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Agile and the Definition of Quality

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“Quality begins on the inside... then works its way out.” -- Bob Moawad Quality is value to someone. Quality is relative. Quality does not exist in a non-human vacuum. Who is the person behind a statement about quality? Who’s requirements count the most? What are people willing to pay or do to have their requirements met? Quality can be elusive if you don’t know how to find it, or you don’t know where to look.  Worse, even when you know where to look, you need to know how to manage the diversity of
conflicting views. On a good note, Agile practices and an Agile approach can help you surface and tackle quality in a tractable and pragmatic way. In the book Agile Impressions, by “the grandfather of Agile Programming”, Jerry Weinberg shares insights and lessons learned around the relativity of quality and how to make decisions about quality more explicit and transparent. Example of Conflicting Ideas About Software Quality Here are some conflicting ideas about what constitutes software quality, according to Weinberg: “Zero defects is high quality.”
“Lots...(Read whole news on source site)

Visual Studio Toolbox: XamlBoard

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In this episode, I am joined via Lync by Thomas Immich of Centigrade GmbH. Thomas shows XamlBoard, a resource management tool for WPF applications. XamlBoard shows all your WPF resources in a visual way. You can tag resources, making them easier to find in the future. You can merge resources into a single XAML file. And you can turn your resources into XAML snippets in Visual Studio. This makes it easy to reuse styles, colors, fonts or content in other applications. You can download XamlBoard here and get the XamlBridge Visual Studio extension Thomas shows here.

The fallacy of distributed transactions

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This can be a very short post, just: See CAP. Unfortunately, we have a lot of people who actually have experience in using distributed transactions, and have a good reason to believe that they work. The answer is that yes, they do, as long as you don’t run into some of the interesting edge cases. By the way, that is not a new observation, see The Two Generals. Allow me to demonstrate. Assume that we have a distributed system with the following actors: This is a fairly typical setup. You have a worker that pull
messages from a queue and read/write to a database based on those messages. To coordinate between them, it uses a transaction coordinator such as MSDTC. Transaction coordinators use a two phase commit (or sometimes a three phase commit protocols) to ensure that either all the data would be committed, or none of it would be. The general logics goes like this: For each participant in the transaction, send a prepare message. If the participant answered “prepared”, it is guaranteeing that the transaction can be committed. If any of the participants failed on prepare, abort the whole transaction....(Read whole news on source site)

#1,116 – An Example of Output that Obeys CurrentCulture

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The first step in internationalizing an application is to respect the current regional settings when outputting numeric, date/time, or currency values. Below is an example of an application that displays numeric and date/time values, using the ToString method for instances of double and DateTime. In the Click event handler, we set the labels’ content. With regional settings set to English (United States), […]

O’Reilly Deal of the Day 17/July/2014 - Instant Windows PowerShell

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Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/TATWORTH/archive/2014/07/17/orsquoreilly-deal-of-the-day-17july2014----instant-windows.aspxTodays half-price deal of the day from O’Reilly at http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9781849688741.do?code=MSDEAL is Instant Windows PowerShell. “Get to grips with a new technology, understand what it is and what it can do for you, and then get to work with the most important features and tasks. A practical, hands-on tutorial approach that explores the concepts of PowerShell in a friendly manner, taking an adhoc approach to each topic.”

Looping Through List Items in SharePoint 2013 Designer Workflows

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SharePoint 2013 Designer workflows now has two new interesting options: the ability to call HTTP web services and the option to loop over some code a number of times. This, together with the new REST API, which supports querying lists and returning data in JSON, allows iterating through list items in a workflow, something that was not possible before. In order to demonstrate this, let’s create a new Site Workflow in SharePoint Designer, that will iterate through the Tasks list: Call it Process Tasks, for example, and make sure you select SharePoint 2013 as the platform type.
align="justify">In the workflow designer, let’s start by creating a new stage, call it Retrieve Tasks: In it, we add a new Set Workflow Variable action which creates a new String variable called url with the value “http://sp2013/_api/web/lists/getbytitle('Tasks')/items”. This uses the new REST API, and you can pass in additional options, such as for ordering by the DueDate field in descending order: http://sp2013/_api/web/lists/getbytitle('Tasks')/items?$orderby=DueDate desc or filtering: http://sp2013/_api/web/lists/getbytitle('Tasks')/items?$filter=DueDate gt DateTime’2014-07-31T00:00:00’ Next, we add a Dictionary variable (Build a Dictionary action), call it requestHeaders, and initialize it as this: Both “Accept” and “Content-Type” entries are of the String type...(Read whole news on source site)

New Features in SharePoint Designer 2013 Workflows

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SharePoint Designer 2013 workflows brought along new and quite welcome features. I will list my favorite ones.First, the ability to define stages (blocks of instructions) and to jump (yes, goto-style!) between them. This permits a better organization of our code and because of conditional jumps, even includes the ability to reuse code and to loop between stages.Next one is stage-level loops. We have two flavors: one where the loop count is predefined from an Integer variable and the other where a condition is used to determine its end.Then we have a new
type of variables, Dictionary, and three associated actions: build a dictionary with values, get an item from a dictionary and count the number of items in it. Each Dictionary item can be of a different type, and it is even possible to have items of type Dictionary. A Dictionary can be indexed by its key or by position, which is very useful to use inside loops.It is now possible to start list and site workflows, but only SharePoint 2010 are supported. Workflows can be started synchronously, in which case, the originating workflow will wait for the result,...(Read whole news on source site)

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