May 6th, 2012

Micro ORMs demonstrate that less is usually… less

Micro ORMs such as Dapper, Massive and PetaPoco are an increasingly fashionable solution to the problem of bridging the databases and object world. However, it’s important to understand the trade-offs involved in using a micro ORM as opposed to something “heavier” with a more advanced feature set.

January 8th, 2012

Entity Framework anti-patterns: How not to use an ORM with SQL Server

The Entity Framework has come a long way since its earliest incarnations prompted a vote of no confidence from the development community. However, like any data access technology, there are still a number of traps for the unwary – particularly if you’re using it in a tiered application.

September 22nd, 2011

If Microsoft are pushing HTML5 for Windows 8 where does this leave Silverlight?

All change for Microsoft developers. Again. The new Visual Studio developer preview demonstrates that Microsoft are serious about promoting HTML5 and JavaScript as a primary application development platform for Windows 8.

February 3rd, 2011

Estimation pitfalls: Why software development estimates are so difficult

Estimates are, in essence, a kind of crystal ball gazing. You are making a series of educated guesses about how long something will take whilst often being hampered by imperfect understanding and squeezed by commercial pressures.

December 12th, 2010

Exception safety in C# – more than just trying and catching

Exceptions can be a very effective means of handling errors in a systematic way, but using them properly can be a pretty delicate operation. If they are not handled properly then they can become a source of leaking resources, partially-completed operations and inconsistent data.

October 15th, 2010

How to write useful .NET and C# coding standards

Coding standards are one of those documents that managers often feel obliged to produce, so they are frequently written without any clear sense of purpose. A number of different motives can inspire coding standards – not all of them very positive.

July 12th, 2010

Using the WCF Authentication Service without cookies

How to use web services that are secured with the WCF Authentication Service in clients that don’t support cookies.

May 20th, 2010

Using custom .Net configuration files in both applications and websites

There will be times when you want a greater level of control over .Net configuration files, particularly when you are trying to manage settings across a large and complex set of environments.

May 13th, 2010

Creating a security token service website using WIF in Visual Studio

This walkthough explains how to create a test claims issuer in Visual Studio 2008 using the Windows Identity Foundation SDK.

April 6th, 2010

Reading and Geocoding Ordinance Survey’s open data in .NET

Ordinance Survey’s UK free OpenData products contain a wealth of UK location-based data – the only problem is how to extract something useful from them…

February 20th, 2010

Developing with Microsoft Surface – a few lessons learnt

Developing with Microsoft Surface isn’t quite like any other rich interface development. Here are some practical learning points that can help to ease commercial development on Surface.

July 14th, 2009

Using the Google AJAX Search API: JSON serialisation with .NET

Google’s AJAX Search API is designed to let you add searches to web pages via JavaScript. However, there’s nothing to stop you using .NET to execute searches on the server side.

February 2nd, 2009

New features in C# 3.0 and C# 4.0 – are Microsoft undermining C#?

I have noticed a number of features creeping in to C# 3.0 and the forthcoming C# 4.0 that I feel very uncomfortable with. In their desire to continue to develop and enhance their platform, could Microsoft be in danger of undermining C#?

November 13th, 2008

Implicitly unreadable: the C# “var” keyword and lazy code

I am starting to increasingly see code samples that make heavy use of var and the impact of readability can be pretty extreme – it really is the kind of thing that makes a war-weary old coder like me shiver.

August 12th, 2008

Allow partially trusted callers – using ASP.NET in shared hosting

Developing ASP.NET applications for shared commercial web hosting space can give rise to a security issue that will restrict your development options.