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Teched Developer 2007: Day 3

09u: LINQ to XML: Using the language integrated query ( LINQ ) framework with XML data by Mike Taulgy

 Accessing data from a XML document used to be a lot of work in .NET 2.0.  In the 3.5 version there is a new API called LINQ ( Language Integrated Query ).  This makes it easy for the developer to select data from a XML document and also to modify this data.

There were a lot of demo's in the session, and for me it was the first time that I saw LINQ.  The first thing that I noticed was that LINQ really makes your code more readable and also a lot shorter.

In VB 9.0, there are some cool features for LINQ.  VB 9.0 support XML literals, which means that you can type pure XML code inside your VB applications.

 

10u45: Windows Presentation Foundation ( WPF ) Data binding in depth by Bart De Smet

 Data binding was introduced in the .Net framework a long time ago, but it was never so powerful as in WPF.  This session showed a nice overview of all the different possibilities with data binding in XAML and in C#.

The fist demo's showed some simple element binding ( bind the value of a slider to the rotation angle of a media element ) in pure XAML.  This can also be easily  done with Expression Blend, but when you do this in XAML or C#, you get a better overview about what data binding really is.

The next demo's were about updating the source and target with different updatetriggers and validate the content when the input is updated.

After that, we saw some very cool in-depth stuff about data binding of which I didn't it was available:

You can not only use the IValueConverter interface, but there also exists a IMultiValueConverter interface. 

It is possible to set the priority of multiple data bindings with the ICollectionView interface.

You can filter a collection with the ICollectionInterface

The session finished with some real world demo's of data binding.  One of the demo's used the ObjectDataProvider element.  I used this element before in my tutorial on binding to a method. 

 

13u30: LINQ to entities - Use LINQ to access ADO.Net Entity Data Models by Mike Taulty

This was my second session about LINQ.  This time LINQ wasn't used to access XML data, but to access data from a database using ADO.Net.

A new version of ADO.Net was announced for the first half of 2008.  Access the ADO.Net entity will not be available in Visual Studio 2008 or in the 3.5 framework.  If you can't wait to play with ADO.Net entities ( it has some very nice features a creating classes for your database model ) you can download the beta 2 from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=F1ADC5D1-A42E-40A6-A68C-A42EE11186F7&displaylang=en

 

15u45: The .Net Language Integrated Query Framework by Luca Bolognese

 This was my 3th session about LINQ today and to first one that convinced me about the practical usage of LINQ.  The session started with the statement that you can not thread data like you thread objects in your code.  LINQ should change this.

There were small, but clear demo's about the several topics of LINQ.

  • Linq to objects
  • Linq to dataset
  • Linq to SQl
  • Linq to entities ( discussed in previous session )
  • Linq to XML ( discussed in previous session )

The most amazing one to me was Linq to SQL.  Is you add a Linq to SQL ( dbml file ) file to your project, you can drag tables from your server explorer into this file.  Visual Studio automatically creates a class for each table which you can access in your entire project.  With LINQ you can fill a collection with instances of the class with a small amount of code.

 

17u30: Building a complete web application using ASP.Net "Orcas" and Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 by Omar Khan

Five big topics were covered in this session.  Most of them were also covered in the first session on Monday: "What's new in Visual Studio 2008":

Multi-targeting: it is also possible for a web application to upgrade it from 2.0 to 3.0 or 3.5 by setting one property of the project.  In this way, you can use Visual Studio 2008 and still work on your 2.0 projects.

A new HTML and CSS designer: this is a big improvement in Visual Studio 2008.  There is a separate panel for CSS and the HTML designer is based on the one used in Expression Web.

Usage of LINQ: a lot of LINQ today, and it is also possible to use LINQ in ASP.Net application ( if they target the framework 3.5 of course ).

ASP.Net "Orcas" also contains some new controls to represent data.  A new listview for example.

The last topic was also mentioned on Monday: the full intellisense  and debugging support for javascript

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