Archive for the ‘by Don’ Category
In our most recent Agile Enterprise JumpStart project, we built an application and collection of web services using the ASP.NET MVC Framework for one of our clients. Our decision and recommendation to use this particular technology was based on an early JumpStart Assessment that showed (contrary to the customer’s original beliefs) that the system requirements called for both a set of web services accessible from a Flash application running ActionScript, as well as an Administrative interface for the application’s relational data. The ASP.NET MVC framework, with its capability for serving up serialized JSON or XML data, as well as HTML views directly from a controller, was a perfect fit.
At the start of the summer, in service of my growing work with WPF and Silverlight, I decided to jump in and learn about Expression Blend in an online class at Foothill College with professor Cal Schrotenboer. Many of Cal’s classes are provided in an online format, which is great for busy developers and consultants with too little time for classroom instruction.
As I’ve been boning up on Blend, I stumbled across an interesting BLOG entry by Josh Smith on The Importance of Learning Expression Blend where he makes a really good point that developers will need to learn Blend even if they have no intention of using it to aid in bridging the communication gap between developers and designers who will live in Blend the way developers live in Visual Studio:
…Visual Designers think about WPF in a very different way than Developers. So different, in fact, that there is a very real potential for a communication barrier to arise between the development staff and the visual design team…it is easy to imagine working with a Visual Designer who does not have the development experience, and having trouble finding a common ground of shared concepts to discuss. The further away from “visual design” you go, the more murky the communication can become. For example, how do you discuss the proper way to create a declarative data binding with someone devoid of development experience?
Automation concepts (see Scott Hurlbert’s BLOG entry on Form and Function) should reduce this impedance mismatch if developers have UI automated tools that morph presentation as they add controls etc., but I contend that they still will need an understanding of what they are working with to be most effective. At some point, developers and designers need to collaborate, and hence they need to be able to communicate effectively.
My recent exploration of the Microsoft Expression Suite designers and IDE’s has exposed me to the potential of the platform, and I suspect that they will provide a level of reusability and leverage that has not been as available before with regard to the graphical aspects of LOB application development and the integration of designers and the developers working on the same project. We will be exploring exactly this intersection as we move forward with our prototyping and building out the WPF and Silverlight assests for our Agile Enterprise JumpStart in service of getting a handle on the potential productivity gains.
At last night’s BAADD .NET Developer User Group meeting, I presented on Getting Started with SQL Compact Edition. The content for the presentation was based on knowledge that we have evolved from working with the technology over the last year plus how we leveraged it during our most recent Agile Enterprise JumpStart project. We built a foundation architecture for a rewrite of a commercial desktop application for one of our customers which required both a local disconnected database and an n-tier data services layer.
As usual, at the start of the meeting, we asked the attendees what was the one thing they hoped to get out of the presentation. While a number of people had some specific interest in performance or replication considerations, it was clear that the primary motivation for the 35 people in the room was a lack of understanding about the product.
One of the most common issues was the confusion about the versions that have appeared over the years, and a lack of clarity regarding which was the most current version, and what was its relationship to the current versions of both SQL Server and Visual Studio.
As this was exactly one the issues that I had dealt with when I first started working with the technology, I had devoted one of the slides (you can get them here) to listing the different versions that have appeared since its release in 2000 as SQL CE 1.0 so I thought I would post the information here:
○ 2000 – SQL Server CE 1.0
○ 2003 – SQL Server CE 2.0
○ 2005 – SQL Server Mobile 3.0
○ 2006 – Beta known as SQL Server Everywhere Edition
○ 2007 – SQL Server Compact Edition 3.1
○ 2008 – SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5 SP1
So…to answer the question - the current version is 3.5 SP1 as of this writing, and is available for download at the Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.5 homepage.
An important point I raised was to be cautious when researching SQL CE on the web. You will want to pay close attention to the version associated with the content that you find in your searches. You will no doubt find content that appears to be related to your search, but you may not realize that the context is for a version not matching the one you are working with.
As we continue to work with SQL CE, I intend to BLOG on additional content. I have also started a discussion thread on the BAADD SF .NET LinkedIn Group, so please feel free to join in there or leave comments here.