Typed Datasets and .NET 2.0

For the next few months, I will be middleware.  I will be everywhere in our enterprise, integrating systems.  One of the Prime Directives is “get it done fast!”  We’re not looking for beautifully architected n-tier solutions that can be abstracted and inherited ad infinitum.  Just make the ERP talk to the WMS, and back again.  It doesn’t need to last forever, we’re going to rip everything apart and implement the latest best solutions again in a few years anyway.

There are about as many ways to get retrieve and handle data as there are developers with string opinions–object-relationship mappers, custom business objects, strongly typed datasets, etc.

In Visual Studio 2005, MS really improved the designers for strongly-typed datasets.  These aren’t everyone’s favorite method of handling data, but they work, and they can be put together quickly, and I like them for some purposes.  Here are three excellent articles on using strongly-typed datasets in an application.

Build a Data Access Layer with the Visual Studio 2005 DataSet Designer, Brian Noyes

A good data access layer is critical for most business applications, whether that layer resides on a middle tier application server, a web server or on the client. Data access layers tend to involve a lot of error-prone, repetitive coding if you try to do it by hand. You can alleviate some of that by designing a good set of base and helper classes to encapsulate the repeating patterns, or by using a code generation tool. However, you still usually have to write all the data access methods by hand for the ad-hoc queries that service large parts of your application.

If you are using Visual Studio 2005, that does not have to be the case. Some significant improvements have been made to the Visual Studio 2005 DataSet designer and the code that it generates that make it so you will rarely have to write your data access methods by hand of you choose to work with DataSets. In this article, I’ll walk you through what those features are and how to use them. I’ll also discuss some of the pros and cons of using the new features and give some guidance on when you might want to do something different.

Building a DAL using Strongly Typed TableAdapters and DataTables in VS 2005 and ASP.NET 2.0, Scott Guthrie

Using the data designer and ASP.NET 2.0 together, you should be able to create a core DAL implementation and build from scratch a data-driven UI web app on top of an existing database very quickly (~10-15 minutes to build an application from scratch that supports master/details filtering along with data paging, sorting, insertion, and editing).

Using Strongly-Typed Data Access in Visual Studio 2005 and ASP.NET 2.0, Joseph Chancellor

Specifically, we will see how to create and use strongly-typed DataSets in Visual Studio 2005. As this article explores, strongly-typed DataSets offer a number of advantages over alternative, loosely-typed data access techniques and, with Visual Studio 2005, creating and using strongly-typed DataSets has never been easier. Read on to learn more!

March BADNUG Meeting

The March BADNUG meeting will be held on March 9 from 6–8pm at Communifax HQ in Cranberry Township, PA.

Join us at John Szurley of Communifax discusses their implementation of SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services. John will demonstrate report building and presentation mechanisms. This is an excellent opportunity to see if SSRS fits into your BI needs, as well as ascertain if SSRS 2000 lived up to its hype.

More information at http://badnug.org/Events/tabid/54/Default.aspx.

Now playing: Hayseed DixieCenterfold

Bluetooth Vulnerabilities

The Treo 700w series phones are equipped with Bluetooth, which allows one to use wireless headsets, but also potentially opens up some vulnerabilities.  Informit recently published an article discussing vulnerabilities with Bluetooth devices:

The other major problem with current Bluetooth devices is that some sensitive functionality is exposed to unauthenticated users. When designing a Bluetooth-enabled device, system designers may want to provide certain pieces of functionality to non-trusted users. Unfortunately, sometimes more functionality is exposed than is intended, and attackers can read and/or write information to which they shouldn’t have access. These types of vulnerabilities are device-specific; for instance, cell phones from one manufacture may be vulnerable while those from another are not.

Read the full article at http://www.informit.com/articles/article.asp?p=442341.  If you use Bluetooth connections with your Treo, check with Palm to make sure the various vulnerabilities have been patched (remember that new ones may be found also).  If you don’t use Bluetooth, turn it off.

Questioning An A-Lister

From Seth Godin’s “The Reason” post:

The reason that you have a water bubbler in your office is that it used to be difficult to filter water effectively.

The reason we still have a water bubbler in our office is that filtration may remove biological impurities, which may spread disease, but not chemical ones, which may affect the flavor or may also be detrimental to the health of the drinker.  Plus, ours is one of those that provides instant hot or cold water, so it’s useful as well as healthy.  The presence isn’t due to an archaic “we’ve always done it this way”, it’s actually an improvement over the tap.  And it’s plumbed directly into the water line, so no one needs to change the bottle.  This is also why my fridge has a water dispenser in the door.

The reason that Blockbuster exists is that VCR tapes used to cost more than $100.

That’s why Blockbuster was started.  Now that VCR tapes are well below $100, and are on the verge of extinction, should Blockbuster cease to exist?  Not hardly.  Blockbuster stores serve a group of people Netflix can’t—the very impatient.  Video on demand just hasn’t arrived, and there’s no reason to think that Blockbuster won’t try and have a hand in that in the future.  The presence of something from the past doesn’t necessarily indicate a status-quo, same-old-same-old mentality.  Not that Blockbuster is any shining example of adaptation, but it seems to be filling a need even today.

The reason that SUVs have a truck chassis is that the government regulates vehicles with a truck chassis differently.

No, that’s why you get a tax break for buying an Explorer.  My SUV (a Honda CRV) is actually built on a car chassis, as is the Murano, Rav 4 and a few other small SUVs.  Maybe SUVs are built on a car or truck chassis because there are economic and safety engineering reasons for minimizing the number of chasses in an automaker’s fleet.

I am with Heather on the lawn thing—out of frustration, my neighbor has mowed mine on a couple of occasions.

Now playing: The Grateful DeadSugar Magnolia (Remastered Version)

SplashBlog Up and Running

Splash Blog is a Flickr-like service, with a client app that runs on my Treo 700w.  There’s also a web-based admin, which I can use to upload photos from my Nikon D50.  I suppose I could pop the SD card from my Nikon into my Treo and upload from there, but while the EVDO network is fast, it’s not as fast as my cable internet.

I’ve been playing with the service for a couple of weeks, and it’s pretty cool.  On the Splashblog now is the obligatory photo of the dog (one of the dogs, anyway), my buddy Jon’s black and gold inventory, and a few photos from Franklin on Ice.

Now playing: Mott the HoopleAll the Way from Memphis

Marc Broussard Saturn Commercial

My search referrals are filling up with this, for a smattering of reasons.  To make it easy, here’s the answer in one spot:

The song in the Saturn commercial is “Home” from his “Carencro” CD.  This is the commercial where the sides of the buildings fold down for the Vue.  The rest of the albumn is good, but this song is different from the rest.  If you want it in iTunes, click the link below on a machine that has iTunes loaded.  If you want the whole album via Amazon, click on the album cover.

BTW – Carencro is his hometown in Louisiana.

Now playing: Marc BroussardHome

Carencro, by Marc Broussard
Click here for the album at Amazon

XM Radio On Treo 700w

My buddy Nathan comes through with this today–www.minixm.com.  This is XM Radio’s
official lightweight stream site, meant for devices like the Treo 700w. 
Access the site through your Pocket IE, and choose your channel.  When the
stream begins, Windows Media Player will start and handle the playback. 
You can get the “now playing” in either WMP or PIE.  The sound quality
isn’t fantastic, but good enough, especially for the news programs.

Bad news for Treo 650 users–the XM stream requires support for Windows Media
Player 9 or better, which apparently isn’t available for the Palm OS. 
Trying to open the stream crashed Bob’s 650.