15 octubre 2006

Is Windows Workflow + MOSS enough?

Interesting post at http://ablog.apress.com/?p=1275. According to Scot Hillier WF + MOSS will not obsolete workflow vendors. The main reason he points is the difficulty to customize workflows by a business user: out-of-the-box workflow implementations are too simplistic; Sharepoint Designer will require techical stuff to help business users and Visual Studio 2005 developments will require too much development effords when changes are required. Additionally he points that WF + MOSS has not enough montitoring and auditing capabilities (without development).

23 agosto 2006

Introducing to Windows Workflow Fundation

I have just read Presenting Windows Workflow Fundation Beta Edition (Sams, 2005, ISBN: 0672328488). This book has been written by several key members of the Microsoft team responsible for creating and marketing Windows Workflow Foundation, and covers WWF at an introductory level.

I really encourage .NET Architects to start learning the basics of this technology. From the readings and practices I have coded I believe we are in front of an emerging powerful new framework, that will be certainly usefull not only for typical workflows but for coding aplication logic in a more comprehensive way.

In my honest opinion the most interesting aspects of WWF are the posibility to represent and code application logic in a "flowchart way"; the extensibility of the framework (in terms of activities and plugable services); and the provided core activities (call web services, methods, etc.) and services (persistance, transactions, etc.).

The most important drawbacks I have found are the complexity to understand the concepts behind, and the caveheats related with tread management (workflow is a parallell thread of the aplication).

31 julio 2006

Got 2 more: 70-528 & 70-536!

I have just started my way on .net 2.0 certifications with 2 exams. 70-528 (Technology Specialist: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 - Web-Based Client Development) and 70-536 (Technology Specialist: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0—Application Development Foundation).

First one is a wide-check of your knowledge on web development in 2.0. It is not a difficult exam. Second one is more tricky as it checks the knowledge you have in specificities of .net 2.0 framework. I recommend to specially make an efford to prepare this exam, as it covers many not-so-common classes (drawing and cryptography-related, for example).

29 julio 2006

Microsoft® .NET Framework 2.0—Application Development Foundation

I read "MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-536): Microsoft® .NET Framework 2.0—Application Development Foundation" (Microsoft Press, 2006, ISBN 0-7356-2277-9) to prepare for exam 70-536.

The book covers quite deeply the .NET 2.0 Framework, and it is very advisable for developers and architects that will create applications within this architecture.

The most usefull aspects of the book for me to are explaining the different avaliable collection types; how generics works (I discovered it is a wider concept compared to C++), how to check regular expresions, how to code multithreaded applications, the security model and the explanation of what are application domains.

25 mayo 2006

Sharepoint 2003 Indexing Rules

How Indexing Rules work in Sharepoint 2003 is one of the obscure topics of the product as documentation is quite poor. However, after reading all the available articles and experimenting a lot with it, we have reached some conclusions.

The following apply when creating rules for the Sharepoint Sites (including a Portal Site):

You can write rules to include or exclude content to be indexed or searched by specifing Sites and Item URL Patterns. Here are some examples (amonlanc:8080 is a Sharepoint Portal Server):

In the index management page you can see the number of documents in the index. This is not really the number of documents you can search information, but the number of documents processed during the indexing process. In the example before, no items where processed for rule [http://amonlanc:8080/sites/archive/ - Exclude] but the site itself; however it will count all the items excluded by the rule [http://amonlanc:8080/sites/test/* - Exclude].

Rules apply from first to last, being the first the most prioritary. This is important, as:

means to exclude one site (kb) while

means to index all contents, including kb site. So order matters.

I'm still working on it so I may publish more details. If you have any doubt or comment please add them to the article and hopefully I will be able to answer it.

26 abril 2006

Building Webparts for Sharepoint 2003 with Visual Studio 2005

Yes, it is possible!

Actually jou just have to enable Visual Studio 2005 to generate .NET 1.1 applications. There is a Microsoft-Community add-in for MSBuild that enables this: MSBuild Extras - Toolkit for .NET 1.1 "MSBee". You can download it from http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/downloads/tools/msbee/default.aspx (you will get a MSI file).

Once you have installed it, this 2 steps will be enough to compile webparts for Sharepoint 2003:

[1] Open you project file with a text editor (notepad for example), and do the following (in the MSBee help file you will find the same but with a VB project):

To import an MSBee .targets file in a C# project file, find the import element for the MSBuild .targets file. For a C# project, the line you are looking for is shown below.

<Import Project="$(MSBuildBinPath)\Microsoft.CSharp.targets" />

Immediately under this line, insert the MSBee language-specific target file. For a C# project, you will want to insert the line below.

<Import Project="$(MSBuildExtensionsPath)\MSBee\MSBuildExtras.FX1_1.CSharp.targets" Condition=" '$(BuildingInsideVisualStudio)' == '' AND '$(TargetFX1_1)'=='true'" />

[2] Open the Visual Studio Command and compile with MSBuild: msbuild [project file] /t:Rebuild /p:TargetFX1_1=true. This generates the binaries under bin\FX1_1\Debug (see the picture).

Maybe you will find usefull to build the solution until no errors are found and afterwards call a script that calls to MSBuild and copies the binaries to the IIS Virtual Directory (usually located at server\\c\inetpub\wwwroot\bin).

I haven't found the way to build the solution inside Visual Studio, yet. I guess it is not that easy (from the help file: "At this time, we are not planning to add IDE support."). Comments are welcome if you know how!

04 abril 2006

Blogging again

Today I start this blog... for the first time I'm going to blog about technology (guess... my profession!).