I had a great trip in North Carolina… In addition to a fun time with my extended family, I had a chance to take two days “off” vacation and visit with three Fortune 500 companies, give a Framework Design Guidelines training class to the Visual Studio North Carolina office and speak at the Triangle Area .NET User’s group.
Overall, I am very impressed with the .NET community in North Carolina. I found a ton of passion and interest in Silverlight 2 in both consumer facing Internet applications as well as browser clients for internal line of business applications. I was also impressed with the interest in ASP.NET Dynamic Data (which we just did an updated preview of) and there were a few folks that were super excited about ASP.NET MVC.
At the .NET User's group there were just over 90 people there and a I was lucky enough to have a local control vendor FarPoint, sponsored this event in a very North Carolina way. Their team barbequed a pig! Several members of the team took the day off to prepare the BBQ, slaw, baked beans and you guessed it – banana pudding! It was a great change from the normal pizza user group fair. Thanks FarPoint! (check out the pictures from Steve Jackle)
Enjoying the BBQ
I had a great time doing the demos for the user’s group meeting I covered three main areas via an all-demo-no-slides format where I coded up these apps from scratch. It was a lot of fun and the interaction with the audience was great!
Enjoying the conversation
I showed a couple of cool demos from http://silverlight.net then did an end-to-end coding demo. I created a new Silverlight project, showed how to write a basic Xaml layout, then did client side code behind in C#, customized the UI in blend including some cool animations, then I used the great visual layout capabilities of Expression to build standard form based UI complete with a DataGrid. I then went back to the server project and created a data access layer with Linq, encapsulated it with a WCF service and consumed that from the Silverlight client!
I showed how to build (and test!) a basic ASP.NET MVC application based on a LINQ datamodel. I created a solution with a web application and unit test project. I added a data access layer with Linq, created some a new controller action with business logic then created a very clean view to display the data. I then showed how to test one of the action methods with a test specific subclass.
I demoed the latest bits by creating a linq data model with a ton of tables. I then enabled the Dynamic Data to auto generate UIs… the result (with no code) was a complete application to create, edit, update and view all of the data. I then showed three different layers to customize this UI. I created a Products class and added custom metadata to display how the products table is displayed including an allowed range and a tooltip. Then I customized how all the ListDetails pages are displayed using the ListDetails.aspx template and finally I changed how all strings in the application are displayed by changing the Item template.