Honk twice if you see us!
Today I witnessed the arrival of eight Avanade branded Fiat 500 cars. They arrived in a single line in front of our main office, where they stand now. The orange / black color combination draws a lot of attention and enthousiasm. Together with the branding and racing stripes they form the perfect car for our core services team. Secretly, in our hearts, the customer facing employees, driving our big luxurous lease cars, would die to drive one of these babies ourselves.
Building Vista Media Center Add-ins (Dutch)
It’s been a while since I wrote an article on developing Vista Media Center Add-ins. A month ago the article was published in the Dutch .Net Magazine and today I found the digital version is available as well. In the article I demonstrate how to use the Viddler.com API to get a list of videos and display them in your add-in. The goal was to build a player for Viddler.com videos, but unfortunately the API method for getting the raw video is still not available.
Day 0: arrived in LA
Yesterday afternoon we (my collegues and I) arrived in LA. Purpose of visit: the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference 2008 (PDC’08). It promises to be a very interesting week with a lot of new stuff from Microsoft, including Windows 7, ‘Oslo’ and ‘Dublin’. After arrival we checked into our rooms, grabbed a slice of pizza, had a drink and went to bed. We tried to join the party by Jeffrey Pallermo, but the waiting time was about 40 minutes and we heard there was no more beer (no problem for me as non-alcohol drinking person, but some of my collegues seemed to mind :)).
Consume WCF service using Sharepoint Designer
By default the SharePoint Designer is unable to consume WCF services because it fails to recognize the structure of the request messages. There is a workaround if you still need to consume WCF services using the Designer. However, this does not work via the datasource wizard but instead requires some manual intervention. There are two methods to do accomplish this: Modify the datasource Modify the code in the page The first method is easier to implement and gives you more control over the output.
Better WSSF solution structure
I’ve done my share of work with the Web Service Software Factory modelling edition, but never have I liked the solution structure it generates for me. Or either the namespaces of the projects are wrong, or the paths became too long because of the fully qualified names I’d use. This time I reserved some time to tackle this once and for all. The result is an easy to apply patch for WSSF: Modelling Edition.
Viddler.Net on Codeplex
Things are moving fast. Yesterday I released an early first version of Viddler.Net, a wrapper for the Viddle API. Today I was able to post an updated version to Codeplex, which seems more suitable for managing this project than my own blog. The updated version uses HTTP POST instead of GET and includes one extra implemented method to upload videos. Find the Codeplex project at http://www.codeplex.com/ViddlerDotNet
First release of Viddler.Net
If you read my article in the Dutch .Net Magazine about Vista Media Center add-ins and you came looking on my blog for the Viddler.Net api, you just found it! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please read on This is my first release of the Viddler.Net api, which is a wrapper for the Viddler api. The Viddler.Net api allows a .Net developer to make use of the videos on the Viddler website through code.
Microsoft BizTalk Server Performance Optimization Guide
From MSDN: Welcome to the first edition of the Microsoft® BizTalk® Server Performance Optimizations Guide. We created this guide to provide in depth information for optimizing the performance of a BizTalk Server solution. Full end-to-end performance testing is frequently overlooked during enterprise application deployment. Knowing that Microsoft has built a scalable messaging infrastructure, many organizations that use BizTalk Server spend little or no time conducting performance testing of their own applications.
Control Windows Media Center with New Windows SideShow BETA Gadgets
From the Windows Experience Blog: The Windows SideShow Team has announced the availability of 4 BETA Windows SideShow Gadgets that let you control Windows Media Center from a Windows Sideshow device. You can sign-up via Microsoft Connect to gain access to Beta Test these new Windows SideShow Gadgets: http://connect.microsoft.com/InvitationUse.aspx?ProgramID=2380&SiteID=312&InvitationID=GPB-79MM-RFJ2 Here is the breakdown of the 4 Windows Media Center BETA Windows SideShow Gadgets and what they do: Now Playing: View what is currently playing in Windows Media Center (includes playback controls) Pictures + Video: Browse your Photos and Videos folders Music: Browse your Music folder and play any song TV: Look at what is on TV via the Windows Media Center Guide, Schedule Recordings, and View Recordings (in a Thumbnail view)
From CodePlex: BizUnit Designer is a GUI that allows rapid creation of BizUnit test cases which can be used for unit testing or system testing distributed applications. The easy to use drag and drop user interface has minimal learning curve which will get you up and running with test cases in a matter of minutes. I’ve used BizUnit on a couple of projects (even non-BizTalk projects) and I think it’s very useful.
More BizTalk posters
Somebody at the product team has really started a rush to push out these nice looking posters. Here is a rather new one: BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Database Infrastructure Poster http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=24662FB5-622C-4E7E-9E83-505D1F664C4D&displaylang=en And as a service to those of you that haven’t seen anyone of these: BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Runtime Architecture Poster http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=8790E652-1DA5-4E80-88FE-B87606233DB4&displaylang=en BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Capabilities Poster http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=34F41573-C552-466F-B531-32CB09A57CDD&displaylang=en BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Scale-Out Configurations Poster http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=FF468298-64BE-4947-A086-F61584CAF995&displaylang=en
Home Server campaign
(File URL) in case you haven’t seen this yet, Microsoft has a rather interesting marketing campaign around Windows Home Server. One of the parts of the campaign is a book about Home Server which looks like it’s written for kids. The book explains what the magic ‘Server’ in the house is all about. Microsoft went so far with this campaign that it actually looks like you can buy the book from Amazon!