January 2010 - Posts

January's Toolbox Column Now Online
08 January 10 09:57 AM | Scott Mitchell | with no comments

My (final) Toolbox column in the January 2010 issue of MSDN Magazine is available online and includes the following reviews:

  • Balsamiq Mockups For Desktop - Balsamiq Mockups is a lightweight, easy-to-use UI mockup tool that combines the speed, simplicity, and low-tech look and feel of paper mockups with the archival and sharing benefits inherent in computer-generated mockups. Go from a blank canvas to an intuitive and detailed mockup in a matter of minutes.
  • Blogs of Note: UX Booth Blog - with submissions from several noted UX design authors, trainers, and consultants, the UX Booth Blog offers advice and insight on how to improve your application's user experience.
  • JSLint - JSLint is a free static JavaScript Code Quality Tool created by Douglas Crockford. JSLint searches your script and reports various warnings, such as the use of global variables, statements not terminated by semicolons, and unreachable code, among many other potential pitfalls. Also check out JSLint.VS, a free Visual Studio Add-In that lets you run JSLint directly from the Visual Studio IDE.

This issue reviewed Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Unleashed, by Michael Lisin, Jim Joseph, and Amit Goyal. An excerpt follows:

Like with any enterprise-grade platform, SSRS is expansive in its features and use cases. I recently helped a client evaluate and get started with SSRS and found “Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Unleashed” (Sams, 2009) to be an invaluable guide for learning the ins and outs. The book is divided into five parts. The first part provides a light overview of SSRS, highlights common user scenarios, introduces the SSRS architecture, and compares and contrasts different report deployment scenarios. There’s also a short chapter on installing SSRS, with step-by-step instructions and plenty of screenshots. ... “Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Unleashed” is an excellent introduction to SSRS for administrators, DBAs and users. The depth of material is a little light in some areas, but this book does an excellent job conveying the most important aspects and exploring the breadth of features and functionality available in SSRS.

Enjoy! - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/ee291539.aspx

After four years and nearly 50 columns, this one marks my last Toolbox column in MSDN Magazine. Microsoft recently tapped 1105 Media to run MSDN Magazine and TechNet Magazine, who decided to go in a new direction with regards to this column. I don't know if the Toolbox column will be retired or whether it will continue with another columnist, but I wanted to sign off saying thanks to those who regularly read the column and to the hundreds of people who sent in suggestions for tools, technologies, and books to review.

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