Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Java 8 developer preview ready for testing

Java 8 Developer preview version is out for testing. The key feature of the release is Project Lambda, which is intended to make it easier to write code for multiprocessors. There are numerous enhancements to core/libs and core/lang.

Nashorn JavaScript Engine is also new addition. One can design and implement a new lightweight, high-performance implementation of JavaScript, and integrate it into the JDK. The new engine will be made available to Java applications via the existing javax.script API, and also more generally via a new command-line tool.

Final version may get released in Q1 2014. One can download the preview build from the location below:

Friday, July 27, 2012

Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch

This is actually development environment which helps you to create forms-over-data applications in few minutes without writing single line of code. With the latest VS2012 RC candidate, you get the project template in built. You can use VB.NET or C# to write the code if required.

On the presentation tier of the LightSwitch application, you have SliverLight. The application can use WCF RIA domain services in ASP.NET. The application is basically three-tier architecture. Logic tier can include WCF RIA, Entity Framework, OData etc. Storage can include SQL server, SQL Azure, SQL Express or Sharepoint data lists.

Recommended for building quick forms-over-data application. You can practically build new data, master list data, edit list with details and search screens in few minutes using the available templates (including validations etc) and fetching the data from storage as mentioned above. One can dive deep and write core C# code to take it one level deeper.

More to come… J

Windows 8 Preview Installation experience on a virtual machine

Quick points:

• While downloading iso for Windows 8 previews, please check the size of iso file after download is completed. It should be close to 2.5 GB for 32 bit installer and around 3.5 GB for 64 bit. If the file size is not correct then chances are high that your installation will fail.

• 64 bit installation (either fresh or upgrade from Win 7) could be painful experience at times. After the installation is complete, it just shows the message that certain files are missing and then restart the installation. After few iterations, you will find that certain drives are missing and need to be installed separately. At least, I had this experience. Workaround information for this issue is available on the next along with some fixit tools as well.

• Windows 8 32 bit installation is really smooth. Complete installation may take around 1 hour after few restarts. But it is worth.

• Windows 8 gives you pleasure of both the worlds i.e. typical windows (XP, Vista, 7 etc.) experience + tablet UI experience.

• Just plug in USB device and start using it on your win 8 tablet. :)


Install Express 2012 RC for Windows 8 and you are good to start writing Metro apps…

More to come….

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Venturing into the world of Flex…

Coming soon…:)


Work Item Query Language Editor

At some point of time, you may have faced difficulties while creating the complex queries/views using the TFS Query Editor.

And if you want to write your own complicated query then here are few simple tips that may help you:
• Using the TFS Work Item Query Editor, create the query. Just focus on the structure of the query and don’t worry about operators etc.
• Save this query as .wiq file on your disk.
• Open this file in the note pad and put all the operators and combinations that you wanted to put but editor doesn’t support.
• Open this file in the editor again and click on ‘Save query as’. Then save it to the respective project wherever you want either as a public query or a private query.

Trust me this helps. :)


Thursday, June 04, 2009

VS2010 Beta 1 Installation Experience and a brief preview

Yesterday, I downloaded the professional edition of the VS2010 Beta 1. This activity was pending for some time. I managed to resume this activity. I installed it on my machine. The iso/ installer size was approximately 700MB+.

The installation was pretty smooth. It took me around 20+ minutes to install this and in the meantime installer asked me to restart the PC twice. Overall, it was satisfactory installation. I was literally anxious to start the application as I had heard about it for some time. I started VS2010 and it was on within few second for the first attempt. Excellent!

The Start Page is a brand new experience especially for the XP users. It is more like Windows 7. A very stylish Start Page made me more anxious to dive deep into the VS2010. And yes amazing docking effects.

Next thing I did was to click on the File -> New -> Project and voila….

Tones of project types (or installed templates as called now a days) starting from classic windows form application to ASP.NET web application to Silverlight application, Silverlight class library, WPF, WCF, Office add-ins and what not. You can select .NET Framework version on this dialog. Interesting is that now you can also select Visual F# to create F# application and libraries.

Next thing, I created a classic Widows Form application just to have a feel of .NET 4.5.
The tool box is rich and cool. It has additional controls and new groups like WPF Interoperability. It also has Visual Basic PowerPacks.

Lots of new tool bars are also added in the IDE like- Web One Click Publish etc.

In the Tools -> Options, you can see lot of new options like: Environment-> Extension Manager, F# related options, Debugging ->Output Window etc.

Overall, cool IDE. I will spend some more time looking into 4.0 Framework and other features….keep on watching this space.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Visual C++ 2008 Feature Pack

Microsoft has released VS++ 2008 Feature pack extending VC++ libraries shipped with VS2008. It includes new MFC classes for building modern UI and also a significant amount of the functionality being added to the Standard C++ Library as part of Technical Report 1 (TR1). TR1 is the first major addition to the Standard C++ Library adopted by the C++ committee.

Some of the key changes in the MFC libraries are: Office ribbon style interface, Office 2007 and XP look and feel, new set of GUI controls etc.

You can download the Feature pack from here:


Windows 7 ship date – 22nd October 2009

Microsoft has announced release date of Windows 7 as 22nd October 2009. Windows upgrade option would be also made available.

The release candidate is already distributed.



Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Shim Infrastructure for Windows 7

Along with Windows 7, Microsoft has released Microsoft Windows Application Compatibility Infrastructure also called as SHIMS to take care of application compatibility issues.

The Shim Infrastructure implements a form of API hooking. What it means is that it redirects API calls from Windows to Shim itself. Typically call to Windows looks like:
Application --> Import Table --> Windows.

With the Shim Infrastructure, the approach will be:
Application --> Import Table --> Shim --> Windows

Now, some of the interesting facts:
1. The code that runs a shim sits outside the Windows.
2. For Windows, the shim code is just like any application code. Thus you cannot bypass security mechanisms in Windows.
3. All the shims are stored in a shim database.
4. And yes, you cannot create a new shim. You have to get in touch with Microsoft and then Microsoft may release the shims with the HFs or SPs catering to general applications.

Shim is actually really powerful mode to resolve application compatibility issues and get going with Windows 7 deployment.


Relying on error messages in your application logic

This is a very simple thing but it makes lot of difference for the developers especially the new comers. When we dive deep into our applications/programs to deliver functionality, at times few developers rely on standard error messages thrown by .NET for example. For example, let’s say that you are trying to read a file (which is not present) using .NET base class library. You will get FileNotFound exception. In this case if you have written logic in your application in such a way that if error message is XYZ then do this. This may work with the current version of framework which you are using. However, in future if you install any hot fix or the newer version of .NET framework, the error message may not be the same. The error code may remain same but not the error message.

In simple words, do not rely on standard error messages in your application logic.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Omaha - From Google

Omaha also known as Google Update installs requested software and keep it up to date. So far it supported Google product but now that it is an open-source anybody should be able to leverage it on Windows 2000 (SP4) onwards.

This autoupdating engine is something to look for going forward. More to come…..


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR)

Like various runtime environments helping developers to create offline, online applications, there is one more runtime in the market from Adobe this time. It is called as Adobe Integrated Runtime or AIR. It allows developers combine HTML, Ajax, Adobe Flash, and Adobe Flex technologies to deploy rich Internet applications (RIAs) on the desktop.

I need to do more hands on this to give more feedback. In the meantime, you may want to have a look at the Adobe website to get more information.
Adobe AIR


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Common problems while creating a new TFS team project

After you have installed TFS, sharepoint etc, when you try to create a new team project then you may get following mysterious errors. Also, given below the resolution for the same. I have encountered this problem few times earlier and hence jotting it down here so that it may help others.

1. Unable to connect to the Windows sharepoint service
Resolution: Change the port number of Sharepoint admin website to 17012 and restart the IIS.
2. Error uploading report : Work Item with Tasks
Resolution: After trying all the things available on the newsgroups, websites etc., if still your problem is not solved then try using domain user for logon for the Microsoft Windows Share Point Search service. Restart the service and then try creating the project again. The same domain user should have access to the reports database.

Hope it helps.


Monday, December 15, 2008

The 7 deadly sins of IT managers

Here is one good article on the INFOWORLD which talks about the 7 deadly sings of IT Managers.

Following are the sins:
Sin No. 1: Lust for new technology
Sin No. 2: Information gluttony
Sin No. 3: Avarice as an action item
Sin No. 4: Slothful approaches to IT
Sin No. 5. In-house envy
Sin No. 6: Wrath management
Sin No. 7: Pride creep



Friday, October 10, 2008

Even after lot of criticism and cribbing, Vista is alive and kicking.

Following are some of the details from the Vista Tracking Poll:
1.48 percent of respondents indicate that their organization is evaluating, testing, or implementing Vista. That doesn't sound dead to me.
2.30 percent of respondents have organizations that are currently implementing or have already implemented Vista.
3.50 percent of the respondents said Vista is performing "above expectation" on key features.

I felt really happy when I read this article on Vista today. Here is the URL for your reference from the InfoWorld .

What I really liked about this article is given below:
“If you truly want a Mac, go get one. Stop complaining about Vista and change. Or take your PC and install Linux. Or downgrade to XP. But stop the Vista bashing. You 20 people who yell like you are 20 million are really starting to get on the nerves of the 200 million Vista-loving PC users out here who would spend more time debating with you, but we are too busy enjoying our Vista OS and don't have time.”

Thanks J. Peter Bruzzese. I agree with you completely.



Mono 2.0 project released


All of us are aware of Mono project. The latest update from Mono is that they have released Mono 2.0 and it supposed to be a major milestone in the Mono project. After releasing the Moonlight they have now incorporated new features in 2.0 most notably C# 3.0 and Visual Basic 8 -- a debugger and MoMA, a tool that analyzes .NET assemblies and determines how compatible they are with Mono.

Following are the features in Mono 2.0:

Microsoft Compatible APIs
1.ADO.NET 2.0 API for accessing databases.
2.ASP.NET 2.0 API for developing Web-based applications.
3.Windows.Forms 2.0 API to create desktop applications.
4.System.XML 2.0: An API to manipulate XML documents.
5.System.Core: Provides support for the Language Integrated Query (LINQ).
6.System.Xml.Linq: Provides a LINQ provider for XML.
7.System.Drawing 2.0 API: A portable graphics rendering API.

Mono APIs
1.Gtk# 2.12: A binding to the Gtk+ 2.12 and GNOME libraries for creating desktop applications on Linux, Windows and MacOS X.
2.Mono.Cecil: A library to manipulate ECMA CLI files (the native format used for executables and libraries).
3.Mono.Cairo: A binding to the Cairo Graphics library to produce 2D graphics and render them into a variety of forms (images, windows, postscript and PDF).
4.Mono's SQLite support: a library to create and consume databases created with SQLite.
5.Mono.Posix: a library to access Linux and Unix specific functionality from your managed application. With both a low-level interface as well as higher level interfaces.
6.Third Party APIs bundled with Mono
7.Extensive support for databases: PostgreSQL, DB2, Oracle, Sybase, SQL server, SQLite and Firebird.
8.C5 Generics Library: we are bundling the C5 generics collection class library as part of Mono.
These compilers are part of the Mono 2.0 release:
1.C# 3.0 compiler implementation, with full support for LINQ.
2.Visual Basic 8 compiler.
3.IL assembler and disassembler and the development toolchain required to create libraries and applications.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Windows 2008 Server Installation Experience on the 64 bit server

Finally I got to play with the most awaited server 2008. The installation was smooth and really faster if I compare the installation of older OS/servers like XP/2003. Overall, it was amazing experience to install 2008. I must say that I am impressed with the quality of installer Microsoft has produced this time. That WOW effect has now started with the installer itself. I played around a bit with 2008 configuration. The server roles is the new concept in 2008 including hyper v and it’s fun to configure it. I was searching for add/remove programs to install the IIS and its related components, old habit you see. But then realized that I have to add the server role and it takes care of the installation. I also played a bit with hyper v and created virtual hard disks. Next thing, I want to do is to compare hyper v with Virtual PC server and how compatible they are. I will keep you updated on this.

To summarize, I am impressed with Win 2008 server.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

50th Post

And here it goes.....the post number 50.....


Monday, October 06, 2008

Are we heading to global recession and if yes then how will it impact on India IT/ITES industries?

These are some of the questions which I have been thinking since lot of time now. Everyday newspaper is full of updates on how top investment banks/ financial institutions are fading away. Who would have expected that Lehman Brothers would declare bankruptcy? Especially, in India there own people were not aware of this and hence were on target for their aggressive recruitment plans in Lehman brothers.

Some of the big tier 1 service providers in India, have or rather had some kind of investments with Lehman brothers as well. Since, they are the big boys of the market here, they can sustain the temporary impact of this. But, what about other IT companies having strength in the range of 500-5000 people?

First thing first, are we heading for global recession? Most of the people will answer it as ‘Yes’. And looking at some of the events at Wall Street happened recently, it is not wrong. US government has to prepare bail out package for this. This it self says that how bad it is. My gut feeling is that what we are seeing right now is just the tip of the iceberg and worst is yet to come. As Mr. Amartya Sen has said in one of the interviews recently that it might take 3-4 years for the world to come out completely. Also, in terms of percentage it not as bad as it was during the greatest world recession. It could be just 50% if we compare it. Such events will trigger panic among the investment banks, investors, creditors etc. This is a storm rather Financial storm and it will take some time to settle down. It will throw away lot of garbage material which has been piled up so far in the market. As they say, during the storm; it is the best time to fish if you are comfortably positioned. Merger and acquisitions will take place as usual but with better sense.
However, what amuses me is the chain of events. One bank goes down…then second…..then third and so on. Also, combine this with crashing real estate market and oil prices and you will get more amused. Couple of months back, oil has touched almost 150$ and not it somewhere between 60-80$ if I am not wrong. Analysts are predicting that it could even touch as low as 50$. Who knows…….

Now, second thing is how will it impact Indian IT/ITES companies? There will be direct impact on those companies having BFSI vertical and having major presence in the BFSI space. This could lead to cost cutting, workforce reduction rather than keeping on bench, reducing focus on BFSI and narrowing on health care etc. Others who do not have this vertical in their organization will also be hit in some form or other. The impact would not be too high. The onsite companies may want to cut down on IT expenditure just to consolidate their position. This would mean projects in the pipelines could be delayed. The customers will ask for more value for the money they are paying for sure. For all the jumping jacks who keep on changing jobs every now and then; they will have to be patient and be at the right place at the right time. Job market would be driven by requirements purely and not by the HR recruitment targets for sure. Sales people will have hard time in selling the products/ applications/services.

So far, I focused more on the negative part. There would be some positive outcomes as well. As they say in Italian Mafia that every decade there should be a war between the mafia gangs. This makes sure that bad blood is thrown out from the mafia stack. Same theory can be applied to the current situation as well. This happens once in a decade or twice in some cases. It settles down the dust and throws away unwanted particles. This is the law of the nature. We have been seeing lot of Investment bankers recently. Everybody was investment banker. This will stop now and only talent will be available in the market. This could be a boom to the outsourcing as well. Because more you stress on the cost cutting more you have to do the outsourcing. This will also move the focus of the market to products, innovations etc. for sure.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

MS Office to support ODF and PDF...

The news is out and this time it is correct. Microsoft has decided to add support for ODF and PDF in MS Office 2007 through the Office SP2 to be released in early 2009. What it means is that now we can save office files in ODF and PDF format. Currently also it is possible but you have to use different plug-ins for this. Now this support would be give in Office only.

This is a good feature for end users. Once installed, they need not have to use any plug-ins or converters to translate the word file to PDF etc. This may also open lot of opportunities to programmers to play around with this feature programmatically using Office APIs.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Fortress........succesor to Java????

If you look at the various programming languages that we use today, most of them were designed for earlier generations of machines. Though, Microsoft has responded beautifully by introducing .NET and languages based on .NET, others are much behind.

Sun Lab is working on a language which could be potentially successor of Java, called as ‘Fortress’ to solve problems for application development for high-performance computing. Parallel computing is supported in this language. Its syntax is based on mathematical notation. It has language constructs such as for-next loops are parallelizable.

Should you want more information on this, you can download the binaries from
Project Fortress Community


Friday, May 16, 2008

Thick client application using Silverlight

If at all we want to use cool Silverlight UI in the thick client application, would it be possible. If we concentrate on Windows forms only then there are few workaounds and answer to above-mentioned question is ‘Yes’.

The simplest thing to do is to use WebBrowser control on the Win Form and then let the browser control display the web pages using the Silverlight. Isn’t it simple to start with? And yes, it is also possible to have two way communications between the Windows Form application and the Silverlight application.

I also found on the net that few people have successfully used this approach on Linux as well with the help of go-mono of course.

Well, well, well….I am not finished yet….

Microsoft is also planning to launch a new MSN toolbar beta powered by Silverlight. Now, does that ring a bell in your mind? I am sure yes if not then please go through this blog one more time.


Moonlight….Silverlight on Linux…

You may be already aware that Moonlight is an open source project that supports the Silverlight 1.0 profile for Linux. According to the go mono web site, they have released not yet feature complete test installers for the Moonlight. These are basically snapshots from their development tree for Moonlight project.

Should you want more information on Moonlight, here is the URL.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

ASP.NET MVC Framework

You may be already aware that Microsoft has provided ASP.NET MVC Preview 1 in the last year. Now, ASP.NET MVC Preview 2 is also available for download. It is basically a framework which will help you to implement MVC (Mode-View-Controller) design pattern quickly, efficiently and effectively. It also facilitates test driven development.

The new MVC framework is built on top of ASP.NET 3.5 and hence can use all the features of ASP.NET 3.5.

This is how you can see the template and Solution explorer in Visual Studio .NET.

You can download this preview version 2 from here .


Monday, February 11, 2008

Sony Ericsson to make phones using Windows Mobile Operating System

Here comes good news for Windows Mobile developers and MS Smartphone users. Recently, Sony has announced its plans to produce Windows mobile OS based gadgets. The first gadget will be launched on Feb. 11 at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona.

Here are the links giving more insight information on this:
Sony introduces Windows mobile phones.

Future Challenges


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Launching of MS 2008 technologies

Finally, 2008 MS technology launch is here. Microsoft would be releasing Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and VS2008 on 27 February 2008. As usual these products are flooded with tons of features. For example, Server 2008 has built-in virtualization, IIS 7.0, increased security, Network Access Protection framework, enhanced terminal services and so on. More about these features can be read on MS site.

BTW, did you know that Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 originally began as part of a single development project? Then the development of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 has branched into separate releases with different release cycles.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Microsoft and Acquisitions

Do you know which is the first company acquired by Microsoft? Well, the answer is a company called as ‘SOFTIMAGE’ and this acquisition happened on 28 June 1994.

Today, I found the list of official acquisitions by Microsoft here on the website.

You may want to have a look at it know more about it. One of my favorite acquisitions is that of Great Plains software in the year 2000 and of course hotmail. Recently, Microsoft has acquired UK based provider of online mapping and location based services called as ‘Multimap’.