Sept 2011 Is Microsoft Month at Packt Publishing

Apologies to my SQL Server friends for not getting this posted sooner, the SQL Server book specials have expired.  However, there is still time for the SharePoint and Silverlight folks to save on great books from Packt Publishing.

From 9/11 through 9/20, the featured subject is SharePoint.  Take 20% off all print books, and 30% off all e-books.  Included are titles on development, administration and books for end users!

From 9/21 through 9/30, take the same discounts off all Silverlight books.  This includes books on MVVM, Silverlight 5 LOB apps and a Windows Phone 7 Cookbook!

For full details, including all titles, check out

New Stuff in Silverlight 3

At the recent MSDN Mid-Atlantic Roadshow, Dani Diaz had a great talk on building connected Silverlight Apps.

Sample apps are found at

Performance improvements in Silverlight 3

A binary message encoder has been added that converts text into a smaller binary format.  This is seen in the XBox Live Friends sample app.


Since Silverlight runs in the browser, it it limited by what the browser stack allows to pass through.  Only data with a return code of 200 OK is displayed in the browser.  Other errors are displayed with a generic message, making troubleshooting difficult.  A new FaultException has been added, which allows you to wrap the error message in a valid return XML.  By enabling the ClientHttpStack, you can display debugging messages when there are issues.

Securing Services

In SL3, WS-Security credentials can be passed in the message header.  Make sure to use HTTPS and don’t enable cross-domain logins.

Duplex Services

New extensions have been added for "push” data, where the server can send data to the client without a request from the client.  lso, an AJAX library has been released for these same duplex services.

New ClientHTTP Stack

An updated WCF REST toolkit for searching public APIs.  One feature of the toolkit adds a menu item where POCO can be created directly from XML in the clipboard (this used to involve several steps and a command line utility).  The POCO can be used to directly databind to controls.  The toolkit is found at