Thursday, September 24, 2009

Microsoft Ignites New Opportunities for Web Professionals With WebsiteSpark Program

Building upon its commitment to foster innovation and success for professional Web developers and designers, Microsoft Corp. today announced the WebsiteSpark Program, an initiative designed to create a partner network and help enable business growth for professional Web development and design companies with up to 10 employees and owners. In addition, Microsoft announced the release of the Web Platform Installer 2.0 and the Windows Web Application Gallery 2.0, furthering the success of the Microsoft Web Platform. Together, these initiatives make it easier for Web professionals to build richer, more compelling Web experiences.

As the latest initiative in the Spark family of programs, which includes Microsoft BizSpark and DreamSpark, Microsoft is building upon a legacy of working with key communities and providing the additional support, tools and resources needed to help them thrive. The WebsiteSpark Program provides Web professionals with Microsoft software and solutions, together with related tools, training and support, to help their businesses succeed. The WebsiteSpark Program also helps drive new business opportunities by connecting Web professionals and hosters with an ecosystem of customers, partners and other professionals with complementary technologies.

“Developers are the lifeblood of our business, and we are wholly committed to ensuring their success,” said Bob Muglia, president of Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business division. “WebsiteSpark makes Microsoft’s Web development tools and support more accessible to developers and designers at small companies as they create inventive applications for the Web. Our third Spark program, WebsiteSpark furthers our commitment to ignite innovation among key communities and individuals.”

Web development and design companies with up to 10 employees and owners can participate in the WebsiteSpark Program for three years with no up-front cost. There is only a $100 program offering fee, payable at exit, with no other costs or obligations. Once approved, these companies can have access to the following:

Microsoft Web design and development tools, including three licenses of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition, two licenses of Microsoft Expression Web 3 and one license of Microsoft Expression Studio 3

Four processor licenses for production usage to Windows Web Server 2008 or R2 (when available) and four processor licenses for production usage to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Web Edition

A third-party premium Web site control panel (DotNetPanel)
Participating companies also will receive the following professional support and training:

Two technical support incidents per company

Access to community support through connections with Network Partners, Hosting Partners and peers with complementary services and technologies

Unlimited access to technical managed newsgroups on MSDN

Unlimited program support for nontechnical issues
In addition to software, solutions, training and support, the program will extend the reach of participating companies by featuring their offerings in a WebsiteSpark marketplace, supported by Microsoft marketing vehicles. This marketplace, available this fall, will help them connect with new prospective customers worldwide.

Furthermore, the WebsiteSpark Program provides a powerful global partner ecosystem to help support Web professionals’ success. Around the world, partners such as Aruba Networks Inc., Bitrix Inc., Elance Inc., Ikoula, PEER 1 Network Enterprises Inc. and Strato are providing business guidance and technical services to help these companies jump-start their development projects.

“BizSpark has been one of the best partner programs in the industry for helping startup businesses get off the ground, and the WebsiteSpark Program provides an even bigger opportunity for hosting companies and the Web community,” said Robert Miggins, senior vice president of business development for PEER 1. “We see a lot of Web developers and Web agencies choosing the Microsoft platform to build their Web applications and Web sites, and we are committed to help them be successful.”

Build Applications More Quickly With the Microsoft Web Platform

Available today as part of the Microsoft Web Platform, the Web Platform Installer 2.0 provides developers with a simplified installation of Microsoft products and technologies that helps reduce download complexity and includes new additions such as IIS Media Services and a Windows Azure software development kit (SDK). Improved package handling enables developers to download components of the Microsoft Web Platform once, and deploy or redeploy component packages on multiple machines, saving bandwidth and time.

With the Microsoft Web Platform Installer, developers also can access dozens of free, open-code, ready-to-install Web applications to help build their Web sites and applications, whether they’re developing in ASP.NET or PHP. This includes more than 20 new applications, from both Microsoft and the larger community, via the Windows Web Application Gallery, such as WordPress, DotNetNuke, Acquia Drupal, SugarCRM and Umbraco. In addition, the Microsoft Web Platform Installer, the Windows Web Application Gallery and, Microsoft’s core Web site, is now available to an international developer audience in nine languages.

Enroll in the WebsiteSpark Program

Microsoft’s WebsiteSpark Program is now available worldwide. Interested Web professionals can learn more about enrolling in the program by visiting

Download the Microsoft Web Platform Installer Today

The Microsoft Web Platform Installer 2.0 is available worldwide and can be downloaded at

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

linked server queries could case memory leaks in SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008

The Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) SQL Support blog has a post describing how you can get memory leaks in SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008 when using linked server queries

Here is the summary

SQL Server 2008

  • ANY remote stored procedure execution will leak memory for each execution on the local server (the server where you initiated the remote procedure execution). The leak is not large for each execution (around 40 bytes) but over time this can add up. This specific problem involves the RETURN status of a stored procedure so there is no way to avoid it (even if you don’t use RETURN in your proc a return status is sent back to the client) if you execute remote stored procedures.
  • If you use sql_variant SQL Server data types you could also face a different memory leak (again on the local server only). These leaks can occur under the following conditions: 
    • If you use a sql_variant type for an OUTPUT parameter of a remote stored procedure you will leak around 40 bytes just for using a sql_variant OUTPUT parameter (the leak is per parameter). If the value of the parameter is of type char, varchar, nchar, nvarchar,binary, or varbinary, you will also leak the size of the value itself for each parameter. So a large character string over time could result in a considerable memory leak.
    • if you run a remote query that returns a result with a sql_variant column AND the value of the column is a char, varchar, nchar, nvarchar, binary, or varbinary value, you will leak the value of that variant for each row returned to the local server. This one has a potential to cause a fairly significant leak depending on how big the values are and how many rows are returned.

SQL Server 2005

  • You are only affected by the sql_variant problems listed above.

To find out more read the post here:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Microsoft AJAX CDN Announced

Earlier today the ASP.NET team launched a new Microsoft Ajax CDN (Content Delivery Network) service that provides caching support for AJAX libraries (including jQuery and ASP.NET AJAX). The service is available for free, does not require any registration, and can be used for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.

Scott Guthrie has some more info on his blog, here is the summary

The Microsoft Ajax CDN enables you to significantly improve the performance of ASP.NET Web Forms and ASP.NET MVC applications that use ASP.NET AJAX or jQuery. The service is available for free, does not require any registration, and can be used for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.

ASP.NET 4.0 will make it especially easy for ASP.NET Web Forms developers to take advantage of the CDN. By setting one property of the ScriptManager control, you will be able to redirect all requests for the built-in ASP.NET JavaScript files to the CDN and improve the performance of your Web Forms applications.

read the rest here:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Novell Releases First Solution to Build iPhone Applications Using C# and Microsoft .NET Languages

Novell began shipping MonoTouch today. MonoTouch is a proprietary product that costs US$399 for a one-year subscription per developer for the personal edition; an enterprise edition is available for $999 per developer per year.

Below is the press release

Novell today announced the availability of MonoTouch 1.0, the industry's first solution for developing applications for the iPhone* and iPod* Touch using the Microsoft* .NET framework, including C# and other .NET programming languages. Until now, developers primarily built iPhone applications using C and Objective-C, putting iPhone development beyond the reach of most .NET developers. With MonoTouch, the creativity of millions of .NET developers worldwide can be unleashed to build a vast array of iPhone applications.

The incredible popularity of the iPhone and iPod Touch has created a huge market for iPhone applications. According to Scott Ellison, vice president of Mobile and Wireless at IDC, in the first year the Apple Apps Store has more than 50,000 available applications, and well over 1 billion downloads with an average of more than 140 new applications launched every day1. However, developers previously used the more complex C and Objective-C programming languages to design iPhone applications.

Engineered by the Mono® Project, an open source initiative sponsored by Novell, MonoTouch simplifies iPhone development by allowing developers to utilize code and libraries written for the .NET development framework and programming languages such as C#. Individual .NET developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) can now sell their products into a massive new market, while corporate developers and IT organizations can deploy their applications in a new mobile computing environment.
"The iPhone has experienced tremendous adoption in both consumer and business markets," said Al Hilwa, program director, Application Development Software at IDC. "Given that applications are a key reason for the iPhone's success, a solution that allows .NET developers to use existing skills to build iPhone applications is an exciting and consequential milestone in the evolution of mobile platforms."

The iPhone developer program license restricts developers from distributing scripting engines or Just-In-Time (JIT) compilers, which are required by managed runtimes such as .NET for code execution. As a result, the world of iPhone applications had been previously closed to .NET and Mono developers. Developers can now use MonoTouch while fully complying with these license terms because MonoTouch delivers only native code.
"Developing our award-winning mobile forms solution on multiple platforms before MonoTouch from Novell was time-consuming due to the diverse technology platforms," said Simon Guindon, mobile solution developer at TrueContext. "With MonoTouch, we can now optimize development for the future and enrich the Pronto Forms product offering at a faster pace."

MonoTouch from Novell is a software development kit that contains a suite of compilers, libraries and tools for integrating with Apple's iPhone SDK. Microsoft .NET base class libraries are included, along with managed libraries for taking advantage of native iPhone APIs. Also included is a cross-compiler that can be used for turning .NET executable files and libraries directly into native applications for distribution on the Apple Apps* Store or for deployment to enterprise iPhone users. In addition, Xcode integration enables application developers to test on the device or in Apple's iPhone Simulator and ship applications to the Apple Apps Store for distribution.

"The vast majority of Windows-centric developers, ISVs and IT organizations have chosen the C# language and .NET for development," said Miguel de Icaza, Mono project founder and Developer Platform vice president at Novell. "As such we have seen tremendous demand for tools to build .NET-based iPhone applications. We developed MonoTouch in response to this demand, giving both individual developers and businesses a solution that breaks down the barriers to iPhone application development."

MonoTouch Pricing and Availability
MonoTouch Personal and Enterprise Editions are available now through MonoTouch Enterprise Edition is available for US $999 per developer for a one-year subscription, which includes maintenance and updates. A five-developer Enterprise license supports five concurrent developers and is available for US $3,999 per year. For individuals only building applications for the Apple Apps Store, MonoTouch Personal Edition is available for $399 per developer for a one-year subscription. For more information about MonoTouch visit To learn more about the Mono Project visit

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Image Resizer Powertoy Clone now works in Vista and Windows 7 and is available in 32 and 64 bit versions

One of the most popular Windows XP PowerToys has been rewritten so that it can work with Windows Vista and Windows 7, in 32-bit as well as 64-bit. The Image Resizer Powertoy Clone for Windows is available for free on CodePlex

After installing all you have to do is right clicking on the images you want to resize and select Resize Pictures (see image below).

This is very handy if you quickly want to resize a bunch of images to email to someone. You don't need to open Gimp/Paint/Expression Media/PhotoShop/Lightroom you can do this all from Explorer.

After you right click on the images and select Resize Pictures then the following box will pop up where you then can specify the size you want

You can download the Image Resizer Powertoy Clone tool from CodePlex here:

I just can't believe it took this long before it was available for Vista and Windows 7

Friday, September 11, 2009

ASP.NET AJAX 4.0 Preview 5 available on CodePlex

Microsoft has released ASP.NET AJAX 4.0 Preview 5 on CodePlex
From the site:

ASP.NET AJAX is a pure client-side JavaScript library that enables you to build Ajax applications that work with all modern web browsers. By taking advantage of ASP.NET AJAX client controls and templates, you can build database-driven web applications that execute entirely in the browser.

ASP.NET AJAX supports the following features:
Client templates that can be used to format database data in the browser
Client controls such as the DataView control
Client DataContext component that supports change tracking and identity management
ADO.NET Data Services support
WCF and ASMX Web service support
JSONP support
Observable pattern for plain JavaScript objects
Live Bindings
Command Bubbling
Support for managing complex links and associations between entities from multiple entity sets or tables

In this release, they have added support for the following features:
Dynamic and recursive templates
Binding Converters
Compatibility with the ASP.NET UpdatePanel

More info including the download link is available on CodePlex:

Friday, September 4, 2009

DevExpress has updated its CodeRush Xpress tool

DevExpress has updated its free CodeRush Xpress tool for Visual Studio. Here are some of the changes:

Faster Performance
Reduced Memory Consumption
Support for Preprocessor Directives
Background Processing Progress Bar

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Microsoft Delivers Windows 7-Based Windows Embedded Standard 2011 Community Technology Preview

Today, Microsoft Corp. released the Windows 7-based Windows Embedded Standard 2011 (formerly code-named “Quebec”) Community Technology Preview (CTP) to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and developers of specialized devices worldwide through its immediate public availability at Windows Embedded Standard 2011 delivers the latest Windows 7 technologies to OEMs, enabling them to bring high-performing specialized devices to market faster, to differentiate those devices through innovative user experiences, and to delight their customers with devices that extend the Windows user experience to specialized devices from Windows-based PCs, servers and online services.

“To meet the demand for improved user experiences and connectivity among today’s rapidly growing categories of specialized devices, Microsoft has strategically planned the release of Windows 7-based technologies to OEMs in the embedded marketplace,” said Kevin Dallas, general manager of the Windows Embedded Business at Microsoft. “The availability of the Windows Embedded Standard 2011 CTP empowers our worldwide ecosystem of OEMs, partners and developers to take advantage of the next-generation platform’s enhanced Windows 7-based features and provide feedback prior to its general release to manufacturing. We encourage the embedded community to take full advantage of the CTP’s availability and join in our excitement as we look ahead to the future availability of Windows Embedded platforms incorporating Windows 7 technologies.”

Windows 7 Features and Functionality Available in Windows Embedded Standard 2011

Windows Embedded Standard 2011 delivers the power, familiarity and reliability of the Windows 7 operating system in a highly customizable and componentized form, enabling OEMs in industrial automation, entertainment, consumer electronics and other markets to focus on their core competencies and create product differentiation. Instead of investing in platform development, Windows Embedded Standard 2011 allows OEMs to choose only the components they need to tailor the platform to meet the unique requirements of their device. Familiar, easy-to-use development tools and embedded-enabling features help to further reduce development costs and increase speed to market for thin-client, point-of-service (POS), kiosk, medical, multifunction printers and other devices.

Windows Embedded Standard 2011 capabilities and features include these:

Enterprise Equipped with the ability for organizations to seamlessly extend existing investments in technology management and infrastructure to devices by using Active Directory group policies and Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, as well as increased interoperability for client server scenarios with Microsoft Terminal Services and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

Latest Windows technology innovations to enhance user experiences on specialized devices through the security of Internet Explorer 8, enhanced media capabilities of Windows Media Player 12, improved client server with Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) 7.0 and Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5

Rich, immersive user experiences with support for 64-bit CPUs, Windows Aero user interface, Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Touch (multigesture touch interfaces and context-aware applications) and Windows Flip 3D navigation

The ability to develop “green” solutions with smart power management APIs for developers to build applications that can improve CPU idle time and reduce power consumption

ESC Boston

During the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Boston (Sept. 21–24 at the Hynes Convention Center), Kevin Dallas, general manager of the Windows Embedded Business Unit at Microsoft, will deliver an industry keynote address on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 10:30 a.m. Dallas will detail how the Windows Embedded software-plus-services platform enables developers and OEMs to provide the unique value of Windows on specialized devices, as well as sharing a Windows Embedded product road map update.

Microsoft will also be participating in TechInsights’ “Build Your Own Embedded System” seminars, enabling attendees to take home a custom-configured design kit based on Windows Embedded Standard 2011. Conference goers can visit the Microsoft booth (No. 400) or for more information.

Community Resources Available Pre- and Post-Launch

A Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification, preparation kit and training courseware will be available for Windows Embedded Standard 2011 during the timeframe of its release to manufacturing (RTM), approximately the second half of 2010. Additional Windows Embedded training opportunities can be found at

Microsoft will also host a series of five free webinars exploring the enhanced functionality, networking capabilities, improved security and reliability of Windows Embedded Standard 2011. Participants can register at A full listing of additional technical events and seminars can be found at

Additional information on Windows Embedded Standard 2011 and the entire Windows Embedded portfolio of platforms and technologies can be found at