Centrolutions Becomes a BizSpark Startup

by Jason Williams25. September 2012 09:54

I am excited to announce that Centrolutions has become a BizSpark startup! About two months ago, I made the decision to strike out on my own and turn Centrolutions into more than just a hobby. For a developer, this can be a daunting proposition since the tools and systems used to write software can be very expensive. Not to mention, finding funding for projects, connecting with other startups for advice, and marketing a startup can be more than overwhelming. That’s where the Microsoft BizSpark program comes in.

Through BizSpark, Microsoft provides tools and connections for the startup community. The resources they provide will prove to be invaluable as I get on my feet. If you have a startup or are thinking of getting into one, I highly recommend Microsoft’s program. I am grateful for their help and I’m excited for the future.

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NuGet and TFS 2010 Automated Build

by Jason Williams5. July 2012 16:28

If you don't use NuGet for your Visual Studio projects, you should. Go download it, now.

If you do use NuGet and you want to automate your builds with TFS 2010, it's super easy to enable it:

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Development | TFS | NuGet

A Developer’s Free Time

by Jason Williams15. April 2012 18:00

Lately, I’ve been in a bit of a self-reflective mode. So, this blog post is going to be a little different than normal. Usually, I try to post about very technical / programming things. However, due to some things at work that I probably shouldn’t air in public, I’ve started to think about what I put my energy into at home and at work.

Like many software engineers, I really, really like writing software. It doesn’t matter what the software does. So long as it solves a problem, I’m happy to work on it. This also means that my hobby is (drum roll please) -- writing software. So, at work, I write software. I come home and I write software. It’s part of loving the creative process and having a bit of a one-track mind. It’s part of being compelled to learn something new and fulfill the ever-so-eternal quest to improve on existing processes.

If that describes you, I would consider you a compulsive programmer. I say this with the most positive meaning of the word and with all due respect. Your compulsion is what probably makes you good at your job. After all, remember, I’m talking about myself, too. As a side, here’s a great example of “one of us.”

If you can’t really relate, you probably already know what I’m going to say in the rest of this post. I would consider you a less-than-compulsive programmer. You are no less of a programmer -- I’m sure you’re very good at your job, too. You are just not driven to constantly run in the same mode, all of the time.

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General

REST, WCF 4, Forms Authentication, and Custom Clients (Part 3 of 3)

by Jason Williams10. February 2012 01:16

In the first and second parts of this post, I described what makes a REST service different from a SOAP service and how to use WCF to create one. In this post, we’ll look at what a REST client may look like and add some security around the service.

Security

In most line-of-business services, some sort of security system is usually required to prevent unauthorized access to the service’s data. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to use the ASP.NET Membership Provider and its associated services. In our example, I’ll be using the NuGet package called “ErikEJ.SqlCeMembership" to quickly create a database of users; without a full SQL Server instance. Once the NuGet package is installed, build the project and navigate to Project > ASP.NET Configuration to setup your users. Make sure to create at least one group and one user. I’ve called my group “Users” and my user, “user1.”

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Development | REST | WCF

REST, WCF 4, Forms Authentication, and Custom Clients (Part 2 of 3)

by Jason Williams31. December 2011 23:31

In the first part of this post, I discussed REST and how it compares to SOAP-based services. In this part, we’ll figure out how to create a REST service with WCF and what it takes to start thinking in a “RESTful” way when designing a REST service.

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Development | REST | WCF

REST, WCF 4, Forms Authentication, and Custom Clients (Part 1 of 3)

by Jason Williams29. December 2011 00:09

SOAP and REST Compared

REST services are the new “hotness.” All of the cool kids are doing them. I (not that cool of a kid) feel as though I’ve been left behind -- holding onto my SOAP messages like an old curmudgeon holding on to his last dollar. After all, SOAP-based services have served me well; all the way back to the .ASMX days. So, I’m the first to admit that traditional (SOAP-based) web services still have a place. They are extraordinarily easy to use, nowadays, because the tooling around them is so polished. On top of that, I can’t think of a platform that doesn’t support them, today.

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Development | WCF | REST

Camera Image Control -- New Name and New Features

by Jason Williams19. November 2011 20:21

I'm pleased to announce a new addition to the LightSwitch family: The Image Controls for LightSwitch extension.

Previously, the extension was called "Camera Image Control for LightSwitch" which was a very accurate, but too specific name. Recently, I added a control to the extension that allows you to scan documents directly from a scanner. With this new addition comes a name change.

I'm also pleased to announce that, while the name has changed, the price has not. You can still purchase the Camera Image Control; along with the Scanner Image Control, together for a low, low price. Simply click here to open the purchase page. Of course, you can download a free, limited trial from the Visual Studio Gallery to try it out before you buy it.

If you previously purchased the extension, you don't have to worry. You can get the new functionality by logging in at the product section of this website, choosing "My Account," and then "Downloadable Products." Once there, you can click on the "Download" link next to the product.

I'm excited to hear your feedback and I hope you find the new control useful. As always, if you have any trouble with it, I want to know about it. Please use the links on this website to contact me, directly.

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Camera Image Control 1.2

by Jason Williams3. November 2011 01:17

Just released: Camera Image Control for Visual Studio LightSwitch version 1.2.

New in this version:

  • There is now a trial version available for download from the Visual Studio Gallery.
  • You can now optionally disable the file upload and clear photo buttons by using a couple new properties on the control.

If you purchased the control, you can log in at http://centrolutions.com/products/login and re-download the extension file from the "My Account" > "Downloadable Products" section.

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LightSwitch

LightSwitch, Custom Settings Tables, and a Web Cam

by Jason Williams12. October 2011 23:41

Visual Studio LightSwitch is a relatively new development tool from Microsoft that allows a developer to quickly create database-driven, Silverlight applications. While I won’t give you the full sales pitch in this post – since it is my first post on LightSwitch, I should at least mention that you can find more information here

We’ll take a look at setting control properties from code-behind. Specifically, we’ll see how we might store some settings in a database table, read them, and apply them to a control.

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Development | LightSwitch

Beta Testers for the “Camera Image Control for LightSwitch” Extension

by jason28. August 2011 10:36

I’m looking for several people to help me beta-test a LightSwitch extension. The extension allows you to capture an image from your webcam and save it directly to a screen in LightSwitch. I’m planning to sell the extension for a small fee, but if you are one of the beta testers, you will get it for free.

If you think you can help, please use the menu on this site to contact me and I’ll get you setup with access to the extension.

Thanks!

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Development | LightSwitch

About

Jason Williams is a .NET developer in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The name "Centrolutions" came out of a long search for a domain name. The goal was to create a name that conveyed an ideology of writing software centered (Centr--) on a solution (--olutions) for a particular problem. In other words, it was the only name in a long list that wasn't already registered on the internet.

If you're looking for the products I have for sale, you should go here.