MSDN Flash
UK MSDN Flash
31 October 2007
Editor's Intro


Hello,

In the last issue we ran a survey for this newsletter and the feedback was overwhelming, so thank you very much for that and good luck with winning the Xbox. You can keep that feedback coming because the Flash survey is still there.

I was going through your comments and an emerging theme is that you want to hear even more breaking news through the newsletter relevant to the UK developer audience. So in this intro I have an absolute exclusive for you. The problem with leaking out exclusives like this one though, will be the lack of detail. If it is not useful, let me know and I won't do it again.

Without further ado, remember where you heard it first. Save the dates 18-19 March 2008. Don't book anything else for those days and make sure you can get away from your workplace. More details as they emerge, but trust me, you will not want to miss out on this!

Cheers
Daniel

Fresh Discoveries



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Book
Inside Microsoft SQL Server.
By Kalen Delaney.
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MSDN Online
Tester Center Home.
Brand new section launched for your tester friends – pass it on.
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Watch
Mix:UK 07 session recordings available.
If you missed Mix:UK 07, this is a great chance to view for free the recorded sessions.
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Video Recording
Inside MultiTouch: Team, Demo, Lab Tour.
MultiTouch is the latest brain child of the hotbed of innovation that MSR Cambridge is.
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Popfly - Now Open to the General Public and New Features Announced.
No invitation needed anymore for Popfly. Find out how to use it from the team members.
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Recorded Webcast
Programming for HPC Environments.
Learn all about high-performance computing environments.
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NxtGenUG Podcast #42.
The one with 3 red lights, interviews and coverage of SQLBits 2007.
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SQLBits – Martin Cairney on Securing SQL Server.
Craig interviews Martin about his SQLBits session on how to secure SQL Server.
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Screencast
Developing your first Virtual Earth application.
Build a website from scratch that allows users to show map pins based on a post code.
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Drive Assist from the transportation industry.
Car Service Company Doubles in Two Years using Windows Mobile.
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Visual Basic Language Specification 9.0.
A complete description of VB v9.0, except for XML literals and namespaces.
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Microsoft Silverlight 1.0 SDK.
Documentation, samples, quickstarts and tools for Silverlight development.
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Find and Fix Vulnerabilities Before Your Application Ships.
Code reviews and how to use their findings.
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Analyze Crashes to Find Security Vulnerabilities in Your Apps.
Strategies for analysing crashes and what causes them.
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Bugs that are fixed in Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office Second Edition Runtime.
This article lists the bugs that are fixed in build 8.0.50272.891.
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Microsoft project codename “Oslo” revealed.
If you are interested in SOA and S+S you will love this announcement.



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Feature Article


System.Core.dll of .NET Framework 3.5

If you have played with Microsoft Visual Studio 2008, chances are that you have come across the System.Core.dll which is automatically referenced when you create any new project that targets .NET Framework v3.5. Browsing through this new DLL using the Object Browser in Visual Studio, it soon becomes apparent that it is the home of many new namespaces, including the implementation of LINQ to in-memory objects. In this short article I offer an overview of the other APIs in this new assembly:

TimeZoneInfo class: This class represents a geographical time zone. It extends and supersedes the limited functionally offered by the TimeZone class by allowing you to represent any time zone. It also allows you to easily convert between time zones, retrieve an existing time zone or create a new one, and serialise to a string and reconstruct it back from a string.

HashSet<T> class: This class is a member of System.Collections.Generic namespace and provides very fast hash-based SET operations. A set is a collection of entities that includes no duplicates and is in no particular order. Internally items are stored in an array which includes the value, the hash code associated to the value, and the index of the next element in the bucket associated with this hash code. Having a link to the next element in the bucket, makes it extremely efficient to detect duplicate items when new items are inserted. Over and above the usual Add, Remove and Contains methods, HashSet also provides set operations such as union, intersection, and symmetric difference. For more information see this blog entry.

Pipes: .NET Framework 3.5 provides managed support for Pipes in Windows. Pipes are used for inter-process communication (IPC) between processes running on the same machine, or processes running on any other Windows machine within a network. You can find the classes related to this under the System.IO.Pipes namespace and remember that both Anonymous Pipes and Named Pipes are supported. For more information and a sample see this blog post.

ReaderWriterLockSlim class: If you have ever used the System.Threading.ReaderWriterLock to achieve synchronised access to shared resources which are frequently read but infrequently updated then you probably know why we have created a new Reader/Write lock. The performance of ReaderWriterLockSlim is roughly equal to that of Monitor and in some scenarios it is more scalable than its predecessor. It supports Read, Write and UpgradeableRead lock modes and it gives priority to write requests over reads. For more information see this blog.

Other: System.Core.dll offers managed wrappers to native APIs such as the Event Tracing for Windows (ETW), Performance Counters in Windows Vista and the Next Generation of Cryptography (CNG). Exploring those namespaces is left as an exercise for the reader.

System.Core.dll is only one of the many new assemblies that are part of .NET Framework v3.5. Now is a great time to get ahead of the rest and evaluate Microsoft Visual Studio 2008.

Pedram Rezaei
Application Development Consultant (ADC)

Read Pedram’s blog

On the Horizon


Community event
26 – 30 November, Southampton: Developmentor - Guerrilla Connected Systems (£2695).
Community event
10 - 14 March, London: DevWeek 2008 (Register by 14 December for £1495 + VAT).


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