From the EditorVolume 12, Number 21: October 6, 2008
A lot more of you need to be going to your local evangelism events.
Just think - you can watch fully functional programs built before your very eyes. I recently
spoke in Fresno and Berkeley, and there was a great deal of interest in all the major pillars
in the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1.
They loved the graphic capabilities of WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation)
and Silverlight. Silverlight
is like a lightweight version of WPF; you can create incredibly rich user interfaces,
complete with multimedia, vector graphics, animation, and a powerful set of user
interface construction tools.
I created a really elegant WPF application that made use of the ADO.NET Entity Framework
and ASP.NET Data Services.
Using this combination of technologies is so powerful because of the way the Entity
Framework allows you to abstract away the gory details of a relational database.
The Entity Framework leverages Entity SQL, which allows you to write really clean
SQL statements that don't have dozens of join clauses. The bottom line is that you
are programming at the conceptual level, not the physical database level, which
produces beautiful, readable code.
The real bonus comes into play when that data is exposed across HTTP with ASP.NET
Data Services. That allows any client application, Web-based or thick-client, to
transparently send and receive domain-specific data over HTTP without the need for
additional messaging layers or session tracking. Simply put, this technology is
scalable and efficient.
By the end of this demo, we had a graphically rich, thick client, WPF application
that used high level entity objects - and the data that fed this application was
nicely tucked away on a Web server. The data is provided via "REST." You can find a
good explanation in an article called,
"How I Explained REST to My Wife."
If you'd like to see all this, come check it out as part of my October
MSDN Events Unleashed series in Northern California.
If you are really interested in REST
(or want to know what all the hype is about), my good buddy, Rob Bagby
has built 10 blog posts and 6 screencasts on these subjects.
Finally, learn about the future of Microsoft's technology. The place is the
Professional Developers Conference, October 27 - 30
in Los Angeles. It's about software + services, cloud computing, and Windows 7. If you
plan to be at PDC, shoot me an e-mail. It
would be great to grab a cup of coffee with some of you.
Thanks for reading,
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