Post Microsoft Academic Alliance event

During the last event in Kaunas University of Technology, I was giving the presentation about the new things that are available in ASP.Net 2.0. Specifically, I have covered the personalization and membership topics. Because I had only 40 minutes for the presentation and questions, so I had to run through the slides very quickly. What I have decided, is to spend more time on demos, with a common goal to create a personalizable web site.

One of the sentences I liked during the introduction done by Microsofties was: "The power of the product depends on the knowledge of the user. Many people claim, that Microsoft products are bad, but in many cases this is caused by the limited knowledge of the product.". This sentence can be applied to the developers as well – many problems are related to missing knowledge in some areas (this I have experienced by myself).

I would like to put some questions I had after the presentation and, of course, answers to them. I think there was some more questions, so if I will remmember any or You will post some, I’ll try to add them here.

Q: What Microsoft is doing to make ASP.Net faster

A: Well, there are a lot of things. First based on new version of .Net framework with many new features that can help improve performance. One of that kind are Generics. Other things like per page compilation (not all site is compiled, but each page, when visited), which results in shorter time for page opening, precompilation tool, and so on.

Of course there is a lot of ways You can improve performance of Your applications by applying the right technology at the right time. You, as the developers must decide when to use datasets, when to use readers, what to cache and what not to cache.

I had example just by myself, when after just few adjustments site performance was increased 40 times (Incredible ).

Q: Do I need to create a database myself when using standard SqlProvider for profiles and personalization?

The simple answer is no. What is needed to do, is just to run aspnet_regsql.exe, which is located in the .Net 2.0 framework directory. Usually it is something like %systemroot%Microsoft.NetFrameworkv2.0.xxxx.

“ “Microsoft Academic Alliance akademinė diena”

Tuesday, February 22nd, I will be giving presentation about ASP.Net 2.0 development. Mainly, I will talk about Membership and Personalization. It will be hard to fit with this quite an interesting subject into dedicated 40 minutes. But I will try … I promise.

After long thoughts what to talk and what to show, I ended up with demos that almost do not have any code, just few lines. But this I think is the main benefit of new ASP.Net 2.0 – ability to implement more features with less code.

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“ “Microsoft Academic Alliance akademinė diena”

Notepads …

Some time ago, I’ve written that Notepad2 is Cool. Yes, really it is.

Though, currently I am more attracted by Notepad++ which has appart the collor coding, multiple syntax support one ‘killer feature’ – the region and syntax folding. Therefore it is very nice when You review a bit longer code and don’t want to wait for VS.Net to start.

Blogging after a long time …

Many things have happened during these days. First of all working – a lot of work before new year and after. Mostly paperwork, not the most interesting part of the job, but that’s what I am paid for.

Also, during free time I was reading other blogs, looking around MS CRM, ASP.Net 2.0 and helping collegues with BizTalk workflows and other stuff. Too many things at once.

Just recently I was helping one developer to create a BizTalk workflow that works with SQL database, HTTP endpoint and aggregates information from both sources. Once he said: "I am receiving a message from port, but the Visual Studio complains that the message is not assigned". When I looked at the solution – the first thing fell into my eyes: DECISION, where the message was assigned in one branch, but not in the other. So typical, so many bugs are caused by an overlooked "else". After short discussion about good/bad programming practices I just added: "Anyway, BizTalk and Visual Studio just have performed simple test and found a bug in Your program. Time to fix it ".

After a day or two he came back: "My test application reports expected ‘text/xml’, but actual result was ”  for the process". May the force be with the all developers of the world, but without looking at the code I knew – it was famous 500: Internal Server Error. Sometimes I think I understand the MS PSS people.

Currently digging around ASP.Net 2.0. There is a lot of nice stuff starting with Wizard control, ending with full blown infrastructure for user profiles, nice configuration tools (admins will be happy with that I hope). After some time I hope I will come with some more information from the battlefield.

One more interesting thing to mention. Recently I had to develop set of .Net components for the existing system running .Net 1.1. I have decided that VS.Net 2005 with all testing infrastructure and other nice features will be much more usefull, then the compilation with VS.Net 2003. The experience was quite good, everything is integrated, much faster to develop and test code and now it runs.