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Look what I just found…

Today I’m pleased to announce we have shipped the RC for Visual Studio 2010 / .NET Framework 4! MSDN subscribers can download the bits immediately from this location. The RC will be made available to the public on Wednesday February 10.

via Jason Zander’s WebLog : Announcing VS2010 / .NET Framework 4 Release Candidate (RC).

The RC’s include a Go Live license which means they can be used in production. On a closely related note, ReSharper has a nightly build available that supports the new RC’s.

http://confluence.jetbrains.net/display/ReSharper/ReSharper+5.0+Nightly+Builds

Time to make good use of Comcast’s overpriced bandwidth and start the 2.3GB VS2010 Ultimate download!

Wanna bind an enum to a combo box?

Quite frequently in Web and Windows apps, I’ve found it necessary to display data values contained in an Enum type typically inside of a list or combobox type control.

via Using Enums in List Controls – Rick Strahl’s Web Log.

I’m a huge fan and strong proponent of round tripping between code and UML models, reverse engineering the code to update your models and generating code for new model items. Sparx Enterprise Architect is the best way I’ve found to do this so far, but there’s some trade-offs to using the product. Fortunately, Microsoft is finally pulling it’s head out of the “real developers don’t model, and if they did they’d be happy to self-inflict the steaming pile that is Visio” hole it’s inhabited for the last several years and might have a decent tool for me to use. It’s about friggin time! I’m REALLY looking forwarding to giving this a try. Now to go convince work to spring for the Ultimate version of VS2010…

We couldn’t get to reverse engineering RE for the UML class diagram in Dev10. It was just too big. We are working on the solution however. We’ll release it as a high quality power tool in around Dev10 RTM.We did get RE into a ‘.Net sequence diagram’ so you can RE straight from code. It’s very cool.

via Is it possible to reverse engineer C# code into an UML Class Diagram?.

From the picture Julie painted it sounds like the Entity Framework is finally coming together. While I’m sure it’s far from perfect the latest version would seem to have addressed MANY of the issues I ran into the first time I used it. With EF being such a strong contender, it would seem my decision has come down to nHibernate and EF. Microsoft safety versus the guys that have been doing it right for a lot longer… tough call!

Julie Lerman on Entity Framework 4.0Julie is back to talk about the improvements to the Entity Framework in version 4.0.

via .NET Rocks!.

Caught a fascinating .NET Rocks podcast this morning discussing MongoDB, a NON-relational dbms. Kind of like honest politicians, the possibility of such a thing is theoretically possible but not something you expect to ever actually see. I’m still not sure I have my head wrapped around how to best use it, but it’s hard to argue with the (claimed) vastly improved performance and scalability over traditional RDBMSes!

Interesting little sidenote, apparently the original paper that described the relational database model was published 40 years ago, maybe it is time to look at more advanced approaches…

Combining the best features of document databases, key-value stores, and RDBMSes.

MongoDB (from “humongous”) is a scalable, high-performance, open source, schema-free, document-oriented database. Written in C++, MongoDB features:

* Document-oriented storage (the simplicity and power of JSON-like data schemas)

* Dynamic queries

* Full index support, extending to inner-objects and embedded arrays

* Query profiling

* Fast, in-place updates

* Efficient storage of binary data large objects (e.g. photos and videos)

* Replication and fail-over support

* Auto-sharding for cloud-level scalability

* MapReduce for complex aggregation

* Commercial Support, Hosting, and Consulting

MongoDB bridges the gap between key-value stores (which are fast and highly scalable) and traditional RDBMS systems (which provide structured schemas and powerful queries).

via Home – MongoDB – 10gen Confluence.

Handy little discovery, I’m using it already!

I recently stumbled upon a little known operator in C#, that is pretty slick. It’s the “??” operator. Yeah, that’s right, it’s just 2 question marks. Unfortunately it’s nearly impossible to find anything in Google about it, since they don’t let you search for characters.

via The Little Known C# ?? Operator | SuperJason’s Personal Blog.

Google keywords:

question mark question mark
double question mark
.NET 2.0 coalesce
question mark operato

Still haven’t decided if I prefer the Amazon or Google/Microsoft cloud paradigm, but it’s hard to argue with the ease of transition to Amazon’s solution!

Amazon EC2 Now Offers Windows Server 2008
Starting today, Amazon EC2 now offers Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and Microsoft SQL Server® Standard 2008 instances in all Amazon EC2 Regions. This new announcement extends Amazon EC2’s existing Microsoft-based offerings that include Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2005 instances. Like all services offered by AWS, Amazon EC2 running Windows Server or SQL Server offers a low-cost, pay-as-you-go model with no long-term commitments and no minimum fees. Please visit the Amazon EC2 service page for more information on using Amazon EC2 running Windows.