Ten Reasons to use the Managed Extensibility Framework

One question I’m commonly asked is, “Why do I need the Managed Extensibility Framework? How do I know when to use it?” In addition to that really being two questions, I’m not sure I can tell you the top ten reasons to use MEF or whether or not it is the right tool for you.…

Using WriteableBitmap to Simplify Animations with Clones

I’m going to deviate from my typical “line of business” blog posts to discuss a topic that comes up quite a bit with Silverlight: animations. I’ve had a few projects where it’s been necessary to use animations to transition between “screens” in the application. While I use the visual state manager as often as I…

Asynchronous Controllers in ASP.NET MVC 2

I’ve been working with version 2 of Microsoft’s ASP.NET MVC framework and have found a lot to like about it, particularly the new support for client-side validation based on data annotations. But the feature that excites me the most is support for asynchronous controllers and controller methods. Asynchronous pages have always been the secret to…

Code Signing Best Practices

In the past I’ve written about code signing and how it’s not as expensive or hard to do. Today I was searching up how to add a code signing certificate to a build machine’s Local Machine store and ran across a wonderful document I hadn’t seen before. It’s a complete discussion of all Code Signing…

Sequential Asynchronous Workflows Part 2: Simplified

I received quite a bit of feedback related to my sequential asynchronous workflows post. Most people asked if I could simplify the example even more and/or show the inner workings of the coroutine engine itself. Because the source for the library I demonstrated in the last post is not available, I’ve put together a very…

Sequential Asynchronous Workflows in Silverlight using Coroutines

It all began with a post I read in the Silverlight.Net forums. A user, new to Silverlight, was frustrated with the asynchronous programming model required by Silverlight and wondered how to make all of the calls synchronous. I admit I heavily resisted the notion because I think the asynchronous programming model is one that developers…

ViewModel binding with the Managed Extensibility Framework

This is just a short post to share an “ah-hah” moment I experienced building out a large Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) Silverlight application. Traditionally, I’ve wired in the view models using the code behind. I’m not one of those who believes code behind is evil no matter what, so I haven’t taken issue with something…

Custom Export Providers with Custom Metadata for Region Management

Over the past few weeks I’ve been exploring the concept of region management using the Managed Extensibility Framework, and for a good reason. I’m working on a project that has several different regions and controls that must be managed effectively and across the boundaries of dynamic XAP files in Silverlight 3. Sound like a mouthful?…

Start-PowerShellPoint

Working on my PowerShell for Developers presentation I’m doing at our upcoming Devscovery Conference in NYC (April 27-29) it was a no brainer to use Jeffrey Snover’s excellent Start-Demo script (much improved by Joel Bennett). If you’re a bad typist like I am having the demo script is a godsend when showing techniques in a…

How To Get Diagnostic Data From Services Running In The Windows Azure Cloud

Each instance of Windows Azure Service Role runs its own monitor to gather its own instance specific diagnostic data. The problem that immediately presents itself is knowing what exactly is being collected, where the data is being saved, and how to retrieve it for inspection. The purpose of this blog post is to illuminate these…