MSDN Flash Poll: What has been your experience with UML?

Visual Studio 2010 will add UML 2.1.1 based modelling tools and diagrams. Many of us have dabbled with UML over the years. For my part I have been trained in it and trained people in the pragmatic application of UML – but have only used it a handful of times in the last 3 years….


Are you an ISV in the UK who could benefit from a free design review with Microsoft?

You may recall that my previous role was working with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to help them explore and adopt the latest technologies from Microsoft. In that role I introduced something called a Technology Roadmap Review. Many years on and we have a more public offering for UK ISVs  – a FastTrack Architecture Review. It…


And the winner is… LINQ to Entities and the ADO.NET Entity Framework

In 2001 we first demonstrated Object Relational Mapping (ORM) technology for .NET – ObjectSpaces. However it has taken 6+ years to get to the point where we have released an ORM. Actually we released two. The release of Visual Studio 2008 in November 2007 gave us our first shipping ORM – LINQ to SQL. The…


MSDN Flash Poll: Will you take a dependency on 3rd party controls or libraries?

We seem to have a small hiccup with the polling software we normally use in the UK MSDN Flash. Zoho polls to the rescue… I am interested in whether you will happily take a dependency on software developed by a company other than Microsoft as part of your application – whether that be visual controls,…


Q&A: Deciding between LINQ to SQL and LINQ to Entities

I keep getting asked this one. I have my own way of answering which ultimately ends up with “LINQ to Entities is the right choice for majority of scenarios, just expect a little pain”. In slightly more detail: If you only care about SQL Server AND you have complete control of the “shape” of the…


ADO.NET Entity Framework and large databases – fine with 400 tables/views?

I keep talking about Entity Framework and I keep getting asked about large databases. I have a stock answer based on work by an early adopter and some other stuff – but I kept meaning to try this out myself. I was about to give it a whirl when I decided to do a quick…


10 years on – is software development getting any better?

The last 10 years have been exciting if you are a developer. Lots of new programming languages, lots of new IDEs, lots of new tools, lots of new approaches, lots of new apis but … as an industry are we developing software any better than we were 10 years back?I have been at Microsoft for…


Wow – a concept map of “everything”

I was just skimming in FeedDemon and spotted this post by Udi on concept maps. Nasty at first glance – but have fun following the concepts around… I particularly liked the distance between TX and OLTP 🙂 What is really scary – is there is so much not on this. We live in a complicated…


Software Practice Advancement Autumn Series of lectures

For the last 3 years I have been lucky enough to present/attend the SPA conference. SPA (Software Practice Advancement) is doing an Autumn series of 5 talks in London starting in September. Looks to be an interesting mix which I thought would be worth sharing. Developer Tools and Environments Kevin McGuire (IBM Canada) Teams and…


Three good reads on REST

Since 2002 (and .NET Framework 1.0) many of us have digging into Web Services based on SOAP, WSDL and the WS-* specification universe. In 2005 I started to get concerned about the complexity that WS-* was bringing, when ultimately in many scenarios I just wanted to "get something from A to B". I found myself…