Once again we had a great turnout for the meeting…over 90 people! This week we had three presentations on a variety of topics. Incidentally, the first two presentations use XAML… time to start learning something new!
Presenter: Aaron Shafer, Lockheed Martin
Aaron started of with some background on Silverlight (formerly known as WPF/E). Silverlight is a subset of WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) meant for use on the web. Silverlight provides a means to create some slick websites based on XAML. It offers some great and easy to use audio and video features so you can enable your sites for media.
Before long Aaron was into the demos and we had “Hello World”. Pretty quickly he got into some cooler stuff with animation. And with a bit of code he wrote an web application that allows users to drag a shape around the page. One of the coolest aspects of this is that he ran his demos in IE and Firefox, and then he ran them on a Mac! That makes Silverlight a pretty powerful tool!
Presenter: Bill Wolff, Agility Systems
Topic: Acropolis Introduction
Bill started off with a disclaimer: He learned just enough about Acropolis to do this demo. He learned about it at Tech Ed and then he went to the Acropolis site and watched some videos. You’ll need VS Orcas to do any of this stuff. Acropolis is a design tool allowing developers to easily create windows applications. It will create an MVC (Model View Controller) style application for you, storing the presentation layer in XAML. He showed us a pretty cool demo that created a multi-document interface “Notepad” application. XAML has a document management template that gets you started and puts in a lot of the features you’ll need. Bill showed a bunch of cool demos. Download the source code from the Acropolis site and check it out for yourself. My advice, I’d do it on a Virtual Machine! None of this stuff is production ready.
This is cool stuff and was a first look at this technology for most people in the room.
The Acropolis site has everything you need including the download, samples, videos and documentation.
Presenter: Rob Keiser, Row-5
Topic: PowerShell for .Net Developers
I’ve heard PowerShell defined as “command line on steroids”. The difference is that PowerShell works with objects, the .Net Framework, SQL and more. There are lots of commands that are keyed in to execute them, but there are a lot of aliases (shortcuts or abbreviations) too. A lot of the commands are similar to Unix commands, so if you are used to that, you’ll be all set. Plus, the “|” (pipe) symbol is back and you’ll use it a lot. The power of PowerShell is not the simple commands that you can execute, but the ability to create scripts. He showed a cool, simple demo of how to use PowerShell to browse through your registry. Next he browsed through hard drives using the “get-wmiobject” command. Next Rob got into using PowerShell with .Net. He easily created a dataset. And he browsed through SQL Server information using SMO (Server Management Objects) and even took his databases offline. Lastly, he demo’d PowerGadgets, an extension to PowerShell. WithPowerGadgets you can easily graphically chart output from PowerShell.
The fact is, none of this stuff is glamorous, but Powershell has some cool functionality that, in many circumstances, could make our jobs a lot easier.
To get Powershell, download it here.
Meeting Sponsor: Solvepoint… Thanks for the sandwiches!
Additional Door Prizes courtesy of: