Office Programmability

I have always been an advocate of Office based solutions i.e. using Office constituents like Excel, Word and Outlook as clients for capturing user input as well as showing output as in reports etc.
The adaptability and power that Office based solutions offer is just absolutely great. And now with VSTO Second Edition things are even better. I will suggest you folks to listen to the following couple of available pod casts.

http://files.skyscrapr.net/users/arcast/ARCast20060919HeyArchitectsOffice2007Part1.mp3
http://files.skyscrapr.net/users/arcast/ARCast20060919HeyArchitectsOffice2007Part2.mp3

SQL Everywhere

I am absolutely thrilled to find out about SQL Everywhere. I am sure its going to go a long way in the new breed of "in memory" databases and the databases with small memory footprints. It is really a great tool to have when you want to have relational like quering requirements at the client side or device.It actually is a next version of SQL Mobile and will replace it the next.  I found this channel9 msdn  video to be very useful and informative.

To me the most immediate scenario for which I will be using SQL Everywhere would be in client side caching scenarios. In my past my choice would be Caching Application block from MSDN Enterprise Library. But now what I can do is that I can plug in SQL Everywhere into my client applications and from the code i will be using same relational queries through same ADO.NET API. It would not only save me from typice name/value pair bindings but will aslo allow me to transparently move things b/w client side and server side stores (since the code calling the data wouldnt be aware of the fact that from where the data is being fetched from, i.e. embedded SQL Everywhere or SQL Server). This scenario brings a lot of useful functionality to the device level programming.

 You can download SQL Everywhere CTP from this link at MSDN.

Web Service Software Factory Workshop

When & Where

         October 16-18, 2006

         Redmond, Washington Microsoft Main Campus (bldg. 25)

Goals

         To provide developers and architects the opportunity to learn about Service Factory and Software Factories as a whole from the team developing them.

         To provide our customers with the resources they need to further evangelize Service Factory within their organization, teams, and other [developer and architect] communities.

         To provide an opportunity for patterns & practices to learn from developers and architects so the future direction and priorities of patterns & practices deliverables will be appropriately influenced.

Details

         Cost: Free (you are just responsible for travel, lodging, and dinners)

         Meals: Breakfast  & lunch are provided

         Capacity: 60 attendees maximum

o    1-2 attendees per organization exceptions handled on a case-by-case basis

o    First come, first serve – we are happy to put your names on a tentative list until you get confirmation from your management, but you may be knocked off by a definitely coming attendee so please register ASAP.

For more details visit this link

..I want to develop web service !…

…So how many times do we hear individuals or teams "just" deciding about developing web services. There is one thing that I am concerned about. And i.e. that almost every one thinks that web service is "the solution" for their requirements. It always reminds me of the saying that goes like… "If hammer is the only tool that you have then every problem will look like a nail". I dont understand that why people are so eager to join this "we develop web services so we do the things right" band wagon. I understand the need and utility of web services but I am also concerned about their design and implementation. Its very important to design systems propperly. Web Services shouldnt be just about writing web methods in asmx files.

For those who decide to use Web Services, its usually either of two scenarios.

Either they are "Building new systems" or are "Exposing existing systems".

In any case care should be taken and different aspects should be concerned before actually exposing services to outside world. I will suggest any serious developer on Microsoft platform to look at following three resources before proceeding to developing web services.

1- Web Service Factory:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnpag2/html/servicefactory.asp

2- Web Service Security:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/practices/topics/appint/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/dnpag2/html/wssp.asp

3- Performance & Scalability:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/practices/topics/perfscale/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/dnpag/html/scalenet.asp

Although a discussion on designing and developing web services can take a lot of time and space but still i'll suggest to take a look at above mentioned resources i.e. if you are to develop web services on Microsoft platform.

I will be happy to answer any specific questions regarding design and implementation of web services.