Galin Iliev's blog

Software Architecture & Development

MS SQL Server 2008 Webcast for devs

Here are some interesting webcasts for MS SQL Server 2008 as a platform for application development. These casts could help you to ramp up with the latest stuff around new version of the popular DB server from Microsoft.

  • Building Spatial Applications with SQL Server 2008
    SQL Server 2008 delivers new Spatial data types that enable you to consume, use, and extend location-based data through spatial-enabled applications. Attend this webcast to learn how to use spatial functionality in next version of SQL Server to build and optimize Spatial queries.
    Audience: Mid-Level
    Focus: Spatial Data
  • Entity Framework for Database Administrators
    The Entity Framework is a new data technology from Microsoft that may particularly interest database administrators (DBAs). Watch this webcast to see how this technology can radically change the development of applications from a DBA perspective, and also change access patterns on servers.
  • XML Tools in Visual Studio 2008
    Did you know that the Microsoft Visual Studio development system has great tools to help developers work with XML? Join the XML tools team in this session to learn about the XML tools available today in Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 and the many changes that we are making for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008, in addition to some of our longer term projects.
  • New T-SQL Programmability Features in SQL Server 2008
    View this webcast on new T-SQL programmability features in Microsoft SQL Server 2008, an extension from last year's presentation on top Microsoft SQL Server 2005 T-SQL features. We cover exciting new features such as: New data types (i.e. date/time, filestream, HierarchyID, large UDT, sparse columns), dependency management for database objects, and much more.
  • Programming SQL Server 2008
    Microsoft SQL Server 2008, code name "Katmai," introduces a significant amount of new or improved functionality, including new data types, in addition to performance and security enhancements. In this webcast, we discuss how you can easily take advantage of the new functionality available in SQL Server 2008 within your application development.
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008: Beyond Relational
    As the data your applications work with changes from “words and numbers” to “sights and sounds”, we are evolving our data platform to go beyond relational data, beyond OLAP, to truly support all of the digital data types of the future. We will strive to deliver the best platform for integrated storage, and advanced applications such as spatial data, while also making it dramatically easier for you to build data-driven applications, without needing to invest significant resources in bridging the gap between data and programming language data structures. Come learn about the new enhancements in SQL Server 2008 that will help you manage all types of data.
    Audience: Mid-level
  • Data Programmability and SQL Server 2008
    A comprehensive data programmability platform enables developers to build data-centric solutions that target desktops, mobile devices, online Web servers, and enterprise servers using a variety of products, programming frameworks, Web services, and data connectivity technologies that work together to access and manage data. Join this webcast as we discuss the new data programmability features that are supported by Microsoft SQL Server 2008.
    Audience: Technical


Full list can be found here.

Sample databases can be found on CodePlex

Note: Do not forget - you have to install patches to Visual Studio 2005 and even Visual Studio 2008.

ADO.NET Data Services CTP is released!

ADO.NET Data Services aka Project "Astoria" December CTP is released. Mike Flasko (PM @ Astora team) posted some key points:

The following features are in this CTP:

  • Support to create ADO.NET Data Services backed by:
    • A relational database by leveraging the Entity Framework
    • Any data source (file, web service, custom store, application logic layer, etc)
  • Serialization Formats:
    • Industry standard AtomPub serialization
    • JSON serialization
  • Business Logic & Validation
    • Insert custom business/validation logic into the Request/response processing pipeline
    • simple infrastructure to build custom access policy 
  • Access Control
    • Easily control the resources viewable from a data service
  • Simple HTTP interface
    • Any platform with an HTTP stack can easily consume a data service
    • Designed to leverage HTTP semantics and infrastructure already deployed at large
  • Client libraries:
    • .NET Framework
    • Silverlight (coming soon)
  • For more information see ADO.NET Data Services official site.

    Meet Microsoft Live Labs Volta

    Here is another codename project from Microsoft that aims at Web UI experience - meet Microsoft Live Labs Volta:

    The Volta technology preview is a developer toolset that enables you to build multi-tier web applications by applying familiar techniques and patterns. First, design and build your application as a .NET client application, then assign the portions of the application to run on the server and the client tiers late in the development process. The compiler creates cross-browser JavaScript for the client tier, web services for the server tier, and communication, serialization, synchronization, security, and other boilerplate code to tie the tiers together.

    Developers can target either web browsers or the CLR as clients and Volta handles the complexities of tier-splitting for you.  Volta comprises tools such as end-to-end profiling to make architectural refactoring and optimization simple and quick. In effect, Volta offers a best-effort experience in multiple environments without any changes to the application.

    Programming model:

    In essence Volta is a recompiler. Volta works on MSIL rather than on a textual source language. Volta rewrites MSIL into any number of target languages, including, today JavaScript and MSIL itself. Rewriting, as a general technology, lets us delay permanent decisions about architecture, execution platform and browser until after our code is basically working. Furthermore, it frees us from having to express all these irreversible decisions in your source code. The result is a programming model that enables us to easily reshape a working application, and finally realizes the promise of one application running anywhere.

    Volta effects recompilation through 3 general capabilities: refactoring, retargeting, and remodulating. Refactoring converts single-tier code into distributed, concurrent code as directed by user-supplied annotations. Retargeting converts MSIL code into code for other virtual machines. Remodulating tailors a single piece of code for multiple browsers. The next 3 sections explain in more detail.

    See detailed architectural and fundamental description here.


    "Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site", "Operation aborted"

    If you're web developer and write JavaScript/AJAX-driven web sites you probably have seen such message (in IE of course)... If you haven't seen it yet just save this as html file and open it in IE:

        <script type="text/javascript">
        function appendToBody() {
            var span = document.createElement('span');
            <script type="text/javascript">

    The code is taken from blog post Dealing with IE "Operation Aborted". Or, how to Crash IE.

    So as a rules of thumb for DOM manipulations inside browsers:

    • The problem is you can't append to the BODY element from script that isn't a direct child to the BODY element.
    • Do not place script inside <table> tags.
    • Do not try to manipulate with element in Javascript which are not loaded yet! (e.g div placed on the very bottom at the page and not loaded by browser at the time when JS function is executed).

    These rules can save you many hours of guessing what's wrong...