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Archive for February, 2007

SQL Server 2005 Starter Data Schemas

Posted by workerthread on February 13, 2007

Microsoft have released some Starter Data Schemas for SQL Server 2005 Express Edition.  They’re definitely “starter” level, but worth investigating if you’re new to SQL Server.

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Snap Preview Anywhere

Posted by workerthread on February 11, 2007

I just noticed that WordPress blogs (like this one) have Snap Preview Anywhere switched on, so that when you hover over a link you get a pop-up preview of the page you are linked to.  Quite clever this, although not much help if you are using an RSS reader I guess…

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Events Catchup – Office/Vista and WebDD

Posted by workerthread on February 11, 2007

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks, but in between doing real work I managed to get to two worthwhile events held at Microsoft.

Back in January I went along to the developer launch of Office 2007 and Windows Vista.  The keynote was given by Sanjay Parthasarathy who is VP of the Developer and Platform Evangelism group at Microsoft.  He got some developers from London Underground to demo some proof of concept stuff they had done with Vista, WinFX and Office 2007. 

It was a really impressive demo, showing how the technologies could be used with real time train data overlayed on the well-known London Underground map.  The keynote is available online, or downloaded from here (warning – 217mb ZIP file).  It’s well worth a look.

Then last Saturday, I went along to Web Developer Day organised by Phil Winstanley and Dave Sussman.  They pulled off a bit of a coup by getting Scott Guthrie to present several of the sessions.  Scott has responsibility within Microsoft for lots of developer technologies, including ASP.Net, IIS, Windows Forms.  He is an incredibly enthusiastic presenter, and all of his sessions were full.  During his “End to End Web Site” presentation he got the audience to suggest names for the web site, users, roles etc.  While demo-ing the ASP.Net membership stuff he asked which role users should be assigned, and some wag in the audience suggested “sausage”, so he set up a “sausage role”.  Now, a sausage roll is probably not something you see much in Seattle so I’m not sure Scott got the reference.

Also at WebDD I went to Brandon Schauer’s presentation on “Connecting Design to Real Business Value”.  Brandon works as a design strategist for Adaptive Path, and his presentation on the value and importance of design to businesses was well worth attending.  He talked a lot about the important of fairly low-tech prototypes to pitch an idea to a client – something I’ve been thinking about more and more recently.  What’s really needed when showing a client or user how their new software will work is something which is only a step or so above a paper prototype, maybe with some way of seeing how workflow is going to be implemented.  I’m taking a look at EasyPrototype which might do the trick.  And for a more lighthearted look at the prototyping and design process, take a look here.

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