MSDN Developer Freedom Roadshow Is Coming To Pittsburgh

Not sure how this one slid by me, but the MSDN Developer Freedom Roadshow is coming to Pittsburgh on September 19, 2008.  Since it’s being held at the MS offices, registration is limited to capacity (roughly 4 dozen or so).  The program looks to be very interesting, especially the morning half:

The Fundamentals of Liberty: Web Development Basics

Want to take advantage of the cool stuff that you can do with ASP.NET, but not sure where to start? Whether you’re a Windows programmer who hasn’t ventured into the web world yet, or coming from classic ASP or similar scripting languages, this session is for you. In this session, we’ll provide an overview of the .NET framework’s powerful web development features, from ASP.NET and its Web Forms programming model, to basic web services, to give you a foundation you can use to jump-start your web development efforts.

The Framer’s Intentions: What’s New in .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 for Web Developers and ASP.NET MVC

In the first part of the session we will look into new features for web development that are introduced in the .NET framework 3.5 SP1 — ADO.NET Entity Framework , ASP.NET Dynamic Data, and ADO.NET Data Services. In the second part, we will introduce the ASP.NET MVC framework, which enables you to easily implement the model-view-controller (MVC) pattern for Web applications. This pattern lets you separate applications into loosely coupled, pluggable components for application design, processing logic, and display. A key benefit of ASP.NET MVC applications it that they provide clean URIs that can also be accessed in a RESTful manner.

More information and sign up at

Installfest Pittsburgh

December 11, 2-4 pm, or 5-7 pm (two sessions). 

Tuesday, December 11, 2007 (EST) – Visual Studio 2008 Community Launch

location: Microsoft Offices

Join us for the Visual Studio 2008 community launch party at Microsoft!
We’re having 2 sessions: 2-4 pm and 5-7 pm, with lots of giveaways, including
125 full Visual Studio 2008 licenses!

Join the Pittsburgh .NET User’s Group on Tuesday, December 11th for

our Visual Studio 2008 Launch Event.  Danilo “Dani” Diaz, Microsoft

Developer Evangelist for Microsoft’s Mid-Atlantic Region will be our

featured speaker.  Dani will be demonstrating the new features of

Visual Studio 2008 along with the new features of the .NET Framework

3.5.  Bring your laptop as we’ll be providing trial editions of
for you to install and try out new features as Dani discusses them.

We’ll also have a coding competition to see who can utilize the new

VS2008 features the best in creating a killer app; winners of the

local coding competition will be entered into a regional competition

where the stakes (and prizes) definitely increase!  All attendees (up

to a max of 125) will receive, via email, a free license to Visual

Studio 2008 Professional.
Due to the expected turnout for
the event, we will be having two
sessions for our launch event.  Both
will be held at Microsoft’s
offices on the North Shore.  The sessions
will be held from 2-4 PM and
from 5-7 PM on Tuesday, December 11th. 
We’ll also have lots of
give-aways at both events.  So come to the
December .NET User’s Group
on Tuesday, December 11th, and kick your
holidays off to a good start.

Full info and RSVP link at

Pittsburgh “Ready for a New Day” Launch Tour – Feb 1, 2007

Microsoft Across America is bringing their Launch Event 2007 to Pittsburgh on Feb 1, 2007. The event will be held at Sheraton Station Square, which is an awesome location finally. Attendees go home with Office 2007 Pro and Groove 2007. You may wonder why Groove, but after you see the cool stuff it can do, you’ll dig it. Full info at

Indexing and Searching XML Files with Google Desktop

It took me a while to find this tip, so here’s how to get Google Desktop to
index XML files:

I think by default GDS has XML file indexing TURNED OFF in
the registry – it won’t index them at all. This key is in
Desktop\file_extensions_to_skip.  You’ll have to remove “xml” from that
list (I think)


The ‘xml’ extension was in this list, and I removed it.  Now I wait
until the reindex is complete and try some queries.  Update to follow.

<update 2006-12-29>

The reindex has taken place, and there are plenty of XML files in the index
now.  I can find them by simply searching for *.xml, but I still can’t
search the contents of an XML file in Google Desktop Search.  Not such a
surprise, since Google Desktop Search’s help indicates it does not support XML
files (

Before I get too far into what I’m trying next, let me explain my
need.  We use XML to send and receive shipment details with a business
partner.  From time to time, I need to be able to quickly locate a specific
shipment in the hundreds of XML files stored in the archive.  I’m positive
I’m not the only person in this situation.

I found a plug-in at which will have
GDS treat XML as plain text, and that should hopefully improve the search. 
Apparently Copernic can be set to do this
from its control panel, and that’s the next stop.  A plain text search is
good enough, but ideally, either GDS or Copernic would support an XQuery for a
specific element or attribute value.

So I’ve installed Larry’s Any Text plug in (  That was darn
easy.  I had to add the XML extension to the config file furing
installation, and the plug-in has triggered a reindex.  I’ll let you know
how this one works out.

<update 2006-12-29>

The index updated over lunch, and Larry’s plug-in did the trick.  I can
pull up the XML files I need simply by order number or some other
identifier.  It’s great.  Too bad it’s not an XQuery or something
similar, but it’ll work.  Keep in mind that GDS does not support wildcards,
so you have to enter the entire string you’re looking for, not a partial order
number.  Fortunately, element and attribute values are percieved as whole

Pgh .NET UG Meeting – Deep Dive into Atlas Controls and Toolkit — Building Applications

The next meeting for the Pittsburgh .NET User Group (Pgh.NET) will be on Wednesday, November 8, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and is presented in partnership with the International .NET Association (INETA). Jason Beres from the INETA speakers bureau will be our presenter.

Deep Dive into Atlas Controls and Toolkit — Building Applications
This session dives into the control details in the Atlas toolkit.  At the end of this session, attendees will have a full understanding of the data binding in Atlas, the Atlas Update Panel and other controls, such as the AutoComplete Extender.  In addition, the presentation will look at how all of the controls can be used to create business applications and “mash ups” using XML Web Services.

About Our Presenter
Jason Beres is the author of Teach Yourself Visual Studio .NET 2003 in 21 Days; the co-author of the Visual Basic .NET Bible and the C# Bible; and a contributor to SQL Server 2000: The Complete Reference and ASP.NET @ Work: 10 Enterprise Applications. Jason has been a featured speaker at Microsoft Dev Days, the largest regional developer-centric conference that Microsoft has each year.

Dinner and networking will run from 5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., with the presentation beginning at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will take place at Microsoft, 30 Isabella Street, North Shore.

Please RSVP to Council Events or 412.918.4229, so that we have an accurate count for dinner.

Thank you,

Jared Roberts
Director, Member Programs
Pittsburgh Technology Council

BADNUG Speaker Change

Mike Snell is being pulled away for a business meeting, but Geoff Tewksbury will fill in for him.  Geoff will be presenting an overview of the new features in SSRS 2005, and an overview of Windows Workflow Foundation.  Same time (6–8 pm) and same place (Communifax).

October BADNUG: Mike Snell and Visual Studio Team Test

The October BADNUG meeting will be held October 26, 2006 at Communifax HQ in Cranberry Township, PA.  Our speaker will be Regional Director Mike Snell, discussing testing with Visual Studio Team Testm.  Mike’s book “Visual Studio 2005: Unleashed” was recently published, and this will be a great chance to interact with an expert in Visual Studio 2005.

Topic: Automated Testing using Visual Studio Team Test and Team Foundation Server

Automated testing has finally been added to the Visual Studio lineup! In this session we will cover these new tools from front-to-back. This includes demonstrations on creating and executing unit, web, performance, load, manual, and ordered tests. We will also cover the Test Manager interface. Finally, we will look at reporting test results using Visual Studio Team Foundation Server.

This will be our last meeting for the season—we’ll resume again in January.