Over the past week there have been a flurry of new projects coming out of Microsoft, mostly in the form of CTP's. I've been downloading like crazy and will likely be discussing my experience with them in the coming week. In case you missed any of them:
I expect that with the release of the EF Beta 3 means Astoria is coming soon. I'll let you know when it drops! Time to start digging in.
Astoria has been renamed (ASP.NET Data Services) and added to the ASP.NET Extensions package (which includes the MVC support as well as other facilities). Looks like ASP.NET Data Services is slated for a release in Q2 2008. If you're interested in Astoria, go grab the CTP here:
Come see me and Glen Gordon talk at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta about Visual Studio 2008, "Astoria", Entity Framework and Silverlight...and see them working gracefully together!
I've been digging into the Entity Framework and Astoria and decided to create a quick little mashup of Silverlight and those two technologies. The result is this little product viewer using the Northwind database:
For those who do not know what the SilverlightData.com site is about...its an example of Silverlight 1.1 working with Entity Framework and Astoria. When I released SilverlightData.com last month, I had expected to allow users to download the source code so they can get a taste of what Silverlight 1.1 and Astoria together would look like. Unfortunately because of a bug on my part, the source link did not work. I've addressed that and you can now download the source code.
I've updated my Silverlight 1.1/Entity Framework/Astoria mashup to use the Astoria Silverlight Client API instead of raw JSON serialization. The code contains both methods (but they are switched out with a project-level #define). If you're interested in seeing how this works in practice, go grab the code. Here's a direct code link:
It all depends...
If you've been following my blog, you should know that I am keeping a pretty close watch on ADO.NET Data Services. The team recently released a second CTP of the new version with some interesting features. This CTP has some pretty compelling additions, but I am going ot focus on one in particular.
I've been teaching and using ADO.NET Data Services for a long time and I like showing off exposing a LINQ-based provider (Entity Framework, NHibernate or others) to a Silverlight application. While ADO.NET Data Services does expose its API through a REST API, the magic for me is in its use in Silverlight. In case you haven't been following along, using the Silverlight client you can issue a LINQ query through the Silverlight client (though in fairness, the full power of LINQ is not supported in the client):
I've ported my XBoxGames Database (see this blog article for copies of the .mdf files) to SQL Azure and added OData support. You can find the feed here:
I've said much about my opinion of Silverlight data access. Currently this is Web Services, WCF Data Services and WCF RIA Services. Let's talk about Data Services and RIA Services and how they are related:
WCF Data Services
I'd recently been asked by Chris Sells to help him with a simple WCF Data Services/jQuery example so I thought I'd share it via my blog as well. The basic idea is to use jQuery's AJAX functionality to retrieve JSON instead of the usual OData and consume it on a web page.
UPDATE: I had the PUT/POST reversed. It reads correctly now. (Thanks to commenter Rob for pointing it out).
When I deployed the small test application (http://www.silverlightdata.com/simple), it was pretty apparent that it was performing really badly. Some of this is because my ISP upload speed isn't great but it was still taking far too long I thought. This was a simple app with not much data, so I knew I wanted to find out what was happening. If you haven't seen the site, its basically an editor for the Product table in the Northwind database. Nothing special really.
As some of you may have seen, my new article in MSDN Magazine (and online) was recently published. Because we're in a bit of a no-mans-land with builds, the current article only works with .NET 3.5 SP1 Beta and Silverlight 2 Beta 2. This means if you're like most of the world and updated to the full release of .NET 3.5 SP1, some of the code in that article is not going to work for you. I hope to have a new drop of the code (and maybe the article too) once Silverlight 2 ships and is fully compatible with ADO.NET Data Services/Entity Framework that are in the full version of .NET 3.5 SP1. See my other article talking about the incompatibilities here:
Mike Flasko to the rescue! The ADO.NET Data Services Team has released an interim build of the ADO.NET Data Services Library to address .NET 3.5 SP1 incompatibilities. While this is just a stop-gap measure, its of great relief that I announce this news as my new MSDN Magazine article was broken because of the incompatibility.
I've uploaded a new version of my code from my Silverlight 2/Data Services MSDN Article. I took the new Silverlight 2 Data Services client that was released and updated the code example. If you want to get the code, you can download it from my site here:
My new article on creating Silverlight 2 applications that use ADO.NET Data Services is in the new issue of MSDN Magazine. In this article I show you how to create a ADO.NET Data Service as well as how to call that service using the Silverlight 2 Data Service Library.
UPDATE: This may be incorrect. I am working with Microsoft to understand if I got this wrong. I'll update this blog once I get the story right.
I will be at the Alabama Code Camp this weekend to talk about Silverlight, the Entity Framework and Astoria. The talks I am doing are:
ADO.NET Data Services Silverlight Extensions now released. This library is used in Silverlight 2.0 projects to access Astoria without all the headaches of serialization. Check it out!
I got to spend some time with Scott Hanselman on his Podcast (Hanselminutes) discussing Astoria and how it *not* just exposing your database to the Internet.We delved into REST and how Astoria and Silverlight are a good mix for the right application.
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