NuGet and TFS 2010 Automated Build

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:

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

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.

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.”

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

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.


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

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.


Camera Image Control -- New Name and New Features

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.

LightSwitch, Custom Settings Tables, and a Web Cam

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.

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

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.

What Order Do Navigation Methods Get Called in Windows Phone?

Recently, I was asked which gets called first: the Application_Launching, Application_Activated, Application_Deactivated, and Application_Closing events or the page-specific OnNavigatedTo and OnNavigatedFrom overrides. It turns out, the answer is – both.

When the application first runs from the start screen, Application_Launching gets called first. Then, the page-specific OnNavigatedTo gets called.

How the TextBox InputScope Affects the Windows Phone SIP (On-Screen Keyboard)

When writing a Windows Phone 7 application in Silverlight, you will find a property on every TextBox control called “InputScope.” The primary use of this property is to alter the way the Software Input Panel (SIP or on-screen keyboard) works. Depending on what you set its value to, the SIP will include certain character sets, auto-complete features, and can auto-capitalize phrases and words for you. There’s no question you should be using this built-in feature. However, sometimes it’s hard to remember what each value of the InputScopeNameValue Enumeration actually does.

As it turns out, Microsoft lists only 10 modes the SIP can be put into. Below, you will find a screenshot of each and a list of the InputScope values associated with each.

Slides and Demos from Lincoln Users Group Super Laptop Meeting

I had a great time speaking at the “Super Laptop Meeting” last night. My 20-minute talk was “Best Practices for Custom WF Activities.” I even won the grand prize, so thanks to all of you that voted for me!

If you are interested in the slides and the demo I showed, you can download them by clicking here. If you want to know more about the Lincoln .NET Users Group, you can do so at