Showing posts from January, 2009

Virtual Lab Broken

The MSDN Virtual Lab: Customization and Extensibility with Commerce Server 2007 lab has the lab manual as a blank page. Not too useful. As a public service I am caching it here, until the lab is fixed

Another Software-Smith video on MSDN.

Just wanted to give you a link here to my video on MSDN. It explains how to use SharePoint backup and restore.

My SharePoint video on MSDN

Just wanted to give you a link here to my video on MSDN. It explains how to use Sharepoint workflow with Visual Studio 2008. I also created a Commerce Server 2007 video but it seems to have disappeared into the MSDN cellars.

Getting Virtual Server running under Vista Home Premium

Virtual Machines are essential part of life in the Commerce Server/Sharepoint space. I have been working on getting several Virtual Machines running at the same time and need them as fast as possible. I need them for some demos for Sharepoint courses that I am giving for Mindsharp/Combined Knowledge and also for some Microsoft internal Sharepoint training courses I am teaching for the Microsoft field engineers in London, Paris and Munich. Of course, I also need a fast Commerce Server 2007 virtual pc.

My first step was to get a laptop with enough memory, I chose a Lenovo 3000 N200 TY2BEGE with 3GB RAM for Euro 699,00 from First surprise, the internet price was 729,00 in spite of having the latest printed catalogue. But still seemed reasonable, about GBP 540,00 or $1070, including tax. The laptop and the memory arrived separately, but it was easy enough to install. Seemed reasonable to buy 3GB, does not seem that buying 4GB would let me address more than 3GB at present w…

Book review time

Another few Microsoft books came accross my desk recently courtesy Microsoft Press.

I was very impressed with Microsoft® .NET: Architecting Applications for the Enterprise by Dino Esposito and Andrea Saltarello. I often teach programmers and there was much in the book I could use in class when passing on architectural principles. For example, rather than just warning about spaghetti code they have the alternative, lasagna code. Absolutely uptodate at the moment, the entity framework is also discussed.

MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-536): Microsoft® .NET Framework—Application Development Foundation, Second Edition is fairly dry since it has just the information needed for the exam. Competently done however with each module selfcontained and would work well for reference as well. I will use some of the concepts on Code Access Security in my SharePoint developer classes.

Cartooning (with apologies to Picasso)


How to skin the Starter Site

How to skin the Starter Site Why would you skin the starter site? Perhaps for a proof of concept, a demo just sizzles if it has the corporate look and feel. Or, you may have built your entire site on the starter site basis. It can be a good idea, at least it is a guaranteed solution. You just have to get used to having code not exactly to your personal taste, but it can drastically reduce project times. The starter site came out 3 months after Commerce Server itself. Make sure you install it properly according to the installation instructions. You can use the SpeedSmith installation method of this for a demo, the rights would be too generous for a production system.

Ok. Hold your mouse back. Don't start changing the CSS just yet! Starter Site is a real ASP.NET 2.0 site so you can go to the App Themes directory and see the default theme. Simply right click and create a new Theme. You can start by copying the CSS and gif's into this theme directory. Now change the webconfig to us…

The real quick CS2007 installation guide (SpeedSmith)

Have you looked at the ''quick'' installation guide for Commerce Server 2007? 21 pages of step by step instructions? Most customers I know just sort of wing it trying to get Commerce Server going and then run into problems because they missed a step. I needed a Commerce Server 2007 with a Starter Site that I can get up quickly, that I know works, and that I can let the customer change as a Proof of Concept. One option is to give him a virtual machine with everything already installed, but I then I have two options: 1. If I make the machine using evaluation software, next time I want to use the virtual machine much of the time periods are just about to expire. 2. If I use my own versions of software, I cannot leave the virtual machine with the customer. Plus I would like to teach him how to install and change his own machine. For some situations it is enough to use the virtual labs for Commerce Server, but see that they do no…

Tip: Misuse the virtual labs!

Have you ever had Commerce Server 2007 up and running on a virtual pc and then wondered if a setting was correct? Or, you need to explain the BizTalk connectors, but don't have the time to install Biztalk as well on your machine? Or just want do show something about the CSharp site. The virtual labs for Commerce Server 2007 are a great help. Unfortunately they do not have the Starter Site installed, but you remember how much later the Starter Site came. Don't forget, you are essentially using terminal services to connect to a virtual machine, you can basically do anything you like, it will be all discarded when the virtual machine changes are discarded at the end of your lab session. There is no reason to stick to the lab guide. Don't be put off by the registration, you are up and into the virtual machine quicker than you can say: Microsoft.CommerceServer.Profiles.UpmMembershipProvider...

Lab1: Connected Commerce is the BizTalk on…