microsoft have joined together to deliver two days of training designed to jumpstart your Windows Store app development.

It will be streamed on Channel 9 and The Verge from 4pm UK time.

Don’t miss it.