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'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.
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
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):
It all depends...
Today at 3pm CST (4pm EST, 1pm PST) I will be doing a LiveMeeting talk on ADO.NET Data Services. If you are not at the PDC this week, drop by NotAtPDC.com and check out my session!
There is a known problem with ADO.NET Data Services today that is important if you (or your server) lives in specific timezones. The problem is associated with the way that the Silverlight Data Services Library constructs their URI for searches.
The problem surfaces if you do a query that has a DateTime comparison in it. For example:
In building my Silverlight RC example using ADO.NET Data Services for Entity Framework and NHibernate I ran into what I think is a common pattern. I am writing an editor for XBox game data. The model for this data uses decorator tables in the database which are modeled as a common "Product" class and derived "Game", "Console" and "Accessory" classes. In the application I am using paging to only look at fifty results at once. This works fine on both sides.
But one of the pieces of information I wanted was a list of all the Game Genre. This became problematic as ADO.NET Data Services wanted me to retrieve all 880 games in order to get a list of these Genres (of which there are only 20 some odd). The whole idea of using paging is go avoid the huge overhead of bringing down the whole entity. Interestingly when I executed a LINQ query that used projection into non-entities, the query wasn't supported as projection isn't allowed in the ADO.NET Data Services URI model (which the client uses).
It has come to my attention that my current examples using ADO.NET Data Services are performing very badly. I was using that example as anecdotal evidence that Data Services performed slower than the Web Service counterparts. I don't think this is accurate. I am working on some performance comparisons that I will share on my blog once Silverlight 2 goes into a full release so I can be sure that the numbers reflect a real-world release.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
UPDATE: I had the PUT/POST reversed. It reads correctly now. (Thanks to commenter Rob for pointing it out).
I've known Julie Lerman (or is it Julia these days ;) for a long time now. She's an excellent resource for everything data related. In particular she's been keeping up with the Entity Framework and ADO.NET Data Services (formerly Astoria) updates in .NET 3.5 and VS SP1 Beta that was just released this week. If you are upgrading projects (like I am), she has two excellent blog posts about how to upgrade your projects:
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:
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.
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!
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