It’s been a while, but now I have no excuse!

My last post was sent from an internal tool we have at Microsoft that provides RSS and newsgroup integration into Outlook. I’ve been using it for a while to download feeds but I thought I’d try and see if I could post an entry to my long dormant blog. I wasn’t expecting it to be…


Smart Client – Composite UI Application Block Released to MSDN

The smart client composite UI application block has finally been released to MSDN:   The block is provided in both C# and VB.NET.


Composite UI App Block Tech Preview Available Now

The Community Tech Preview (CTP) of the CompositeUI Application Block has shipped! Download it today from MSDN here and start building those composite smart client applications! Clearly the Patterns and Practices guys are truly living the Pattern Lifestyle and this block is rife with patterns such as the Model-View-Controller, Dependency Injection, Memento and Event Broker patterns. Understanding these…


Andrew Whitechapel on Channel 9

Andrew talks about the rationale and architecture behind VSTO 2005’s support for Outlook add-ins on Channel 9. Nice shirt Andrew – Reminds me of Brighton promenade for some reason 🙂


VSTO 2005 Outlook Support – Under The Covers

In essence, VSTO supports Outlook by providing two things: An integrated Visual Studio experience that allows Outlook add-ins to be easily developed and debugged. A dedicated loader that is responsible for securely loading and initializing the managed code add-in. The Visual Studio project system now allows you to create a dedicated Outlook add-in project directly…


Announcing Outlook Support in VSTO 2005!

I am happy to announce that Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Microsoft Office now includes support for developing managed code add-ins for Outlook. Steve Ballmer announced the news at TechEd early this morning in his keynote speech, which also included a demo of a cool solution that integrates CRM functionality into Outlook – a key…


The Composite UI Application Block

Further to my recent post on the composite smart client pattern, I am happy to announce that Microsoft Patterns and Practices are producing an application block to directly support this model! This block follows from work I did last year on rationalizing and identifying the patterns and techniques that we have seen in many smart…


The Hitchhikers Guide To Infocom

The Hitchhikers film has got me all nostalgic about the early eighties. That’s when I first became aware of the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy radio series and books. I was still at school then. When the adventure game came out, I remember many a happy hour spent with my Atari ST wondering what to…


Choosing the Right Presentation Layer Architecture

I wrote an article recently for the Microsoft Architects Journal on choosing the right presentation layer architecture. The two basic choices are smart client and thin client. There are many variations in between, of course, such as using Terminal Services, but I didn’t have the space to cover them all. The basic purpose of the article…


Composite Smart Clients…

The composite smart client pattern is an important pattern that allows powerful smart client solutions to be developed, deployed and managed in a very agile way. The pattern is a simple one – a shell or host environment provides the overall UI structure and access to a number of smart client services, and then modules,…