Thursday, May 31, 2012

Microsoft announces Visual Studio 2012 RC

The Release Candidates are available for download with "Go Live" licenses, in time for the Windows 8 Release Preview.

Microsoft is one step closer to delivering the final versions of its Visual Studio integrated development environment and the .NET Framework 4.5. The Release Candidates are available today for download with "Go Live" licenses, in time for the Windows 8 Release Preview, which was also released on Thursday.

The Release Candidates of Visual Studio 11, now officially named Visual Studio 2012, are available to all developers (including MSDN subscribers). In addition to a new name, and a new purple logo, Microsoft is reintroducing a customizable setup process that allows developers to bypass installation of select Visual Studio components.

With or without a streamlined setup, users of the Release Candidates should see improved installations, which are about 20 percent faster than the beta releases, according to Microsoft Corporate Vice President Jason Zander, who heads the Visual Studio team.

Zander provided an overview of what's new in the Visual Studio 2012 Release Candidate in his blog and offered a demonstration of some of those features in a Channel 9 Visual Studio Toolbox video, hosted by Robert Green. In addition to the updated user interface, which reintroduces some color in the icons and elsewhere in response to developer feedback on the beta; the RC offers performance enhancements in areas such as typing, the toolbox and large C++ projects, according to Zander.

With the Visual Studio 2012 Release Candidate, Microsoft is introducing more Web publishing features, for example, additional support for Entity Framework Code First Migrations. The Release Candidate also supports Web site optimization through bundling and minification (removing unnecessary characters from source code) in JavaScript, and ASP.NET MVC 4 projects.

In addition, the Release Candidates introduce significant updates to the Visual Studio XAML designer and Microsoft Expression Blend tooling, according to Zander. For XAML projects, Microsoft is introducing theme animations from an Animations library, as well as a devices panel, which enables you, for example, to see the FullScreenLandscape, FullScreenPortrait, Filled, and Snapped states of Metro-style apps. Expression Blend for HTML supports the display and editing of multiple images, background gradients and components. It also adds the ability to cut and paste styles (CSS properties) between rules.

The company announced the official Visual Studio 2012 product lineup and specifications on May 18, when the next generation of products was still codenamed "Visual Studio 11." The Visual Studio 2012 editions and hardware requirements remain largely unchanged from Visual Studio 2010 outside of the free, lightweight Visual Studio 2012 Express tools, which are now platform-centric.

Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate is the company's all-in-one Application Lifecycle Management platform. It integrates all of the tools (including the higher end testing functionality and design tools) with Visual Studio 2012 Team Foundation Server for team collaboration. Microsoft Technical Fellow Brian Harry, the product unit manager for Team Foundation Server (TFS), details the changes in the Visual Studio 2012 TFS Release Candidate in his blog. Visual Studio 2012 Premium offers most of the diagnostic and testing tools without the high level architecture and modeling support. Visual Studio 2012 Professional is the entry-level developer product. Visual Studio LightSwitch, which was introduced out of band last summer and formerly a standalone product, is now available in all three editions. Visual Studio 2012 features LightSwitch version 2, which adds Metro-style templates and support for the OData protocol.

Changes to Express Tooling
With the unveiling of the Visual Studio product lineup earlier this month, Microsoft announced that the free Express tools are now platform-centric with multiple language support. So far the company has previewed Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows 8 (Metro-style apps), Visual Studio 2012 Express for the Web and Visual Studio 2012 Team Foundation Server Express. All three Release Candidates are available for download.

The earlier previews of Visual Studio 2012 did not support Windows Phone development or the out of band Windows Azure upgrades. Microsoft has announced that it is planning to introduce Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows Phone with the next release of Windows Phone, and Windows Azure tooling in conjunction with an upcoming upgrade to its cloud platform.

You can still download and use the language editions of Visual Studio 2010 Express (Visual C#, Visual Basic, Visual C++) free of charge.Visual Studio Express 2010 tools and apps will run on Windows 8, according to a Microsoft.

Visual Studio 2012 targets Windows Vista and higher. Some existing apps may not be compatible with .NET 4.5, which is an in-place upgrade. Developers can use Visual Studio's multi-targeting support to run managed applications on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 with .NET 4 and earlier versions of the framework, according to Microsoft. However, multi-targeting for C++ requires a side-by-side installation of Visual Studio 2010.

Windows Azure Recipe: Software as a Service (SaaS)

The cloud was tailor built for aspiring companies to create innovative internet based applications and solutions. Whether you’re a garage startup with very little capital or a Fortune 1000 company, the ability to quickly setup, deliver, and iterate on new products is key to capturing market and mind share. And if you can capture that share and go viral, having resiliency and infinite scale at your finger tips is great peace of mind.

Cost avoidance
Time to market


Web Role – this hosts the core web application. Each web role will host an instance of the software and as the user base grows, additional roles can be spun up to meet demand.
Access Control – this service is essential to managing user identity. It’s backed by a full blown implementation of Active Directory and allows the definition and management of users, groups, and roles. A pre-built ASP.NET membership provider is included in the training kit to leverage this capability but it’s also flexible enough to be combined with external Identity providers including Windows LiveID, Google, Yahoo!, and Facebook. The provider model provides extensibility to hook into other industry specific identity providers as well.
Databases – nearly every modern SaaS application is backed by a relational database for its core operational data. If the solution is sold to organizations, there’s a good chance multi-tenancy will be needed. An emerging best practice for SaaS applications is to stand up separate SQL Azure database instances for each tenant’s proprietary data to ensure isolation from other tenants.

Worker Role – this is the best place to handle autonomous background processing such as data aggregation, billing through external services, and other specialized tasks that can be performed asynchronously. Placing these tasks in a worker role frees the web roles to focus completely on user interaction and data input and provides finer grained control over the system’s scalability and throughput.
Caching (optional) – as a web site traffic grows caching can be leveraged to keep frequently used read-only, user specific, and application resource data in a high-speed distributed in-memory for faster response times and ultimately higher scalability without spinning up more web and worker roles. It includes a token based security model that works alongside the Access Control service.

Blobs (optional) – depending on the nature of the software, users may be creating or uploading large volumes of heterogeneous data such as documents or rich media. Blob storage provides a scalable, resilient way to store terabytes of user data. The storage facilities can also integrate with the Access Control service to ensure users’ data is delivered securely.

Training & Examples
These links point to online Windows Azure training labs and examples where you can learn more about the individual ingredients described above. (Note: The entire Windows Azure Training Kit can also be downloaded for offline use.)

Windows Azure (16 labs)
Windows Azure is an internet-scale cloud computing and services platform hosted in Microsoft data centers, which provides an operating system and a set of developer services which can be used individually or together. It gives developers the choice to build web applications; applications running on connected devices, PCs, or servers; or hybrid solutions offering the best of both worlds. New or enhanced applications can be built using existing skills with the Visual Studio development environment and the .NET Framework. With its standards-based and interoperable approach, the services platform supports multiple internet protocols, including HTTP, REST, SOAP, and plain XML

SQL Azure (7 labs)
Microsoft SQL Azure delivers on the Microsoft Data Platform vision of extending the SQL Server capabilities to the cloud as web-based services, enabling you to store structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data.

Windows Azure Services (9 labs)
As applications collaborate across organizational boundaries, ensuring secure transactions across disparate security domains is crucial but difficult to implement. Windows Azure Services provides hosted authentication and access control using powerful, secure, standards-based infrastructure.

Developing Applications for the Cloud, 2nd Edition (eBook)
This book demonstrates how you can create from scratch a multi-tenant, Software as a Service (SaaS) application to run in the cloud using the latest versions of the Windows Azure Platform and tools. The book is intended for any architect, developer, or information technology (IT) professional who designs, builds, or operates applications and services that run on or interact with the cloud.

Fabrikam Shipping (SaaS reference application)
This is a full end to end sample scenario which demonstrates how to use the Windows Azure platform for exposing an application as a service. We developed this demo just as you would: we had an existing on-premises sample, Fabrikam Shipping, and we wanted to see what it would take to transform it in a full subscription based solution. The demo you find here is the result of that investigation

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Free .NET Performance Monitoring Solution released by AppDynamics

AppDynamics announces AppDynamics Lite for .NET, its new application performance management (APM) solution for .NET applications. The software is free.

The application performance management (APM) market continues to heat up as AppDynamics, a provider of APM software, announced the release of AppDynamics Lite for .NET.

AppDynamics officials called the new offering a production-ready performance monitoring tool for Microsoft’s .NET framework. The company expanded the scope of AppDynamics Lite, which has been available for the Java platform with more than 70,000 users.

AppDynamics Lite for .NET is free. The .NET monitoring product enables IT staffs to quickly troubleshoot and diagnose performance problems in production. AppDynamics Lite installs in less than 90 seconds, identifies and monitors an application's business transactions, and gives insight into common application issues such as slow SQL, stalls, errors and slow response time, the company said. The software comes with code-level diagnostics as well as trending and alerting capabilities.

"The success of AppDynamics Lite so far clearly demonstrates that IT pros need a free monitoring solution for their production applications," says Jyoti Bansal, founder and CEO of AppDynamics, in a statement. "They need far more than simple system monitoring tools like Perfmon. AppDynamics Lite is exactly what app support teams require – a production monitoring tool solution that provides insight deep into the application layer."

"The fact that AppDynamics is offering this download for free is borderline crazy," said Nick Koning, technical architect at Best Practice, in a statement. "We've used it to monitor a single Microsoft IIS Web Server, and we've been blown away by how easy it is to use a business transaction approach to production monitoring and gain code-level diagnostics in seconds. None of us here have any doubt that this is a game-change for .NET developer and operations teams."

AppDynamics Lite is installed directly on an instance of IIS. The product enables IT staffs to drill down into slow requests as well as gain a high-level overview of how their application performs over time. Moreover, AppDynamics Lite for .NET provides a simple approach to monitoring ASP.NET and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) applications, the company said.

AppDynamics' introduction of its new .NET solution comes only weeks after Compuware made a big splash with its Compuware APM Spring 2012 Platform Release, which introduced a new generation of APM for the company with innovations across its dynaTrace and Gomez product brands that help customers optimize the performance and value of their business-critical applications. This new release represents the next phase in Compuware's unified APM strategy. It is the first release of the new Compuware APM brand with Gomez and dynaTrace as major sub-brands within it.

Cyber war won't effect Vietnam

Most of the current Vietnamese websites now simply provide information, and they are not associated with inside systems such as level-3- or 4- public services. Therefore, if a cyber war occurs, it would not have big influences to Vietnam.

More than half of the systems cannot record attacks

Vu Quoc Khanh, Director of VNCERT (the Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Team) said at a workshop on building up information security policies in developing e-government held on May 25, that the budget for information security solutions just amounts to a small proportion in the agencies’ total budget for the information technology application program.

As for state agencies, 29 percent of agencies plan to spend 10-15 percent of the budget on information security solutions, while the average level is 19 percent for the whole country. Sixteen percent of agencies plan to invest 5-9.9 percent of the total budget, lower than the average level of 19 percent, while 24 percent of agencies would pay less than 5 percent of the budget, while the whole country’s level is 38 percent.

A survey of VNCERT has found out that 53 percent of units which have information security systems cannot record attack behaviors. This means that though more than 50 percent of Vietnamese websites have houses, and their homes have been equipped with locks; however, the owners of the houses would not know if burglar broke into their houses, because they are not informed by the system.

The survey has also found out that 63 percent of units cannot calculate the financial loss caused by the attacks, while the figure is 64 percent for state agencies.

VNISA, the Vietnam Information Security Association, which carried out assessments on 100 accidental websites of government agencies (, has found that 80 percent of websites do not apply safeguard system against the scanning, such as the intrusion prevention system. It has also estimated that 78 percent of the websites could be attacked and collapsed at any time.

Especially, the websites have popular weak points, such as the information telltale from using ASP.NET of Microsoft (15 percent), the errors relating to SQL Injection (11 percent), or XSS (9 percent).

Vietnam nonresistant to cyber war

Nguyen Viet The, former of Head of the Informatics Agency under the Ministry of Public Security, has many times warned that cyber crimes have become more and more professional, therefore, network security would continue to be a burning problem in 2012, which may lead to a cyber war.

Khanh also thinks that Vietnamese websites comprise of many holes, and that if an attack is carried out, targeting to the websites, it would be very difficult to ensure the operation of the whole system. However, as for unimportant websites which do not need heavy investment, the administrators would be able to recover the system after a short time. Meanwhile, very important websites which must be online 24/24 all have information security measures already.

It is estimated that errors cannot be found in 20 percent of the systems which hackers would find it very difficult to attack. Meanwhile, as for DDoS attacks, one would need the support from outside, including the measure of expanding bandwidth.

To prepare to struggle against a cyber war, according to Khanh, it’d better to focus on protecting the most important objectives, instead of “trying to protect any pieces of land of the territory.”

As for unimportant websites, they should be given warnings about holes and recommendations.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Crucial Info concerning WebMatrix

WebMatrix is the web development tool through ‘microsoft’ intended for free which offers quick but also robust platform useful for world-wide-web design as well as development. If developers inside your web-site development company in UK are recognized in regards to the Microsoft’s World-wide-web Platform Installer, they ought to understand the multi-tasking management application’s time saving functions. As a programmer of Website Development Company, you will get a chance to install, use, and locate numerous blogging application and open-sourced CMS solutions supplied by WebMatrix web development solutions. Web Development Company can find free of charge web templates that exist and web-site coding can be completed from within this application. WebMatrix provides accessibility of a single point to end users as well as efficiently handle web development solution in London.

What does WebMatrix has to offer to world-wide-web development solutions in UK? You’ll find vital attributes of WebMatrix.

There’s the one-step installing of the essential dependency elements. Once you make its set up, the application uses a MS WPI or Microsoft world-wide-web platform installer to ensure for the full easy method. The Microsoft WPI create research within the PC for locate lacking out-of-date programs if any, running and use WebMatrix. The app collects most important installs into single bundle instantly but also allows you to set up that in a single download.

Another feature will be the critical programs in lightweight format. The IIS Express is the web host incorporated but also seo’ed for programmers. An integrated word wide web hosting server with the WebMatrix permits user to style and try out the web-sites to your on-line end users. An excellent feature of the WebMatrix is the multiple open-sourced programs. There are more than 30 open-sourced platforms accessible in the WebMatrix Web Application Gallery. The WebMatrix is primarily helpful for newbies, hobbyist developers and as well as open source app resources users.

As a programmer giving web development service in London, Using Web link, you can set up WebMatrix following total installing. Add PowerNodes controls by emptying the particular WebMatrix components folder of an old PowerNodes files, copy all PowerNodes web devices towards the elements folder. Afterwards, open WebMatrix and as well as open the aspx file to find out the control Toolbox. Reset the Custom Controls tools in order to eliminate outdated PowerNodes settings and then include Controls by selecting the dlls through the WebMatrix components folder. Remember, until you have got a certain purpose, don’t add the assemblies to the GAC.

After start of ‘microsoft’ Web System installer, it immediately display an option intended for WebMatrix Set up by clicking that button, you are able to set it up and after that allow the terms of license. With WebMatrix, Microsoft expects that it could be much easier to develop world-wide-web apps or websites inspite of the system size but also for whom it is designed for. Along with it, you have 2 key selections. The first option is to begin coding with the use of the in-built IDE from scratch or using a template web site furnished with the application. The 2nd one is usage of WebMatrix tool for setting up open-source web-app from list available for free of charge like Joomla, WordPress, Umbraco or other using its built-in directory. This guides you from the job of to put in, personalize and deploy world-wide-web apps of the World-wide-Web Development Company in UK.

Use IAPIExplorer To List Your ASP.NET Web APIs

IApiExplorer is a new abstraction layer that allows you to obtain a description of the structure of your ASP.NET Web APIs. This interface also comes with a default implementation - APIExplorer.

IApiExplorer is an abstraction layer that allows you to obtain a description of the structure of your Web APIs. This information can be used to produce documentation, machine-readable metadata, or a test client.

ApiExplorer is the default implementation of IApiExplorer that inspects the routes and other Web API constructs to produce the description.

Some of the things you can do with this API -
Produce Documentation
Create Machine Readable Metadata
Create a Test Client

The main goal of this class is to produce a collection of ApiDescription. It does so by statically inspecting the routes and the available actions inside your controllers. Each ApiDescription describes an API that is available on your service. As you can see from the simplified class diagram below, the ApiDescription contains basic information such as the HttpMethod, the RelativePath, the Documentation, etc. But it also points to an ActionDescriptor which is part of the core Web API component that knows everything about an action. You can use it to access a lot more information such as the action name, the return type, the custom attributes, etc. Similarly, you can access the ParameterDescriptor for the expected parameters.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Will Microsoft dive into Open Source Ecosystem?

Microsoft has come a long way in its acceptance of open source. And its motto doesn’t seem to be (this time) to embrace and extinguish.

The Microsoft watching will go on. A few illustrious members of the worldwide Microsoft community to share their insights via guest posts on a variety of topics — from Windows Phone, to Hyper-V. Today’s entry is all about Microsoft and open source and is authored by Richard Turner.

Microsoft is increasingly warming to open source. Not only is the company increasingly publishing open-source projects of its own, it’s also developing major parts of its web/cloud infrastructure in the open and is also supporting a variety of external open-source projects. This is great news, but it’s taken a long time and a considerable amount of hard work and damage-repair to make it happen.

Microsoft’s stance on open source began to thaw during the 2000’s as the company grew-up and learned more about open source and how it can significantly benefit all of us.

It would be constructive to share examples that illustrate that Microsoft (and its ecosystem) are serious about mending fences, supporting external open-source projects and opening up development teams and projects.

Here’s the top 10 list:
1. Encouraging the Open Source Ecosystem
The Windows and .NET development community is exploding with home-grown .NET open-source projects and initiatives. Everything from IoC/DI containers such as Ninject, AutoFac, Castle Windsor and StructureMap to testing tools like nUnit. From NOSQL document stores like (the utterly awesome) RavenDB to powerful Content Management Systems (CMS) like Orchard and Umbraco. And let’s not forget IronPython, IronRuby and F# that Microsoft nurtured before transitioning to community ownership in 2010.

These are just a tiny subset of the amazing range of open-source projects built specifically for (or supporting) the .NET/Windows platform.

2. Wheel-Reinventing Reduced
One of the biggest criticisms many have had of Microsoft is its insistence in building its own version of technologies that already exist in the open-source world.

It came as a pleasant surprise, therefore, when Microsoft shipped ASP.NET MVC 3.0 with jQuery and Modernizr included. This was a big step forward (and was the result of a HUGE amount of effort internally) and marked one of the first times Microsoft shipped a major product containing open-source code. In ASP.NET 4.0, Microsoft is continuing the adoption of open-source projects by including jQuery Mobile & JSON.NET.

3. Facilitating With NuGet Package Manager
Almost every active open-source development ecosystem has seen huge growth in the number of open-source utility libraries made available by “package managers” such as Ruby’s Gems, node’s npm, etc. These package managers allow developers to simply type, for example, “npm install express” and the express library will be downloaded and installed into the user’s current project/system.

A package management tool was missing from the Windows/.NET developer’s toolbox until a skunk-works team at Microsoft created NuGet – a package manager for .NET developers. NuGet and its accompanying site, gallery and package feed were adopted by the Outercurve Foundation in October 2010 and is now maintained by the NuGet team and the community. The NuGet gallery currently contains almost 6000 packages including jQuery, Modernizr, JSON.NET, ELMAH, log4net, Ninject, and the vast majority of the libraries most useful to .NET developers.

While many other open-source communities would scoff at “only 6000” packages being available, it’s important to note that the project count is increasing rapidly and that the proportion of really useful packages to frivolous and/or repetitive packages is very small. Let’s hope it stays this way!

4. Making Windows a great platform for open-source
Many of the hottest open-source projects available today were originally built on Linux-based platforms and, as such, are welded to UNIX-style IO, file storage, process management and thread scheduling mechanisms. In order to run on Windows, such projects typically run under CygWin – a POSIX emulation infrastructure that allows most POSIX apps to run unchanged on Windows. While this is a pragmatic approach for non-performance-sensitive code, Cygwin often introduces a significant performance hit in high performance code.

This was the situation facing node – the blossoming asynchronous JavaScript engine – to run on Windows, it had to be run under CygWin, which impacted performance significantly. To solve this problem, Microsoft and Joyent (node’s primary sponsor & employer of Ryan Dahl - node’s creator) agreed to work together to make node run natively on Windows. The work to port node to Windows spawned LibUV – a library that provides a platform-abstraction layer allowing node (and any other open-source project) take full advantage of both *N*X and Windows’ async IO (and other platform dependent differences) with little effort.

In November 2011, Microsoft announced the first stable builds of node, using the new LibUV library, running natively on Windows. Simultaneously, Microsoft built IISNode allowing node to be hosted within IIS (Microsoft’s web server). The code for IISNode is hosted on GitHub and is free and open for all to see and/or modify should you wish to do so. And that’s not the end of the story: LibUV has turned out to be so useful that other open-source projects are now employing it to port their code to run natively on Windows.

5. Forking and Maintaining Ports
In a sign of increasing maturity in how it works with open-source communities, Microsoft has now begun (appropriately) forking and maintaining open-source projects: In November 2011, Antirez announced that Microsoft had provided patches to port Redis to run natively on Windows, using LibUV. While Antirez decided NOT to accept Microsoft’s patches into the Redis core (yet, for reasons he articulated in the post linked to above), he encouraged Microsoft to create their own Windows fork of Redis. Microsoft worked with others in the community to create a Windows fork of Redis which became the first project officially published by the newly formed Microsoft Open Technologies Inc. subsidiary formed in 2012 and is run by Jean Paoli.

6. Supporting Apache, PHP and Ruby on Windows
In 2008, Microsoft began helping upgrade Apache and PHP significantly update their projects in order to support the newer and far more effective Visual C++ 2008 VC9 compiler. This work resulted in native builds of both the Apache web server and the PHP engine which consumed less RAM and performed much better than before.

In 2008, alongside the new and improved PHP, Microsoft also released support for FastCGI within IIS. This enabes IIS to reliably host non-threadsafe code such as PHP and Ruby, alongside .NET code and native IIS handlers and modules within the same website if required. This means that IIS can now safely and reliably host PHP-based websites and services including Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, etc.

7. Supporting open-source platforms in Azure
At Mix09, Microsoft announced official support for PHP, Java and Ruby on Windows Azure.

Since Windows Azure Web Role instances are essentially Windows Server VM’s, this should come as no surprise since Microsoft had already released FastCGI support for IIS.

What this announcement introduced, however, was the fact that not only was Microsoft supporting PHP, Ruby and Java on Azure, but that they were also in the process of providing comprehensive API’s for each environment, allowing developers to access all of Azure’s service control & configuration capabilities, table, blob and queue storage, message-bus infrastructure, etc. from their preferred language/platform.
Then, in December 2011, after the work to port node to Windows was completed, Microsoft announced that node is now fully supported in the Windows Azure cloud platform, along with a node Azure SDK providing programmatic access to the Azure environment and storage and message-bus infrastructure.

8. Backing Hadoop
In late 2011, Microsoft and HortonWorks announced they were teaming-up to port Hadoop to Windows. This is a big deal; not only did Microsoft decide to plow effort and resources into porting Hadoop to Windows, they decided to abandon their own home-grown big-data solution in the process. Microsoft’s adoption of Hadoop can only result in good things – particularly to end-users who will be able to analyze colossal datasets using familiar tools such as Excel and PowerView.

9. Becoming A Top-20 Contributor To The Linux Kernel
In 2011, Microsoft became one of the top 20 contributors to the Linux kernel … the same Linux that CEO Steve Ballmer described as a “cancer” just over 10 years previously. My, how times change!

Microsoft’s contributions largely center around drivers they submitted to enable Linux to be hosted within Hyper-V – Microsoft’s OS virtualization technology. The drivers Microsoft submitted to the Linux kernel project provide a significant performance boost to Linux VMs’ storage, networking and video-subsystems.

10. Open Sourcing ASP.NET MVC4.0, WebAPI and Razor View Engine
Perhaps the biggest news related to Microsoft and open source came when Microsoft announced that:

ASP.NET 4.0 MVC, Web API and Razor View Engine would be made open-source
The ASP.NET team will consider accepting changes to ASP.NET submitted by the community
The ASP.NET team would continue development of ASP.NET “in the open”, submitting all future code changes into a public-facing GIT repository hosted by the Outercurve Foundation’s CodePlex site.
It clear that Microsoft has finally turned a corner and is now increasingly following a path towards greater acceptance and support for open-source. This is a GIGANTIC step forward.

Microsoft is leading by example and sending a strong message to their legions of developers that open-source need be feared no longer and that publishing open-source code benefits everyone. Hopefully, this will result in a gradual, but eventually sizable increase in the volume of high-quality, reusable code being made available as open-source for us all to enjoy, learn from, help improve and adopt.

Now, the time is Come. Welcome to the open-source world, Microsoft. Please Hop-On.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Free Hosted TFS Proxy Beta Service released by DiscountASP.NET

To help improve developer team productivity, DiscountASP.NET launches a hosted TFS Proxy service as a free beta for TFS hosting customers.

DiscountASP.NET, a leading innovator in hosting solutions for Microsoft developers, announces launching new hosted TFS Proxy servers as a free beta service for their TFS hosting customers. The free TFS proxy servers allow customers with developer team members that are located far from DiscountASP.NET data centers to improve their productivity.

TFS Proxy is a caching proxy server that caches local copies of source control files and by having the proxy in closer proximity to the developer’s location, the developer’s productivity can improve from speed enhancements.

DiscountASP.NET launched hosted TFS Proxy servers in three geographical regions - in the USA West Coast, Europe and Asia.
“We are committed to providing innovative hosting solutions that help Microsoft developers become more productive,” said Takeshi Eto, VP Marketing and Business Development at DiscountASP.NET. “We have many international TFS hosting customers as well as customers with developer teams located across the globe. We hope that this new service will improve their hosting experience.”

To support this proxy service, a new Proxy Manager was introduced in the TFS control panel for customers to enable/disable and manage the TFS Proxy servers.

SQL Server and ASP.NET encompassed by Amazon

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is getting chummier with Microsoft all the time. The latest example? Microsoft developers, and there are a ton of them, can now more easily write code again AWS.

In particular SQL Server and ASP.NET coders can either migrate existing code or write fresh stuff to run up in the Amazon cloud, thanks to two new Amazon services.
1. Amazon Relational Database Services (Amazon RDS) for Microsoft SQL Server
2. AWS Elastic Beanstalk for support of ASP.NET

In the case of SQL, only relatively new versions apply -- SQL Server 2008 R2 and the spankin' new SQL Server 2012 to be exact.

That means AWS supports a rich complement of commercial and open databases, including MySQL, Oracle, and SQL: Express. Low-end SQL installs (a paltry 20 GB) are free.

ASP.NET joins the already supported PHP and Java.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Active Web Group, Inc. Offers Free Web Content Development Analysis

Active Web Group, Inc. (AWG), the leading online marketing company headquartered in Hauppauge, New York, today announced a Free Web Content Development Analysis. This offers firms the opportunity to learn the value of sound website content development. Interested business owners will also learn how to best utilize these resources to assist in meeting their business objectives.

Active Web Group, Inc. (AWG), the leading online marketing company headquartered in Hauppauge, New York, today announced a Free Web Content Development Analysis. This offers firms the opportunity to learn the value of sound website content development. Interested business owners will also learn how to best utilize these resources to assist in meeting their business objectives. Additionally they’ll receive a ‘report card’ of how their business compares in terms of Web Content alongside their online competitors.

What exactly is Web Content and who performs website development? Initially a website’s content was either derived from existing documents or originally generated into html code. Today the field encompasses many technologies so that sound web content has become a team effort including skills such as graphic design, multimedia development, professional writing and documentation. Content developers are often search engine optimization (SEO) specialists and/or Internet marketing professionals. Whatever the title the goal is common: supporting client sites to compete effectively against competitors of any size.

“High quality, unique content is important to attract both search engines and web customers,” notes Pat Norton, Vice President and Director of Business Development, Active Web Group, Inc. 'However, many unscrupulous developers create content exclusively to attract search engines,” Norton adds. “The best content and the only kind Active Web Group provides is conceived to appeal to customers, not algorithms. This allows our client sites to weather the frequent algorithm shifts search engines perform to ‘catch’ poorly optimized sites.” Norton concludes.
Active Web Group encourages interested business owners to take advantage of the no-cost Web Content Development Analysis. The review is without obligation. Once presented with the array of Internet Marketing options Active Web has available, many opt to have Active Web Group’s Web Developers design a strategy that allows them to realize their online business objectives.

A full-service agency, Active Web Group also has extensive experience in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Programming (all proficiencies including php, asp and, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Graphic Design, E-Commerce, Magento Ecommerce, WordPress Ecommerce and custom solutions and Pay-Per-Click Marketing.

Active Web Group encourages interested business owners to take advantage of the no-cost Web Content Development Analysis.

Easy to Use website launched by Souhside Solutions

Southside Solutions, LLC has launched a new, updated, easy-to-use website that facilitates customer access to its valuable free education software, resources and information.

Southside Solutions, LLC – an Independent Software Vendor operating in the state of South Carolina since 2006 – has recently launched a new, easy-to-use website based on Microsoft’s ASP.NET technology. The change was implemented by the company Founder and CEO, Christopher Carl Kennedy, to make the site and its' resources easier to access and download.

Features of the new site include easier navigation, an updated Product description section, an updated Store and a new Links section, as well as easy access to free full version and demonstration software for Windows, Linux and Android devices.

Some of the available product titles under the site’s Downloads section include:
1. MyDictionary SE for Android  
2. Word of the Day .NET Lite Edition for Windows
3. Word of the Day X Lite Edition for Linux
4. MySoftware Suite 7 for Windows Demo Edition
5. QuickQuiz SE Lite for Android

Also available at Southside Solutions, LLC's new website are free online versions of the company's Word of the Day vocabulary software and QuickQuiz trivia game. Word of the Day Web Edition teaches users 366 words and definitions via rote memorization and QuickQuiz Web Edition is a great way to exercise perspicacity and have a little fun during the day. Both are waiting for the public to give them a try at Since you were staring at your computer screen anyway, why not learn something new today!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Apprenda Partners with Philly.NET to Present 'The Future of ASP.NET' with Microsoft’s Scott Hanselman

Apprenda, the open Platform as a Service (PaaS) stack for .NET, in conjunction with Philly.NET, is hosting an event focused on the Future of ASP.NET with Microsoft's Scott Hanselman. This special meeting will be held at the Montgomery County Community College Science Center Auditorium in Blue Bell, PA on Thursday, May 31 from 6:30-9:00 p.m.

“We work hard to be a contributing member of the .NET community through educational seminars, conferences, webinars, and our continued technological advancements,” said Matt Ammerman, vice president of client services at Apprenda. “Scott Hanselman is a leading voice in the developer community, and we’re proud to sponsor this event bringing together .NET developers with an industry thought leader like Scott.”
Hanselman is a principal program manager at Microsoft and works to spread information about developing software, specifically on the Microsoft stack. Previously, he was chief architect at the Corillian Corporation. He is also an adjunct professor at the Oregon Institute of Technology, where he teaches C#.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Microsoft developers’ conference begins in Thiruvanthapuram today

The Kerala Microsoft Users Group (K-MUG) will organise the Microsoft developers’ conference, DevCon 2012, at the Park Centre in Technopark here today.

Marlabs, a leading provider of IT technology services, will sponsor the event, a company spokesman announced here.

Considered the largest Microsoft tech event in Kerala, the conference will focus on emerging Microsoft technologies such as Windows 8, Windows Phone, Responsive Web Development, and Cloud and Mobile technologies.

Mr Anil Raghavan, Chief Delivery Officer, Marlabs, will inaugurate the event, and will speak on ‘The role of technology in transforming rural India.’

DevCon 2012 will feature interactive sessions with a number of Microsoft speakers and Microsoft most valuable professionals.

Some of the sessions planned for the event include XNA-based game development for Windows Phone, Visual Studio 11, Windows Phone App Development - HTML5, Hybrid & Cross Platform, and ASP.NET Web APIs.

There will also be a Windows Phone App contest where participants stand to win a Nokia Lumia 800, the spokesman added.

BRAINDIGIT announces the Open-Source eCommerce Application AspxCommerce 1.1

Merchants aspiring to operate online web stores are continuously searching for an ecommerce platform that is flexible, expedient, and that which is capable of developing online storefronts in minutes. Incorporating several features in its latest release - AspxCommerce 1.1, BRAINDIGIT strives to suffice the ultimate needs of online merchants.

BRAINDIGIT announces the release of AspxCommerce 1.1, an open-source ecommerce application built on ASP.NET. AspxCommerce 1.1 simplifies development of online web store, product categorization, payments and shipment of products. Although there are various options, merchants, even today, are constantly looking for a better shopping cart solution that fulfills the contemporary needs of online businesses.

Why AspxCommerce?
Merchants aspiring to operate online web stores are continuously searching for an ecommerce platform that is flexible, expedient, and that which is capable of developing online storefronts in minutes. Incorporating several features in its latest release - AspxCommerce 1.1, BRAINDIGIT strives to suffice the ultimate needs of online merchants. AspxCommerce 1.1 has been developed in such a way that installation never becomes an issue, and by virtue of the easy configuration features, one can get running in no time. From experts to beginners, AspxCommerce offers an enthralling ecommerce experience impending to be witnessed. Even as a merchant one can design, configure and customize one’s online storefronts as per one’s business requirements in minimal amount of time.

What’s special in AspxCommerce?
AspxCommerce 1.1 embodies remarkable features that will fascinate users with each use. Modern day needs and requirements has been minutely addressed and accomplished in this version of AspxCommerce. Therefore, features such Wishlist, Ads Compare etc provided by other ecommerce application only with the Premium Version is offered by the Free Version of AspxCommerce itself.

Some more useful features include: 
01. Full customizability
02. Total website control for developers and end-users
03. Catalogue Management and Browsing
04. Product Management and Browsing
05. Search Engine Optimization
06. Order Management
07. Analytic and report offering
08. Easy check out and payment service for retailers
09. Web-based control panel with password protected administrative access
10. Maintenance of up-to-date sales report through Store Sales Reports

Thursday, May 17, 2012

TestAdvantage for WPF 2011 Volume 2 released by Infragistics

Infragistics, the design and user experience (UX) software company and a world leader in user interface (UI) development tools, today announced availability of TestAdvantage for WPF 2011 Volume 2.

TestAdvantage, a collection of custom libraries built for use within the HP Quick Test Professional (QTP) automated testing environment, enables enterprise development teams to deploy higher quality software built with NetAdvantage for WPF 2011 Volume 2 while reducing risks associated with project development and application deployment.

"Our continued investment in the WPF platform extends beyond our UI controls and into our world-class testing tools," said Dean Guida, CEO of Infragistics. "Our customers trust Infragistics to develop value-added solutions that help to lower the total cost of ownership, achieve greater return on investment and produce applications with the best user experiences possible."

Microsoft Developers Conference - DevCon 2012 sponsored by Marlabs

Marlabs, a leading provider of innovative Information Technology services, announced today that it will be sponsoring the Microsoft developers conference, DevCon 2012, organized by the Kerala Microsoft Users Group (K-MUG) on May 19th, 2012 at the Park Centre in Technopark, Trivandrum. Considered the largest Microsoft tech event in Kerala, the conference will focus on emerging Microsoft technologies such as Windows 8, Windows Phone, Responsive Web Development, and Cloud & Mobile technologies.

 Marlabs, a leading provider of innovative Information Technology services, announced today that it will be sponsoring the Microsoft developers conference, DevCon 2012, organized by the Kerala Microsoft Users Group (K-MUG) on May 19th, 2012 at the Park Centre in Technopark, Trivandrum. Considered the largest Microsoft tech event in Kerala, the conference will focus on emerging Microsoft technologies such as Windows 8, Windows Phone, Responsive Web Development, and Cloud & Mobile technologies.

Anil Raghavan, Chief Delivery Officer, Marlabs, will inaugurate the event, and will speak on "The Role of Technology in Transforming Rural India" in his inaugural address.

DevCon 2012 will feature interactive sessions from a number Microsoft Speakers and Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVP). Some of the sessions planned for the event include XNA based game development for Windows Phone, Visual Studio 11, Windows Phone App Development - HTML5, Hybrid & Cross Platform, and ASP.NET Web APIs. There will also be a Windows Phone App contest where participants stand to win a Nokia Lumia 800.

"Marlabs' involvement in DevCon 2012 reinforces our continued focus, thought leadership and commitment to the Microsoft community," says Anil Raghavan. "Marlabs has been at the forefront of emerging Microsoft technologies and we continue to work towards expanding our Microsoft competency through our dedicated Microsoft Center of Excellence (CoE)."

Marlabs is a Microsoft Gold partner with strong expertise in building connected ecosystems and enterprise collaboration tools. The company offers a broad range of Microsoft solutions including multiple enterprise collaboration and integration offerings for Microsoft's SharePoint and Windows Azure Cloud platforms.

Certes Networks bids to plug industrial controller holes with CEP5

Network encryption firm Certes is to extend its security platform with devices designed for branch offices and remote locations.

The company said that its CEP5 appliances would allow firms to extend the Certes Enforcement Point (CEP) platform to branch offices by adding a small, inexpensive appliance to perform encryption operations and apply security policies.

In addition to small branch offices with very few users, the 5Mbit/s appliances are aimed at remote facilities such as ATMs and kiosks. The device has been packaged in a weather-proof casing for outdoor use.
Where the company sees the CEP5 making the biggest impact, however, is with network connected appliances and embedded systems.

Chief marketing officer Jim Doherty told V3 that in utility firms represented a significant portion of the market for the new appliance.

"The smart grid is not just an energy distribution system, it is going to be an enormous communications system that is going to rival the internet when it is fully rolled out," Doherty said.

"There is going to be a lot of communication going on and that is going to need to be secured."
Security for utilities has become a hot topic in recent years. As utility firms and local governments add network connectivity to their systems, appliances such as SCADA controllers have become popular targets for attackers.

Certes believes that the CEP5 can provide a solution to the security hole by not only securing communications between industrial controllers and administrators, but also preventing outside attackers from interacting with machines by requiring the use of encrypted commands.

"In the utilities industry they are much more concerned about the authenticity of the data," Doherty explained.

"They are not as concerned about people stealing the data as they are worried about people getting on the network and injecting those bogus commands."

Embarcadero Announces Support for Windows 8 Metro Development with Release of Embarcadero Prism XE2.5

Cross Platform Flexibility Enables Rapid Development of Desktop and Mobile Applications for Windows 8 and Windows 8 Metro

Embarcadero Technologies, a leading provider of software solutions for application and database development, today announced the availability of Embarcadero Prism XE2.5, the cross-platform .NET Pascal development tool for rapidly developing .NET, Mono, and ASP.NET applications for Windows(R), Linux(R) and Mac OS X.

The latest release of Prism, which is also included as part of RAD Studio XE2, extends the reach of software developers with support for both Windows 8 and Windows 8 Metro application development and also supports the latest beta of Microsoft Visual Studio 11.

"Prism XE2.5 delivers the ability for developers get a head start building Metro applications for desktop and mobile today, while Windows 8 is in the beta preview stage," said Michael Swindell, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Product Management for Embarcadero. "It's Embarcadero's goal to provide developers with the best development solutions to leverage common skills and code deploying to Windows, iOS, Mac, and the Web. We're excited about Prism XE2.5's ability to help developers get ahead of the curve with Windows 8 and Metro development."

With the upcoming release of Windows 8 comes the new Windows Runtime (WinRT) API stack for creating visually stunning touch-enabled Metro applications. Prism XE2.5 provides experimental support for developing Metro apps and for working against the WinRT APIs, based on the current Consumer Preview of Windows 8.

"Embarcadero Prism and the Oxygene language continue to lead the way with innovative language features and support for the latest .NET Framework and Windows," said Jim McKeeth, Developer Evangelist at RemObjects Software and host of the Podcast at "Version 2.5 is a huge leap forward with support for Windows 8 Metro style applications and the Windows Runtime. I know developers are excited to develop apps for the newest version of Windows."

Other key features include:
1. Flow Control Analysis: The Oxygene compiler in Prism XE2.5 has been extended with an enhanced flow control analysis infrastructure that analyzes your code beyond the basic compile.

2. Await: The Oxygene language in Prism XE2.5 introduces the "await" keyword, which allows users to unwrap asynchronous calls and write linear code that can use or build on the results of asynchronous operations.

3. Mapped Types: Oxygene 5.1 in Prism XE2.5 adds support for an exciting new language concept called "mapped types," which are virtual classes or interfaces that map to existing types in the framework or your own code, exposing them with a different API.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New course of Global Knowledge teaches HTML 5 to Students

Global Knowledge, worldwide leader in IT and business training, today announced the availability of a new Microsoft course, HTML5 Programming (M10953). Students in the three-day course will learn to use HTML5, and they will gain the knowledge and skills needed to develop HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript web applications using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.

Students will learn to use HTML5 to create a web application within the Visual Studio 2010 SP1 integrated development environment. They will use new HTML5 semantic and structural elements, and they will create web forms using the validation capabilities of the input types and attributes in HTML5.

Using advanced CSS and CSS3, students will create layouts and styles, and they will integrate graphics and multimedia into web pages using Canvas, SVG, video, and audio elements. They will work with the HTML5 Web Storage API and advanced HTML5 JavaScript APIs, including drag-and-drop, File, and Geolocation APIs. Students will also create a web site using WebMatrix and ASP.NET MVC 3.

HTML5 Programming (M10953) is available in classrooms, live over the Internet in a virtual classroom, and as a private on-site course that can be tailored to the needs of a student's organization. Learn more about the new HTML5 course and explore the extensive catalog of Microsoft training available from Global Knowledge at

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

To accelerate design and delivery of adaptive websites for agile businesses DotNetNuke announces global partnerships with Microsoft Gold Certified Partners

DotNetNuke Corp., the global leader in adaptive web software that keeps a business' online presence relevant and effective, today announced new partnerships with leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partners from around the world who specialize in web development and design. Microsoft Gold Certified Partners have special access to tools and support from both Microsoft and DotNetNuke that enable them to design, build and deploy commercial-grade websites that can quickly adapt to new opportunities on the Web. New DNN partners include: Iowa based Infinite Computing Systems, Australia-based SSW and Wisconsin-based Yahara Software. All three partners have demonstrated a high level of ASP.NET and DotNetNuke competency with successful implementations across a variety of industries.

DotNetNuke's expanding network of certified channel partners includes expert organizations in all major markets in North America, Western Europe and Australia. Certified partners have the ability to bundle DotNetNuke commercial software on projects, simplifying the purchasing process for organizations that need 'one stop shopping' for both software and services.

"Our customers depend on us to build websites that enhance their brand and their business," said, Rick Barchard, director of sales for Infinite Computing Systems of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. "Our clients sites are easy to keep current and most importantly, help them compete in their markets. We standardized on DotNetNuke because it is the most robust, extensible and supported platform for Microsoft. There are thousands of modules and designs available on the DotNetNuke Store, giving us the ability to build commercial grade, easy to manage sites and deliver them quickly."

"SSW has been using DotNetNuke for more than 8 years to build interactive websites that enable our clients to attract new prospects and convert those prospects into clients," stated Marlon Marescia, sales manager for SSW. "What we love about DotNetNuke is the way we can extend it to do almost anything our clients require; whether something simple like adding a form to capture a visitors details or building an online service to help people sell their house quickly and efficiently."

"We are very excited to ramp-up our level of commitment to the DotNetNuke platform," stated Bob Vanden Burgt, principal and co-owner of Yahara Software in Madison, Wisconsin. "Over the past five years, our team has successfully leveraged the robust and flexible DNN framework to provide our clients with innovative solutions for rich media delivery, commerce, financial analysis, transportation and healthcare. The amazing global DotNetNuke community continues to flourish while the corporate team provides responsive technical direction and market insights. For a Microsoft Gold development company, building business solutions with DotNetNuke is like having your cake and eating it too."

"We're building one of the strongest partner channels in the industry," stated Bob Cortale, senior vice president of sales for DotNetNuke Corp. "Our partners choose DotNetNuke for the flexibility and extensibility of our platform, along with the price/performance advantage they can pass along to their clients. The end result is that our partners help our mutual customers get to market faster at highly competitive prices. And our customers can then adapt quickly to new business opportunities like mobile and social without wasting time and money reworking their web platform."

DotNetNuke (DNN) is the global leader in adaptive web software that keeps a business' online presence relevant and effective. DNN is the number one content management system in the Microsoft ecosystem that powers more than 700,000 websites worldwide. Cloud-ready and mobile friendly, the recently announced DotNetNuke 6.1 release makes it even faster and easier to build and deploy robust, flexible, secure websites that are simple to update for business people and content owners.

Integration with Jigsaw in the new Connector releses by Kentico

Enterprise Marketing Solution (EMS) with Jigsaw's database, the world's largest database of complete contact and company information. The Kentico Connector enables websites to easily import contacts' details into Kentico EMS.

"The integration of Kentico EMS with allows our customers and partners to instantly access reliable and up-to-date contact information for their website visitors," said Petr Palas, the CEO and founder of Kentico Software. "The new integration provides an always-accessible source of relevant leads."

The Connector for Kentico EMS integrates the directory of millions of business contacts into the EMS interface, enabling companies to enhance leads with additional personal details from Online marketers can compare and enhance their stored contacts' profiles with those in This frees marketers from tedious data-sourcing and maintenance and provides confidence in the data that sales staff depend on, helping them quickly zero in on opportunities.

"We are pleased to offer seamless integration between the Kentico EMS easy-to-use, scalable website solution with the wealth of information that provides, in the Connector," said Eric Webb, President of Sales and Operations for North America. "With such easy access to relevant, high-quality contact information, our customers can easily and significantly increase the efficiency and productivity of their sales teams, all from within their website CMS."

Currently offered as a standalone installation for Kentico EMS, integration will be included as one of its many out-of-the-box features in version 7, to be released later this year.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Software developers in hot demand

Technology employers still face skills shortages, and for software developers it’s a ‘sellers’ market, as they continue to be the most in-demand IT professionals in Australia, according to a survey of the technology jobs market by one IT recruitment firm.

The survey by Experis, a professional resourcing firm and subsidiary company of the Manpower Group, conducted in the first quarter of this year, found that software developers were the most in-demand group of IT professionals, particularly those with .NET, C# and ASP.Net skills.

Slipping in behind software developers at number two, as the next most in-demand group, are test analysts - especially those with automated testing experience – followed by project managers at number three, business analysts at four and in fifth place, infrastructure engineers with cloud, Citrix and VMware skills.

According to Experis’ general manager, Sue Howse, it’s “no surprise that as Australia’s digital economy continues to prosper, so does the demand for skills.” Howse makes that point while citing an Australian Computer Society (ACS) report which showed that IT careers had waned in recent years, with figures showing national university enrolments in IT were less than half the number they were a decade ago.
“This shortfall of candidates entering the job market is good news for those who already have professional IT skills, as they are certainly in demand. Some candidates may need to up-skill or refresh their credentials to ensure they’re the right fit, but overall, opportunities in IT careers are booming right now.”

According to Howse there are a number of factors driving this demand. “Fields such as cloud technology and social media dominating the business landscape; and with recent analysis estimating Australia’s digital economy was worth $100 billion in 2011getting people into the industry should be a top focus for policy makers, educators and employers.”

For employers struggling to fill positions, flexibility is key, according to Experis, and Howse says that employers should consider ‘teachable fit’ options – “that is candidates who meet most of their requirements, but need further training in some specific areas. If 65% of the fundamental skill set is there, sometimes up-skilling the candidate is worth the effort in the long-term.”
“Employers can also consider sourcing talent from international and interstate regions. This may mean including a talent mobility strategy or flexible working options in their employment plans to lure elusive employees, especially if they’re seeking candidates on a contract-only basis,” Howse concludes.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

EPiServer Scales for Big Data, Better Content Targeting With 200OK AB Acquisition

Digital marketing/e-commerce software provider EPiServer is scaling its technology offering to more effectively handle Big Data with the purchase of Swedish enterprise search solution vendor 200OK AB. The 200OK AB cloud-based “Truffler” application can handle large volumes of Big Data, including user data, social and mobile web content, and product and online transaction information.

Targeting Targeted Content Users
The name of the game in digital marketing and e-commerce is personalization. Marketers who can sift through terabytes and even petabytes of consumer data scattered across the web gain a huge competitive edge in finding out exactly who their customers are and what they want, allowing the delivery of content targeted to previous unattainable degrees. EPiServer delivers its technology as a SaaS solution and as an on-premises solution, and the cloud-based Truffler tool fits neatly into EPiServer’s hosted application environment.

EPiServer Has Busy Spring
The 200OK AB acquisition is the latest move in what has been a busy spring for EPiServer. The company, which itself was purchased by European private equity firm IK Investment Partners in November 2010,  bought Mediachase, a provider of an ASP.Net-based e-commerce framework (EPiServer also develops on the ASP.Net platform), in March 2012. Later that month, EPiServer released a new social media add-on for its web content management platform. The component, as Social Reach, provides a single content management interface for multiple social media networks.

And in April 2012, EPiServer introduced an add-on called Site Attention that provides content editors real-time advice on optimizing content for search engines as they are creating it.

Accelerating the ‘Pace of Innovation’
In the official press release announcing the acquisition, EPiServer said purchasing 200OK AB “accelerates our pace of innovation and helps our customers efficiently deliver the right content at the right time to their online users.” Looking at EPiServer’s recent activity, the company does appear to be committed to introducing advanced content targeting and development functionality to its users as quickly as possible, relying on acquisitions of third-party specialty solutions providers and releases of add-on components rather than going through the more time-consuming (and potentially costly) process of developing and releasing new versions of core products.

This may well prove to be the correct strategy, as time-strapped e-marketers would probably prefer to quickly deploy point solutions rather than undergo wholesale upgrades of core marketing systems. In addition cloud and SaaS technology allow point solutions to easily integrate into user architectures and deliver robust functionality.

However, EPiServer needs to ensure that the functionality of 200OK AB and other acquired IT providers also integrates properly on its own back-end architecture. The company should probably heed the advice of Swedish IT expert Ted Nyberg, who tweeted, “EPiServer buying 200OK…is probably a good move…as long as the 200OK team stays on!”

Amazon Web Services aims to make life easier for Windows developers

Amazon Web Services (AWS) now allows ASP.NET developers to take advantage of Elastic Beanstalk, which has been developed to make it easier to roll out cloud-based applications, the company said on Tuesday.

Using the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio, developers can upload their ASP.NET applications to Amazon's cloud, and Elastic Beanstalk then automatically takes care of deployment details such as capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling and application health monitoring, according to the company.

A Beanstalk environment using default settings will run on a single Amazon EC2 micro instance and an Elastic Load Balancer. More resources can be added using the auto scaling feature or the management tool.

Elastic Beanstalk, which is still a beta version, uses the Windows Server 2008 R2 AMI (Amazon Machine Image) and IIS (Internet Information Services) 7.5 to run .NET applications.

To get started, developers install the Visual Studio toolkit and make sure they have signed up for an AWS account. They can then deploy any Visual Studio Web project to AWS Elastic Beanstalk, including ASP.NET MVC projects and ASP.NET Web Forms.

Elastic Beanstalk is compatible with Java and PHP applications, as well.

There is no additional charge for using Elastic Beanstalk, but enterprises still have to pay for the AWS resources needed to store data and run their applications, unless they qualify for a free usage tier, according to Amazon.

Amazon has also launched Amazon RDS for SQL Server, which is compatible with Express, Web, Standard and Enterprise Editions of SQL Server 2008 R2. Amazon also plans to add support for SQL Server 2012 later this year, it said.

For users that want try out the service, Amazon offers a free usage tier that includes 750 hours per month of a Amazon RDS micro instance with SQL Server Express Edition, 20GB of database storage and 10 million requests per month for up to a year.

Beyond that there is a plethora of service and payment options, with prices starting at US$0.035 per hour.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mass SQL Injections Spike Again

Security researchers have reported spikes in mass SQL injection attacks of late that take advantage of very common vulnerabilities in the way that Web applications interact with back-end databases. Particularly targeting ASP, ASP.Net, and MS-SQL sites, these mass SQL injection campaigns have been linked to black hat efforts to redirect victims to browser exploit kits like Blackhole or Phoenix.

"There's been a growing increase on the mass SQL injections side mainly because there is business to be had and money to be made in that area," says Gunter Ollmann, vice president of research for Damballa. "There are a growing number of professional hackers and crime groups that specialize in quick and rapid identification of websites that are vulnerable to SQL injection, and they monetize that by injecting malicious code normally as part of the pay-per-install or the iFrame injection-type business."

Unlike traditional SQL injections, which are generally manual attacks seeking to extract data from commerce sites, mass SQL injection attacks are automated, quick-and-dirty attacks that drop malicious code onto the website.

"Really what this is is a cross-site scripting attack," says Ryan Barnett, senior security researcher for Trustwave SpiderLabs, "just using SQL injection on the front end to inject in JavaScript code that results in sending regular users to a Web page that's dynamically created based on different database components, pulling in malicious JavaScript into the browser that redirects to a malware site."

The mass SQL injection model has been prevalent since 2008, with a considerable uptick last spring during the LizaMoon attacks. According to the recent Zscaler ThreatLabz Q1 State of the Web Report, researchers with ThreatLabz noted a spike in LizaMoon activity back in March.

"A year later, we are still seeing this campaign under way, with various peaks and valleys as the attack adapts over time. We noticed that activity picked back up again in March 2012," the report says.

According to Barnett, the attacks in recent months have a similar M.O., with a slight tweak in the SQL used to conduct the attack.

"They're not doing exactly the same kind of script that they did before," Barnett says. "They are picking different category names, which is often used for these databases, such as the category title, content title, and home page title. So they're targeting title HTML tags when you're dynamically creating those sites. It is kind of sneaky, but they're prepending a closing title HTML tag, so when it gets into the browser, it will cleanly close the title content that was already there and inject in behind to execute that JavaScript."

In April, researchers with F-Secure and Sucuri Security, among others, had brought attention to these attacks, which at that time redirected to the domain. According to Barnett, malicious activity continues on the back of already injected code, but the domains end users are redirected to remain in flux.

"The infrastructure of what we're highlighting here is in place, the bad guys are using it -- the difference is that all those domains they're sending them to, those are transient and change almost daily," he says. "As we put in IP reputation, domain black listing, and all of those things, then people can't get to those sites, so they have to constantly keep moving. But the infrastructure of exploiting the website and injecting this code, they just keep reusing that until people upgrade their systems."

That brings us to the mitigation efforts for these attacks.

"One is, first and foremost, they have to stay on top of patching processes. That means knowing what applications you're running on your servers," Ollmann says. "And secondly, you need to ensure that your custom applications are designed in a way that even if there is a vulnerability in these back-end systems, that the content is still sanitized and is not projected to visitors of the website."

Amazon RDS Now Supports ASP.NET

Online retail giant Amazon just announced a new update which allows users to run Microsoft’s database and web programming platform ASP.NET, on its Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). Amazon reveals that users can now use Microsoft tools they are accustomed to – to deploy, manage and scale SQL Server databases and ASP.NET applications. Amazon also points out that RDS presently runs SQL Server 2008 R2, with an upgrade SQL Server 2012 pending.

Charlie Bell, Vice President, Amazon Web Services, states, “Amazon RDS now supports three of the most popular relational database engines, giving businesses the flexibility to launch a managed Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle or MySQL database based on the needs of their application. With Amazon RDS, customers no longer have to become experts in database set-up and management and can shift their focus to building and improving the capabilities of their applications. We’re excited to give Windows and ASP.Net developers new options for taking advantage of AWS to quickly deploy and easily manage their databases and applications in the cloud.”

Some might see this as a tactic to lure users away from Microsoft’s own Azure cloud environment. After all, the two compete – soon after Amazon launched its CloudSearch, Microsoft turned around and adapted Bing search to Azure.

In related news, a different sector under the Amazonian umbrella just beat out Netflix in a customer satisfaction survey, indicative of possible things to come, as Amazon delves further into the business of streaming content.

Accusoft releases ImagExpress v11

ImagXpress lets you quickly add the world's most trusted imaging functions to your Windows application.

How quickly?

How about adding a viewer with thumbnail and annotation support in less than 50 lines of code!

With our powerful imaging tools, you can quickly accomplish complex imaging tasks for document imaging, photo processing, or medical applications, freeing you to concentrate on your unique application needs. Keep your code lean by adding ONLY the imaging functions your app needs. ImagXpress Downloadable Demo
Use your own images to test the full spectrum of imaging support available in the ImagXpress family of components.

Expand the capabilities of ImagXpress
PDF Xpress
Add PDF support through PDF Xpress
ScanFix Xpress
Powerful document imaging cleanup is a few lines of code away with ScanFix Xpress
Barcode Xpress
Need barcode? Hand off the image to Barcode Xpress, the most accurate engine on the market.

Amazon Web Services release Microsoft SQL, .Net support

Amazon Web Services LLC (AWS) has announced new managed services for Windows developers with the worldwide launch of Amazon Relational Database Services (Amazon RDS) for Microsoft SQL Server and ASP.NET support for AWS Elastic Beanstalk.

Businesses can now take advantage of the managed database and application services to deploy, manage and scale SQL Server databases and ASP.NET applications using familiar Microsoft tools. Amazon RDS currently supports SQL Server 2008 R2 and plans to add support for SQL Server 2012 later this year.

Deploying and managing databases is one of the most complex, time-consuming, and expensive activities in IT. Amazon RDS removes this complexity and makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database by managing database administration tasks such as software installation and patching, monitoring, and back-ups for disaster recovery. Businesses of all sizes have taken advantage of Amazon RDS to offload the operational responsibilities of their MySQL and Oracle databases. With this launch, Amazon RDS brings the same benefits to SQL Server customers. Amazon RDS supports Express, Web, Standard and Enterprise Editions of SQL Server.

“Amazon RDS now supports three of the most popular relational database engines, giving businesses the flexibility to launch a managed Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle or MySQL database based on the needs of their application. With Amazon RDS, customers no longer have to become experts in database set-up and management and can shift their focus to building and improving the capabilities of their applications,” said Charlie Bell, Vice President, Amazon Web Services. “We’re excited to give Windows and ASP.Net developers new options for taking advantage of AWS to quickly deploy and easily manage their databases and applications in the cloud.”

New customers can get started with Amazon RDS for SQL Server with a Free Usage Tier, which includes 750 hours per month of Amazon RDS micro instances with SQL Server Express Edition, 20GB of database storage and 10 million I/O requests per month. After the Free Usage Tier, customers can run Amazon RDS for SQL Server under two different licensing models - "License Included" and Microsoft License Mobility.

Under the “License Included” service model, customers do not need separately purchased SQL Server software licenses. “License Included” pricing starts at $0.035/hour and is inclusive of SQL Server software, hardware, and Amazon RDS management capabilities. The Microsoft License Mobility program allows customers who already own SQL Server licenses to run SQL Server deployments on Amazon RDS. This benefit is available to Microsoft Volume Licensing customers with SQL Server licenses covered by active Microsoft Software Assurance contracts. The Microsoft License Mobility program is suited for customers who prefer to use existing SQL Server licenses or purchase new licenses directly from Microsoft.

AWS Elastic Beanstalk gives developers an even easier way to quickly deploy and manage their Java, PHP and as of today, their ASP.NET applications in the AWS cloud. Developers simply upload their application, and Elastic Beanstalk automatically handles the deployment details of capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling, and application health monitoring. Because Elastic Beanstalk leverages the familiar IIS 7.5 software stack, existing ASP.NET applications can be deployed with minimal changes to the underlying code. To get started, developers can use the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio or the AWS Management Console to create applications and environments. There is no additional charge for Elastic Beanstalk, and customers pay only for the AWS resources needed to run their applications.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Microsoft Users DevCon returns to Trivandrum next weekend

The Kerala Microsoft Users Group (K-MUG) will be organising their next Developers Conference, DevCon 2012 on May 19, 2012 at the Park Centre in Technopark, Trivandrum. Billed as the largest Microsoft tech event in Kerala, DevCon 2012 would see a large number of software professionals engage and collaborate with Microsoft MVPs and other IT peers. The key attractions this time would be the Windows Phone and Windows 8 sessions.

Interacting with Kerala IT News, Sreejumon K P, one of the organisers, said, “There are three tracks on Windows Phone and I am sure this will attract many .NET developers into the Windows Phone ecosystem and application development. For the first time we are also doing a preview of Windows 8, the upcoming edition of the Windows Operating System from Microsoft, for the techies in Kerala.

Access Any Data Any Where, XNA based game development for Windows Phone, Visual Studio 11, Windows Phone App Development - HTML5, Hybrid & Cross Platform, ASP.NET Web APIs and Tips and Best Practices for Windows Phone Development are some of the sessions planned for the Developer Conference.

“We have an idea contest as well happening. The shortlisted attendees will present their ideas and a panel will select the top three ideas. The topper would get a Nokia Lumia 800 and all the great ideas will get support from Nokia to develop their application and submit in to Market place”, added Sreejumon.

The last Developers Conference to be held in Thiruvananthapuram was DevCon 2010 in July, 2010. Check out the DevCon 2012 homepage to get details about the sessions, speakers and for registration.

Syncfusion Releases Essential Studio 2012 Volume 2 with Project Wizard for ASP.NET MVC

Syncfusion, Inc., a leading provider of components for Windows development, announced today the release of Essential Studio 2012 Volume 2, which includes many new ASP.NET MVC features for both the mobile and desktop platforms. This announcement comes on the heels of the successful launch of its Metro Studio 1™—a suite of more than 600 vector-based Metro icons that are free to use and easy to customize.

The new Syncfusion Project Wizard for ASP.NET MVC saves developers time by enabling them to create starter projects that have all Syncfusion library references automatically added into the project files. With this wizard, developers can create a Syncfusion project from scratch or convert an existing ASP.NET MVC project into a Syncfusion project.

In addition to the project wizard, this release also includes:
1. PivotGrid control for Windows Forms—offers high performance and great features
2. Custom XlsIO pivot engine—for the run-time manipulation of pivot tables
3. Support for Quartet FS' ActivePivot engine

“Quartet FS’ ActivePivot engine is widely used for in-memory analytics. Our support comes in response to requests from our business intelligence studio customers. Now, developers can build awesome information portals that take advantage of the data analytics offered by the ActivePivot platform,” said Director of Business Development, Marissa Keller Outten.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

SageFrame 2.0 Stands Out as a Promising CMS

BRAINDIGIT takes great pride to introduce SageFrame 2.0 - the CMS that continues to rock the ASP.NET community, and marvel users with its sensational features since its release. SageFrame, a state-of-art CMS in ASP.NET, is a Content Management System that helps users build various-purpose web sites and applications easily and effectively. SageFrame is developed by BRAINDIGIT - an internationally acclaimed IT firm that specializes in web and mobile based applications development.

The need for a CMS that can serve as a robust foundation for any web development, and that, which eliminates, fair to say simplifies, the major concern over security and site maintenance has always been prevalent amongst web developers. This pressing need, in fact, stimulated the development of SageFrame 2.0.

One of the comments read "Building a website in SageFrame is as easy as posting comments in a forum". This may sound too praiseful, but the accolades and admirations SageFrame has been receiving from the CMS community self serve as a testimony of the quality of service SageFrame has been able to deliver its users. In this short stint of time, SageFrame has been able to cumulate thousands of downloads from various sources. In addition to that, SageFrame has been featured in many prominent websites, and technical blog sites such as CNet, Brothersoft, Softpedia, Web Resource Depot, ZDNet and many more.

What's with SageFrame 2.0?
After developing SageFrame 1.0, developers at Braindigit felt that more improved and innovative features could be possibly developed in a CMS. Therefore to accomplish such a comprehensive system, the SageFrame team went through series of rigorous research and studies to subdue the limitations and requirements felt by many CMS users. As a result, idea behind SageFrame 2.0 sparked. SageFrame 2.0 has been developed by integrating features from several prominent CMSes to offer users an all-in-one experience.

Some of them include:
1. Drag drop widget.
2. Dynamic backend menu customization.
3. Improvised templating.
4. Plug and play module concept.
5. Granular privileges and many more...

That is not all. There are still a lot of unique features in SageFrame 2.0 waiting to be unraveled. Install SageFrame 2.0 and explore them, the experience will certainly be fascinating. And for users who are thinking of building a new web site or application, BINGO - what a perfect time! Download a free copy of SageFrame 2.0 from - and experience the change. Why not? Oh! Don't worry; SageFrame facilitates users with a "One Click Installation" option that takes off all the installation hassle, and to get one running in no time, an inclusive "Video/Text Tutorial Directory" is there for help, addressing all the common settings and configurations issues.