Screencast: Working with Tracking Profiles in Windows WF

by Matt Milner 30. January 2009 15:53

My latest screencast in the Windows WF developer screencast series has been loaded up.  In this session, I follow up on my previous screencast where I covered using SQL Tracking Services and dive into how Tracking Profiles work and how you can create them in code. I also showcase a couple of sample applications from the Windows SDK that allow you to visually create tracking profiles and then monitor a workflow using tracking data and the visual designer.   

Pluralsight Screencast - Working with Tracking Profiles in Windows WF

 

wf-tracking-profiles 

 

Previous screencasts in this series can be found on the screencast section of the Pluralsight website. You will also find short screen casts on other technologies both current (e.g. WCF) and future ("Oslo") on this page.

Tags:

Windows Workflow Foundation

Vendor Favorite: TechSmith's Camtasia Studio and Snagit

by Matt Milner 24. January 2009 03:17

I've really come to appreciate good tools that help me with things I do day to day.  I've decided that I'd like to use my blog to highlight companies and products that I use and enjoy.  Hopefully, by sharing my experience, it will help some of you find great tools that help you be more productive or happy. 

 

There are two products I've been using a lot lately for the work I've been doing for Pluralsight On Demand! and papers I've been writing.  Both are invaluable tools that are well designed and executed.  Both tools are from TechSmith who do a great job of keeping their products up to date and are constantly adding new and useful features. 

 

Snagit provides screen capture, and so much more.  I use Snagit primarily for capturing windows or portions of my screen for inclusion in articles and papers that I write.  The product allows you to create profiles that include what you want to capture, any effects to apply to it and where you want to send the capture. I usually have my images sent directly to the Snagit Editor so I can work with them to do things like highlight a portion of an image by drawing on it, adding effects like the tear-off effect, and saving the image out to a file.  However, the product can do so much more. In addition to capturing windows or regions of a screen, it can capture full web pages including scrolling the web page (Firefox and IE) and including all the content that is not initially visible on the page. Output can go to image files, PDF, or to the printer.  But wait, there's more!  When I say that TechSmith innovates and adds cool new features, I'm talking about things like being able to capture that image, then send it to Team System.  That's right, you capture the web page or window in Snagit, then you can create a new work item or add the image to an existing one.  What a great way to make life simpler for people who are doing testing and need to communicate the problem to a developer.  All in all, this is a great tool if you have any scenarios where you need to capture information on the screen and send it.  Check out all the plug-ins they have for capturing from Office, browsers, and elsewhere. And they have a printer driver so anything you can print you can send to the Snagit Editor and work with it before saving it to your preferred format. 

Camtasia is my tool of choice for recording our screencasts and our content for Pluralsight On Demand!.  Camtasia is simple to use for recording part of all of your screen and for recording PowerPoint  presentations.  You can add in the "talking head" picture-in-picture with a webcam if you so desire and easily create clips.  Then you have the ability to use the editor to slice-and-dice your clips into a presentation before you encode the whole thing.  You can annotate the recording when editing and manipulate the video and audio tracks. You've got various options for the video format and can do things like add a watermark image to the entire recording, cleanup the audio.  I'm a fairly novice user of this tool and I'm sure there are tons of things it can do that I haven't even begun to find yet, but I don't know that I could find a better tool for recording demos and presentations.

 

So that's it for my first set of tools.  If they sound useful, try them out, they both have trial versions you can download before buying and if you do buy them you just enter your key and keep right on going, no need to reinstall. 

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Screencast: SQL Tracking Services in Windows WF

by Matt Milner 15. January 2009 17:26

My latest screencast in the Windows WF developer screencast series has been loaded up.  In this session, I discuss the basics for setting up the SQL Tracking Service in Windows WF and how to begin tracking basic information.   In a subsequent screencast I will cover how to create tracking profiles which can be used with this or any custom tracking service. 

Pluralsight Screencast - Using SQL Tracking Services in WF

 

wf-sqltracking

 

Previous screencasts in this series can be found on the screencast section of the Pluralsight website. You will also find short screen casts on other technologies both current (e.g. WCF) and future ("Oslo") on this page.

Tags:

Windows Workflow Foundation

Now this is COOL technology at work

by Matt Milner 9. January 2009 06:24

Every now and then a simple thing comes along that really makes me stand up and say, that was a good idea.  Microsoft Research has taken the fact that almost everyone has a phone with a camera on it these days and turned that into something MUCH more useful than taking pictures of your friends and family doing stupid things. 

Check this out: 

 

BlogBarCode

And one more for fun:

NoteBarCode

 

I think this will really take off.  What do you think? 

Tags:

General Musings

New course on "Dublin"

by Matt Milner 22. December 2008 05:24

I'm excited to announce that we have now listed our new "Dublin" course on the website.  This will be a three day course where we dive in to taking advantage of the hosting features found in the new application server being developed at Microsoft.  If you are interested in finding out how you can use "Dublin" to host your WCF/WF services, manage and monitor them, and take advantage of advanced features for routing, versioning your services, etc. then this is the course for you.  I'm looking forward to the first public offering which should be posted up on the schedule soon. 

Tags:

General Musings | Windows Workflow Foundation | Windows Communication Foundation

Using WF rules in .NET applications and WCF services

by Matt Milner 22. December 2008 05:11

THe business rule engine in Windows Workflow Foundation is an often overlooked feature that provides powerful business logic processing and rich business rule engine execution semantics.  Some mistakenly believe this functionality can only be used from within a workflow.  I worked with Microsoft recently on a couple of articles to provide developers  hands-on examplesof using rules in .NET applications and in WCF services.   These articles are part of a new series intended to provide small concrete examples of how to use the technology.  You'll find links in the sidebar to other articles on using sequential and state machine workflows.  If you are learning WF , don't forget about our screencast series as well where we have information on WF, WCF and more. 

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Windows Workflow Foundation | Windows Communication Foundation

Slides from SOA Road Show and Twin Cities .NET User Group

by Matt Milner 8. December 2008 18:10

I was busy last week with two local presentations.  The first was on the BizTalk Adapter Pack and the WCF LOB Adapter SDK at the Real World SOA Road Show.  This was a fun show and it was nice to see Jon Flanders and Michael Woods who did a talk on "Oslo" and "M".  I've posted my slides for those who were interested in downloading them. 

 

Then on Thursday night I got the chance to talk about Microsoft .NET Services to the Twin Cities .NET User group. This is always a fun group and folks had a lot of good questions about Azure and the "cloud".  I have slides and sample code posted up now for this talk. 

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BizTalk Server | General Musings

Screencast: Creating activities in Windows Workflow Foundation

by Matt Milner 20. November 2008 11:27

My latest screencast in the Windows WF developer screencast series has been loaded up as of last week.  In this session, I discuss the basics of creating custom leaf activities including how to use Dependency Properties to make your properties bindable.    

Endpoint Screencasts - Creating custom activities in Windows Workflow Foundation (WF)

 

WF_CustomActivity_Screen

 

Previous screencasts in this series can be found on the screencast section of the Pluralsight website. You will also find short screen casts on other technologies both current (e.g. WCF) and future ("Oslo") on this page.

Tags:

Windows Workflow Foundation

Screencast: Using the WCF Send activity in Windows Workflow Foundation

by Matt Milner 20. November 2008 10:51

My latest screencast in the Windows WF developer screencast series has been loaded up as of last week.  In this session, I discuss the basics of using the Send activity to consume a service from a workflow using WCF.    I extend the workflow created in the previous screencast to consume a service that authorizes credit cards. 

 

Endpoint Screencasts - Using the WCF Send Activity in Windows Workflow Foundation (WF)

 

using-send-activity-in-workflow

 

Previous screencasts in this series can be found on the screencast section of the Pluralsight website. You will also find short screen casts on other technologies both current (e.g. WCF) and future ("Oslo") on this page. 

Tags:

Windows Workflow Foundation | Windows Communication Foundation

Twin Cities .NET User Group - A lap around Microsoft .NET Services

by Matt Milner 20. November 2008 10:41

I'm happy to be giving a talk at the upcoming Twin Cities .NET User Group on December 4 at the Microsoft office.  I'll be talking about the Microsoft .NET Services component within the newly announced Azure Services Platform.  I'm going to cover the Service Bus, Workflow Service and Access Control Service.  We'll have several demos and I'll be providing all the code.  Stop by if you want an early look at this emerging technology. 

Tags:

General Musings

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