AppFabric Virtual Launch on May 20th – Save the Date

To close out the month of April, I’m happy to share news of the event that the group will be conducting next month to launch Windows Server AppFabric and BizTalk Server.

On May 20th @8:30 pacific, we will be kicking off the Application Infrastructure Virtual Launch Event on the web. The event will focus on how your current IT assets can harness some of the benefits of the cloud, bringing them on-premises, while also connecting them to new applications and data running in the cloud.

We have some excellent keynote speakers for the virtual launch:

  • Yefim Natis, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner:
    Yefim will discuss the latest trends in the application infrastructure space and the role of application infrastructure in helping business benefit from the cloud.
  • Abhay Parasnis, General Manager of Application Server Group at Microsoft:
    Abhay will discuss how the latest Microsoft investments in the application infrastructure space will begin delivering the cloud benefits to Windows Server

In addition to the keynotes, there will be additional sessions providing additional details around the participating products and capabilities that we will be delivering in the coming months. Folks who would likely get the most from the event are dev team leads and technical decision makers, as much of the content will focus more on benefits of the technologies, and much less on the implementation and architectural details.

That being said – the virtual launch event is open to all and requires no pre-registration, no hotel bookings, and no time waiting/boarding/flying on a plane. In the spirit of bringing cloud benefits to you, the team has decided to host our event in the cloud. 🙂

The Application Infrastructure Virtual Launch Event website is now live at – today, you can add a reminder to your calendar and submit feedback on the topic you are most interested in. On Thursday, May 20th, at 8:30am Pacific Time, you can use the URI to participate in the virtual launch event.

See you then!
Cliff – Workflow Services with Dave Cliffe – Workflow Services with Dave Cliffe

Windows Workflow in .NET 4 (WF4) includes a new set of messaging activities to help you build web services that are implemented with workflows. In this episode, our guest is Dave Cliffe, Program Manager for the messaging activities. Wondering how and why these activities work the way they do? Then tune in and learn something… For more check out my blog, and the WF team blog as well.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

April 30th Links: ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC, Visual Studio 2010

Here is the latest in my link-listing series.

[In addition to blogging, I am also now using Twitter for quick updates and to share links. Follow me at:]


  • Data Web Control Enhancements in ASP.NET 4.0: Scott Mitchell has a good article that summarizes some of the nice improvements coming to the ASP.NET 4 data controls.

  • Refreshing an ASP.NET AJAX UpdatePanel with JavaScript: Scott Mitchell has another nice article in his series on using ASP.NET AJAX that demonstrates how to programmatically trigger an UpdatePanel refresh using JavaScript on the client.


  • MVCContrib Grid: Jeremy Skinner’s video presentation about the new Html.Grid() helper component within the (most awesome) MvcContrib project for ASP.NET MVC.

  • Code Snippets for ASP.NET MVC 2 in VS 2010: Raj Kaimal documents some of the new code snippets for ASP.NET MVC 2 that are now built-into Visual Studio 2010.  Read this article to learn how to do common scenarios with fewer keystrokes.

Visual Studio 2010

  • My Favorite New Features in VS 2010: Scott Mitchell has a nice article that summarizes some of his favorite new features in VS 2010.  Check out my VS 2010 and .NET 4 blog series for more details on some of them.

  • 6 Cool VS 2010 Quick Tips and Features: Anoop has a nice blog post describing 6 cool features of VS 2010 that you can take advantage of.

  • SharePoint Development with VS 2010: Beth Massi links to a bunch of nice “How do I?” videos that that demonstrate how to use the SharePoint development support built-into VS 2010.

  • Using the WPF Tree Visualizer in VS 2010: Zain blogs about the new WPF Tree Visualizer supported by the VS 2010 debugger.  This makes it easier to visualize WPF control hierarchies within the debugger.

  • TFS 2010 Power Tools Released: Brian Harry blogs about the cool new TFS 2010 extensions released with this week’s TFS 2010 Power Tools release.

  • What is New with T4 in VS 2010: T4 is the name of Visual Studio’s template-based code generation technology.  Lots of scenarios within VS 2010 now use T4 for code generation customization. Two examples are ASP.NET MVC Views and EF4 Model Generation.  This post describes some of the many T4 infrastructure improvements in VS 2010.

Hope this helps,


P.S. If you haven’t already, check out this month’s "Find a Hoster” page on the website to learn about great (and very inexpensive) ASP.NET hosting offers.

Error during configuration of the ESB toolkit 2.0

I recently helped a client debug an exception they were getting when they tried to run the ESB configuration tool. They kept receiving a rather puzzle error messages which stated:

“The type initializer for ’EsbConfigurationTool.Helper’ threw an exception. You must have Microsoft ESB Guidance installed in order to run the tool.”

Now this is certainly an odd error message since the ESB Toolkit no longer goes by the name ESB Guidance. Also the client most certainly had the toolkit installed. To dig a little deeper into this, I asked for the log file from that the configuration tool creates. This is created in the same directory as the configuration tool and is called “EsbConfigurationTool.log”. After looking in this, I saw a number of error messages which resembled the following:

ESBConfigurationTool.exe Error: 0 : An error has occurred:

Unknown error (0x80005000)

Stack Trace:

   at System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntry.Bind(Boolean throwIfFail)

   at System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntry.Bind()

   at System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntry.RefreshCache()

   at EsbConfigurationTool.Helper.GetWebSites()

ESBConfigurationTool.exe Error: 0 : An error has occurred:

IIS Install Registry Key is missing.

I could see from this that the issue was actually with IIS and not with a missing copy of the ESB guidance. From this we were able to determine that the IIS 6.0 extensions were not installed on the Windows 2008 system. Once the client installed those, the configuration ran properly. This is certainly an error message that needs updating, hopefully you won’t be caught by it.


Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

Download and Share Visual Studio Color Schemes

As developers we often spend a large part of our day staring at code within Visual Studio.  If you are like me, after awhile the default VS text color scheme starts to get a little boring.

The good news is that Visual Studio allows you to completely customize the editor background and text colors to whatever you want – allowing you to tweak them to create the experience that is “just right” for your eyes and personality.  You can then optionally export/import your color scheme preferences to an XML file via the Tools->Import and Export Settings menu command.

[In addition to blogging, I am also now using Twitter for quick updates and to share links. Follow me at:]

New website that makes it easy to download and share VS color schemes

Luke Sampson launched the site a week ago (built using ASP.NET MVC 2, ASP.NET 4 and VS 2010). enables you to easily browse and download Visual Studio color schemes that others have already created.  The color schemes work for both VS 2008 and VS 2010 (all versions – including the free VS express editions):


Color schemes are sorted by popularity and voting (you can vote on whether you find each “hot or not”). 

You can click any of the schemes to see screen-shots of it in use for common coding scenarios.  You can then download the color settings for either VS 2010 or VS 2008:


You can also optionally upload color schemes of your own if you have a good one you want to share with others. 

If you haven’t visited it yet – check it out:  And thank you Luke Sampson for building it!

Hope this helps,


SQL Server 2008 R2 RTM

It’s somewhat old new now but in case you were unaware SQL 2008 R2 has Released to Manufacturing (RTM). Official press here:

“Welcome to the Microsoft SQL Server News Center! We are excited to inform you that SQL Server 2008 R2 has released to manufacturing, meaning customers will get it through our distribution channels in the next few weeks! SQL Server 2008 R2 delivers breakthrough capabilities for organizations that want enterprise-class scalability, improved IT and developer efficiency, and self-service BI. To experience the launch virtually, please visit the SQL Server 2008 R2 Digital Tour at”