Monday, April 23, 2007

Visual Studio "Orcas" Beta 1 - First impressions

It arrived sooner than expected, but still, I'm glad to see Microsoft has made such an amount of progress. Last weekend I downloaded the Professional Edition and the Team Foundation Server bits and got started. My main interest is to see if it is good enough for production development. We use the GAX/GAT stuff to exploit the Web Client and Service software factories, and I'd love to get Javascript debugging, better Web development and of course, C# 3.0.

Notice that before I installed Orcas on my Vista Business setup, I first deinstalled all the VS 2005 add-ons (such as GAX, GAT, software factories, AJAX, and the WCF/WF/WPF extensions), but I did not uninstall VS 2005 itself.

  • The installation of .NET 3.5 fails almost immediately. It seems that the Visual Studio setup uses the wrong command-line arguments, since I got a pop-up similarly to what you get when you add -? Or -h to a command-line tool. I had to manually install the 3.5 bits. After that, installation went fine.
  • I also installed the Team Explorer parts from the Team Foundation Server folder. I'm happy to inform you that I managed to succesfully connect to an existing TFS server and get all my sources. So no need to change your TFS v1 installation.
  • I then installed the Visual Studio Orcas SDK (Feb 2007 preview) and the Feb 2007 versions of GAX and GAT. However, the Guidance Package Manager did not appear in Orcas (but did in VS2005). This basically renders Orcas unusable for production development until somebody figures out the required registry changes.
  • I also reinstalled Enterprise Library 3.0.
  • Orcas contains a different version of the System.Web.Extensions AJAX assembly. The stuff you can download from http://ajax.asp.net/ is version 1.0.61025.0, but the Orcas version is 2.0.0.0.
  • I couldn't find the WCF Configuration Editor you get when you install the WCF Extensions for Visual Studio 2005. I expected it to be a built-in part of Orcas by now.
  • Opening existing projects and solutions will trigger a conversion wizard. They must have changed the project format once again.
  • The first console application I tried to compile resulted in a "Required file 'alink.dll with IALink3' could not be found'. I fixed it by manually reinstalling Windows6.0-KB110806-x86 from the WCU folder. This article refers to this problem in more detail.
  • Obviously, Resharper will not install on Orcas. But looking through their roadmap for version 3.0 shows their plans for including it. We'll just have to wait.
  • The Web Service Software Factory-based solution runs fine, but the ASP.NET 2.0 website does not. According to the designer there is a problem with the master pages. Investigating...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

NHibernate 1.2 best practices

One of my former collegues pointed me at a great article by Billy McCafferty which will be one of my classics. It deals with many great design and architectural patterns and the tools available to implement those patterns in a real-live production-ready enterprise solution. It's a great document for enjoying a afternoon full of architectural discussions with your coworkers...

Configuring TFS with WSS 3.0

It seems that Microsoft has finally acknowledged the sheer amount of requests for supporting WSS 3.0 in Team Foundation Services. I've always found it a huge issue that we have a great portal environment such as MOSS 2007 on one end, and an out-of-date TFS team site based on WSS 2.0. There have been some great community efforts that seem to work okay, but basically rendered the installation useless when upgrading to newer versions.

Well, in the approach to Visual Studio "Orcas", they've released a document that should provide decent guidance on upgrading to WSS 3.0. If I can find the time, I'm going to try it out and report on it through this blog.