April 2009 - Posts

Next Four Hosting Tutorials Now Online
27 April 09 12:51 PM | Scott Mitchell

The next four tutorials in my Hosting Tutorials on www.asp.net were published over the weekend. These tutorials walk readers through hosting an ASP.NET website with a web host provider and are aimed at beginning to intermediate ASP.NET developers interested in getting a small- to medium-sized ASP.NET application online. The first six hosting tutorials served as an introduction to the series and provided an overview of core concepts. These current four tutorials examine deploying a data-driven web application.

  • Deploying a Database [VB | C#] - This tutorial starts by examining how to get a database's schema and contents from the development environment to the production environment.
  • Configuring the Production Web Application to Use the Production Database [VB | C#] - It is not uncommon for configuration information to differ between the development and production environments. This tutorial explores ways to configure the production environment to include the appropriate connection string.
  • Configuring a Website that Uses Application Services [VB | C#] - ASP.NET version 2.0 introduced a series of application services, which are part of the .NET Framework and serve as a suite of building block services that you can use to add rich functionality to your web application. This tutorial explores how to configure a website in the production environment to use application services (such as Membership, Roles, and Profile).
  • Strategies for Database Development and Deployment [VB | C#] - When deploying a data-driven application for the first time you can blindly copy the database in the development environment to the production environment. But performing a blind copy in subsequent deployments will overwrite any data entered into the production database. Instead, deploying a database involves applying the changes made to the development database since the last deployment onto the production database. This tutorial examines these challenges and offers various strategies to assist with chronicling and applying the changes made to the database since the last deployment.

Enjoy!

-- Hosting Tutorials Homepage: http://www.asp.net/learn/hosting/
-- ASP.NET Vidoes, Tutorials, and Other Learning Material - http://www.asp.net/learn/

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May's Toolbox Column Now Online
24 April 09 10:18 AM | Scott Mitchell

My Toolbox column in the May 2009 issue of MSDN Magazine is available online and includes the following reviews:

  • SyncBack Pro - backups are an important part of any IT strategy. For large corporations with established IT departments, backups are automatically performed routinely, but if you work for a small company or work for yourself, backup responsibility falls on your shoulders. The good news is that creating, maintaining, and executing backup schedules is a breeze with SyncBack Pro. Backup to or from folders on your local computer, on a network share, over FTP, to CDs/DVDs, and even via e-mail! A freeware edition of SyncBack is available as well.
  • VS Explorer - do you routinely find yourself toggling between Visual Studio and Windows Explorer? If so, check out VS Explorer, an affordable Visual Studio Add-In that integrates the Windows Explorer user experience as a window within the Visual Studio IDE. What's more, VS Explorer includes features not found in Windows Explorer, such as one-click access to the Solution or Project folder, as well as to the file currently displayed in the IDE.
  • Tools for Multiple Monitors - want to increase your coding productivity? The easiest and most cost-effective way is to buy another monitor. I've blogged about my move from one to two monitors and from two to three. Unfortunately, there's not very rich support in Windows for multiple monitors. The good news is that there are a number of commercial and free tools for making the most of your multiple monitor setup. UltraMon ($40) is a must have - it extends the taskbar across all monitors, adds one click access to moving windows from one monitor to another, and so on. Another great tool is WinSplit Revolution, a free utility that adds keyboard shortcuts for repositioning and moving windows around the screen and across monitors. Once you install and start using WinSplit Revolution you'll wonder how you lived without it. And the most important configuration aspect of a multi-monitor environment is your desktop. Do you stretch one image across all three? Have unique images in each window? Have your pictures displayed in a montage? To make the most of your desktop space check out John's Background Switcher, a utility that periodically swaps out your desktop background. It works wonderfully on multiple monitors and can pull images from your hard drive or from image sharing sites like Flickr, Facebook, and Picassa.
  • Blogs of Note: Signal vs. Noise - 37signals is a company that makes web-based applications with a simple design goal in mind - making simple software that makes it easy to do what you need and doesn't do anything else. Less is oftentimes more, after all. Signal vs. Noise is the company blog, where various employees post ruminations on marketing, usability, web design, and interesting anecdotes. It's a must read blog for web developers and designers alike.

There was no book reivew in this issue.

Enjoy! - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dd727507.aspx

As always, if you have any suggestions for products, blogs, or books to review for the Toolbox column, please send them to toolsmm@microsoft.com.

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New Tutorials Series on Hosting
10 April 09 08:35 AM | Scott Mitchell

I have a new tutorial series on the www.asp.net website that looks at hosting an ASP.NET website with a web host provider. The tutorials are aimed at beginning to intermediate ASP.NET developers interested in learning the ins and outs on how to get a small- to medium-sized ASP.NET application online. As with my previous tutorials on the www.asp.net website (Data Access, Security, and Master Pages), these tutorials include both C# and Visual Basic versions. Each tutorial can be downloaded as a PDF for offline viewing or printing and each tutorial includes a working website that illustrates the concepts discussed in the tutorial (and can be downloaded as a ZIP file).

The first six hosting tutorials serve as an introduction to the series and provide an overview of core concepts.

  • ASP.NET Hosting Options [VB | C#] - ASP.NET web applications are typically designed, created, and tested in a local development environment and need to be deployed to a production environment once it is ready for release. This tutorial provides a high-level overview of the deployment process and serves as an introduction to this tutorial series.
  • Determining What Files Need to Be Deployed [VB | C#] - What files need to be deployed from the development environment to the production environment depends in part on whether the ASP.NET application was built using the Web Site Model or Web Application Model. Learn more about these two project models and how the project model affects deployment.
  • Deploying Your Site Using an FTP Client [VB | C#] - The simplest way to deploy an ASP.NET application is to manually copy the necessary files from the development environment to the production environment. This tutorial shows how to use an FTP client to get the files from your desktop to the web host provider.
  • Deploying Your Site Using Visual Studio [VB | C#] - Visual Studio includes tools for deploying a website. Learn more about these tools in this tutorial.
  • Common Configuration Differences Between Development and Production [VB | C#] - In earlier tutorials we deployed our website by copying all of the pertinent files from the development environment to the production environment. However, it is not uncommon for there to be configuration differences between environments, which necessitates that each environment have a unique Web.config file. This tutorial examines typical configuration differences and looks at strategies for maintaining separate configuration information.
  • Core Differences Between IIS and the ASP.NET Development Server [VB | C#] - When testing an ASP.NET application locally, chances are you are using the ASP.NET Development Web Server. However, the production website is most likely powered IIS. There are some differences between how these web servers handle requests, and these differences can have important consequences. This tutorial explores some of the more germane differences.

The next set of tutorials examines the challenges in deploying data-driven applications and maintaining development and production databases.

Enjoy!

-- Hosting Tutorials Homepage: http://www.asp.net/learn/hosting/
-- ASP.NET Vidoes, Tutorials, and Other Learning Material - http://www.asp.net/learn/

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