Thursday, May 25, 2006

ADO.NET Black Helicopters

Oren Eini may have been right about the black helicopters! An ADO.NET V3.0 related video appears to have been pulled for unknown reasons. Check out this forum thread for more info. If it really was just a scheduling stuff up, why bother pulling it down? Buzz creation? Regardless, I’m looking forward to more info on what Microsoft are doing with ADO.NET 3.0.

VSS 2005 Add Files

The Add Files dialog in Visual Source Safe 2005 changed from a specific VSS version to the more common file selection dialog. Unfortunately this is totally impractical when working with source control day to day. Once you have a source control folder set up with a large number of files, adding a new file to source control shows all the files currently in the directory. The previous version only showed the files that weren’t already in source control. This made it easy to add new files as the list was pre-filtered to what the user needed given their current action.

Fortunately there is a mechanism to get back to the older dialog. Just set Classic_Dialogs = yes in the srcsafe.ini file (see this forum post for the source of this info). The classic dialog does have problems. Its not resizable! This is truly annoying when dealing with lots of new files or long file names. Man I can’t stand fixed size dialogs - especially when they need to show information that varies in size. Note that I’m still using VSS for source control for most products and projects. It works well given the number of concurrent developers that need to access the code, so there is no need to change in the short term.

Friday, May 12, 2006

ADO.NET Video Followup

Yesterday’s post contained an excerpt from the What’s coming in ADO.NET video that I thought was great. In particular it was the thought that SOA is great technology but in the end is just plumbing. That is, the software equivalent of plumbing – something that is important but not something you should have to think about in great detail every day (unless you’re a plumber). The next key thought was that the “keys to the castle” is the data within the enterprise. Now I consider an “objects guy”, but one who thinks that the data component of objects is incredibly important in practical working business software. This lead to me why the SOA technology emphasis currently present in the industry bothers me. Its not the concepts or the technology that is the problem, its that too much of the total mindshare of the industry is focused on it.

All the work Microsoft are doing for ADO.NET 3.0 and LINQ sound wonderful. All I can say is hallelujah tinged with a bit of “I’ll believe when I see it”. The latter is more from the disappointment with the lack of object-centric concepts in ADO.NET 1.x and the run around we got with the never released ObjectSpaces. A lot of recent Microsoft development has benefited from the provider pattern, so its expected that there will be extensibility and no “one size fits all” issues.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

What's coming in ADO.NET Video

Here’s a great excerpt from the What’s coming in ADO.NET video on channel 9. Tim Mallalieu was speaking and it’s around 41:50 into the video:

Well actually that was exactly the point I was trying to make. One of the things that Pablo just said there was making it just plumbing and making it disappear, and I think that’s important. The other is that as a company we’re talking about all these new ways to think about applications. We’re talking about web 2.0, we’re talking about service oriented architecture in the enterprise and the issue is that when we talk about these as a company the piece that we have not become mature about is the data stack.. right. Actually take that broader, go and look at SOA in the enterprise today and you have people talking about the enterprise service bus, you have them talking about all kinds of stuff and you know what, they’re talking about plumbing.. and the plumbing they’re talking about isn’t even the piece that is the keys to the castle. The keys to the castle is the data and the enterprise reason we moved to SOA in the first place was because of the data. So Pablo’s talking about the model at the ?? level right. To me nirvana is ten years from now, we’re talking about this, it’s all plumbing and it doesn’t matter what it is. It doesn’t matter if it was in the database. It doesn’t matter if it was just some WSDL file that I was looking at. It doesn’t matter if it was a web mashup. It just doesn’t matter. It’s just the same set of APIs. It’s really easy for the end user and a lot of the investment that we’re doing today is the tax to play in the right story…

I’ll comment more on this in a later post, but it struck the proverbial chord with me.