Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Free Visual Studio Discovery Pack!

Check it:

Get a free Visual Studio Discovery Pack when you complete a FREE VB eLearning Class from Microsoft!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Great SQL Server 2005 Upgrade Video by SQL Server MVP!

Check out this SQL Server 2005 Upgrade video by Tony Rogerson, SQL Server MVP. Great info for anyone planning an upgrade to SQL 2005! (And that's everybody, right?)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

INETA Live Meeting today @ 11:30 EDT!

April 26th
11:30-12:30pm Eastern
Improving Your Web Application's User Experience with Atlas
Shawn Burke

Atlas allows ASP.NET developers to add great client-side richness to their web application using server-side methodologies using Extender Controls. Learn how the Agility Team is launching a project to leverage the power of the community to build a library of Extenders for all developers to use.

Join Meeting
Meeting URL:
Meeting ID: 54ZNTW
Meeting Key: fm:SM.6b7

SQL Server 2005 Books Online (April 2006)

A new SQL Server 2005 Books Online updated as of April 2006 has been released! Check out the new docs here:

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 1

Microsoft released SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 1 and I am happy to say that it installed on each of my environments (DEV, QA, and Production) fairly smoothly (with one exception, more on that in a sec). I have been running it now for a few days and everything seems smoother, faster even!

The one big fix I was looking for was the fix to SSID jobs that moved SQL Server tables as SQL Server Objects, but dropped the IDENTITY property of the PK column. Yikes!

Well, thanks to SP1, that's been fixed.

As for the SP1 install glitch, watch out for an error that says it can't access files in C:\Program Files. I found that even though I was logged in as the Administrator, I had to reset privileges on this directory and everything beneath it in order to get SP1 to install successfully.

Happy Patching!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

INETA Sharepoint and Ajax Webcast today/tonight!

Just a reminder that there are TWO webcasts TODAY and one tomorrow brought to you exclusively by INETA.

One is showcasing a great program developed by user group leaders Brendon Schwartz and Matt Ranlett from Atlanta. It's called "SharePoint 1, 2, 3!" and it's a new concept in community-based training being offered to the development community by the development community. Free prepared lectures and labs. You could use this material at YOUR user group meetings. Attend the webcast and get the full details. Sign up at

The other webcast is a hot topic about AJAX and is entitled "Improving your web application's user experience with Atlas". It's brought to directly from Redmond by Shawn Burke and the Agility Team. Read the details and find the Live Meeting link at

Scott Hanselman

I realized last night that most of my students and many of the user group members are not yet familiar with Scott Hanselman. I'd like to rectify that.

Check out his blog, check out his Ultimate Tool List, and sign up for his PodCasts! I have never heard a better podcast that Scott's. He doesn't waste our time and each podcast is dense with information. It's the only podcast that I never miss! You can get it directly from here:

If you're a presenter, check out his presentation tips. I had the pleasure to meet Scott last year at TechEd 2005 when I was his INETA gopher for one of his Birds of a Feather talks. He was awesome! If you get a chance to see him live, do it. In the meantime, if you're into technology, you should be checking out Scott.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

MEDC 2006

Is anyone going to MEDC 2006 in Las Vegas? I am! Contact me if you are and maybe we'll grab dinner!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Web Casts Live from Redmond!

Web Casts Live from Redmond!

Introducing an exclusive new series of Live Meeting presentations designed specially for the community (even more specifically for members of INETA user groups!) by members of the Microsoft product teams - Live from Redmond! Below you will find the full list of the presentations in the Live from Redmond! series available exclusively for INETA user group members. This is a fantastic opportunity for your group members to get a special benefit because their user group belongs to INETA. Be sure to share the information about the presentations and the Live Meeting information for each of the meetings with your members. These Live Meetings have only been advertised to INETA user group leaders. If you don't tell your members about them, there's no other way they can find out. Date Description
March 27th
PST ASP.NET Atlas Introduction
Jonathan Hawkins

ASP.NET "Atlas" is a technology preview that makes it easy for developers to build rich interactive ASP.NET web applications. In the webcast ASP.NET PM Architect, Jonathan Hawkins will provide an overview and show some cool demos.

Join Meeting
Meeting URL:
Meeting ID: GQ9RX2
Meeting Key: XB
April 4th
PST Web Application Projects and Web Deployment Projects
Bradley Bartz

The VS 2005 Web Application Project Model is a new web project option for VS2005 that provides the same conceptual web project approach as VS2003. The Web Deployment Projects provide additional functionality for building and deploying Web site applications that you create in ASP.NET 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005.

Join Meeting
Meeting URL:
Meeting ID: 8C97B3
Meeting Key: gX'5xwZ,G

April 12th
PST Crossbow - Building WPF and Windows Forms Hybrid Applications
Mike Henderlight

Wondering how to take advantage of the power of the next generation presentation technology, Windows Presentation Foundation while preserving your existing investments in Windows Forms? This talk discuss key scenarios for integration between the two technologies, and strategies for building hybrid applications that take advantage of Windows Forms and the Windows Presentation Foundation. We show integration from both application perspectives and demonstrate how each can augment the other.

Join Meeting
Meeting URL:
Meeting ID: Z3XWMN
Meeting Key: 4:Hz<\*Sg

April 20th
PST Essential Tips and Tricks for .NET Compact Framework Application Developers
David Kline

Developing applications for the .NET Compact Framework is very similar to developing for the .NET Framework. There are, however, some important differences and considerations to keep in mind. From best practices to debugging and diagnostics, this session presents the essential tips and tricks for .NET Compact Framework application development, direct from the .NET Compact Framework product team.

Join Meeting
Meeting URL:
Meeting ID: FJ2G8J
Meeting Key: 3[6&;FSjX

April 26th
PST Improving Your Web Application's User Experience with Atlas
Shawn Burke

Atlas allows ASP.NET developers to add great client-side richness to their web application using server-side methodologies using Extender Controls. Learn how the Agility Team is launching a project to leverage the power of the community to build a library of Extenders for all developers to use.

Join Meeting
Meeting URL:
Meeting ID: 54ZNTW
Meeting Key: fm:SM.6b7

May 4th
PST IIS7.0 as a development platform
Brett Hill

Discover a new world of opportunity for developers. IIS 7's capabilities are delivered via modules that you can load, unload, or replace at runtime. Using modules, written in native or managed code, you can implement entirely new capabilities for IIS 7 and the web applications it delivers. In this presentation, you will see how modules can change the client experience for all websites simultaneously without any modification to code on the site level. In addition, you'll see what IIS 7's .net integrated pipeline means for security, configuration, and integration of your applications into a truly extensible web platform.

Join Meeting
Meeting URL:
Meeting ID: ZTH9K9
Meeting Key: QZRXm9/wX

May 11th
PST Using Cider to build WPF applications
Paul Kuklinski

Check out how the Windows Presentation Foundation Designer for Visual Studio (Cider) delivers a familiar experience for .NET developers building WPF applications. We’ll walk through basic form design scenarios, developer-designer workflow with the Expression Interactive Designer, and look at the design-time experience for some of WPF’s more advanced capabilities.

Join Meeting
Meeting URL:
Meeting ID: HWN763
Meeting Key: s<%5^WH=n

May 17th
PST Using ASP.NET 2.0 and SharePoint together
Mike Ammerlaan

This session will cover integration of Windows SharePoint Services v.3.0 and ASP.NET 2.0, and discuss how you can use ASP.NET web parts, master pages, and controls in your SharePoint sites to build powerful web applications.

Join Meeting
Meeting URL:
Meeting ID: 273WC9
Meeting Key: QXf6~m"5P

May 23rd
PST An Introduction to WinFX AddIn's
Jack Gudenkauf

Have you ever wanted to have your application dynamically load and communicate with generic components at runtime? Interested in how to create independently versioning, mutually distrustful components, that work together? This talk will discuss how to address versioning and isolation utilizing the WinFX Add-in model.

Join Meeting
Meeting URL:
Meeting ID: XKR6RB
Meeting Key: BQ6s)p~wQ

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

SQL Server 2005 Gotcha #1

So, my company, SFA, jumped into SQL Server 2005 with both feet. We actually upgraded to it on February 3rd, so we've been running it almost 2 months now, and I've decided to share some gotchas that I ran into, in hopes that you won’t have to repeat my mistakes.

SQL Server 2005 Gotcha #1
Compatibility Mode 80 versus 90

When we upgraded from 2000 to 2005, we didn't realize that our databases compatibility modes would stay at 80. Newly created databases in SQL Server 2005 will be at Compatibility Mode 90, but upgraded databases stay at Compatibility Mode 80. I found out the hard way that this was for safety’s sake.

I discovered that my upgraded databases were still in 80 Compatibility Mode when I tried to run one of SSMS's cool new Summary Reports and it complained that it couldn’t display the report because the database's Compatibility Mode was 80 and it needed to be 90. Oh well, no biggie. I figured, I'll just pop in and change that. After all, it's a quick fix. Famous last words!

As soon as I switched it, apps started dying. Eeeek! Errors over here and errors over there. Errors everywhere! The error messages all said ‘Ambiguous column name’.

Here's what I found out.

When you switch to Compatibility Mode 90, you're basically telling SQL Server to recognize all the new keywords and such. You're also telling SQL Server to behave a little differently, i.e. as SQL Server 2005 would behave. One of the new behaviors of SQL Server 2005 is that it wants you to fully specify your columns in your ORDER BY clause if you select a column name more than once in a SELECT statement.

Here’s an example of a query that SQL 2005 didn’t like with the new 90 Compatibility Mode:

SELECT EmployeeName, EmployeeName
FROM (select 'John' as EmployeeName) tmp
ORDER BY EmployeeName;

A simple fix was to remove the extra column (it was in there twice by mistake anyway). If we really wanted to have it in there twice (you never know), we could have also just fully qualified the column name with the table name, like so:

SELECT EmployeeName, EmployeeName
FROM (select 'John' as EmployeeName) tmp
ORDER BY tmp.EmployeeName;

Interesting gotcha, especially because the error message didn’t exactly say, hey, you changed the Compatibility Mode and now I want you to be more precise with your column names in your ORDER BY clauses. Oh how I wish error messages would really tell me what’s wrong. But then, if they did, oh what fun I’d miss out on interpreting them!

More info on compatibility levels can be found here:

I hope this gotcha helps someone. I’ve got plenty more to come!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

INETA User Group Survey - Please fill out!

Below is a user group survey from INETA. If you fill it out, our user group may win a prize! Thanks!


Subject Line: IT and Developer Research Survey

Dear Member,

This is an invitation for you to participate in a technology-related survey conducted by Lieberman Research Worldwide.

This survey provides a forum for you to share your thoughts and opinions on subjects that are relevant to you and your job. Your participation in this project would be helping improve and create products, services and technologies that would be helpful to you.

We know your time is very valuable so with your participation, you will be entered into a raffle, and we will award prizes to winners at the end of the study.
To participate, please click on the link below to complete a brief survey.

If you cannot connect by clicking on the above link, please copy and paste the entire website address into your web browser.

Absolutely all information you provide to us will be kept strictly confidential and will never be tied back to you or your organization. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to email us at

We look forward to providing you an opportunity to impact new technology developments.

Thank you in advance for your participation.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

More Local .NET Jobs

Here's some recent job postings from our last sponsor. Enjoy!

APEX Professional Staffing, Inc. – Permanent .NET Opportunities in the Baltimore/DC/NOVA Area

Sr. Software Implementation Engineer Tysons Corner, VA - Permanent – Salary Range: $105,000 + Benefits

Mid/Senior ASP.NET/SQL Web Developer Timonium, MD - Permanent - Salary Range: $82,000 + Benefits

Mid-Level .NET Engineer Silver Spring, MD – Permanent – Salary Range: $70,000- $85,000 + Benefits

Mid/Senior .NET (w/some Open Source) Developer Columbia, MD – Permanent - Salary Range: $75,000-$82,000 + Benefits

Mid-Level VB.NET Developer Columbia, MD – Permanent – Salary Range: $75,000 + Benefits

Mid-Level C# Developer Hunt Valley, MD – Permanent – Salary Range: $75,000 + Strong Bonus + Benefits

Monday, March 20, 2006

New SQL Server 2005 Express Virtual Hands On Labs!

Check this out! You can try SQL Server 2005 for free really quick with no install! Just click this link and you'll be set up with a quick 20 minute lab that runs in your browser. No need to do a full SQL Server 2005 install and you'll be learning it in no time.

I love the push for more and more quickie learning resources. MS realizes that, for the most part, we are trying to grasp this stuff whenever we have a free moment and most of those moments are less than 1/2 hour, so these 10 minute "nuggets" presentations, Grok Talks, and now these Expresss HOLs are just the ticket! And did I mention they were free?!?

Up next (I wish), free, quick (like 5 minutes) e-learning modules? We'll see!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Launch Meeting a Huge Success

Our Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 Launch meeting was a hit! We had almost 30 people show up to participate in the party-filled atmosphere. We had a great time watching the geeks in the video get us pumped up about VS and SQL 2005 whilst we ate our pizza, we learned a bunch of some of the new features in both VS and SQL 2005, and we had a blast (literally!) during the finale where we collected the answers to Mega Prize Pack give-a-way questions and disributed the prizes (which were balloons that had to be sat on to be popped to find out what you had won).

What a night! Thanks to everyone who came out and made it such a great time!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 Launch Meeting!

Check out our new home page (courtesy of user group members Dan and Shelly) announcing the next user group meeting!

It's our launch party, celebrating the launch of SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005!