Creating an IE plug-in

I was recently approached by a customer about an intriguing project, unfortunately I can’t tell you too much about it since I’m under an NDA, but it involved creating an add-in for Internet Explorer and a custom Windows Service which would act as the backend. I’ve never created any add-ins for IE before but as a long time Windows developer I know that the Microsoft web browser is heavily dependent on COM. Since I’ve been doing mainly .NET development for the last 10 years or so, and sort of left the COM world behind me, I first started looking for … Continue reading Creating an IE plug-in

Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Beta released: Great news for VB developers

Today, Thursday, December 9, Microsoft is releasing the beta version of the Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 to the public, MSDN subscribers have had it for a couple of days now. It has a Go Live license, so even though it is a beta release you can use it in your products today. Apart from many tweaks and bug fixes it also contains several cool new stuff: Intellitrace for 64-bit and Sharepoint. Silverlight 4 tools. Local help viewer. Performance Wizard for Silverlight. Unit testing on applications targeting the .Net 3.5 Framework. All of the above features are great and … Continue reading Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Beta released: Great news for VB developers

VB and F# support on Windows Phone 7

Have you also heard the rumor that VB and F# is not support on the new Windows Phone 7? Well, Justin Angel, a Silverlight expert, disagree and in this post on his blog he showed that you indeed can use those languages to develop WP7 applications. Check it out it’s a pretty cool workaround. I must admit that I was a bit skeptic at first since the normal problem with supporting VB on a device that only implement a part of the .Net Framework (such as XNA for writing games for the X-Box) is to include Microsoft.VisualBasic.dll since it, as … Continue reading VB and F# support on Windows Phone 7

When OOP stinks and when you instead should leave a smell behind…

I just saw an interesting video blog post by the CTO of Devexpress entitled Pac-Man and Object-Oriented Programming, in which Julian talks about how we’ve been doing object-oriented programming for 20 years now (or even more than that if you come from the SmallTalk world) and how we, as OOP/OOD programmers and designers think about programming. He then quickly moves on to comparing that to a game of Pac-Man. Now Pac-Man was a great video game developed by Namco in Japan back in 1979 and it was released in Europe and the US the year after. The game was an … Continue reading When OOP stinks and when you instead should leave a smell behind…

Microsoft is switching the light but will it turn on or off?

During the VSLive! keynote in Redmond, Microsoft yesterday announced a new Visual Studio product called LightSwitch. LightSwitch is a new SKU for Visual Studio that will allow people to create line of business (LOB) applications for the desktop and the cloud without writing a single line of code. It will also be shipped with future version of Visual Studio Pro and above. In a way it reminds me of Access but with the difference that it can use different data sources, including Sharepoint and Azure SQL. Since the announcement there have been a wild discussion within the MVP programmers community, … Continue reading Microsoft is switching the light but will it turn on or off?

At your service (part II) – ASMX Web Service vs WCF

Introduction Last time I demonstrated how to develop a Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) service. This time we’re going to look at the differences between a ASP.Net WebService and a WCF service. The biggest difference between them is probably that a WebService only can be activated via HTTP and they are tightly coupled with ASP.Net HTTP pipeline. A WCF service on the other hand can be bound to a large variety of network protocols. It also doesn’t require that it is hosted on a web server, it can be hosted in a console application, in a Windows Forms app, or in … Continue reading At your service (part II) – ASMX Web Service vs WCF

At your service (part I) – WCF tutorial in VB

Introduction In this post I’m going to do a tutorial on Windows Communication Foundation, WCF. This tutorial is divided in 4 steps: Defining the WCF data and service contracts. Implementing the WCF service contract. Creating the service-host application. Create a client application that uses the service. So without further ado, let’s get busy. Here is where we are getting busy We’re going to implement our WCF server as a simple console application so start Visual Studio and create a new Console project. But for now we just leave the Sub Main() empty, since we implement the server in step 3. … Continue reading At your service (part I) – WCF tutorial in VB

Debugging a Windows Service

Introduction In my last article I showed a simple example of how to create a Windows Service using VB. This time we’re going to have a look at how to debug the service from Visual Studio. Since a service must run from the context of the Service Control Manager you can’t normally debug it in the same manner as you would any other project type. Normally you would need to build the project, install it using the InstallUtil.exe command line tool, and attach a debugger to the process while it’s running. Another approach is to create a separate project (console … Continue reading Debugging a Windows Service

Creating a Windows Service using VB.Net

Introduction Yesterday I got a call from my brother, or actually he sent me a message over MSN. He wanted to know if I could help him create a program with a very specific requirement. Where he works they have a system that creates a lock file when you enter a new journal into the system. However because of a bug (?) in that system, this file is not always deleted after the journal have been entered. If this file is not removed, no more journals can be entered and the system runs amok. So my brother wanted a program … Continue reading Creating a Windows Service using VB.Net

Event horizon – Understanding custom events

Introduction In this article I’m going to try to explain what custom events are and why you should use them in your code. As you will see the term custom event in this context is not just an event you have created for your own class, but also a custom way of storing the delegates for this event. Most of this article is intended for the VB developer, but with the exception of VB specific parts, especially found in the Background Info section, the information here also applies to C# (but with a slightly different syntax of course). Background info … Continue reading Event horizon – Understanding custom events