December 1, 2008

TechEd EMEA notes part 1

This year I had the privilege of attending TechEd Developers in Barcelona. My session selections are pretty wide and I’m not going to do a full resume of the sessions I attended, just put up some of my notes and key points taken. Hopefully they are of some use.

Visual Studio 2010Definitely a huge step in the right direction(s). The step from VSNET 2005 to VSNET 2008 was small compared to the next step. Not to mention what is to come in Team Foundation Server 2010. It would take multiple blog posts to describe it (and the first 100 posts about it are probably already out there) I’m just going to check it out by downloading the virtual image with a Visual Studio 2010 install that Microsoft offers.

Data Dude (aka Visual Studio 2008 Database Edition):I think this is one of the most overlooked Microsoft developer products, mainly because almost no one has a license for it. Well now there is no excuse, as this product is now a part of the most used Visual Studio Team Developer license. I got an intro to the features, and I it looks like a combination of many features known from Red Gate’s SQL Data compare and SQL Schema compare (it will generate diff scripts for schema and data at any time between any combination of running database instances or static scripts), plus a nice way of putting all this into TFS versioning and TFS build. Oh, and if you do get your hands on Data Dude, don't forget to apply the new service release (GDR).

Jon Flanders on REST and WCFThis is a great talk if you need to see some code behind all this REST hype, and as a bonus you will see how this can be implemented in a simple and elegant way using WCF 3.5.

Go watch it (free for everyone).

Learned a few tips about strong naming, the GAC and NGenStrong name signed assemblies actually have a performance impact when loaded, if they are not in the GAC. This is because of security checks, hashing, etc. that takes place every time the assembly is loaded, where as this only takes place once if the assembly is placed in the GAC. .NET 3.5 SP1 has a strong name bypass feature to avoid this issue. This will be enabled by default in most cases – see this blog post from the .NET security blog for more info.

Do you know Ngen? You should. Basically Ngen will pre-generate the native code that any assembly will end up as. This is an alternate to the default JIT compiling, and it could potentially give you a free performance gain, just by running:

ngen install youassembly.dll

Try reading this article if you want in-depth info on ngen.

Source Code Outliner, how did I miss that
I went to a talk about tips & tricks for the VS.NET C# IDE - unfortunately not much new stuff for me, except this one: The source code outliner. How did I miss that? It's quite simple, all it does it to show a tree view of your current source file. Like the little upper-right drop-down you use to locate a specific method, just in an expanded view. It will provide both overview and navigation of your code. Once you start using it, you will know that you missed it. And it is free, of course.

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