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  • 09/17/12--14:09: CRM Role Updater Codeplex
  • Editor's Note: The following MVP Monday post is by Dynamics CRM MVP Donna Edwards


    Those of us who deploy, administer or configure CRM know that updating Security Roles can be a time consuming process. We also know that It doesn’t take long for security role updates to become laborious, tedious and honestly, I make us wish we could spend our time doing other, more fun things in CRM.

    So what’s a customizer to do? You guessed it, my good friend and fellow MVP Tanguy to the rescue. Tanguy created a nice Role Updater utility and made it available to the community for use. I use it and love it so here’s a high level walk-through.

    First, you will need to download the utility and save it to a folder. You can then open the folder and run the Role Updater application.


    You’ll first receive a Welcome screen. Here you will click on the Select your CRM 2011 Organization and create a New Connection:


    Select the Create New Connection button and enter the information requested. You can mouse over the fields to display information regarding the values needed for each field.


    Your connection information will be saved for future use.

    You will see a list of security roles available after the connection is made. You can select All, one or hold the CNTRL key to select multiple.


    You can now select Privileges you want to modify from the list on the right, choose the Level and select Next when you are finished.


    It is that simple. Once your updates are complete, in my case it took only a few seconds, you can continue configuring additional privileges or exit the tool. Although it is not necessary, I generally like to spot check the roles to ensure updates were made as expected.

    Let’s do a little calculation to discover how many clicks this tool save me. In 99.9 % of my implementations, I recommend to the client that we remove the delete rights from all security roles for all entities and activities. My recommendation is to use the Close / Cancel for Activities and Deactivate option to remove records from view rather than delete. The reason is pretty obvious, deactivating or closing a record is recoverable, deleting is not. Considering this change only, the tool saves me at least 20 clicks per security role. If I have to change 10 roles, well, that’s 200 clicks.

    This is a terrific time saver when implementing a new CRM system, a new Custom Entity or any time that you have multiple changes to Security Roles. This is now my ‘Go To’ tool for Security Role changes.

    About the author

    Donna Edwards

    Donna has received the Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVP award since 2009.  She has been working in the Information Technology field for more than 10 years and has a diverse background in technology to include Software Release Management, Ecommerce Web Design and Management, and Enterprise Software Project Implementations. 

    Donna’s skill set has allowed her to successfully support Organizations in realizing significant return on investment (ROI) through business process analysis, implementing enterprise software systems that fit the organization’s needs, and re-engineering, streamlining and automating business processes.  Connect with Donna via her blog and LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter

    About MVP Mondays

    The MVP Monday Series is created by Melissa Travers. In this series we work to provide readers with a guest post from an MVP every Monday. Melissa is a Community Program Manager for Dynamics, Excel, Office 365, Platforms and SharePoint in the United States. She has been working with MVPs since her early days as Microsoft Exchange Support Engineer when MVPs would answer all the questions in the old newsgroups before she could get to them

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  • 09/18/12--07:04: F# Type Providers
  • Editor’s Note:  In partnership with the Microsoft Press team, MVPs have been contributing to an ongoing guest series on their team blog based on monthly themes.  Today’s article is from Visual F# MVP Richard Minerich which is the 15th in the series.

    In an era where the line between program and data is becoming ever more blurred one of the biggest challenges for many programmer teams has become bridging the data-application divide.   So deep is this gap that some companies have resorted to keeping programmers and DBAs in separate groups in order to try and protect themselves but this comes at a cost of significant decreases in efficiency.  As data increasingly becomes the focus of our day to day work it’s important that we step back and rethink how we approach these problems.

    What if your compiler could reach into your database and understand the schema?  Would it streamline your processes if compilation would fail if something in the database it depended on was removed or changed? Read full article here

    About the author

    Richard is Senior Researcher at Bayard Rock, a company dedicated to applying the cutting edge from academia to solve enterprise problems. In his role as an MVP he runs an F# user group in NYC and is also a frequent speaker, blogger and writer. His most recent work is "Professional F# 2.0". Follow him on Twitter.

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    1.  Using PowerShell to Control RDS in Windows Server 2012

    By Virtual Machine MVP Freek Berson - @fberson

    2. LASG for VS 2012 and 2010

    By Windows Azure MVP – Serena Yeoh

    3. How to use Windows Azure Profiling Tools in Visual Studio

    By ASP.NET MVP Eduardo Zabat Lorenzo

    4. IIS Authentication notes on Self-Service Password Reset – FIM 2010 R2

    By SharePoint Server MVP Nguyen Thuan

    5. WinPatrol 25.6.2012 License Agreement Explained

    By Consumer Security MVP Bill Pytlovany - @BillP

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    Editor's Note: The following MVP Monday post is by SQL Server MVP Paul Turley


    I really enjoy this topic.  One of the reasons, I suppose, it's such a hot topic is that a lot of people believe that there is a perfect ad reporting solution out there, just barely beyond the current set of capabilities in all of the available tools.  A lot of our customers and others in the industry ask what tools they should be using for ad hoc reporting and exactly what criteria to use to choose among them.  There’s a lot of “it depends” to that kind of question but we can start with some guidelines and direction.

    Before I get into the details, I'll give you the bottom line: there are some great, powerful, easy-to-use tools available in the Microsoft toolset.  There isn’t a single tool from any vendor that does it all but there a few from Microsoft that do a lot.  Business users are impatient and as soon as we show them how to use some really cool reporting application that meets most of their needs, they'll complain that it doesn't do that one thing that it wasn't designed to do.  Finding the perfect self-service, ad hoc, reporting tool is like this utopian vision for the future.  Like in the X-Files, “it's out there.”  Like discovering the city of Atlantis or proving that there is extra-terrestrial life; we're just one breath away from finding it.

    The Microsoft self-service reporting stack:

    PowerPivot and Power View

    A few years ago, the product teams at Microsoft started working on a new generation of analytic reporting tools.  After doing a bang-up job making SQL Server Analysis Services a world-class platform, they diverted a lot of their resources to developing the technology behind PowerPivot.  At about the same time, the Reporting Services team started working on Power View, a very graphical and dynamic analytic data browser that lets regular ole users make sense out of information by just by dragging and dropping things into charts and nifty visual widgets.  We saw the first generation of PowerPivot released as a free add-in for Excel 2010 and Power View was added to the SQL Server 2012 product suite when it's integrated into SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Edition.  Now, wait, before you react - I've been out there pimping this stuff for a couple of years and have heard a lot of knee-jerk reaction to this dependency on SharePoint Enterprise.  If you're in that camp, just hold on to your horses and understand that there's more good stuff coming.  The Power View integration in SharePoint was a first step.  Microsoft is trying to take care of their enterprise customers and compete in the big BI marketplace but they are watching out for the little guy too.

    Both PowerPivot and Power View will be integrated into the new version of Excel coming in Office 2013.  Keep in mind that even though these two "Power…" tools are both add-ins for Excel, they are different things.  You can use PowerPivot to combine data from different data sources and perform calculations over some pretty large sets of data right on your desktop.  To view the results, business users work with all the features they already know how to use in Excel like pivot tables, charts, filters and slicers.  Additionally, they can use a new expression language called DAX to perform calculations - which is more powerful but feels a lot like familiar Excel functions.  The reason PowerPivot is so fast and can handle so much data is that all of the data is loaded into the computer's memory in compressed form.  Realistically, you can work with up to several million rows of data on a typical desktop computer.

    If you would like to take these visuals to the next level, you can use Power View.  Let's take a look at PowerPivot and Power View in the publically available Excel 2013 Preview.  The model shown below has several tables that are related together using keys, similar to a relational database like SQL Server, but the concepts are much more basic.  Each of the tables can be imported from a different data source (including worksheets in the Excel workbook) and the data can easily be refreshed at any time.  The pane below the data columns shows calculations that are also stored in the model.


    The sample data I'm using is from the FAA with statistics about airline flight delays and aircraft incidents involving wildlife.  You can download a copy of this PowerPivot model with the sample downloads for our Wrox Press book: Professional SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services.  Just go to book support site at, and download the samples:,descCd-DOWNLOAD.html


    A Power View report is added to the Excel workbook and all of the tables and fields in the model are listed on the right.  Visualizing the data is a matter of choosing fields and adding them to the report surface. 


    After adding fields in various combinations, you choose how to visualize the data by selecting visualizations from the Design ribbon.  Color themes, font selection and scaling, and background fill options were all added to the new version of Power View in Office 2013.


    Another really nice addition is the Map visual, which can visualize values grouped by known geographical regions (like states), points on the map using latitude and longitude and even addresses. It utilizes the Bing Maps service and automatically geocodes data in the model. This example shows the number of aircraft service hours rolled-up by state.  This is visualized both in the map and in a bar chart below.  I've added a slicer on the right using the Species field which filters the results in all of the other report visuals.  The usability for this tool is amazing.  Most anyone can figure it out with little or no direction just by clicking and experimenting.


    If you're an enterprise user, these PowerPivot models and Power View reports can be uploaded to the corporate SharePoint site to be shared and used by lots of others.  When the model is stored and runs on the server, it uses the memory and resources on the server rather than the desktop computer.  To manage very large volumes of data securely and with more administrative control, the PowerPivot model can be loaded into an Analysis Services server configured for tabular storage.  In essence, this is the enterprise version of PowerPivot.

    There are a lot of new features planned for Power View but it's not a reporting tool that is going to let you do absolutely everything.  The goals of this product are to keep visual reporting simple and uncomplicated.  It's not ever going to be a tool for programmers to customize and it's not designed for line-of-business styles of reporting.  For the time being, a PowerPivot or tabular model is a requirement for Power View.  In the near future, we will probably see support for multidimensional cubes but you can't point Power View directly at a relational database without creating a model first.

    Report Builder

    Reporting Services is the gift that keeps on giving.  When talking to consulting customers about report tool choices, I often tell them that I can do just about anything they want to do with Reporting Services.  Even if the requirements are complex and they need really advanced features, there's usually a way to get there with SSRS; although they may not get the exact behavior or user experience they may had imagined based on their experience with other software.  One of the reasons that Reporting Services is so powerful is that reports can be extended with expressions and custom code.  However, like Uncle Ben said, "with great power comes great responsibility."  Here in lies the challenge: if the IT folks do their job by setting up an appropriately-configured environment with data views, shared objects and semantic models; users can have a great experience designing their own reports with Report Builder.  If regular business users are set free to hook up their reports to complicated business system databases, they're not going to have a good experience and they're going to make a mess.

    Report Builder can be used with a standard report server or it can be integrated with SharePoint.  Either way, a little bit of admin preparation is necessary to get them off the blocks and using the tool the right way.


    From the end-user perspective, all they need to do is open Report Builder from a menu in their web browser, select a shared data source, dataset or semantic model (consisting of a cube or tabular model) and then run a wizard or drag and drop fields to assemble the reports.  It's as easy as that.  Report Builder has many, easy-to-use features that, with just a little guidance and education, they can be off and running in no time.  Reports can have drill-down paths, custom calculations, great visuals and can be exported to lots of formats (including Excel).  This really is a great tool.

    Another mode where Report Builder excels is the ability to use finished report fragments that have been saved to a server, called report parts, to assemble their own reports.  This is a very handy way to let users assemble their own custom-built dashboards from components provided by others who have already invested the time and energy to design sophisticated report features.  The user drags and drops, and viola!; a dashboard.


    So, here's the catch… Not only does Report Builder allow business users to design simple reports with relative ease, it also allows people to design really sophisticated and complex reports with very advanced features.  Since the tool doesn’t prevent casual users from fiddling with the advanced features, unguided, they can get themselves into trouble.  Report Builder is used most successfully in an environment where all users are schooled in the appropriate use of the tool to match their needs and their level of technical expertise.  After a business user has created their own report that meets the majority of their needs and then their requirements have evolved beyond the scope of their capability (or desire) to go to the next level, the report design can be promoted to a specialist for enhancements.

    There's much more to be said about the capabilities and nuisances of Reporting Services and, in particular, the Report Builder design tool.  In a nutshell, it can be used to create not only BI dashboards, scorecards and other analytical types of reports but it's also a good tool for designing operational style reports like invoices, transaction summary and detail lists.  It lacks the interactivity and simple elegance of Power View but it works well in a variety of settings.


    This is one of those products that was created with some specific capabilities in mind.  It does a few things really well but doesn’t provide a lot of latitude outside of its feature set.  This is the product that survived development efforts to mimic features of ProClarity Web Professional, a product Microsoft acquired, along with the company that developed it, focused on visualizing Analysis Services multidimensional cubes.  PerformancePoint is now baked into SharePoint Enterprise Edition.  It's ideally used to create business scorecard and dashboard reports from multidimensional models.  It’s a little bit of a stretch to call it an ad hoc reporting tool but it does allow business users with intermediate design skills (and no programming or database background) to create basic charts and scorecards with some really cool drill-down features.  It’s flexible enough to deploy one report to be used with different measures and hierarchy levels. One of the niftiest visualizations is the decomposition tree.  PerformancePoint can also use existing Excel and Reporting Services reports as components of an orchestrated dashboard by using a common set of filters and corresponding parameters to filter the whole dashboard.


    Some have predicted the demise of PerformancePoint just based on the theory that other Microsoft reporting tools have overlapping features and that we hadn't seen a lot of new improvement to this product since it was released quite a few years ago.  However, it now seems that the Office/SharePoint team are paying more attention to it and have announced a few feature additions for 2013:

    PerformancePoint is a respectable product with some good capabilities. I think one of the reasons that a lot of people have not embraced it is because it’s one more tool to learn - and many people have their plates full with other reporting tools. In the enterprise, it’s good to designate a PerformancePoint expert. Let her learn the product, design the reports and dashboards and then others can use them for ad hoc browsing and data exploration.

    Excel and Excel Services

    There was an epiphany in the Microsoft BI community a few years ago when business reporting and BI professionals realized that many business people really want to do their reporting in Excel.  For years, we've been trying to create reporting solutions and tools that either work with or export reports to Excel.  So, for those business reports that should end up in Excel at the end of the process, why not actually use Excel as the reporting tool?  There are many reasons that this hasn’t been feasible in the past.  When multiple business users export data into Excel, manipulate it, perform calculations and use this for decision-support, you end of with several different versions of spreadsheets and datasets in the possession of multiple users. 

    The first thing we needed was an effective collaboration platform.  Enter SharePoint.  Now that we have the means to share documents without proliferating data sprawl, Excel had to be able to handle more data effectively.  Thank you PowerPivot.  The next thing was to be able to take visuals and reporting beyond, well, Excel.  Several recent innovations have taken the Excel toolset to the next level.  Of course Power View takes you to a whole new level but in the past couple of versions of Excel, we've seen a new-and-improved pivot table, the addition of slicers, several chart enhancements, conditional formatting and KPI indicator sets.  Oh, I should mention that the worksheet row and column limits were expanded significantly.  Yes, Excel can be misused and isn't going to be the right choice for all business reports but it's a much more capable reporting tool than ever before.  Excel in SharePoint can really be an enterprise-scale solution.  When hosted in a document library, a workbook actually runs on the SharePoint server farm instead of the user's desktop.  Excel Services visualizes the Excel report content as a web page with full interactivity.  Hosted workbooks can also be secured and managed in SharedPoint.

    What to Use for What

    The following table shows, in my view, some of the more ideal choices for different styles of reports.  Every tool has its strengths and limitations which have been considered in the order that each tool is presented.

    Reporting Requirements

    Report Tool


    Operational line-of-business reports

    1. Report Builder

    For live reporting with production databases or semantic models, Report Builder is an ideal tool.  It works very well for table and form report styles and can be used with live product data.  Requires technical expertise for reports beyond basic design and doesn’t prevent users from using advanced features.


    2. Power View

    Has table, matrix and form views for textual data.  Not as flexible for this style of reporting but very easy to use.  Doesn't export to Excel.


    3. Excel

    New chart and pivot table features make Excel a good choice for basic reporting styles (lists, pivots & charts).  PowerPivot can be used to integrate data from multiple sources and can be refreshed frequently.

    Ad hoc data browsing

    1. Power View

    Very easy-to-use, highly-visual and dynamic tool.  Requires a semantic model created using PowerPivot or SSAS tabular mode.


    2. Excel

    Used with a semantic model, Excel is an ideal tool for browsing and summarizing analytical data.  Use slicers to interact with pivot tables and charts.


    3. PerformancePoint

    Chart reports and scorecards are first designed and published to SharePoint.  Using these visuals, users can browse, drill-down and cross-drill dimensional data in a semantic model.


    4. Report Builder

    Using the report wizards and basic query designer, simple table, matrix and chart reports can be created with relative ease.  Requires technical skills to use more advanced features and to debug design.  Works well with shared datasets, views and semantic models.

    Business Dashboards

    1. PerformancePoint

    Dashboards can be assembled from multiple reports types including PerformancePoint charts, scorecards, SSRS reports and Excel reports.  Common filters may be used to coordinate all dashboard reports.  Design requires practice and some trial-end-error learning.


    2. Report Builder

    Business users can create their own custom dashboard reports by assembling a report from prepared report parts.  Advanced features can be added by IT professionals.



    About the author

    Paul Turley

    Paul is a Mentor for SolidQ and a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for SQL Server and BI.  He’s an active member of the SQL Server community and Director of the Oregon SQL user group.  He has authored and co-authored 12 books including the Wrox Press series for Reporting Services and books and other BI and database reporting topics.  He has been architecting, managing and developing applications and business intelligence solutions for since 1992. He teaches, develops training courseware, and speaks at industry conferences.  He has been a Microsoft Certified Trainer and MCP since 1996, holding MCITP, MCTS, MCSD & MCDBA certifications.  Paul blogs at  You can also connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

    About MVP Mondays

    The MVP Monday Series is created by Melissa Travers. In this series we work to provide readers with a guest post from an MVP every Monday. Melissa is a Community Program Manager, formerly known as MVP Lead,  for Messaging and Collaboration (Exchange, Lync, Office 365 and SharePoint) and Microsoft Dynamics in the US. She began her career at Microsoft as an Exchange Support Engineer and has been working with the technical community in some capacity for almost a decade.  In her spare time she enjoys going to the gym, shopping for handbags, watching period and fantasy dramas, and spending time with her children and miniature Dachshund.  Melissa lives in North Carolina and works out of the Microsoft Charlotte office.

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    1. Use Windows Forms Controls to Make Multiple Stacked Expanders in C#

    By Visual Basic MVP Rod Stephens

    2. How to Set Up Hyper-V Replica for Small Businesses

    By Small Business Server MVP Boon Tee

    3. Location Awareness in about 2 Minutes with Windows 8–HTML

    By Silverlight MVP Michael Crump – @mbcrump

    4. Manage Application Licenses With OneNote

    By Access MVP Glenn Lloyd 

    4. Adding NuGet Support to F# Interactive in VS2012

    By Visual F# MVP Daniel Mohl – @dmohl

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    Today, 906 exemplary community leaders around the world were notified that they have received the MVP Award! These individuals were chosen because they have demonstrated their deep commitment to helping others make the most of their technology, voluntarily sharing their passion and real-world knowledge of Microsoft products with the community.

    While there are more than 100 million social and technical community members, only a small portion are selected to be recognized as MVPs. Each year, around 4,000 MVPs are honored. They are nominated by Microsoft, other community individuals, or in some cases themselves. Candidates are rigorously evaluated for their technical expertise, community leadership, and voluntary community contributions for the previous year. They come from more than 90 countries, speak over 40 different languages, and are awarded in more than 90 Microsoft technologies. Together, they answer more than 10 million questions a year!

    MVPs are recognized each quarter for this annual award, which continues to grow and evolve to reflect the development of Microsoft technologies.

    Congratulations to the new MVPs, and welcome back to renewed MVPs. We are very excited to recognize your amazing accomplishments!

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    Editor's Note: The following MVP Monday post is by Dynamics CRM MVP Gus Gonzales

    Generating Unique IDs for any Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Entity

    Increasing Out of the Box capabilities of CRM 2011 in a creative way!

    I was working on a Project where our customer required a Unique ID to be added to each Opportunity created in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. Opportunities will be created manually sometimes but mostly via data imports so this process had to be accurate as these records will be imported in the thousands and handled by multiple departments and users within our customers company.

    I started researching for a solution online for this issue but I couldn't find a single reliable solution that could satisfy the assignment of Unique IDs to thousands of Opportunities created by CSV Import on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Online.

    We started thinking about creating a custom Plug in that would address this issue for our customer but we had some concerns regarding the fact that we were not allowed to lock the server during the operation, so we could not prevent duplicate numbers. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 On-Prem, we lock the server from the time we query for "what was the last used number" until the time we commit the save so you can make sure that numbers are not repeated.

    If only we had access to the awesome Plug In that the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Team created to Uniquely Identify Contracts, Cases, Articles, Quotes, Orders, Invoices and Campigns…Wait a second - Maybe we can! - Can we?

    Yes; well, sort of. An Idea came to my head; I created a Workflow that upon Opportunity Creation it would create an Order (Currently not being used by Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Users), Copy the Order ID to an Opportunity ID field and then Deactivate the created Order.

    This solution would provide a Unique ID to the Opportunities seconds after they have been created…for free!

    Here are the steps taken to deploy this solution:

    • Create an Opportunity ID (text) field and place it somewhere in the form – I chose the Header for extra visibility:
    • OPTIONAL: Edit the "Statuscode" of Orders to Specify why the Order was Deactivated:


    • Create a Workflow to launch upon Opportunity Creation to Create an Order, Copy the ID and then Deactivate the Order:

    Here are the details of this workflow:


      • On Step 1, create a base Order:


      • On Step 2, Update the Opportunity ID with the Order ID of the Order you just created on Step 1:


      • On Step 3, deactivate the Order created on Step 1:


      • Activate the Workflow.

    As Opportunities are created in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, the Workflow will fire up and add the "Opportunity ID" to each Opportunity:


    This quick, easy and FREE solution can be applied to any Entity in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 that does not have the Unique ID capabilities Out of the Box.

    As an OPTIONAL step, create a Bulk Deletion Job to run periodically to remove the Inactive Orders that were used as Unique ID generators. Here are the steps for that process:

    1. In CRM 2011, navigate to Settings -> Data Management -> Bulk Record Deletion
    2. Create a new Bulk Delete Operation that searches for Orders created by the workflow (This operation will run daily for our customer because of the high number of records created daily but it could be scheduled to run weekly or Bi-Weekly):



    NOTE: If your Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Users are utilizing the Order entity, you could adapt the steps above to use any of the entities that have access to Unique IDs.

    You can also modify the Prefix of the IDs by navigating to Settings -> Administration -> Auto-Numbering in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 specifying the desired prefix for your company:



    About the author

    Gus Gonzales

    Gus Gonzalez is a Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVP and the SMB Team Lead and Solution Architect at Zero2Ten, Inc. He has over 10 years of consulting experience in the IT Industry, designing and implementing Microsoft Solutions ranging from enterprise to small environments. Worked as a full time Microsoft Certified Trainer from 2005 to 2009 teaching Microsoft Official Curriculum classes regarding Microsoft Windows, Exchange, ISA and SMS Servers along with Citrix, Cisco, EC-Council and CompTIA official curriculum. A Microsoft Dynamics CRM Community Guest Columnist passionate about User Adoption, he often talks about how Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be used to Increase User Adoption, sport he practices since January 2010. To learn more about Gus Gonzalez, read his blog or connect via LinkedIn and Twitter.

    About MVP Monday

    The MVP Monday Series is created by Melissa Travers. In this series we work to provide readers with a guest post from an MVP every Monday. Melissa is a Community Program Manager, formerly known as MVP Lead,  for Messaging and Collaboration (Exchange, Lync, Office 365 and SharePoint) and Microsoft Dynamics in the US. She began her career at Microsoft as an Exchange Support Engineer and has been working with the technical community in some capacity for almost a decade.  In her spare time she enjoys going to the gym, shopping for handbags, watching period and fantasy dramas, and spending time with her children and miniature Dachshund.  Melissa lives in North Carolina and works out of the Microsoft Charlotte office.

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    Editor’s Note:  In partnership with Microsoft Press, MVPs have been contributing to an ongoing guest series on their official team blog based on monthly themes.  Today’s article is from Internet Explorer MVP David Wesst which is the 16th in the seriesAn MVP for 2 years, David Wesst is a Senior User Experience Specialist at Imaginet based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba.  He is an avid presenter at conferences ranging from Microsoft TechDays to smaller more intimate community events where he takes a practical look at HTML5 and how developers can use it to benefit the businesses they work for. In March he was interviewed by MSDN’s Channel 9 on what he was most excited about in the Visual Studio 11 Beta.  Follow David on Twitter

    We have been using TFS2010 for a couple of years to manage the development of our InRelease product.  We upgraded to TFS2012 not too long ago and as a PO, I must say that I am thrilled with it!

    There are a number of features in the interface that help you perform most of the Product Owner functions in a much easier and natural way. 

    In previous versions I could create queries in Team Explorer or use the Excel integration to manage our backlog.  I can still do that in 2012 but the out of the box experience is so good that now I just use the vanilla template and I am good to go! Read full article here.

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    1. VHDX File Investigations on Regular Spinning Disk

    By Files System Storage MVP Dilip Naik - @DilipNaik

    2. Normal LINQ Query to Compiled LINQ

    By ASP.NET MVP Abhimanyu Vatsa - @itorian

    3. A WinRT Behavior to Start a Storyboard on an Event

    By Windows Phone Developer MVP Joost van Schaik  - @LocalJoost

    4. Building Backbone Applications with TypeScript

    By Silverlight MVP Jeremy Likness - @jeremylikness

    5. Introducing SignalWire – Magical Plumbing with your Data Store + C# and LINQ in your HTML pages

    by Visual C# MVP Anoop Madhusudanan - @amazedsaint

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    Editor’s note: The following post was written by PowerPoint MVP Glenna Shaw
    So maybe you’ve read my article on PowerPoint 2010 and Excel 2010: Perfect Partners for a Digital Dashboard and created a really great dashboard or you’ve got a really important presentation with a lot of charts.  And now it’s time to update the data.  Do you really want to spend your valuable time clicking on each chart or data element, clicking Edit Data and making the changes for every single item in your PowerPoint?  Is there a better way? 
    The first time I asked some Microsoft gurus, “Is there a way to connect a data source to PowerPoint?” the response was “by way of Excel.”  To which I replied “Well, that’s like going around your elbow to get to your rear end (this was a phrase my father frequently applied to me because I liked to meander around when I drove places instead of taking the most direct route).”
    Once everyone quit laughing, the answer remained the same, to connect data to PowerPoint you have to use Excel or one of the other applications that support “real” data connectivity.  So this is an article on how to create and use what I’ll call “elbow” or source to source files and use them to connect data to PowerPoint.
    Create Your Elbow File(s)
    For my example I’m going to use a SharePoint list and connect it to an Excel spreadsheet.  Your data could be an OLAP, SQL, Access or a large variety of data sources.  The important thing is that you can connect it to Excel (or Visio if that floats your boat.)  If you need to learn more about Data Connections, go to Create, edit, and manage connections to external data for Excel and Import data from Excel, SQL Server, SharePoint sites, and other external sources for Visio.
    From my SharePoint Sample Data List, I used the Export to Excel button (Figure 1) to create an Excel file connected to my Sample Data (Figure 2).
    Figure 1
    Figure 2
    In my new Excel file, I use the table of connected data to create the elements I’m going to put in my dashboard or presentation.  Since I frequently work with a large volume of data, I like to use Pivot Tables and Charts for my elements.  I also like to apply conditional formatting to some elements when appropriate (Figure 3). 
    Figure 3
    When I’ve completed creating all my elements in the file, I save it to a shared location so persons other than me can update it.  In this example, I’ve saved the file to my SharePoint site (Figure 4).  If at all possible, I prefer to have only one elbow file per presentation, but you may choose to create multiple elbow files if you’re using multiple sources for your presentation.
    Link Your Elbow File to PowerPoint
    Now that you’ve created your elbow file, it’s time to link your data elements to your presentation or dashboard.  I’m using a dashboard for my example.
    First reopen your elbow file in the full Excel (or Visio) application (Do not try and use Web Apps for this step). If prompted, enable connections so your data can be updated. You can avoid this prompt in the future my answering Yes to the trusted document question.
    Linking Charts
    Open your PowerPoint presentation.  Click on the desired chart in your elbow and click Copy on the toolbar (Figure 5).
    Figure 5
    Go to the PowerPoint and click Paste (Figure 6).  Resize and move chart as desired.  Since it’s a chart, it will link to the presentation by default.  Repeat for remaining charts in your elbow file.
    Figure 6
    Linking Spreadsheet Tables or Visio Diagrams
    While Excel Charts will automatically link when copied and pasted to PowerPoint, it takes a few extra steps for an Excel Table.  Highlight the Excel table you wish to include in your presentation and click Copy on the toolbar (Figure 7).
    Figure 7
    In your PowerPoint, click the Paste drop down arrow, click Past Special (Figure 8).
    Figure 8
    In the Paste Special window, click Paste link, click OK (figure 9).
    Figure 9
    Your table is now linked to your presentation.  Please note: if your table changes size when it’s updated, you’ll have to delete the existing table and recopy/paste-link it when updating your file.  Also, if don’t paste-linkyour Excel table it will automatically convert to a PowerPoint table and will not update.  Use these same steps to paste-link a Visio diagram.
    Set Your PowerPoint Links to Update Automatically
    Save and close your elbow file.  In PowerPoint, click File, Info, Edit Links (Figure 10).
    Figure 10
    In the links window, set all your links to update automatically by highlighting them and clicking the Automatic radio button, click close (Figure 11).
    Figure 11
    Save your presentation file to a shared space if you want others to be able to update it.  I save mine to the same document library as the elbow files.
    Updating Your Data
    Ok, now your ready to have anyone go around your elbow (files) to update your … Smile (presentation files).
    First open your elbow file(s) in Excel (or Visio), enable connections if prompted and click Data, Refresh All (Figure 12). Save the file and close Excel (or Visio.)
    Figure 12
    Make sure you open, refresh, save and close all your elbow files before you open the PowerPoint file.
    Open the PowerPoint file in the full PowerPoint application and when prompted, click Update Links (Figure 13).
    Figure 13
    Your presentation will update all the data elements from your source files and you’re done.
    Sharing Your Files
    You can share your presentation through the Web App and it won’t prompt for updates (Figure 14).
    Figure 14
    Or you can save it as a separate file and use the same steps in Set Your PowerPoint Links to Update Automatically to break the links before distributing the file.
    I hope you’ve found this article helpful.  While you do have to go around your elbow to update your data, you’ve got to admit it’s a lot better than editing all those individual elements.

    About the author

    Glenna Shaw

    Glenna Shaw is a Most Valued Professional (MVP) for PowerPoint and the owner of the PPT Magic Web site and the Visualology blog. She is a Project Management Professional (PMP) and holds certificates in Accessible Information Technology, Graphic Design, Cloud Computing and Professional Technical Writing.  Follow Glenna on Twitter


    About MVP Mondays

    The MVP Monday Series is created by Melissa Travers. In this series we work to provide readers with a guest post from an MVP every Monday. Melissa is a Community Program Manager, formerly known as MVP Lead,  for Messaging and Collaboration (Exchange, Lync, Office 365 and SharePoint) and Microsoft Dynamics in the US. She began her career at Microsoft as an Exchange Support Engineer and has been working with the technical community in some capacity for almost a decade.  In her spare time she enjoys going to the gym, shopping for handbags, watching period and fantasy dramas, and spending time with her children and miniature Dachshund.  Melissa lives in North Carolina and works out of the Microsoft Charlotte office.

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    For the first time in 10 years, MVPs and Microsoft Exchange Server professionals gathered at the Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) to discuss new trends and technologies.  After some professional petitioning (for instance, see Exchange MVP Tony Redmond’s post I Miss the Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC)!), the event was back by popular demand, spanning three days and covered a variety of topics including: The Release of Exchange Server 2013, Exchange Web Services and Load Balancing and Unified Messaging.


    “I attended my first MEC in 1998 in Boston,” said Exchange MVP Paul Robichaux.I knew very little about Exchange at the time, but by the time the show was over I had learned an amazing amount, all from the mouths of experts. Getting to hear how Exchange worked directly from the people who designed, built, and supported it really cemented my understanding. I'm super excited about the return of MEC because it's bringing back that same level of direct connection between Microsoft and Exchange administrators, something that's been missing these last 10 years. Viva MEC!”

    clip_image004Of the 25 MVPs on hand at the conference, 12 delivered session presentations and many MVPs participated in impromptu whiteboard sessions that popped up during breaks. Many sessions were standing room only and conversations continued into the halls and doorways of the convention center.

    MEC attendees also had an opportunity to stop by the MVP Award area to meet and network with MVPs, where many had stopped by to sign the MVP attendee board.   Industry events like MEC allow MVP Award team members to meet potential new clip_image006MVPs and discuss the program.

    “In a year where there are so many new products and features coming from Microsoft it is easy to get distracted,” said Exchange MVP J. Peter Bruzzese. “Having an opportunity to be at a clip_image008conference with a singular focus will really help me concentrate and retain essential changes to the Exchange platform.”

    A MEC conference t-shirt called out MVP presenters by name – some attendees took on the challenge of tracking down MVPs and getting their shirt signed by each MVP.

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    The community came out to celebrate all the ways that current Microsoft consumer products, apps and features solve people’s real world needs! We received hundreds of video tips from community members across the globe and across four languages! Your video tips are out there now, helping people understand how to use desktop features in Windows 7, how to be the best at Excel, how to share online with and SkyDrive and so much more!

    Sharing your expertise and insight with the community has never been more exciting than through video tips! More and more people are using video as a channel to get technical education and share the ways they use technology to make their lives easier and more productive! Through video, people can see the user scenarios and follow along with the real time experience. People can get more from the personalities and creative video makers that invest their time, energy and passion through video tips!

    For participating countries, a random winner was selected based on the number of their submitted video tips. We are pleased to announce the grand prize winners are:

    Microsoft Community Video Tips sweepstakes winners!

    Canada -     Domenic Tamburino      

    (Please visit the site to view this video)

    See more Microsoft video tips from Dom at the ExcelDom22YouTube channel!

    Taiwan -      Chih-Hsin Ou                  

    See more Microsoft video tips from Chi-Hsin at the 志信歐 YouTube channel!


    USA -          Bill Jelen                          

    (Please visit the site to view this video)

    See more Microsoft video tips from Bill at the BJele123 YouTube channel!

    FromMicrosoft’s Most Value Professional Award program, we thank you all for your participated in sharing their Microsoft video tips with us and with the wide world of Microsoft users! You can watch submitted video tips on the MVP programs Microsoft Community Video Tips playlists page!

    Questions? Please review the official rules by country or email

    Official rules for the USA

    Official rules for Canada

    Official rules for Taiwan

    See the Microsoft Community Video Tips Sweepstakes winners list!

    Thanks everyone!

    Microsoft Tips

    Microsoft Community Video Tips

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    Editor’s Note:  In partnership with Microsoft Press, MVPs have been contributing to an ongoing guest series on their official team blog based on monthly themes. This month’s theme is Windows Server 2012.  Today’s article is from Virtualization MVP Nathan Lasnoski which is the 17th in the series.



    Hyper-V Blitz (hv_blitz) Inventory Tool

    Nathan here. A key aspect of Microsoft’s private cloud strategy is enabling standardization and automation. The extensive presence of PowerShell throughout Windows Server 2012 represents Microsoft’s commitment to these goals. The PowerShell capabilities can be used for both retrieval of data and the instantiation of action. These two capability sets provide the administrator both a comfortable user experience and a platform for technology automation.

    I believe that community involvement is the answer to creating great tools. In an effort to move the community toward a collaborative goal, I’ve created a PowerShell script called “hv_blitz”. This bears relation in name and intended function to the great “sp_blitz”. The goal of hv_blitz is to gather Hyper-V host inventory and output it either to CSV or to the console in a method as fast as possible. I’ve found that this tool is very useful as a consultant because it requires no infrastructure and is fast to run. Read full article and see hv_blitz script here


    About the author:

    Nathan_Lasnoski_390x390 png

    Nathan Lasnoski is a Microsoft MVP for virtualization communities and Concurrency's infrastructure practice lead. Nathan is a respected infrastructure architect in the Microsoft community, whose 10 years of consulting experience brings a practical and strategic approach to infrastructure design, grounded in best practice frameworks and techniques. As a dynamic speaker and presenter, Nathan frequently gives workshops and Microsoft sponsored events, as well as participates in Rapid Deployment Programs at Microsoft’s Redmond campus. He is an accomplished infrastructure architect with hundreds of successful projects, bringing substantial experience and a pragmatic approach to each project.  Follow Nathan on Twitter.

    About MVP Monday

    The MVP Monday Series is created by Melissa Travers. In this series we work to provide readers with a guest post from an MVP every Monday. Melissa is a Community Program Manager, formerly known as MVP Lead,  for Messaging and Collaboration (Exchange, Lync, Office 365 and SharePoint) and Microsoft Dynamics in the US. She began her career at Microsoft as an Exchange Support Engineer and has been working with the technical community in some capacity for almost a decade.  In her spare time she enjoys going to the gym, shopping for handbags, watching period and fantasy dramas, and spending time with her children and miniature Dachshund.  Melissa lives in North Carolina and works out of the Microsoft Charlotte office.

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    An international roadshow of MVPs has been answering the question, “What’s hot and new in Windows Server 2012?”  This global community event known as the  Windows Server 2012 Community Roadshow boasts thirty-six MVPs from seventeen countries. Aimed at creating dialogue between experts, partners and IT professionals, the Roadshow is a global event running until the WS12 launch. So far, the Roadshow has reached nearly 3,700 people in 20  countries. But it’s not too late to be part of the show!



         Register for upcoming events:

    Sydney, Australia – October 18th

    Tempe, Arizona – October 19th

    Irving, Texas – October 22nd

    Colombo, Sri Lanka – October 24th

    Shanghai, China – October 27-28th

    Berlin, Germany – October 31st

    Additional Upcoming Events


    “Sean Deuby (pictured right) did a great job of providing an unbiased view of the new features,” said one attendee after hearing Directory Services MVP Sean Deuby’s presentation.

    These are in no way marketing presentations. So, if you attend, plan to expand your mind on these subjects: Server Virtualization, Managing Your Core Infrastructure, VDI and Remote Access, and Web & Application Platform.  MVPs will share new demos that highlight key new enhancements in Windows Server 2012 to engage with attendees.

     Through new demos, presentations and discussions, MVPs share their expertise on building private cloud, how to increase efficiency and availability, how to leverage open application and web platforms and how to provide secure access to personalized work environments from anywhere. 

    clip_image005[3]Other MVPs like Directory Services MVP Brian Desmond (pictured left) tackle topics like how Windows Server 2012 will reduce planned maintenance downtime, connect users more easily to IT resources, improve management of multi-server environments and increase operational efficiency and lower costs. 

    For more information on the  Windows Server 2012 Community Roadshow, to register or to find out if there is an event near you, go to

    A special thanks and congratulations to all of the MVPs who are part of the Windows Server 2012 Community Roadshow


    For more information on the 2012 Windows Server Roadshow, to register or to find out if there is an event near you, go to

    A special thanks and congratulations to all of the MVPs who are part of the Windows Server 2012 Community Roadshow

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    Editor’s Note:  In partnership with Microsoft Press, MVPs have been contributing to an ongoing guest series on their official team blog based on monthly themes. This month’s theme is Windows Server 2012.  Today’s article is from Directory Services MVP Paul Clement which is the 18th in the series.

    Windows Server 2012’s Data Deduplication feature

    Paul here! For as long as there has been file servers running in our organizations, there has been the need to control data sprawl to conserve expensive storage space. As disks began getting larger in capacity and less expensive in cost this issue has moved from critical to more of an annoyance for IT staff to manage. Larger disks meant more space to save data and less urgency to deal with duplicate files.

    Solutions have existed for many years to deal with what is known as “deduplication,” both in software and hardware; however they were expensive and not always as simple as they claimed to be.

    With the newly minted Windows Server 2012, one feature of the exhaustive list of under the hood improvements and additions is a Service called Data Deduplication. Finally, a built-in and free tool that is integrated with the operating system is here for us to realize some pretty significant storage savings without the need to make it a capital project.

    Some of you may have read my previous blog explaining how to install and configure this feature in the Beta version of Server 8; however the release version has changed this process.  Read full article here

    About the author

    Paul Clement png

    Paul is an IT Professional working within the Canadian Federal Government for the Department of National Defence.  With almost 30 years of experience, he has been working with computers since the mid ‘80s and continues to learn more advanced areas of expertise as the years progress.  He enjoys the challenges of new technology and learning creative ways of implementing them in non-standard environments so that even some dated installments can benefit from the new up-and-coming features and services being offered today.  He admits that keeping up with the new releases and all the enhancements and product improvements is a full-time job some days, but the benefits they bring are immeasurable.  Paul is a current Microsoft Certified Trainer, an MCSE and a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional in Directory Services.  When he is not working on some IT-related problem or article, he is more than busy enough at home with his family and could frequently use that 25th hour in the day.

    About MVP Monday

    The MVP Monday Series is created by Melissa Travers. In this series we work to provide readers with a guest post from an MVP every Monday. Melissa is a Community Program Manager, formerly known as MVP Lead,  for Messaging and Collaboration (Exchange, Lync, Office 365 and SharePoint) and Microsoft Dynamics in the US. She began her career at Microsoft as an Exchange Support Engineer and has been working with the technical community in some capacity for almost a decade.  In her spare time she enjoys going to the gym, shopping for handbags, watching period and fantasy dramas, and spending time with her children and miniature Dachshund.  Melissa lives in North Carolina and works out of the Microsoft Charlotte office.

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    Editor’s note: The following post was written by MVP Lead Alessandro Teglia

    Recently more than 85 MVPs from 18 countries came together for the second annual Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) & Italy MVP Open Days.  It was hosted in the beautiful venue of Osijek, right in the middle of the region (close to Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Romania),where  we had a great opportunity to network, strengthen relationships with MVPs in the region, and gather valuable MVP product and program feedback.


    MVPs take a break and a tour of a local winery

    This year we experimented with linking the MVP CEE and Italy Open Days with another event, KulenDayz, which is one of the most popular community-oriented events in the whole region.

    Saying that it was an amazing experience to me (and, I hope, to the MVPs) is just a small piece of the feeling I had throughout the whole event.

    Bringing it all together

    Since MVPs are popular presenters at KulenDays, it was a little challenging to bring the agendas of the two events together. But we managed to cover a range of great content: from the Cloud (Windows Azure, Office 365) to Windows 8; from Windows Phone to Visual Studio and many programming languages; from System Center to Windows Server-- the whole event provided great overview, as well as in-depth conversations with the audience.

    clip_image002 clip_image003 clip_image004 clip_image005

    Tom, Bernie, Damien Caro, and I, as well as Jamie Mann and Jeremy Chapman from the Office 365 product team in Redmond, were Kulendayz keynote speakers.

    Some highlights

    One highlight was the joint development of a Windows Phone application for the event (published in the Marketplace) and a Windows 8 app (not yet published) by MVP Tomislav Bronzin, MVP Domagoj Pavlesic, Igor Ralić and the #KulenDayz team.

    clip_image006 clip_image007

    Also, the events garnered quite a bit of attention, attracting 250 tweets using the #ceemvp12 Twitter hashtag, as well as a press conference with eight media outlets (IT magazines and local radio and TV) together with Bernardin Katic which resulted in a range of stories.

    Attendees were also invited to participate in a Speaker Idol competition, where they could speak for five minutes on any subject. My colleagues Damien and Marko Sever joined me as judges and it was great to see the creativity and passion the speakers brought to a whole range of subjects. And it was my first time being a judge so it was really a nice experience (and a lot of fun!). We had three winners (Tiberiu Covaci, Radi Atanassov and Luka Manojlovic) and the top spot won a slot to be a speaker at the next Microsoft WinDays 2013 event, which will be held in Croatia probably in the spring.

    clip_image008 clip_image009

    Speaker Idol in action

    You can also have a look at more pictures taken so you can get a better idea of the event!

    I travel frequently to Central and Eastern Europe and it’s always great to see the Microsoft MVPs in action, talk with the local Microsoft team members and meet outstanding community contributors who may be the next MVPs. I love that part.

    But this time, being able to have many of them together in one place was really unique. The only event that can compete with this is the MVP Global Summit!


    Special THANKS to everyone who helped me in this journey, especially MVP Bernardin Katic who put all the pieces together and worked round the clock with me to make sure everything was smooth. Bernie, you are a rock star!!

    Guest blogger Alessandro Teglia (@alead) is a Community Program Manager for the CEE Region (excluding Russia & CIS Countries) and Italy.

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    Automated Build-Deploy-Test using TFS 2012

    Editor’s note: The following post was written by Visual Studio ALM MVP Anuj Chaudhary

    The automated build, deploy and test mechanism in TFS 2012 provides the ability to perform automated build, deploy and test on demand. A daily build could be scheduled which builds the latest code, deploys it to an environment and runs the tests on it. The build can be scheduled to run on a daily basis or on every check in to make sure that we test often and test early. To read more, click here

    Shim Saves The Day in A Tricky Unit Test Situation

    Editor’s note: The following post was written by Visual C# MVP William Wegerson

    This is a story that actually happened to me and it illustrates how I could have used Visual Studio 2012 testing framework of fakes and shims to overcome an insurmountable testing failure that transpired at that time.

    It all happened on a contract that I took at a financial company. They had an existing system going all the way back to VB6 and were just now (then) sprinkling in WPF into their existing system. They were unit testing freaks and by God or Buddha there had to be a unit test for every piece of code owned and even some that they didn’t own. If the blanket of code coverage didn’t safely tuck in the crying assemblies at night with a nice pacifier the project lead would wrap my knuckles like mother superior over a biblical infraction on the school yard. In retrospect I am linked-in to him this day so this story doesn’t turn out half bad. To read more, click here

    Caller Details

    Editor's note: The following blog post was written by Visual C# MVP Dustin Davis

    There is no lack of new features in Visual Studio 2012. But even with all the bells, whistles and menu titles that yell at me, I wanted to look for meat closer to the bone. What I found were some neat additions to help with tracing and debugging.

    With Visual Studio 2012 we get three new attributes from the System.Runtime.CompilerServices namespace, CallerMemberNameAttribute, CallerFilePathAttribute and CallerLineNumberAttribute. Using these attributes we can collect certain information about the code execution without having to do any additional work. As much as I love using reflection, these attributes are a welcome addition to my tool belt. To read more, click here

    New Code Review feature in Visual Studio 2012

    Editor’s note: The following MVP Monday post was written by Visual Studio ALM MVP Esteban Garcia

    Code reviews are a critical part of software development. Not only do they help you keep you defect-count down, they are also a great way to learn from other people's code. Code reviews also allow teams to communicate changes to the application with their peers.

    There have been a few different ways to incorporate code reviews into Visual Studio in the past, including some third party components. For the first time, Visual Studio 2012 includes a Code Review process out of the box by leveraging the Team Foundation Server Work Item Tracking system along with the use of shelvesets. All the information is easily accessible through the redesigned Team Explorer window and Team Foundation Server Web Access. This allows code reviewers to compare code files, annotate them, and send comments back to the requester. To read more, click here

    Working with Multiple Solution Explorer Windows in Visual Studio 2012

    Editor’s note: The following post was written by Visual Basic MVP Deborah Kurata

    How many monitors can fit on your desk? As many as possible! It’s great that Visual Studio allows you to view your source code on both monitors. Visual Studio 2012 has enhanced its support of multiple monitors by allowing you to display multiple copies of Solution Explorer.

    Open one of your solutions in Visual Studio 2012. Then open several files. Drag several tabs over to your second monitor to build a “raft”of tabs. If you want to see the same code file on both monitors, click the tab and select Window | New Window from the menu to create a second copy of the file. Then drag one copy to your second monitor. To read more, click here

    Building a Windows 8 Touch application with WinRT JavaScript and Html5

    Editor’s note: The following post was written by ASP.NET MVP Peter Kellner


    With the introduction of WinRT (which replaces the Win32 API we are all use to), Microsoft has provided JavaScript programmers first class access to system libraries previously unavailable. That is, because WinRT is available directly to JavaScript, device access (GPS, motion sensors, etc.) are all available directly to the application with no special security layer. That said, WinRT also brings with it restrictions which a typical browser does not have. Because it is possible with such tight access to the OS for applications to do harm, WinRT has a sophisticated security model in place to keep bad things from happening. In addition, a WinRT app forces you application to behave nicely or it may not work. For example, if you application takes too long to start, the WinRT library will automatically stop the application from proceeding.

    Microsoft has done a good job of balancing the needs of many with the needs of a few with WinRT. That is, your application is really the needs of a few (well, you alone), while the needs of many (all the other applications and services running on your device) are all looked out for. To read more, click here

    Continuous Feedback using Storyboarding, Code Reviews, and the Feedback Tool in Visual Studio 2012 ALM

    Editor’s note: The following blog post was written by Visual Studio ALM MVP Mike Douglas

    One of the key advantages of Agile or any other kind of iterative development process is to receive feedback early and often throughout the development process instead of waiting until the end. Traditionally this has been accomplished by teams working closely together where the decision makers can simply turn around to tell developers what they like and don't like. This type of collaboration becomes much more difficult with distributed development teams. Visual Studio 2012 has introduced several tools to help distributed teams collaborate better by being able to request, provide, and receive feedback throughout the development process. To read more, click here

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    clip_image002MVPs demonstrated their expertise and commitment to the developer community throughout the recent launch of Visual Studio 2012—including providing a range of valuable tips and tricks on this blog. Tweets, blog posts, forum discussions and community engagements are just a small portion of the contributions made by MVPs prior to and during the release. And to celebrate, MVPs and other members of the developer community gathered at Seattle, Washington’s beautiful Pier 66 for the launch while an estimated 50,000 joined online to see the new features of Visual Studio 2012.

    clip_image004“I think a lot of the storyboard, feedback and some of the suspend/resume stuff developers will notice first. There’s a lot of good stuff,” said Visual Studio ALM MVP Wes MacDonald who attended the live launch.

    MVPs Anuj Chaudhary, Deborah Kurata, William Wegerson, Dustin Davis, Esteban Garcia, Peter Kellner and Mike Douglas shared insight into the new features of Visual Studio 2012 via the MVP blog and participated in live Q&A sessions via Twitter. This proved to be a great opportunity for the Visual Studio community to learn tips and tricks, ask questions and get answers from experts.

    Globally, MVPs hosted Visual Studio 2012 roadshows which helped showcase the new features to an estimated 700 people across the globe. With events featuring presentations by Microsoft product teams, developer MVPs also shared their own real-world expertise and knowledge.

    Microsoft offered MVPs early access to various stages of Visual Studio 2012 in production and they provided valuable qualitative feedback through online meetings and live events such as the MVP Global Summit and conferences such as TechEd, DevConnection and VSLive.

    “It really helps shape how we finish and ship the product,” said Windows Azure Development CVP Jason Zander.

    You can read each of the MVPs’ original blog posts leading up to the launch of Visual Studio 2012 here.

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