Thursday, 26 February 2009

The .NET Developer Network – March 2009

When: Monday 9th March 2009, doors open 6:00pm, meeting starts 6:30pm

Where: UWE (University of the West of England), Frenchay, Bristol (see FAQ for directions and a map) - Room 2q49 (in Q block)

What: Windows Azure And SQL Data Services (SDS)

Who: Eric Nelson, Microsoft Developer Evangelist.

Why: Because Eric is Captain Database. It's what he does and he's very good at it. Also because SQL Data Services offers a world of potential that may be a life saver to your applications. Also also because Eric is very easy to listen to and he lives up to the very high bar set by all Microsoft UK Developer Evangelists.

How do I sign up for this meeting: Send an email to meetings at and quote your user name and the March meeting.

The Azure™ Services Platform is an internet-scale cloud computing and services platform hosted in Microsoft data centers. The Azure Services Platform provides a range of functionality to build applications that span from consumer web to enterprise scenarios and includes a cloud operating system (Windows Azure) and a set of developer services, including SQL Data Services (SDS).  Both Windows Azure and SQL Data Services provide data storage capabilities, the latter offering highly scalable and Internet-facing distributed database services in the cloud for storing and processing relational queries built on robust SQL Server technologies. This session will introduce the Azure Service Platform, discuss how to take advantage of it in your own applications and drill into the two storage options.


After many years of developing on UNIX/RDBMS (and being able to get mortgages) Eric joined Microsoft in 1996 as a Technical Evangelist (and stopped being able to get mortgages due to his new 'unusual job title' in the words of his bank manager). He has spent most of his time working with ISVs to help them architect solutions which make use of the latest Microsoft technologies - from the beta of ASP 1.0 through to ASP.NET, from MTS to WCF/WF and from the beta of SQL Server 6.5 through to SQL Server 2008. Along the way he has met lots of smart and fun developers - and been completely stumped by many of their questions! In July 2008 he switched role from an Application Architect to a Developer Evangelist in the Developer and Platform Group. Currently Eric’s interests include digging into LINQ to Entities, ADO.NET Data Services and switching from C# to Visual Basic development. At home, he battles rat infestations, comes second to the family dog and uses any spare moments he has after 10pm to team up and play online with and against friends - keep an eye out for 'erknel' and say 'hi'.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Bespin From Mozilla Labs

At the moment everything is moving into the cloud and I am still having a hard time seeing how this will all work or why I would do such a thing especially since I have spent so many years keeping everything firmly on the ground. 

Recently I came across a project called Bespin developed by the Moxilla guys, the same group of people who gave birth to FireFox, the aim of the project is to take application development into the cloud at first I was sceptical thinking of all those nasty HTML editors you get on some web sites but once I looked at their interface it was quickly apparent that this was the kind of IDE I would expect from a desktop application;


The aim of the project is not only to allow you to develop applications in the cloud but to also use the openness of the web to increase collaboration through an amazing process of collaborative desktops in the web browser!!

I have not had chance to use this new web application but have a look at their video on the home page and I think you will agree that these guys are doing some very interesting things with you web browser.

To see the detailed information go to