March 2008 - Posts

Three New Security Tutorials Now Available
25 March 08 07:49 PM | Scott Mitchell

I've been working on some tutorials for the www.asp.net site on the topics of forms authentication, authorization, membership, and roles. The first set of tutorials covered security basics and examined forms authentication in detail; the second set looked at the Membership system and the SqlMembershipProvider. The third set of tutorials are now available online and focus on the Roles framework and the SqlRoleProvider.

  • Creating and Managing Roles [VB | C#] - examines the Roles framework and the SqlRoleProvider. Shows how to create new roles and manage these roles from a web page interface.
  • Assigning Roles to Users [VB | C#] - looks at the Roles framework methods for assigning and removing users from roles.
  • Role-Based Authorization [VB | C#] - shows how to perform role-based URL authorization, as well as how to programmatically grant or deny functionality based on the currently logged in user's role(s). Also looks at using the LoginView control to display different content based on the logged on user's role.

All tutorials are available in C# and VB versions, include a complete, working source code download, and are available to download as PDF. The next batch of tutorials examines creating administrative pages to manage user accounts.

Enjoy! - http://asp.net/learn/security/

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The Code Trip Rolls into San Diego Tuesday, March 25th
19 March 08 03:28 PM | Scott Mitchell

Over the past several weeks, some dedicated developers have been undertaking a grand Code Trip, travelling around the Western half of the United States in a bus speaking and hanging out at Code Camps, User Groups, and conferences. On Tuesday, March 25th the Code Trip bus rolls into San Diego to take over the San Diego .NET User Group meeting (along with regular speaker Michele Leroux Bustamante).

For more information, and to register for the event, visit http://thecodetrip.com/1/san-diego-dotnet-user-group. Should be a fun and interesting night.

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March's Toolbox Column Online
15 March 08 01:49 PM | Scott Mitchell

After a three month hiatus, I am back to authoring the Toolbox column for MSDN Magainze. (Thanks to James Avery for authoring the column the last three months.) There has also been some changes to the content you'll find in Toolbox. When the column debuted in January 2006, it was designed to examine two to three indespensible developer tools and a book review. Specifically, it aimed to cover commercial tools designed by third-party vendors that weren't priced beyond levels that would require top-tier managerial approval to buy (in other words, it should not include products costing several thousands of dollars).

The focus of the column has shifted a bit. Instead of focusing exclusively on commercial ISV products, the column is more dedicated to examining community-created projects and open-source software. We are also launching a new section in the Toolbox column called Blogs of Note, where I share and review interesting and informative technology-focused blogs. The column still includes a commercial ISV software reviews and a book review.

The March issue of Toolbox includes coverage on:

  • Firebug - a free, open-source client-side Web development tool for the Mozilla FireFox browser. With Firebug you can quickly examine and modify the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript of a page, all directly within the browser. A must-have tool for web developers.
  • Scott Guthrie's Blog - Scott is one of the original creators of Microsoft's ASP.NET and, today, is the Vice President of the Microsoft Developer Division. His blog is a fountainhead of information on current and upcoming web technologies and tools.
  • Extending Reflector with Add-Ins - a look at the popular disassembler and class viewer, Reflector, along with information about a variety of free, community-created Reflector Add-Ins.

In addition, I reviewed Lynn Beighley's book Head First SQL (O'Reilly). Here is a snippet from the review:

Most books that teach SQL do so with dry prose and focus on business and accounting scenarios. O'Reilly's Head First SQL by Lynn Beighley turns this approach on its head, and to great effect. The topics covered in Head First SQL are familiar: the fundamentals of the SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE queries; JOINs; subqueries; data normalization; data and relational integrity; and so on. But the unique presentation in Head First SQL makes it fun to learn and easy to remember.

...

Head First SQL shines in its ability to explain concepts in a way that makes even the most complicated scenarios seem like common sense. The chapter on JOINs is the most lucid and digestible description I've read yet. The same is true for the chapter on subqueries.

I hope you like the shift in focus of the Toolbox column. I invite any feedback, comments, or constructive criticism you may have about the column at mitchell@4guysfromrolla.com. Likewise, send me any suggestions for products, blogs, or books to review!

On a side note, it appears that the MSDN Magazine website has been retooled and many past links to my Toolbox columns are now broken. Boo. I've always been a firm believer that URLs are a public interface and therefore must remain in tact for the lifetime of the website (in theory, then, forever); it's frustrating that Microsoft doesn't share these same ideals.

As always, if you have any suggestions for products, blogs, or books to review for the Toolbox column, please send them to me at mitchell@4guysfromrolla.com

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