David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small. I specialise in Windows Intune and SBS 2008.
This blog is purely the personal opinions of David Overton. If you can't find the information you were looking for e-mail me at admin@davidoverton.com.

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  • List of Windows 7 compatible applications that have been registered with Microsoft and how to get yours registered if you have an application

    I’ve been asked a few times about what software is registered with Microsoft as compatible with Windows 7 or has a certified status with Windows 7. The answers can be found on either of these two web sites: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/en-us/default.aspx – Web based tool to search for software http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/confirmation.aspx?familyId=890e522e-e39e-4278-aebc-186f81e29173&displayLang=en – Download an Excel spreadsheet with the information on it If you are an ISV who wishes to register your information, have a look at the downloadable template or web form here - https://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/windows-7/en-us/partner/submission.aspx To learn more about developing for Windows 7, look here for Independent Software Vendors . You should also look at the ISVAppCompat site - https://www.isvappcompat.com/uk which gives details for how to certify your application and also make a press release about the fact. One of the ISVs I work with is Iris and they have just released their press releases at http://www.iris.co.uk/news__press/news_folder/newswindows_7_strategy.aspx . It all helps customers get what they want from Windows 7. Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year David Technorati Tags: Windows 7 , Windows Client , Microsoft , ISV , Application Compatibility
  • It has been a while on the blog

    Well hello again, I've been away for quite some time - work has been very time consuming and two members of my family have required some dedicated attention while they have not been feeling well (and no, no swine flu). I'm hoping to start finding more time to "do" the blog and potentially a "tips and tricks" section for SBS 2008 based on my learning's to date. I do still have quite some work backlog, but I'll try to post some of the blog backlog too - I have hundreds of items to post!! See you soon - and keep the questions coming. David
  • Want MIX08 in the UK? Then come to ReMix08 in Brighton on 18th and 19th September and save if you book an early bird place now

    I love what goes on at these events. It would be good to see you there. Here is the little advert: Final chance to save £110 . Very limited Early Bird places left - don't say we didn't warn you! 1,000 web developers, designers, development managers and technology evangelists are going to take the media they love to the next level. Why? Because ReMix UK 08 is getting bigger and better. Scott Guthrie Developer Track Bill Buxton Design and UX Track For Designers, Developers, the Community and Beyond Work Julie Howell, Fortune Cookie • Brendan Dawes, Magnetic North • Paul Foster, Microsoft Evangelist • Guy Smith-Ferrier, Capella • Tim Regan, Microsoft Research • Mike Taulty, Microsoft Developer Evangelist See the website for the growing list of speakers... What's in the mix • Panel discussions to Interactive Mash Ups • Designers and developers hand-in-hand to • All day VJs to conceptual walls • Open Source project, CodePlex • Backnetwork to Moo cards • Photosynth master classes to Microsoft Surface • Our international act to geek bars • Swag giveaways to inflatable lounges • Designing for compatibility and for the wild • Visualising books to sneak previews • The latest developments in IM, VE and IE8 • Latest developments in RIAs and SSDs • WPF and Silverlight applications at work • • The technology Silverlight | Deep Zoom | Mobile | Expression | ASP.NET/AJAX Windows Live services | XNA | Partnering with Microsoft | Photosynth Robotics Studio | Data | Microsoft Research | Popfly | Advertising It's a full-on interactive event. Be a part of something special. Don't forget the Early Bird offer and register today at www.microsoft.com/uk/remix08/ . Early Bird price £239 (inc.VAT), full price £349 from the 301st ticket. See you there! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Silverlight , Deep Zoom , Mobile , Windows Mobile , Expression , ASP.Net , Ajax , Windows Live Services , XNA , Microsoft , Partner , Photosynth , Robotics Studio , Data , Microsoft Research , Popfly , Advertising
  • Where in the world has David been?

    I’m really sorry that everything has been so very quiet on the blog front – work has just been maxing out and I even took some personal time out – I’ve now been married for just over ten years and to celebrate Mrs Overton and I visited Niagara Falls for the weekend. It was a wonderful time and worth the break, however I now need to get my skates on. Niagara Falls from our hotel room American and Honeymoon Falls from hotel room Before that I was planning and helping an ”EBC” or Enterprise Briefing Center with a number of UK ISVs. The trip gave insight to these Partners and an opportunity to discuss next steps on working together. It certainly helped me in my conversations with COA Solutions: This week I will be working on SBS 2008 materials for publishing when the technology preview becomes available. I also have a back log of other information to share about Microsoft, SaaS, ISVs, partners and more. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Personal , ISVs
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  • Silverlight Adoption Expected to Triple .. especially when you look at what is in V2

    Forward looking statements are always risky, but I do see Silverlight popping up all over the place. Even the next rev of the theme for this website will be based on Silverlight. in a recent article Evans Data claimed that Silverlight Adoption Expected to Triple . Evans Data official says Microsoft's support of its products will drive the growth of the company's alternative to Adobe Flash over the next 18 months. Despite Adobe Flash's dominance in the world of rich Internet applications, Microsoft's competing offering, Silverlight, is expected to triple its market share, according to a market researcher. In an interview with eWEEK, John Andrews, president and CEO of Evans Data, said that over the next 12 to 18 months, Silverlight should triple its market share. "Flash is the incumbent, the leader," Andrews said. "If you look at Flex, AIR [Adobe Integrated Runtime], Silverlight and Eclipse RCP [Rich Client Platform], all of them have smaller market share. But if you look at the next 12 to 18 months, they just about double their current market share. And interesting enough, Silverlight almost triples. Silverlight is very, very popular with this Web 2.0 technology developer." Andrews based his claims on Evans Data research. He also said much of the success Silverlight will see will be not only due to Microsoft marketing but to the fact that "Microsoft supports its products very well.” Moreover, “many people think about Microsoft as not the innovator—which they aren't in many cases—but, boy, they're the fastest follower you can find,” Andrews said. “When you look at developer support and quality of product, and then you look at how those products tie back into the stack so easily, it really facilitates the productivity of these developers." Of course I differ about the innovator stuff … maybe we just try to bake things a little more before we take the covers off, so that is why were not seen as the 1st to market. More of this will be seen later this month!! Now, if...
  • ISVs can learn about Microsoft’s strategy and products and how they fit into selling solutions – come to the events in TVP and Manchester on the 10th and 24th April

    One of the biggest criticisms of Microsoft by our ISV partners is that they don’t know where we are going… well this even should help solve that – see you there perhaps: Introduction 09.30 - 10.00 Registration & coffee 10.00 – 10.15 Welcome & Introduction Deliver Innovative Solutions 10.15 – 10.45 Microsoft strategy direction 10.45 – 11.30 Microsoft technology roadmap 11.30 – 11.50 Coffee break Increase your opportunities 11.50 – 12.15 Marketing & sales initiatives Close more sales 12.15 – 12.30 Services & licensing for sales acceleration Support your Customers 12.30 – 12.45 Technical support resources 12.45 – 13.00 Wrap up with Q&A 13.00 – 14.00 Lunch & networking 10 th Apr, Chicago 1, TVP Registration url: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032373283&Culture=en-GB 24 th Apr, The Lowry, Manchester Registration url: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032373286&Culture=en-GB Enjoy the event! ttfn David Technorati Tags: ISV , Microsoft , Strategy , Roadmap , event
  • Understand the key security engineering activities that you need to be aware of in application development. Written by a Microsoft UK employee - "The Developer Highway code" as a download or a traditional book

    It you write code then you need to understand how to write secure code. If you want to understand how to write code that is secure by design then you need to seek the help of people who "have been there". Microsoft has helped thousands of people write applications that do not leak information and Paul's book has helped even more. The Developer Highway Code , written by Paul Maher of Microsoft, is a concise handbook that captures and summarises the key security engineering activities that should be an integral part of the software development process. This companion guide should be a must for any Developer, Architect, Tester etc. undertaking software development...The book is presented in easy to read checklist form, covering essential guidance on writing and releasing secure code. The book has been downloaded by over 100,000 people and over 20,000 actual books are out there ... and now it has been updated!! In case you are still not convinced, please read the following endorsements: “The developer highway code is an innovative guide for ALL developers across the United Kingdom. The weakest link in any Security solution adopted by our customers will be exploited by irresponsible criminals worldwide. The developer highway code empowers developers with the detailed knowledge and practical steps they should take to avoid Security compromises.” Nick McGrath, Director Platform Strategy, Microsoft Ltd. “Developers are a most critical component to a more safe computing experience for all computer users in the UK and around the world. Code written for a program or operating system, or process must be able to withstand the most aggressive attempts to ‘break it’. From games to mission-critical operations, secure code will form the base for success or disaster. The Developer Highway Code should be a required reading. Edward P Gibson, Chief Security Advisor, Microsoft Ltd WHERE CAN YOU GET THE DEVELOPER HIGHWAY CODE? Download full book only as a pdf or Download full book only as an xps Book eg Amazon - The Developer...
  • PhotoZoom using Silverlight and DeepZoom (aka SeaDragon) technology - mine is on Star Wars, but we could create a SBSC one

    The above technology is built using Silverlight 2.0 beta that was announced at MIX08. You can upload photos or import via an RSS feed. I did the later, bit it occurred to me that we should start something like this for SBSC and ISV partners. To see the effect, go to http://photozoom.mslivelabs.com/Album.aspx?alias=Doverton&album=1 and then zoom in and out using the +/- in the top left corner or the scroll wheel on your mouse. It is quite amazing! Hat tip to Steve for this one ttfn David Technorati Tags: SeaDragon , DeepZoom , PhotoZoom , Silverlight , MIX 08 , Developer , SBSC , Star Wars , Community , ISV
  • Microsoft SQL Server Data Services - more online services announced this week

    This is one big week for developers (as Mix was always going to be). We now also have data services in the cloud ( http://www.microsoft.com/sql/dataservices/default.mspx ) On-demand Scalability SQL Server Data Services (SSDS) are highly scalable, on-demand data storage and query processing web services. Businesses use storage resources as needed transforming large upfront capital and operations expenditures into much smaller on-demand costs. On-demand storage and access Store and query your data virtually any time, anywhere on the web. Use and pay for storage resources as you go. Scales easily as your data grows Take advantage of virtually no restriction on the amount of data stored. Use the same service interfaces for your storage needs at any scale. Easy to manage Easy to use web-based service for provisioning, deployment, and monitoring. Lights-out manageability and commodity hardware for lowest service cost. Business-ready SLA SQL Server Data Services are built using robust Microsoft SQL Server database technologies and will provide strong service level agreement (SLA) covering high availability, performance, and protection against data loss. Built using enterprise-class SQL Server Database technology as a storage node Industry Standard SQL Server and Windows server technologies. Years of experience running these technologies in-house. Novel distributed data fabric for massive scale out operation. Richer functionality exposed over time based on feedback from business customers. High availability, security, and performance Store and manage multiple copies of the data for reliability. Back up data stored in each data cluster. Geo-redundant data copies to ensure business continuity. Secure data access to help provide business confidentiality and privacy. Input/output (I/O) are optimized for high throughput. Application Agility SQL Server Data Services supports simple web-programming interfaces like SOAP and REST for quick provisioning of web applications. Developers can focus on innovating with data while reducing...
  • Application Resources for Windows Server 2008 Launch (2 days to go)

    I was asked the other day about how to make sure if an application is likely to work on Vista or Windows Server 2008 and this blog entry has some of the answers. You may notice things like the App Compatibility toolkit and the cookbook. Between these, you should get all the information you need to ensure applications that work on current and future platforms. Resources for Windows Server 2008 Launch We at Microsoft are on the verge of releasing one of the most powerful and reliable products in the history of the company, Windows Server 2008. Containing numerous improvements and new features, Windows Server 2008 is a product everybody can be proud of. As an ISV, what’s the best way you can get up to speed and research these many improvements, and be aware of any possible application compatibility issues you might run into? Here are some resources to help you with these questions: Windows Server 2008 Product Page : This is the main Microsoft home for Windows Server 2008 as a product. You can find the many links to other Microsoft online properties regarding Windows Server 2008 on this page. Windows Server 2008 MSDN Developer Center : If you are a developer targeting the Windows Server 2008 platform, this is your one-stop-shopping center for all things “Developer” with Windows Server 2008. This dev center will continue to be updated going forward, so make sure to stay tuned for more great content coming to you in the future. Windows Server 2008 Application Compatibility : Although this is simply a part of the Dev Center above, I want to call it out specifically. Application Compatibility is such an important topic for ISVs and Customers alike, that I believe this is a very important collection of resources to be aware of. Especially be aware of the Application Compatibility Cookbook if you are interested in this topic. Innovate On : If you desire more information regarding the Windows Server 2008 Logo Program, this is the place to go. You can find everything from the actual certification requirements, to automated tools...
  • Study: .Net overtakes Java

    I saw this and thought I would share it. It gives some positioning of .Net vs Java. There is more to the article that that listed below, but the interesting statements for me was .Net >50% and Java 20%. Oh, and additional to that pure .Net @ 12% while pure Java was at 3%. Ouch!! Study: .Net overtakes Java Microsoft's .Net software development platform is more popular than Java in the enterprise, according to one industry analyst firm's report detailed on Wednesday Info-Tech Research Group said its research found .Net the choice over Java among enterprises of all sizes and industries. Entitled, "It's Official: .Net Roasts Java's Beans," the study explored the relative prevalence of Java and .Net across different types of enterprises and found .Net has gained considerable market share and become the favourite of many enterprises. In conducting its study, Info-Tech said it recently surveyed more than 1,850 organizations of different sizes. Info-Tech's research is not sponsored, a company representative said. Almost half of all enterprises responding to the survey focus primarily on .Net with an additional 12 percent focused exclusively on .Net , the research found. This compares with just 20 percent of enterprises focusing primarily on Java and only 3 percent standardizing solely on it , Info-Tech said. Read the whole article at Tech Watch | InfoWorld Staff | InfoWorld | Study: .Net overtakes Java | November 28, 2007 01:07 PM | By Paul Krill ttfn David Technorati Tags: Developer , Java , .Net , Develoment , ISV
  • Time to Nominate your solutions for the Awards at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference!

    You may remember people who have one awards at the Worldwide Partner Conference before - is it your time now? I saw Steve Morrow (my boss) has put some great information on the UK ISV blog and while he is thinkking about it from a purely ISV point of view, you could apply under any of the categories. Time to Nominate your Applications for the Awards at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference! Time to submit your entry for the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference Awards program! This is a great way to get some free PR. As a finalist or winner you’ll receive promotions that identify your company as part of an elite class of Microsoft partners. Logos will also be displayed in Microsoft Solution Finder. The nomination process is open NOW and closes on 4th April 2008 . Finalists for the 2008 awards will be announced on June 9, 2008. Winners will be announced and recognized at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston, July 7-10, 2008. Go to Award Submission Tool For a full list of the award categories can be found here . UK ISV Blog : Time to Nominate your Applications for the Awards at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference! ttfn David Technorati Tags: WWPC , WPC , Worldwide Partner Conference , Microsoft , Awards , ISV , Developer
  • Heroes Happen Here - Where are you?

    If you don't know about the Heroes Happen Here :: Home campaign then you are very much behind the times. The Launch events for SQL Server 2008 (errrm), Visual Studio 2008 and Windows Server 2008 are fast approaching and so is your customers ability to buy and use them - do you understand what, why and when? If not, go to the website and see how your customers can benefit and why you should learn more about the product and what you can do to improve your business with these products. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Heroes happen here , Heroes happen {here} , Heroes , Windows Server 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008
  • Where Customers may obtain License Keys for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

    I've been asked this a few times, so attached is the response I got from the nice Product peeps here in the UK. Since the easiest way to share was a picture - here it is :-) It covers the following license types: Trial MSDN/Technet MSPP MAPS VL BRL SPLA ISV Royalty Again, see http://www.uksmbgirl.co.uk/blog/archives/320 for more information on MS CRM and http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2008/01/17/microsoft-dynamics-crm-4-0-ready-for-download.aspx for download information. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Licensing , MS CRM , CRM
  • Saw this last year - how right they were "In memoriam: the ISV" - Oracle announces purchase of BEA and Sun announces purchase of MySQL

    So here we are on the day (or a day later) that Sun (JAVA) decides to buy MySQL, finally putting a blow against Oracle who had self selected Linux (personal opinion was Oracle saw the deal having the same money, just less for the OS, so more for them) and BEA gets welded to the Oracle Fusion integration story. Consolidation is indeed the way forward... unless the European Union think that there is too few companies in which case companies will have to give away some corporate asset in order to not be too successful. The article is worth a read.. will everything eventually be owned by Microsoft, Google, Oracle or Symantec ? YEAR END - In memoriam: the ISV By James Niccolai and Chris Kanaracus, IDG News Service, 12/12/07 The world of business software continued its inexorable march toward Total Consolidation in 2007. If IBM was off the mark in 1943 when it (supposedly) predicted a world with only five computers, it might have better luck today with a similar prediction about the software industry. The trend has been under way for years, but the past 12 months saw many of the remaining big names in business software absorbed into other companies, including Hyperion, Business Objects, Cognos, Opsware and webMethods. They join PeopleSoft, Siebel, JD Edwards and JBoss from the recent past. Outside of security companies, it is now difficult to name even a half dozen well-known, best-of-breed vendors that are holding their own. YEAR END - In memoriam: the ISV - Network World Working in the ISV "space" I can tell you that new ventures are coming along just fine and growing well. Yes, some bigger fish gobble some of the smaller fish, but many still swim freely in the sea, making money and changing the world. ttfn David Technorati Tags: ISV , Business
  • If you are a Virtual Earth wannabe, then you need to know about the UK Partner Day

    This is a simple "if you care about this" posts, but a few people have asked me about MapPoint / Virtual Earth. James has published details at James.Random() : Virtual Earth UK Partner Day on how to integrate Virtual Earth into your applications. Virtual Earth UK Partner Day The Microsoft Virtual Earth EMEA team are holding an event on 6 th February 2008 at the Great House at Sonning to provide you with all the information you require to integrate VE into your business offering. Never before has it been so easy for your clients to track assets, find customers, manage mobile sales force & engineers or make sure their customers find them before they find a competitor! The agenda is not yet finalised but will consist of: · Informative sessions; you will hear from customers and partners who have utilised Virtual Earth as well as technical presentations and the latest updates from VE. · A masterclass from Johannes Kebeck highlighting useful tips and tricks for developers, ensuring you get the most out of the Virtual Earth platform. · A valuable opportunity to network with other partners and developers as well as members of the EMEA Virtual Earth team. The day will run from 9.30am until 5pm and we do hope you can join us. To register your attendance please follow the link below. Click here to register Or call 0870 166 6676 to register by phone. If you have colleagues who would also like to attend please forward them this e-mail. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Virtual Earth , Developer , ISV
  • Office 2007 SP1 is here and it does more than just update the desktop - SharePoint gets AJAX for example

    I'm sure you have heard that the Office 2007 Service Pack is here. Darren Strange has documented what is in it and how to get it at Office 2007 sp1 ready for download today and OfficeRocker! : More detail about sp1 . In answer to Susanne's post at here , hopefully this post has some more info in it One of the little things he puts that I like is: Some other factoids about sp1 There are roughly 2500 fixes in SP1. This an average size for a service pack, but the issues fixed are very important to our customers. Almost 20% of those fixes are direct result of customer requests. Over 500 of those fixes focused on security. There are a total of 24 different releases in 38 languages. There are 683 distinct packages. All have released simultaneously today. If you get the whitepaper then you would be keen to see the information below. Notice that SharePoint amongst other things a developer update to support Ajax and that other server products (Groove and Project Server) are also updated. Stability Microsoft continues to improve its software products by listening to customers and acting on customer requests. With the 2007 Microsoft® Office system Service Pack 1 (SP1), Microsoft demonstrates this commitment by fixing at least the top five software bugs in each application that caused crashes, resulting in an even more stable product. The 2007 Office system SP1 also addresses many minor annoyances and distracting problems that users had to contend with in the initial release. Many of these minor usability and stability fixes are in response to customer requests as well. The following section lists summaries of some of the most notable stability improvements delivered with the 2007 Office system SP1. Access 2007 For third-party applications that use Data Access Object code to synchronize replicated information in a Microsoft Office Access™ 2007 database, Office Access 2007 no longer returns a run-time error that causes the application to close or time out. Communicator 2007 Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 now presents...
  • Free Developer Events (IIS7, ASP.net 3.5, SharePoint, Windows Server 2008, Web services, SOAP, REST, Windows Live Platform, Visual Studio 2007, Silverlight and Smart Client development)

    Free Developer Events for Customers & Partners: MSDN: Microsoft’s Web Platform. IIS7 and ASP.NET 3.5 Date: 08 January 2008 Location: Reading MSDN: Sharepoint for Developers Date: 10 January 2008 Location: London MSDN: Windows Server 2008 for developers Date: 17 January 2008 Location: Manchester MSDN: Windows Server 2008 for developers Date: 23 January 2008 Location: Edinburgh MSDN: Windows Server 2008 for developers Date: 24 January 2008 Location: Edinburgh MSDN: Building Services: .NET FX 3.5, SOAP, REST, and Beyond Date: 29 January 2008 Location: Reading MSDN: Developing on the Windows Live Platform Date: 30 January 2008 Location: Birmingham MSDN: Web, Web, Web : Visual Studio 2008, ASP.NET 3.5 and Silverlight Date: 31 January 2008 Location: Bristol MSDN: What’s new in Smart Client Development Date: 31 January 2008 Location: Bradford Find out about all MSDN events ttfn David Technorati Tags: IIS7 , ASP.net 3.5 , SharePoint , Windows Server 2008 , Web services , SOAP , REST , Windows Live Platform , Visual Studio 2007 , Silverlight and Smart Client development , Developer , Event , Training
  • Ricardo (you know, the engine / power train experts) now offer their solutions on Windows Server 20003 Compute Cluster Edition. Cool. Windows HPC is moving along nicely. Oh, Corporate Modelling is not doing badly either!

    I've been very lucky this year to get some great accounts. I have two in the HPC world, neither sit in my traditional small business space, but their solutions are still amazing to understand. Corporate Modelling who offer a great new concept in business process management, modelling and business solution creation, using the latest techniques in business service modelling, process modelling, business solution and application generation techniques. This is a great platform for requirements such as new insurance products and six-sigma to mention a few. I hope to have more to say about this soon. Anyway, Ricardo . They have just had their European User Conference which I have to admit more than stretched me in trying to understand some of the details of what goes on inside an engine, but one thing I did get loud and clear was that to "simulate" that information with a high degree of accuracy takes a LOT of computing power A single run could take days on a powerful workstation, thus tying up the workstation, so Ricardo have been offering HPC solutions that chop the problem up and significantly reduce the run time. Until now this offering did not include Windows as a HPC platform, but that has now all changed. Windows based HPC is now offered by Ricardo and they think it will clear up some problems their customers have with drivers and management of the clusters. Microsoft offers a special version of Windows Server specifically designed and priced for the compute intensive area of HPC. When talking to people able the HPC offering from Ricardo people sighted three reasons they wanted clusters: Reduce the time taken for a run Increase the accuracy of a simulation Run a spread of options in one go, but not increase the time to get results In terms of why people would or should look at a Windows HPC solution, Ricardo gave me the following advice: People who run Windows desktops need the extra compute power, but were not prepared to go for a non-Microsoft solutions now have a solution For some, setting up, running...
  • Office Rocker! : Ecma Open XML real world stories

    I don't know how many of you read the Office Rocker blog from Darren Strange ( http://blogs.msdn.com/officerocker ), but I did like this entry given all the recent discussions about Open XML. At the end of the day the discussion is not who's standard it is (ISO, ECMA etc) although there does appear to be a pecking order, but more about what people can do once it is in use. Darren has highlighted some people who are actually using Open XML to extend their business. Ecma Open XML real world stories This afternoon I was presenting at the Office Business Applications architects council with the good looking chaps on the right here. I was talking about some of the stories I've come across from our customers and partners who are using Ecma Open XML in their solutions. I have 4 stories published recently about Ecma Open XML that illustrate what I think are 3 significant categories: 1. Integrated add-in Fractal:Edge have a great visual concept for representing the drill down on data using what they call a 'Fractal Map'. The map is an add-in for Excel 2007 effectively but to store the settings for the map - like the data connection details, involves writing this to the file. This is very easy to do in Open XML and means you don't need to lug around a separate config file to travel around with the spreadsheet. They have a really good demo on their website. Being able to use Excel to store the fractalmap made their add-in highly portable which increased its adoption. <snipped> 2. Document interrogation Working out the history of a document, merging changes and looking for compliance violations is an area Workshare have an impressive depth of experience. Previously working with the binary format to do this was very hard not to mention fraught with danger of corrupting the file. Since Open XML, they've been able to create new versions of their products far faster, with greater precision and because poking about in the file is now supported, a much more secure and stable product. <snipped>...
  • Do you want to write code for Windows Home Server? Do you want intellisense to make it easier?

    I came across this and thought I would share it. Microsoft have released the SDK for Windows Home Server, but you don't get intellisense with it. The SDK can be found at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa496121.aspx . HomeServerControls Documentation for Developers If intellisense, public classes and methods mean absolutely anything to you, then Brendan Grant is your man. Due to the lack of intellisense documentation, he has compiled an XML file and an accompanying help file explaining what some of the public classes and methods exposed by HomeServerControls do. More information and the downloads are on Brendan’s blog and also on the accompanying thread on the Windows Home Server forums. HomeServerControls Documentation for Developers « MS Windows Home Server ttfn David Technorati Tags: Developer , Windows Home Server , Intellisense
  • Want to know what one of my accounts looks like - have a look at Microsoft Case Studies: Corporate Modelling

    I'm enjoying being an ISV PAM (Independent Software Vendor Partner Account Manager) and while I miss my small business role, the new job has me looking after accounts that are small and big. One such account already has a case study up. To improve ease of use for its business customers, Corporate Modelling decided to develop its business process management solutions using Microsoft® products. The company also joined the Microsoft Partner Program, which has not only provided guidance for long-term development but also strategic sales leads and connections with other vendors. Corporate Modelling expects to double its revenue every nine months. Microsoft Case Studies: Corporate Modelling This is not my work, I'm just carrying on the great work of others, but it is nice to work with such people. ttfn David Technorati Tags: ISVs , Corporate Modelling
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  • UK ISV Blog and more importantly, the ISV Partner Kick-off on September 13th

    I don't think I ever gave Steve Morrow the plug I promised for the UK ISV blog , however since he is now my Boss, I read it more often. I saw this and thought I had better get it out pronto. If you develop software in the UK and sell this in a semi/fully packaged form to your customers, then this is for you. However, even if you can't make the event, subscribe to the blog to see what is happening and when. ISV Partner FY08 Annual Kick-off - Sept 13th TVP, Reading In my haste to get out of the office today to enjoy the great British summer...I forgot to make a quick mention of the ISV Partner Kick-off Event we have planned for Thursday September 13th at Thames Valley Park, Reading. Many of you will already have seen this in either the email we sent out or the Partner New Letter. I think we're got some really interesting initiative to share with you for the year ahead: We'll be telling you about a number of new business development tools and initiative that we'll be launching and running over the next twelve months. We have a new approach to the conundrum of how to demonstrate revenue influence without becoming a Microsoft licensing expert! We'll be sharing our plan for delivering some exciting new technologies along with the programmes we'll be running to support them. If you'd like to attend - please click on the following link to register: ISV Kick-off Event - Sept 13th or call 0870 166 6680 and quote reference 5947 from the UK ISV Blog . ttfn David Technorati Tags: ISVs , Developers , Partner
  • News this week - multi-core chips need some software help and some software re-architecting to make them most effective at delivering extra performance .. and of course, there is more multi-core to come!

    I've read the two articles - Computer-Chip Makers Pick Up Pace in Multicore Race - WSJ.com and BetaNews | AMD: Will More CPU Cores Always Mean Better Performance? and realised they were both harping on about the same thing - the need for better use of mutli-core / multi-processor technology. In a former life I helped people make their software take advantage of many cpus and the scheduling of tasks, sharing of information and understand how many processes can put load onto the memory, disk and internal buses is a huge area of learning. Whether it is a 8-core or a SMP 8-processor box, the problems are the same. If 8 cpus all demand a disk read from different regions of the disk, then you have 8 disk seeks, which could mean 1-8 x 8ms wait for the processes. In computer terms, waiting for 64ms for a disk read (as the 8th cpu would do) is almost an eternity for a cpu. What is more, if the disk regions are on 8 separate disks to stop I/O bottlenecks then the i/o bus and front-side-bus might not be able to take that amount of data without some scheduling difficulties. Anyway, it is interesting to hear how task scheduling, memory protection and run-time engines changes make me think that these are really just little scratches on the surface of a deep problem. As anyone will tell you who has got their product running in a 64-node cluster - it takes software re-design and more than just creating a bunch of threads or lock management. Anyway, the articles are worth reading to see where it is going. I have snipped the articles, so click the links above to read the full articles. Computer-Chip Makers - Pick Up Pace in Multicore Race A race to cram more electronic brains on computer chips is accelerating, and prompting new moves to address the difficulty of programming such complex creations. <snipped> "We've really eliminated every reason not to go to quad-core," said Kirk Skaugen, a vice president in Intel's digital enterprise group. {ed - really, what about helping with mutli-processor / multi-core...
  • Mix:UK 07 - Want to know more about building solutions using Silverlight, Expression and Live Services in the UK? With UK Early Bird registration until 10th August

    I intend to be there - it will be great if you can be there too if this is for you. I have to say I think it is an incredibly exciting area. Have a look at Mix:UK 07 for more information. Latest event news: Registration and schedule now live! About Mix:UK 07 Mix:UK 07 is the premier event for web designers and web developers to: Get creative inspiration from design and development gurus, web agencies and innovators Discover how technologies like Silverlight, Expression and Live Services are already being used to create a new generation of rich media experiences and RIAs (Rich Interactive Applications) Connect with others in the industry who, like yourself, have a passion for innovation and creativity and have built personal and business success on that passion. Register now, early-bird rate expires soon! Until the 10th of August 2007 we’re offering a discounted early bird registration price of £199, saving you £100 from the standard price of £299. Speakers Announced to Date. We are proud to announce that Scott Guthrie, General Manager in Microsoft's Developer Division, will deliver the keynote for the event along with George Moore, General Manager for the Windows Live Developer Group. In addition, Scott will be delivering a number of sessions on Silverlight and ASP.NET. Other speakers just announced include: Andy Hood , Creative Development Director, AKQA Beau Ambur , CEO of Metaliq Inc Paul Dawson , Head of Interactive Media, Conchango Danny Thorpe , Senior Software Designer and previously architect of the Gears API at Google, and former Chief Scientist at Borland and Chief Architect of the Delphi compiler Pete Barr-Watson , Interactive design industry veteran and best-selling author Check out the full lineup of speakers here . What others have said about the Microsoft technologies to be presented at Mix:UK 07 Technorati Tags: Silverlight , Expression Web , Expression Suite , Live Services , RIA , Developers , ISVs

(c)David Overton 2006-13