Saturday, March 31, 2007

WCF performance Whitepaper

 The Connected frameworks team at Microsoft just released a whitepaper titled A Performance Comparison of Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) with Existing Distributed Communication Technologies. It's an interesting read and if you're looking to sell WCF in your organization, this will be a valuable reference.

While your looking at the WCF whitepaper,they previously released a WWF whitepaper, Performance Characteristics of Windows Workflow Foundation, which discusses Workflow performance.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

SQL Server 2005 Adoption rate survey

SQLServerCentral just posted a SQL 2005 adoption survey. They surveryed 610 site users and the results are pretty interesting.

In my organization we currently use SQL 2000 for most of our production applications, but that said, we are also migrating toward 2005 with newer applications. Probably single bigest reason I've seen to favor 2005 over 2000 is ETL. I haven't seen alot of adoption for many of the new features such as CLR integration, XML and XQuery and even the Service Broker for that matter. Some that I would venture to guess is a result of developers using tried and true methods.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Unit testing tools will be in Visual Studio Professional (Orcas)

This one is long over due. When Visual Studio 2005 was in beta there was a alot of contraversy that the test tools would only be included in the team suite. Many organizations are not willing to purchase the team suite, either due to cost or they simply don't need the tools. As a result we still have many organizations that do not utilize unit testing and those that do are probably using NUnit or something similar. Somehow the message has gotten through to redmond and Orcas will finally deliver unit test tools that don't require the purchase of the team suite.

 You can check out the details in Naysawn Naderi's blog

Saturday, March 24, 2007

SQL 2005 and VS 2005 on Vista

To run SQL Server on Vista, you're going need Service Pack 2,  you can find the link in my previous post on SQL 2005 SP2. Make sure you check the Vista provisioning checkbox after the service pack completes. This will allow you to properly configure the SQL administrator accounts.

If you are installing Reporting Services in Vista you need to configure IIS 7 for IIS 6 compatibility, otherwise you'll get a message about "IIS Feature Requirement". This because  the SSRS pre-requisites checks for IIS 6 and not IIS 7.  IIS 7 comes with some IIS6 compatibility extras that will allow you to install SSRS. You will need to go into "Turn Windows features on or off" in control panel and install following IIS 6 Features found under Internet Information Services 

Web Management Tools

  • IIS 6 Management Compatibility

  • IIS 6 WMI Compatibility

  • IIS Metabase and IIS 6 configuration compatibility

World Wide Web Services

  • Application Development

    • .NET Extensibility

    • ASP.NET

    • ISAPI Extensions

    • ISAPI Filters

  •  Common HTTP Features

    • Default Document

    • Directory Browsing

    • HTTP Redirection

    • Static Content

  •  Security

    • Windows Authentication

Lastly if you are running SSIS packages with scripts you will need this hotfix.

For Visual Studio 2005 you'll need to run Service Pack 1 which you can get here. Depending on what features that you have installed, the service pack may take several hours to run and you'll be prompted several times to answer yes or no. There has been discussion that you can reduce the installation time by not installing C++, so if you don't need it, it may be worth it to leave it out.

You'll also need to install the Visual Studio Service Pack 1 update for Windows Vista, which you can get here. This update insures backwards compatibility with UAC and Areo.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Orcas March 2007 CTP

 I've been running this CTP on the Longhorn server CTP for a few weeks now and so far I'm really pleased with the changes in Visual Studio. One of the more interesting additions aside from LINQ is the integration of the Expressions web editor for Web applications and the integration of the WPF editor and WWF designer. Anyway pick up the CTP and have a look for yourself.

SQL 2005 SP2

 If you haven't downloaded the latest service pack for SQL 2005, I recomend you grab it from here. This release touches every major aspect of SQL 2005, the "What New" can be found here.

 If you're using SQL EXPRESS the SP2 download is here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Choosing between WF and BizTalk

 Guy Burstein gives four simple questions you should ask when deciding between Windows Workflow and BizTalk Server. You can find it here.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Windows Workflow

 I've been spending time discovering the capabilities of the Windows Workflow Foundation in the .Net 3.0 framework. This by far the most flexible workflow framework I've seen in a long time. Most of the articles on the web tout the Windows Presentation Foundation or Windows Communications Foundation features with very few workflow articles.

 What makes this a powerful solution is the plugin nature of the workflow services as well as the ability to model activities in a domain specific fashion.  Let's face workflow's are all around us and for the most part these are modeled in code that is fragile or by complex and expensive solutions.

 So what do you need to start developing workflows today? You'll need to install the .Net 3.0 runtime as well as the Windows Vista platform SDK. In addition if your using Visual Studio 2005 you can install the Visual Studio Extensions for Windows Workflow Foundation.

If your development includes workflows, you owe it to yourself and your team to look at the Windows Workflow Foundation as solution to solving your workflow issues.