March User Group Meeting on Enterprise Library

I had to work really hard preparing for last week’s session on the Enterprise Library.

Since this is a relatively new release, there is scarcely any information available online. The lack of online resource is more than made up for by the clear, well documented help that comes with the installation. The quickstarts are a godsend to get things up and running.

With each block your best bet is to do a quick read of that module on the help and then go through the quick starts, then get your hands dirty writing a small mock app of your own. You can download the presentation that I made from here.

Shandy, to answer your question about performance relating to the Logging block, Loren has blogged about an impromptu test he carried out comparing log4net against the Enterprise Library.

Update: Shandy posts a review of my last presentation.

March User Group Meeting on Enterprise Library

Microsoft Offers Free Exam Retakes Worldwide


Hey, all you people. This is the time to go bonkers taking Microsoft exams. Microsoft is giving a free “second-shot offer” to anyone who takes a Microsoft exam and fails between March 1 and May 31. Here’s some more info.


Last summer, Microsoft Corporation field tested a promotion that gave test takers a free retake on a failed exam. The offer was limited to the U.S. and was available on a select number of exams. On Monday, the company announced that it was reviving the offer again this time allowing retakes on all of its Microsoft Certified Professional exams and expanding the program worldwide.


The “Second-Shot Offer” allows anyone taking and failing an MCP exam from March 1 until May 31 to retake that exam. According to the offer posted on the MCP site, candidates can retake an exam only once, but the retake can be applied to as many exams as a candidate can take until the offer ends.


Registration is required for candidates who want to participate. Also, exam retakes must be taken at the same testing center. Retakes must be completed by June 30. This offer cannot be combined with other offers. Other restrictions apply.


For complete offer details, including restrictions, go here.

Microsoft Offers Free Exam Retakes Worldwide

.NET User Group Meeting in Colombo today


It’s another which brings along yet another user group meeting. This month I’ll be taking the stage after a long lapse of over six months to talk about the newly released application blocks in the Enterprise Library. From my point of view the Enterprise Library is a must know for any .NET developer worth his salt i.e. if you’re an enterprise developer though, but who isn’t these days ;).


Obviously I wouldn’t have enough time to cover all the blocks in a two hour session, so what I’m planning to do is to do an overview of all seven blocks but get into coding demos of only the Data Access, Exception Handling, Logging and Instrumentation and either Configuration or Cryptography application blocks. If you think I’ve left out a block that you’re terribly interested about, leave a comment and we’ll see if we can squeeze it in.


Here’s a teaser on what you will be learning today.


Enterprise Library is the next generation of the patterns & practices Application Blocks.  The Enterprise Library is designed to assist developers with common enterprise development challenges and it delivers the most widely used blocks in a single integrated package. The vision at Microsoft is to build a broad community of customers and partners using, sharing and extending their own Application Blocks that are consistent with and integrate into the patterns & practices Enterprise Library.


Data Access: Why not leverage existing knowledge when designing your next solution? Discover how you can implement the recommended data access architecture using Enterprise Library to quickly build a robust and secure data access layer which supports connectivity to Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle and DB2.


Exception Handling: Exceptions happen…the question is what you will do to handle them.  Poorly written applications behave unpredictably when exceptions occur and often this bad behavior results in crashes or security holes.  You will learn how you can create exception policies that can be consistently and quickly applied in your application to insure predictability even when things go wrong.


Logging and Instrumentation: Properly instrumented applications are a dream to manage, they tell what is happening and when things are going wrong point you to the source of the problem quickly increasing your mean time to recovery resulting in increased system availability.  Learn how to use the Enterprise Library logging and instrumentation block to consistently and easily build an application that tells you where it hurts.


Crypto: So you have a secret…what are you going to do with that credit card number, connection string or password?  Stuff in a secret place and hope that no one ever finds it?  Of course not, you want to encrypt it.  But how?  With the Enterprise Library cryptography block you can quickly encrypt and decrypt these secrets allowing you to secure them and sleep better at night. Attend today’s presentation to find out how.


Configuration: Configuration data is a constant challenge for application development because the way in which your application handles configuration data dramatically impacts its manageability.  We will discuss the requirements for building a great configuration system and how you can leverage the configuration application block to meet these requirements.

.NET User Group Meeting in Colombo today