The first meeting of LANUG (the moniker given to the Lower Alabama .Net Users Group) was a great success with around 27 in attendance. There were some new faces and quite a few friends and acquaintances I have met over the years. Some of the companies that had employees in attendance were: ACO, STI, Morrison’s, Dawson Engineering, and of course yours truly from DailyAccess Corporation.
Microsoft’s Developer Evangelist for the South East region, Joe Healy, was on hand to give a presentation of some of the new features in Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005. I must say that the upcoming features are very exciting. ASP.Net 2.0 is an incredible language and platform and definitely is well ahead of the other technologies out there.
Visual Studio 2005 brings some great new features for VB.Net and C# developers including Edit and Continue (allows one to alter variables and add code during execution in Debug mode), incredible refactoring support (very similar to what exists for Java in Eclipse), and Click Once deployment (adds smart client capabilities to apps to allow them to update themselves to the latest version via the internet seamlessly for the user).
SQL Server 2005 has an incredible number of new features, we were able to only cover a few but they were awesome. The new version adds incredible XML support right into the database (very similar to what Oracle 9i and up have with SQLX and the XML SDK’s in PL/SQL). There is also the ability to call .Net managed code functions inside stored procedures and standard SQL queries. This allows one to have the option of writing functions in a .Net language versus T-SQL which depending on what is needed can make things much easier (have you tried to split a string in T-SQL based on a delimiter??? It’s one line in C#). The example that Joe gave of this feature was the Great Circle algorithm with GPS coordinates. (Something I also saw this week, is that IBM’s DB2 and Oracle’s 10gR2 on Windows have support for this type of functionality)
I have to say that Joe Healy is one of the best presenters I have seen in awhile. He had great energy, was comfortable in front of a crowd, and had great contents (more code than powerpoint which is a big plus). I would highly recommend checking him out if you have the opportunity to hear him speak. He also gave out some great books as door prizes (unfortunately I was not a winner of any of the texts, but Casey won a VB.Net book)
Here are links to the code samples that Joe used from his site DevFish.Net.
What’s new and cool in VS2005 – Powerpoint, SQL2005 GPS functions for bearing and Great Circle Distance, stored procedure and view definitions. Visual Studio 2005 Beta2 project using Virtual Earth.
Upcoming .Net Events
October 29, 2005 – Birmingham, AL – Alabama Code Camp 2005
November 25, 2005 – Atlanta, GA – Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 Launch Event
November 25, 2005 – Mobile, AL – LANUG Meeting Two – Speakers TBD
December 13, 2005 – Birmingham, AL – Satellite Launch Event for Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005